Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Reflecting back on the American win

I said on the live blog immediately following the game, that a win like this is one that will keep the Mount out of the #16 seed should they make the NCAA tournament. I really believe that. And I believe it for a number of reasons, which some of which haven't necessarily happened yet. But I think that wins over Boston U, American and to a lesser extent Loyola both on the road and the potential wins that exist in the remainder of the non-conference schedule Navy, Lafayette, Penn State, Lasalle - will give the Mount a pretty strong resume if it in fact does win a few of those remaining non-conference games. And it's losses will be against quality opposition as well.

With that said, the other key factor, will be how the Mount performs in the conference season. Obviously, I have high expectations for the conference season. But based on what I saw last year, and what I've seen in this year, I like the Mount's chances to win the regular season. Obviously, nothing is guaranteed and you've got to win the games on the floor. But I think the team realizes that. And that is what makes things so positive.

Now the other teams have to hold up their end of the bargain as well. Getting American or Boston U or both into the field is a key - of course if the Mount beats Navy and Lafayette - it will have wins over three of the eight Patriot League teams. But I think that the Mount, which was as high as 42 in the RPI after the win on Monday, is starting to build a resume that will be very appealing (at least to get out of the #16 seed range) to the committee, if it does what it is capable of doing the rest of the way.

Anyhow, its easy to just call Monday night's win at American the Jeremy Goode win. And without him and his jumpers from the White House East Lawn the Mount doesn't win the game. But there really were some solid contributions from the rest of the team that were key.

1. Sam Atupem - Without the big guy inside early, its possible the Mount wouldn't have scored in the first ten minutes of the game. And when the rebounding needed improvement in the second half, he made sure it happened.

2. Shawn Atupem - Some big buckets in the second half. When was the last time you saw a 6-7 player at the Mount, dribble between his legs at the head of the circle, pull up for a jumper make it and get fouled?

3. Kelly Beidler - Once again a key three-pointer in the second half - despite having a rough game shooting the ball - this one gave the Mount its first lead. And he pulled down a key rebound.

4. Kelly Beidler - He gets twice the recognition, because without his play to draw the fourth foul on Derrick Mercer, who knows what happens?

5. Jean Cajou - Second game in the Metro area that he didn't shoot it well. But his defense on Garrison Carr was as close to lockdown on that guy as you can get.

6. Will Holland - Man do we feel for the kid from Texas who just can't find the range with his jumper. He seemed to let it go a little bit more in this one but they weren't falling. Still a key lefthanded drive and some big rebounds helped the cause.

7. Lamar Trice - He has to be able to give Goode a break and not have the team go backwards. For the most part that happened in the first half, and then he had the big assist to Shawn in the second half. Small minutes but key contributions.

8. Markus Mitchell - He's solid. He isn't going to wow you, but on this team, we don't need it. Another performance that helps teams win games.

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