We won! Feels good.
For those not following CardsFan922 on Twitter (smh @you) here were my general thoughts during the game:
- Traffic is non-existent on Preston Highway and Ring Road. I know I'm early for the game but where is everyone?
- Love getting the ball up court quickly. Not sure how easy it will be against man-to-man pressure
- We're not great. Maybe too early to tell. Can't seem to get the ball inside.
- Tj should really be able to score at will in this game. He's not so far. Bad sign.
- Goode and Vantrese showing some mid-range jumpers. Marra, kuric hitting 3s. Marra better at running floor than kuric.
- Buckles with the 2 best passes today. I can talk myself into this team.
- Seriously, jennings having trouble with svt and the walk-on from trinity doubling him. Not a good sign.
- Buckles looks like best player on the floor, really
- The arena is going to be really loud when it is full.
See what brilliance you are missing? Anyway, last things first: The arena is spectacular. It doesn't really feel like "our" arena, and we weren't in our regular seats for today, so it felt even more like a weird road trip or something. The place is huge, and even when the seats were not full, it was REALLY loud and the sound carried. Freedom Hall could get loud, but early season games sounded different, less full, etc. than Big East Monday night huge games. And for some reason people at home always thought FH sounded quiet on TV. I think this season it will be really, really loud and you'll be able to tell on TV.
As to the product on the court? I can talk myself into this being a good team. Siva-Knowles-Kuric-Buckles-TJ is a decent starting 5, especially if we are running and making shots. Not sure where Swop fits in (especially if he doesn't come back in game shape in December) and the offense isn't going to really do well inside-out, but if we play fast and just chuck up 40 threes a game....I dunno. We'll see if we stick with it. Helps when the team you are playing is trying to run the whole time too. What happens when we play Pitt? I don't know if Pitino will be able to help himself from the chameleon game-planning, as Mike referred to it last week. If we can run, run, run, shoot, shoot, shoot and press, press, press, then maybe we can win some games. But don't see where the points come from in the half-court offense otherwise.
As to the rest of the team. Chris Smith looked athletic but disappeared for a lot of the game, Marra hit some threes and really ran a bunch, and I'm not good enough to tell if he or Kuric are better. Marra missed an alley-oop dunk and Kuric had a sick alley-oop baseline jam from Knowles late in the game. So if that's the tiebreaker, Kuric.
TJ - sure, he ended up with the most points. But he did not dominate and they weren't getting the ball inside to him. The offense cannot run through him.
Maybe Buckles looked like the best player because there was no one to guard him. But he was all over the court, was making threes, outside jumpers, put-backs, and rebounding well.
In a close game, where do points come from in the half-court? I guess Knowles or Marra/Kuric, with Siva creating for them?
I can talk myself into this team.