Scrimmage observations and evaluations

Insightful scrimmage analysis from Inside TheVille.

There's simply no denying the fact that the 2003-04 version can get it done on offense.

This team has plenty of shooters with guys like Nate Daniels, Francisco Garcia, Taquan Dean, Larry O'Bannon, and Prileu Davis and none of guys appear afraid to pull the trigger.

And that's what Pitino wants from his team. Pitino has confidence in this group of shooters and he insists they pull the trigger when open.

They also play unselfishly and have some good passers, none better than forward Francisco Garcia. They've got to grow at the defensive end and challenge more shots but experience and cohesion will have a lot to do with that.

Individually, you have to be pleased with the talent of Francisco Garcia. Garcia simply may be the best passing forward in college basketball. He broke the White's down defensively with his passing in the first half and delivered a super alley oop that Luke Whitehead jammed home reverse style on the break.

But it's the way Garcia lets the offense come to him that you must appreciate. He doesn't force the action and rarely takes bad shots, though the way he shoots the ball it's hard to call any shot bad if he lets it go. 24 points on 13 shots ain't too shabby and 5-9 from deep is getting done. Big time, baby! He also ran the point against the 2-3 and has the ability to see over defenders and create passing lanes for shots against the zone.

Luke Whitehead hasn't missed a beat since tearing it after late last season. He's relentless on the glass despite giving up size at the four and really is playing a complete game. He stepped out tonight and knocked in some jumpers, including a three, passed the ball well and was active with his hands on defense, stealing three all told.

Brandon Jenkins turned in a strong performance. He's got the ability to break defenders down off the bounce and finish at the rim. He used a nice pump fake to separate from Garcia and knocked in a 17 footer from the wing showing he can get his own shot when he wants. And he'll finish on the break, too.

Nate Daniels has the ability to shoot and often. If he's open and has his feet set, the ball is headed toward the rim. He blocked a shot on defense and it looks like he'll be able to grab some boards. He's also got some ability to post and score on the block.

Larry O'Bannon is going to have a solid season. He's simply more assertive on the court and he's shooting the ball better than ever. You have to like 7 rebounds, 3-5 from behind the three point line. And the 3 assists are a bonus.

Prileu Davis is much more comfortable playing off the ball this season. He shot it well again this evening, including 4-7 from beyond the arch.

Brad Gianiny took the mask off and still played well. He's quick and aggressive and really gets after it on the court. He stuck a three over O'Bannon from the key and drained another from the corner. But it's the steal and dish on the press that's most exciting.

Nouha Diakite played aggressive basketball and attacked the offensive board, slamming a couple follow-ups down. He didn't miss many from the field, one to be exact and that has something to do with the proximity of the shots. He's active and raw but he'll get better each night out because of his intensity and aggresive style of play.


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