Nothing really notable happened to write a story about from last night's games (or deserving of another ill-conceived nickname) so just some miscellaneous notes and observations:
Tempers flared high during the first game, and Bill Amis, one of the most easy-going guys to play at UH, got into a scuffle, both verbally as well as physically. That is not, however, where the story ended. After the game, Dayton posted his customary recap. If you scroll to the bottom, you'll notice that there was a commenter who criticized Bill for his actions (there were a lot of little kids around). Then you'll notice that Bill (or someone purporting to be him) comments beneath, apologizing for his actions. Truly a class guy. Doesn't take much to get into a fight. Takes a lot to take full responsibility for it afterwards.
Following up on the plethora of kids who were at the game, it was really nice to see so many young fans there, who actually wanted to be there. I made it a point to sit around them, just to listen to some of their observations about the game. And they loved it. There was a point where Llewellyn Smalley and Kawika Lyons traded threes back and forth. And a bunch of the kids acted like they just saw DeAndre dunk on Brandon Knight (14 seconds into the video.) This sort of unfiltered enthusiasm is super refreshing. Being a young fan was the best time of my life. It was also nice to see a lot of the UH guys getting recognized. In the beginning, they walked around fairly unmolested. People were more interested in Derrick Low or Smalley or other. Now? Tons of people wanted to talk to Keith (including a very enthusiastic fan who took a picture with him then immediately posted it to instagram) and Negus. Really good for them, not so good for me (less talk time.) Still, that people are getting excited is great for the program.
This was already touched upon in the Warrior Insider post from last night, but there has been a rash of injuries to hit the UH guys. Currently, both Quincy Smith and Brandon Jawato have one of their feet in a walking boot (both showed up last night to show love to their teammates anyway.) Fotu has a torn meniscus, which has been discussed ad-nauseum. Dressler hurt his…backside. Negus hurt his hand. Thankfully it's early enough that none of these will likely affect their ability to play during the season. Just disappointing that we won't see them in the Summer League Playoffs (which likely means that it's going to be Solar Universe/Clark Hatch in the finals, though I'm not totally mad about that. Triple OT rematch!)
In case you want highlights from the games, always a good idea to check out the Youtube Account for Click2Ed. He does a great job filming highlights. Also say hi to him at the games! He's usually posted up next to the announcer.
I know I talked about Aaron Valdes before, but he really does seem to be playing with a super high level of confidence right now. He only had one dunk last night (off of a tip) but scored 27 total points from everywhere on the floor, including several threes, a couple of midrange J's, and a really REALLY pretty scoop shot right at the basket over Julian. He also had 6 blocks (what a bully.) If he continues to develop this way, it solidifies our rotation moving into next year (with both he and Michael Thomas playing the 3.) There's two weeks left in the summer league (games are played every Thusday, Thursday and Saturday.) Come out if you can!