Hicks Has Monster Night
The last time we saw Eric Hicks was last week was in the conference tournament. He was, at best, average. On Thursday night in a 69-55 win over Hillside, he was anything but.
The 6-6 Hicks went for 34 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Eight of his rebounds were offensive. Let's face it, that's what Hicks does best. When he's active and around the basket, he's extremely dangerous like he was on this occasion. The Cincinnati-bound senior also blocked 6 shots. But, he altered nearly every shot taken in the lane amidst his presence.
Hicks was 14-25 from the field, 2-4 from downtown. He had his struggles at the line going 4-for-9. Last week, again in the game we saw, he didn't have a dunk. On this night, he was back to his old ways throwing down signature power dunks in traffic.
Bobby Perry led Hillside, a much younger team. The 6-7 junior scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Generally, the Hillside guards had a difficult time getting him the basketball. Credit Dudley's Mike Hayes with some solid defense, but much of the blame had to be shared with the lack of execution getting Perry the basketball in the post.
Perry scrapped inside, despite the lack of touches. Nearly all of his offense came off stickbacks or when someone found him cutting to the hoop. He finished an efficient 7-12 and missed his only 3-pointer (a wing three off the bounce). Perry's season ended with a 13-rebound effort; 8 offensive.
NC Red Storm coach Mike Zeilmann was on hand to watch Perry, his starting small forward on the AAU team. … Vanderbilt assistant Jeff Jackson was on hand one night after his team's win over Kentucky. Presumably, Jackson was in the building watching Perry, a solid student-athlete who can be expected to be recruited by the Commodores in addition to SEC partners Kentucky and Tennessee. … Available senior small forward Mike Hayes was largely charged with the task of defending Perry and did a nice job. However, his offense wasn't on track tonight, scoring just 6 points on 3-10 shooting. He did have five rebounds. …