Francisco Garcia What can you say that most don't already know? Francisco was simply phenomenal and it's his passing that makes him such a tremendous talent. Garcia got in the lane, found open guys and ended up with a whopping 12 assists. He also shot the lights out from downtown and may have the deepest range of any Cardinal in recent memory. He was 3-6 from behind the arch, including one from WAY out on the court. You also like how he gets in the passing lane and gets his hands on the ball at the defensive end. If there's a better player in the C-USA, I haven't seen him.
Taquan Dean Pitino is asking Dean to make a big transition this season to point guard. There's no question Dean can handle the ball like a point. He displayed a quick and effective cross over several times to beat his man and get in the lane. He also found open shooters once he got in there. And you know Dean can stroke it. 5-10 from the floor with three triples says it all. Big question is can the decision making improve quickly enough? The bet here is Dean will do fine with his new role.
Luke Whitehead Typical Luke Whitehead performance. He rebounded the ball to the tune of 10 boards and battled the taller frontline of the Red team the entire night. He hustled for loose balls, scored around the basket and even stepped out and drained a 17 footer from the left wing. Also had 5 assists and 4 steals.
Prileu Davis Shot the ball better from deep during the summer and the work carried over into the first scrimmage as he nailed three triples on the night. Looks more comfortable on the floor and played 18 minutes without a miscue.
Kendall Dartez Just wait until the potential becomes reality! Kendall ran the floor beautifully and finished on the break several times with the catch and dunk variety. Drew some charges, finished around the basket and grabbed 8 rebounds. Even stepped out and showed his range by burying a triple. There's not many big men in the country that run the floor like Dartez.
Ellis Myles Is this guy really going to red-shirt? It sounds like it and the assumption is that Pitino is simply stacking what will already be a loaded deck in 2004-05. Ellis moved well, chased loose balls out of bounds and made quick moves around the basket. The knee looked great and so did Ellis. 14 points and 6 rebounds in a little more than a half of action is just what the doctor ordered in this instance.
Nouha Diakite You have to like it when your 6'10 center steps out on the floor and knocks in jump shots. It's even better when he does it more than once. Simply a quick, athletic shot blocker that goes to the boards and works hard at both ends. Still learning but has great potential.
Brandon Jenkins In time, this rangy, athletic point guard is going to be good, really good. In fact, he's already tough. Chases loose balls all over the court and hits the boards aggressively. You have to enjoy the way he runs the fast break and had a superb exchange with Luke Whitehead on the break for an assist. Jenkins scoring will come with experience.
Nate Daniels Struggled with his shooting but you could see flashes of what he's all about. He needs to get his feet set to be effective shooting the ball and when he does it's almost automatic. Rebounded the ball well in the first half, particularly when his team employed a 2-3 zone. Coach Pitino will take 7 boards from his small forward every time.
Otis George Otis is about hustle and Friday night was no different. He ran the court, dunked a few times and got after it on the press. And that's his role on this team...to provide the Cards energy and hustle. And he'll do it every night out.
Larry o'Bannon What's not to like about O'Bannon's play? He knocked down some threes, got to the line and dished the ball to open shooters. O'Bannon played more aggressively than he has in the past and that's the key for him this season.
Alhaji Mohammed, Jr. Is there a more aggressive player going to the hole than Junior? Simply attacks the rim at any chance. If he could get the jumper to fall more consistently he'd play a lot of minutes for this team.
Perrin Johnson Said it before and will say it again. Johnson is a tremendous athlete. Not only that but he's also aggressive and goes after the blocked shot. Swatted Dean's shot on the break and had a nasty follow jam in traffic. Also showed some range on the jumper, nailing a three in the first frame.
Brad Gianiny Haven't seen him yet? If that's the case, I'll bet you like what you see from him when you do. Somehow a cross between Travis Diener and B.J. Flynn comes to mind. What you like immediately is his quickness, handle of the ball and his incredible court vision. Broke the press with a slick spin dribble, crossed half court and found a cutting teammate for a layup. Also had a nifty no look to Whitehead for an easy basket.