It was a worthwhile exhibition game and I learned quite a bit about our team. Before I list what that is, here is a chart of the stats that lead to MVP, as explained in my previous blog:
MVP- Chinanu Onuaku +27
What I learned for us to make our offense run smooth is Quentin must be on the floor for major minutes. He makes us go and gets paint touches the best on our team, along with Damion.
His final hurdle is a defensive rebound or gets deflections, which he did not get against Bellarmine. Now you may say, “why do you need your point guard rebounding?” Simple. Very few point guards hit the glass; they run back for transition defense. Q has free reign to chase the ball down. I told him we expect five-to-six rebounds per game and six-to-seven deflections.
I also learned we are further along defensively than I thought. Holding a great shooting and passing team to 32% from the field and 22% on the three-point shooting is excellent for the initial outing. Bellarmine has some legit post players and will be an excellent contender this season.
Our front court played hard and intelligently. Donovan has shown big improvement in his jumper, but zero rebounds with his athleticism are unacceptable.
Ralph Willard said it best, that a few of our freshmen would be a deer in headlights the first time out in the Yum! Donovan, Ray, and Ryan showed that, but will be better next time out. Really pleased with our performance. The magic word is potential that leads to the great upside.
Kentucky Wesleyan has four starters back and will play a totally different style. They run a lot of set patterns. They press multiple ways, trap the pick and rolls and run a variety of zones. Like Bellarmine who helped us learn to defend movement, we will learn to defend physical post-play. Should be fun!
I have always said, “defense on three” when we break our huddle. This team says “family!” After every break, I realize how lucky I am to be teaching such an outstanding group of young men. When they chant “Who has my back?” during the starting lineups video, they mean it!