This is a strange time of year to see a pre-season tournament. The Dinos start league play in late October, 2 months from now. The NCAA boys start in mid November. So they've each practiced, what, 10 times? How would this compare to a tournament played near the end of the seasons? I saw a LOT of stuff last night that could be chalked up (on both sides) to (1) rustiness of not playing competitively for months, and (2) not knowing the new players on your team.
The rules used were a compromise: FIBA rules except a 30 second shot clock (split between the 24 sec FIBA clock and the eternity long 35 sec NCAA clock). The NCAA boys didn't seem to play like they knew the "5 fouls and your out", and the two guys who fouled out seem genuinely surprised.
I don't think the Dinos were playing "out of class" with a Div 1 team. They dug a deep hole with poor shooting at the beginning, but were in the game a bunch in the middle, within 1 twice. The Blue Raiders were better, no question. The better team won. The Dinos "lost" a bit, too, with 33 turnovers, many unforced, and only 8 offensive rebounds (vs 19 for the Blue Raiders). I chalk that up to rustiness.
However, this tournament strikes me as being more about sussing out your players than being indicative of anything, and to that end, the Dinos certainly gave a lot of people a lot of court time. Only Patrick Walker was in single digit minutes. Early observations of the Dinos 11/12 squad from a fan with no understanding of the game:
- Impressive were Matt Letkeman (though Matt, work on your free throws) and Josh Owens-Thomas (a new guy)
- Solid performances from Jared O-J, Keenan Milburn, Phil Labongo (who had a ton of energy if nothing else);
- Wishy-washy performances from Tyler Fidler and Andrew McGuinness (both with consistently ice cold shooting)
- Vacuous performances from Daan Wiersum (new guy) & Neb Kuljic, both of whom got good minutes and lots of chances to do something but didn't do much at either end
- The "what the heck is he doing out there" award to Patrick Walker