With one day of practice behind the 2012-2013 Cardinal basketball team, I didn't expect a thing of beauty in tonight's Red/White "it's not a scrimmage, it's a game" scrimmage. I'm glad I set low expectations. The game was ugly, thanks to plenty of bricks and turnovers. But, it was entertaining and it offered a glimpse at what most expect to be a banner year. Banner year. Get it?
Anyway, I thought I'd provide my opinion of each player's individual performance in a brief, way-too-early-to-judge manner. Here goes:
*Angel Nunez - Really struggled offensively. Needs to be outside threat. Showed no signs of that tonight. Crazy length just dying to be utilized.
*Chane Behanan - Beast. 24 points and 22 rebounds. And, 9 turnovers. Hustled all over the court. He won't return for a Junior season.
*Zach Price - Played the least minutes of any non-walk on, non-redshirt team member. Appears in better condition than last season physically, but not mentally.
*Russ Smith - Was Russdiculous. Struggled making shots. All over the court AND all over the guy he was guarding to the tune of 6 fouls in 35 minutes. Predicting he's on fire next Sunday.
*Luke Hancock - Played under control, but struggled making shots. Could tell he's rusty from shoulder surgery. Speaking of which, he left game to receive ice treatment. Word is he's fine.
*Tim Henderson - Played most minutes, by far, of the three walk ons. Contributed solidly in relief efforts and posted a highlight reel block on Blackshear. Shot has improved.
*Michael Baffour - Couldn't create enough of an opinion to share. Minimal minutes with minimal stats.
*Stephen Van Treese - Looked extremely rusty and hung minimal stats in 25 minutes. Very similar results as Zach Price.
*Montrezl Harrell - Being called "Baby Chane" with good reason. Beast Jr. Finishes around the rim, dunks with authority, and clears rebounds. A very solid backup to Chane, or could backup Gorgui.
*Gorgui Dieng - A very modest 12 points and 12 rebounds. Missed a lot of free throws. Disappeared at times. Had as many blocked shots as Henderson (1). He did alter a lot of Russ's shots, though.
*Peyton Siva - 12 points and 6 assists with 5 turnovers. Finished nicely at rim a few times, though his jump shot was off. Had zero rebounds and zero steals. Showed a few nice dance moves during halftime, though.
*Kevin Ware - Lived up to the Pitino hype by stat-stuffing. 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists. Oh, and 4 steals. Oh, and some highlight dunks. Oh, and only 1 turnover.
*Wayne Blackshear - Solid stat line outside of shooting percentage, which was typical of everyone. As in the Final Four game, got caught slapping quite often. No longer looks fat. Maybe a little husky.
*Mangok Mathiang - Only played 12 minutes, but had 9 points and 7 rebounds. Knocked down a three. It's crazy how much he resembles Gorgui 2 years ago, but has more offense than Gorgui did then. Sounds like he'll redshirt, but he has potential.
*Logan Baumann - The newest walk on played the fewest minutes and, rightfully so, looked very nervous. Behind Baffour in athleticism, but appeared to understand where to be on the court.
Overall, I saw what I expected to see. Seriously, it looked like Peyton and Gorgui were being nice to their teammates, but Chane clearly wanted to dominate. I'm curious to see who comes out with a different mindset next Sunday. I expect Gorgui to be one of them.
Welcome to the 2012-2013 college basketball season, folks.