The men's basketball team got off to a nice start with an exhibition win on Sunday at Mac Court. 5 players scored in double figures and almost everyone got some meaningful playing time. This game went how it was supposed to. Get the guys in the gym under game-like conditions and see how they respond. How much can you learn from your first game against a vastly inferior opponent? I've got a couple things.
1. Jamil Wilson is going to have an immediate impact this season
2. Our shooting woes haven't gone away during the summer
The Ducks were very active in the hustle department. We won the rebound battle with 62 rebounds. Yes, you read that right. 62 rebounds in the game, 31 offensive and defensive rebounds respectively. Even though our shooting was off, the team was crashing the boards, getting after second chance opportunities. We also caused 22 turnovers, translating those turnovers into a respectable 34 points.
Offensively, I thought we shot ok, just not great. We averaged 43% for the game but most of that game from a bad first half. The second half had a decent field goal percentage at 46% but this is Concordia. We shouldn't be shooting under 40% at any time during the game, let alone for a half. Garrett Sim and Tajuan Porter both had tough nights in the shooting department, teaming up to decrease the overall percentage for the team. Take those two out and the team shot around 48%, even including Lekendric Longmire's 2-8 from the field. Sim and Porter won't have this type of game every night but certainly discouraging against this type of competition.
Jamil Wilson came to play tonight and was certainly the star of the show shooting 7-10 from the field with 17 total points and contributing 4 steals in only 18 minutes on the floor. This guy is a beast at the power forward spot and should provide a great option for the team offensively and defensively.
Malcolm Armstead also had a great night, shooting 50% from the field with 14 points. He also spread the ball around, racking up 4 assists.
Tajuan Porter had 2 points on 1-5 shooting with 3 assists and 4 turnovers in 20 minutes. I'll give him a pass for having a bad night but this is his senior season. It's time to step up.
Joevan Catron appears to have found is groove, throwing down 12 points with 0 turnovers. Remember when he would get the ball in the post last year, take a dribble and promptly travel, turning the ball over? I like this new and improved Catron. Keep it up big man.
The Ducks took control of the game early and took care of business in a game that they should have won. I especially liked the defensive intensity on Alex Thiefenthaler who only shot 3-11 from the field and had 8 points in 26 minutes. Great defense in the middle took Alex out of his game. This was the first game of a long season. Don't read too much into the statistics but there is a lot to be encouraged about in Jamil Wilson and Malcom Armstead. There's a lot of time for TP and Sim to get things together.