Friday, October 31, 2008

Saturday's scrimmage from Steve Graham's viewpoint

Hey, here's a nice treat (we play no tricks on All Hallows Eve) for you Rebounders -- Steve Graham, Justin's father and a former basketball player and coach, checks in with his take on last Saturday's scrimmage:

It's always hard to make predictions based off of scrimmages. Playing against guys who know each other isn't the same as facing an opponent for the first time. However, I must say I was really impressed with where this team is compared to last year. The term "picking up where you left off" is not an accurate description of last week's scrimmage. Why? Because this year's team looks much better than they did at this time last season and here's why:

1. The ability to hit from the outside. Last year, the team didn't have a jump shooter from three point range. While Tim Pierce can shoot it, he's much better as a set shooter. This year, Robert Owens and Adrian Oliver have filled the void and can drain the long ball, even with a defender on them.

2. Improved post play. CJ and Chris look like they have put in time over the summer. CJ looks quicker and Chris looks bigger. They seem to know where each other is on the court and the spacing is much better on offense. This allows them to take advantage of one-on-one situations, as well as find the open man when double-teamed.

3. Penetration and kick. Justin and Adrian have the ability to penetrate and take it all the way, but if help side comes they can kick it to the open man for the easy basket or three. Teams will have to respect the outside shot now, so that really opens up the floor.

4. Improved Depth. DaShawn, DeVonte, and Mac showed they can play at a higher level. This will allow for the depth needed to play WAC level ball.

5. Unity. This team looks like they are on the same page. While Lance, Clint, Garrett, and Jerelle aren't identified as superstars right now (you never know who will keep improving) they played hard and played within themselves. I enjoy watching their development, as well as their team spirit.

Unfortunately, Oliver wasn't available to play and I sure hope he's ok, because I think he has a ton of potential. Not to mention I really like Ollie.

I'll be interested in hearing back from Justin on how this Saturday's scrimmage goes. And then it's the first exhibition game on Thursday night...I can't wait!

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