Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today's Game

Well I now know what it feels like to call color for an NCAA basketball game. People always sit around and when there's shoddy announcers cough*theymayhaveballplayersfromnewyorkcity*cough we say something like "I could do that." My response to that is simple: If it's something you love and know a lot about, for example, MU basketball, you probably could. The real work was the hoops our production crew jumped through to get this thing off the ground so far from our normal center of operations.

Based on some feedback from posters on I know at least a couple people watched. So far what I've heard has been positive and that's a good feeling. In some ways there's no charity like bringing MU basketball to the alumni who moved away.

That being said I had a few impressions from the game I'd like to share.

1. Otule and Butler are freakishly athletic but raw and inexperienced. They will make exceptional plays based on that athleticism, but more experienced players will exploit it and they will likely be battling foul trouble all year. Both played aggressive basketball and were active on the boards, which is something we need.

2. Nic and Jerel were solid as expected. Nic seemed to have a little more of a pass-first mentality and that's a plus. There were a few errant passes, but let's give everyone the exhibition excuse of knocking the rust off.

3. Lazar is a monster. If he improves half as much from last season to this as he did from freshman to sophomore year, he'll be an All-American. He has a knack for getting to the basket and pulling down boards as though he's a few inches taller than he is. He was the player of the game by far.

4. Admirable play out of Reese. He ran the point efficiently and even allowed Nic to slide over to the 2 spot occasionally.

5. Buzz's style is to my liking. I enjoyed his experiments with small lineups and big lineups. We saw Nic, Jerel, Wes, Reese and Lazar on the floor a couple of times, we also saw Nic, Jerel, Burke, Otule and Lazar for a big look. Interesting combination and it will be exciting to see how we settle in for the long haul.

6. We allowed a lot of points, but all the ThunderWolves were doing was chucking up threes so perhaps that's excusable.

All in all it was a good way to start the season so to speak. The actual tip off of games that matter will begin this coming Friday and I hope everyone is as excited as I am.

Jonathan Ficke
Assistant Sports Director
Color Man Extraordinaire

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