Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rhode Island Review

See how he posted the Rhode Island Preview before the game, so I called mine the Rhode Island Review? You can't find clever writing like that just anywhere. Anyway, here are my random and disjointed thoughts after attending tonight's game.

Composure and Poise
Remember UD teams of old? Back in the day? I'm talking about the early 2000s. Those teams felt the pressure in big games and it showed. Not this team ... at least not on this night. The Tulsa game in the NCAA Tournament still looms large as on in which a UD team came out and simply could not perform on the big stage. After seeing what this team has done at Louisville and vs. both Pitt and Rhode Island, that no longer seems to be an issue. Rather than coming out tight or flat, this team comes out guns a-blazing and hangs 54 first half points. Rather than cowering or choking down the stretch, this UD team steps up and makes big plays at the most crucial points in games.

Roberts was as careless with the ball as I've ever seen him. Seven turnovers tonight, but criticizing a guy who racks up 23 points on 7-11 shooting and seven assists seems just plain silly. Even on a night when he's not spectactular, he's still the best player in the gym.

The Role Players
You could make the case that anyone on the team not named Brian Roberts is a role player for the Flyers. One guy who has settled into his role nicely is Marcus Johnson. Fourteen points and five boards (three offensive) in 34 minutes of action is a nice little night. Thirty-four minutes of PT?!? Who would have believed MJ would be playing that many minutes and would arguably be UD's second best player?

It almost never looks pretty, and it seldom shows up in the box score, but London Warren's contributions this season have been immense. He takes charges, he dives for loose balls, he comes up with steals ... he still occasionally makes what I call the "ahh what the hell!" turnover, but I'm willing to accept it as long as the good continues to outweigh the bad.

Kurt Huelsman -- ho hum, another routine night of ten points on 4-5 shooting and four boards.

Mickey Perry -- if we can get 8-10 quality minutes from a night, I will be ecstatic.

We're not even at full strength!
The Chosen One, Chris Wright, injured the same ankle that had been nagging him. I heard on the radio postgame that it appears to be a new injury (as opposed to re-injuring what was already limiting his minutes). I think he is supposed to have an MRI tomorrow and we'll find out more info.

This is a legit top 20 team, folks. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak, but it hasn't. (It probably will now that I've jinxed it, but...) This team is NCAA Tournament-bound and is now playing for seeding. Let's take 'em one at a time. Bring on Saint Louis on Saturday.


1 comment:

Stonemill said...

Two reviews within three minutes of each other. That's synergy you can't get anywhere else.