Monday, October 27, 2008

Back from the ARCC

My daughter, Caton and I took in the Annual Blue-White scrimmage today on Jim Phelan Court. On the way to the game, I asked her who she thought would win.

"Whichever team Jeremy Goode is on," she replied.

Turns out Goode was on the Blue team. Final Score, Blue 72, White 46.

She's pretty smart for a 9-year old.

The game was a series of 3 10-minute periods and Goode's blue squad won all three. Some of the players rotated between the two squads at the breaks of the periods. The Blue squad was basically the first team. Will Holland missed the scrimmage due to an injury (but he got his work in on the exercise bike).

Goode led all scorers with 20 points, on 7-12 shooting. He also had 7 assists in the 30 minutes of play. Jean Cajou who also played all 30 minutes with the Blue had 13 points.

Kelly Beidler played the final 10 minutes with the White squad and he led them with 14 points. That period was the closest of the three as Cajou's three-pointer with 5 seconds left gave the Blue the win.

Here are some thoughts and observations from the outing....

If you thought this team played quick at the end of last year, you ain't seen nothing yet. There might have to be some constraints put on them at some point, because it got a little crazy at times, but they are looking to go all the time. It's not quite Corey Gaines, Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers and the rest of the running Lions of Loyola Marymount, but it is quick. Very quick.

There is a lot of depth to this team. That is obvious. And it's amazing how much of it comes on the frontcourt where this program has been lucky to have one or two able bodies a year, let alone the five or six that were running around out there tonight.

So in numerical order here's a little synopsis of what I saw....

#0 Jean Cajou - The guy actually took shots that didn't go in. I didn't remember that from last year. He did make 3 of 6 from behind the arc, so it's not like he's in a slump or anything.

#1 Jeremy Goode - All the stuff you heard in the offseason about him being better is true. He looks good shooting the ball, is in control when he wants to be, and looks like a leader out there. At times, he got a little carried away, but I'll take some of that when you're getting all the positives. And I think he might be a little less flashy when the big lights go on.

#2 Malcolm Parham - a walk on guard who didn't play very much, but picked up an assist in that one minute.

#4 Kelly Beidler - He looks big and strong and more athletic then guys who play on the wing at this level. But while playing with the starters, he didn't really do very much. But he had a huge 10 minutes with the white and really looked good doing it.

#5 Pierre Brown - Quite the contrary to Beidler. He seemed somewhat overmatched when he was a main option with the white team. But when he was part of the blue team he seemed to fit into the role and picked up seven points in ten minutes. I can see him contributing and giving this team a valuable 10-12 minutes a night. But he can't be a defensive liability and Beidler ate him up for awhile.

#10 Shawn Atupem - He floated back and forth between the White and the Blue. He seems to be the post player with the most explosiveness. He scored 12 points and had six rebounds in 21 minutes. It looks like he's gotten better since the end of last season.

#12 Lamar Trice - Don't pick up the box score and think you understand how Trice played. For a freshman he's impressive. He was playing with the lesser group for all 30 minutes and that made a difference. He seems to have confidence in his jump shot and just absolutely manages the game from that slot. He may not play a lot behind #1, but I'll have confidence in him when he's on the floor.

#20 Kevin Jones - Another of the walkons. He scored two points.

#22 John Schwarz - He's clearly not the athletic type of some of the other post-up players, but he did make a few low block moves that in time could help him develop into something positive at this level.

#30 Jacolby Wells - I thought this was a positive debut for the freshman. He scored eight points and grabbed four boards in 12 minutes of play as a reserve for the Blue team. He oozes athleticism and he's going to be fun to watch develop.

#31 Danny Thompson - Another reserve for the Blue. He missed all of last year with the ACL injury, so this was his first action. Put himself in good position to score and rebound but didn't always convert.

#34 Tayvon Jackson - The boxscore shows the forward with 7 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in 20 minutes. He had two nice blocks on the defensive end and could become a shot blocker with that left hand.

#40 Sam Atupem - He seemed to be bothered by some sort of ailment, and this clearly wasn't his best performance. But after three solid years, there is little concern there. Unless the injury is serious, because nobody plays to their potential when they are hurt.

#45 Markus Mitchell - You know what you're going to get from Markus. Solid play all around. He grabbed 12 boards in 20 minutes and contributed 9 points and 5 assists as well. A solid effort from the senior.

#51 Mike Harvey - Freshman walkon from the Berm competed well and finished with four points and three rebounds.

They all competed hard and they hustled. It was obviously an intra-squad scrimmage, but they played hard. Just seeing this group back on the floor was good. It has me even more pumped up for the opener at Loyola.

Afterwards, the players stuck around and Caton got a page full of autographs. She was a bit shy, but I think she really enjoyed the experience of getting to meet the players. She joked afterwards - ok maybe she wasn't joking - that her page full of autographs might be the first full page of autographs for the 2009 Northeast Conference champions.

Yes, she's a smart nine-year old.

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