There was a lot of good things about the first game last night. But there were just as many negatives to take away from the performance which would be described at best, as uneven. UC Started slow for the first five minutes of the game. The Mount even took the lead at several points early in the contest. UC then hit the accelerator and had a 21 point lead early in the second half. Then the intensity and suffocating defense that built that lead evaporated into thin air in what seemed like seconds. Mount St. Mary's began to systematically chip away at the lead taking advantage of poor defensive cohesion in the second half. UC Eventually close out the game at the Free Throw line of all places going 7-8 down the stretch to set the final 69-59 margin. Bullet points after the jump.
- Hard not to like Sean Kilpatrick last night. SK was aggressive on the offensive end. He one really nice and 1 during that big First Half and showed off a stroke from deep that was, quite frankly surprising to me. He is no slouch on defense either playing good one on one D and being very active in the passing lanes. Very impressive debut.
- All of the talk about Yancy Gates becoming a different player in off seasons appears to be on the mark. He hardly resembled the ambling, docile Yancy Gates that I remembered from the last two years. He had a double double last night and it seemed to come real easy to him. More like that please
- Justin Jackson is a joy to watch. He is all over the floor for good or for bad. Bottom line he makes things happen. Seeing as UC has seemed to lack that type of catalyst the last couple of years I think he will continue to get 15 or 20 minutes a game this year. Very lively defender, though his offensive game needs work. Judging on his 3 jumpers he certainly doesn't lack for confidence
- If it wasn't for him going 6-6 on free throws I would have questioned the very presence of Rashad Bishop.
- APB for Darnell Wilks, starts, 7 minutes, 3 points, 2 steals
- Need more from the starting guards, Cashmere Wright and Dion Dixon played 55 minutes between them and amounted to 6 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 8 turnovers, 5 steals and a block.
- 33 per cent from three, not bad
- 38 per cent from the field, bad
- 11 to 17 assist to turnover ratio, bad
- Gave up 9 offensive rebounds, bad
What I take away from this is simple, if UC plays the entire season the way it played the first half they will win 20 games pretty easily. If they play like they played the second half they will challenge DePaul for the bottom of the table.