Eric Ferguson poured in 20 points ... 15 in the second half ... to lead the White team to a 72-49 victory in the Red-White basketball game before a crowd estimated at 5,170 Friday night at Bud Walton Arena.
Ferguson's White team, comprised of what some think is the top seven players, led by only 31-28 at halftime with Wenbos Mukubu putting home a reverse slam at the intermission buzzer for the Reds.
But, it was all White in the second half. That group spurted to a big lead behind Ferguson's scoring and assists. The 6-2 freshman point guard was credited with only five assists, but he had two at the half and this reporter counted seven in a 10-minute stretch in the second half.
Ferguson hit 6 of 8 from the field in the second half, including 3 of 3 on treys. He was superb at finding his teammates both in set plays in the halfcourt and in the running game.
Dionisio Gomez, perhaps the most consistent player on the floor, had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the White team. Kendrick Davis added 15 points, but needed 16 shots from the floor to get that total.
Mukubu, 6-5 freshman swing player, scored 16 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Red team. Alonzo Lane added 10 and was the only other White player in double figures.
Shooting was poor for both sides. The White team was 41.6 percent from the field, canning 32 of 77 shots. The Whites made 5 of 23 on treys for 21 percent. The Red tream was worse at 30 percent (18 of 59) overall and 25 percent (3 of 12) on treys.
To me, the obvious highlight was the play of Ferguson. He's a big-time point guard. He did make 5 turnovers in the first half, but just one in the second half. He worked Jimar Blackmon over. Of course, Blackmon isn't a great player, but he had no chance tonight against Ferguson.
Rashard Sullivan looked like a nice player, but I worry a bit about his lack of rebounding in this game. He had just one board. But, perhaps he was doing a nice job of blocking out, because his side dominated the boards, 53-37. So, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Larry Satchell was solid. He had 11 points, 9 rebounds and four blocked shots in 31 minutes. Best of all, he was never really in foul trouble despite finishing the night with four personals. He had two fouls at the half.
Of course, the White team should have dominated inside. That team had Sullivan, Gomez, Baker and Satchell and the Red team had only Alonzo Lane to patrol the middle. Micheal Jones didn't show a desire to bang or rebound in his 30 minutes on the floor.
Jonathan Modica tried hard tonight, but not much went his way. He did seem to force things a bit. He had five turnovers and was 4 of 14 from the floor.
Our free throw shooting didn't improve any from last year. The White team was 3 of 6 for 50 percent and the Red team was 10 of 19 for 52 percent.
I'll say this about Kendrick Davis. He'll launch a shot without hesitation. He's not afraid of anything.
Stan Heath was working both benches tonight. He sat at midcourt in the first half, but would step into the huddle to reinforce a thought or draw up a set. In the second half, mostly he sat with the Red team because he appeared frustrated by that team's play.
Mukubu is fun to watch, although he can force things, too. He will make some turnovers, but he has plenty of game.
Without question, Ferguson and Davis are the most polished of the guards and must be on the floor a lot of minutes. But, the other side didn't really have a point guard since they played on the White team together. There weren't many steals ... just 14 total by both teams. Last year's team would get that in one half. So we are going to see that stat drop in dramatic fashion, but our rebounding is much improved. Ferguson had four of his team's 8 steals. And, Mukubu had three of his team's 6 steals.
Blake Eddins did a lot of things right, but he couldn't buy a bucket.
Carl Baker didn't shoot well, but he handled the ball well out on the floor and played the best defense of the big men.
Here's the breakdown of the box:
Name fg-fga 3p-3pa ft-fta RB PF TP
Carl Baker 1-7 0-1 0-0 7 3 7
Dionisio Gomez 9-14 0-2 0-1 14 3 18
Rashard Sullivan 3-6 0-0 0-0 1 5 6
Eric Ferguson 8-16 3-6 1-2 4 1 20
Kendrick Davis 6-18 2-9 1-1 7 1 15
Larry Satchell 5-9 0-0 1-2 9 4 11
Blake Eddins 0-7 0-5 0-0 4 3 0
Michael Jones 1-4 0-2 1 3 4
Wenbos Mukubu 6-16 2-5 2-4 10 2 16
Alonzo Lane 4-10 0-0 2-6 9 2 10
Jonathan Modica 4-14 0-1 0-0 7 0 8
Jamar Blackmon 2-6 0-1 2-5 3 1 6
Billy Pharis 1-9 1-3 2-2 3 0 5
Brandon Hudspeth 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Byron Boudreaux talks with Blake Eddins.
Kendrick Davis (12) guards Wenbos Mukubu.
Stan Heath talks with the White team with Dionisio Gomez front and center.
The pom pon squad entertains at the Red-White game.
Photos by Clay Henry