It was a great day to be a Bearcats fan Saturday as both the football and basketball teams rolled to convincing wins. It was going to be hard to top the football performance, but the basketball side was up to the task.
What I liked:
- Balance. 5 Bearcats scored in double-figures Saturday, but no one scored more than 13. On a team looking for a consistent scoring option(s) outside of Sean Kilpatrick, it's nice to see such options just may exist.
- Bearcats defense. It doesn't look like there's going to be much dropoff from previous seasons. These guys may take some time to get used to playing team defense, but they'll get there. The talent is evident. Appy State either likes to jack off-balance shots early in the shot clock or they figured that's the best shot they were going to get.
- SK's efficiency. As we've discussed before, SK can get into ruts where he takes some ill-advised shots. Through three games we haven't seen a hint of that. Saturday he attempted just 8 shots, making 4. Thus far it seems Mick and the staff has convinced him less is more for the team. Let's hope that continues.
- Shaq Thomas was much better Saturday. He didn't look as lost in the flow of the offense. He was under control on several attempts to attack the rim. When he was cut off he reversed out and moved the ball instead of forcing up a shot. To his credit he's not prone to bad shots to date. Sure he was only 3-9 from the field, but he was active on the boards with 7 rebounds including 4 on the offensive glass.
- Titus again. 6-10 shooting. 7 rebounds. 5 offensive boards. A block, 2 assists, 2 steals. All in just 24 minutes. Let's keep this going, Titus!!
- Jermaine Sanders takes 3 days to get his shot up, but it goes in. He scored 8 straight in a stretch yesterday including 2 three-pointers in a row.
- Troy Caupain. We'll discuss Ge'Lawn Guyn in a second, but Caupain filled in nicely. 5-6 shooting and more importantly 3-3 from the foul line. If Guyn is out for an extended time, Caupain could steal the point guard job a lot quicker than most anticipated. Oh yeah, 4 assists as well.
- JJ was very active. 8 points and 4 blocks in 19 minutes is acceptable. If he can stay out of foul trouble he WILL be affective and this team will win. Is it that simple? It might just be.
- Jermaine Lawrence is going to get some shots to fall soon. 2-6 isn't terrible but he had several wide open looks that didn't fall. But he was still very active especially on the defensive glass where he collected 6 rebounds.
- 4 rebounds, 2 points, and a blocked shot in 7 minutes for David Nyarsuk. It was nice to see the big fella get some time. He's a crowd favorite for sure.
- When "the walk-on" plays it's been a good day. Zack Tobler got a rebound and a large applause in 2 minutes. Let's hope for more PT for the kid very soon.
What I didn't like:
- Ge'Lawn Guyn seems to be suffering from a knee injury of some sort. Mick discussed it on the radio after the game and it doesn't seem to be too serious. But, if it lingers Guyn is going to be watching Caupain run the team very shortly. If nothing else, they need Guyn as a backup PG so Kilpatrick or JDIII stay at their position.
- Kevin Johnson can't get ANYTHING to fall. I'm sure the local kid has to be extremely frustrated right now. He can't even get layups to fall. Give him credit though, he's still getting after it and looks to be aggressive on the offensive end. He'll get it going soon. Maybe he's just waiting for a clutch time in the game to get some shots to fall.
- Only 5 minutes of action for JDIII. Obviously there's a reason I'm typing this on a computer and the coaches are doing what they do. They know more than all of us do as to what players are capable of. I'm guessing JDIII just isn't as good as I/we think he is or can be.
- Attendance. Blah.
- Ted Valentine.