Looking back at Columbia

A fan sent me this report on the Columbia game:

-         This is going to be one heck of a defensive team. The guys were all over the place tonight. You know we are good because often it will seem that our player is so tight on our opponent that a foul will surely be called, but one doesn't. This to me is a sign of tremendous respect by the referees and damn good coaching – they go hand in hand. I mean these guys were all over the place. There were several instances where the help did not rotate over, but all in all, an excellent defensive showing.

-         Offensively is the complete opposite. We were awful Too often we settled for the long jumper when we should have tried moving it around some more. It looked like some of Bannon's teams out there where we seemed to run the weave across the perimeter looking for an open J from Greer or Billet. The good news is that we have some guys who can score, but the shots weren't falling tonight. I would like to see us get the ball inside a bit more but it was just one of those games where the team looked out of synch offensively.

-         Individual observations:   

o       Coleman hasn't missed a beat. He still fires away from anywhere and he is damn good. He had a very quiet 17 pt game tonight (didn't check the boxscore but I think it was 17). In addition to his offense, he played outstanding defense (as always) and definitely took it to the hole more. You could tell that he wasn't playing with his normal tenacity so for him to drop so many points, and not play his Agame, was really nice.

o       Sherrod seems better than last year's version; a bit more under control. You can tell that he wanted to show off his new shooting form so he took a few ill-advised shots, but all in all, he had a good game. He is such a great defender and he had a couple of incredible drives. I also noticed that he did try to pass more on the break, which is a very good sign. The one knock I have on him is that he just yaps too damn much. Not sure if you noticed on the tube, but he was jawing for the first 10-15 mins witht eh guy covering him (#3). It is just uncalled for – I saw the shove/forearm (the other kid hacked him pretty good) which caused this yapping to begin,

o       Shields was well, Shields. The complete player. There is not more to really say. He had an excellent all around game. All over the place on boh ends.

o       Kareem looked a lot more active than he used to be. Of course it is attributed to his new figure and it obviously helped. While he put forth the effort last year, it did not translate into results. This year it will. He won't be a dominant 5, not by any stretch, but he will help the team. He had an average game. He got into foul trouble so it was hard to get a good read on him but I like what I see so far. He converted a jumper early (after a layup early on - he should have dunked it) which got the crowd into it, but he also got one blocked later in the game. I would love to see him try a few hook shots since he can keep the opponent at bay with his sheer size

o       Herve had a solid game defensively and a few nice plays on the offensive end. He just couldn't get it going offensively. You could tell he was out of his groove but man has he improved on the defensive side of the ball. He is like a new man out there. He doesn't get pushed around nearly as much and he has always been active so I think we are in for a nice season from him. He also didn't seem to dog it at all out tehre. I remember last year he seemd to take a few plays off here and there - not his game. A good sign.

o       Ax had a good game also. He is such a great part of our press – he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Not much more there – a very workmanlike effort.He looks like he really bulked up this year - his arms are pretty big. He wil need every pound once the BE schedule starts.

o       Wooten is already a crowd favorite. The crowd loves him and you can see why. He is a jitterbug out there and he is exciting. He still needs to move a little better on D (his feet not his hands which are LIGHTNING FAST!), but he is a threat on offense so we are really going to benefit from him. The nice thing that I wasn't expecting is that he gets to the hole so quickly that he will be very dangerous once this team starts clicking.

o &n


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