Running up and down the court, the freshman trio of Ryan Harrow, Lorenzo Brown and CJ Leslie showed off the talent that made them one of the most heralded freshman classes in the nation. Playing in their only exhibition game of the season, the Pack blew past an out-matched Pfeiffer squad 111-73 on Tuesday night at Reynolds Coliseum.
"I could get used to that," Harrow said. "We pushed the ball and were going pretty fast – that's what coach Lowe wants. I could get used to it."
Head coach Sidney Lowe said he wanted his team to run at this kind of pace whenever possible. He isn't going to hold them back, he said following the game.
"We want to run every time," Lowe said. "Make or miss, we want to put the pressure on the defense."
The trio of freshman was joined by Tracy Smith as the leading scorers, with all four players finishing with 17 points. Brown also added six rebounds and six assists while Harrow led the team with eight assists. Despite the impressive first game Lowe cautioned fans to curb their expectations for the freshman.
"They are very talented," Lowe said. "You saw that just in terms of some of the things they could do. But they are learning, there is going to be a learning curve."
Scott Wood finished with 14 points and hit 4-of-9 from behind the arc while C.J. Williams came off the bench to score 13. Richard Howell scored just four points but led the Pack with 10 rebounds. With a big lead Lowe was able to play his entire bench, with 14 players seeing action. The 111 points marked the highest total in Lowe's time as coach, and the first time Pack has broken the 100-point barrier under Lowe.
"It felt easier but we'll see as the season goes on," Wood said. "I'm sure it will get a lot harder."
But the new-look Pack wasn't perfect in its debut, allowing the Falcons to grab 20 offensive rebounds on 51 misses. Wood also questioned the Pack's transition defense during the game and figured the coaches would emphasize the point during preparation for the Pack's Friday opener.
"Tonight our transition defense was a little shaky at times," sophomore Scott Wood. "That is one of the things that we are going to work on in the next few days."
The Pack jumped all over the Falcons out of the gate, climbing out to a 28-8 lead behind Brown and Smith. Brown scored seven straight points during the run and finished the half with a team-high 12. Harrow and Leslie, who came off the bench for the Pack, had eight and seven respectively in the half. The Pack shot well, hitting 60 percent from the field and were 5-of-10 from behind the line en route to a 52-34 lead at the break.
The hot shooting cooled off in the second, but it made little difference as the Falcons never threatened. The Pack shot just 43 percent in the half but got the line 20 times, making 15 of them. They also committed just 12 turnovers all night despite the frantic pace, and Lowe commended Harrow for his ability to take care of the ball.
"Ryan is a special," Lowe said. "He plays that position with the right – not just the right attitude but he knows and understands everything that we are doing. He understands all the offenses, all the defenses – where everyone should be on the floor. He's in control of it."