Monday, October 25, 2010

Guest Blog: John Dwyer on Red & White Scrimmage - Bradley Basketball

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Just got back from my first Bradley event of the 2010-2011 season: the Red/White Scrimmage.  It's an event intrasquad scrimmages for both the guys and the girls.  My first time at the new arena was nice.  It's a good looking facility with good sightlines.  Crowd was kind of disappointing, place was maybe 2/5 full.  Sound system was troublesome with the voices sounding tinny with too much echo.  I think that's something they'll work out over time.

The girls looked pretty good tonight.  It's actually been a long time since I've seen them play since I never managed to get to one of the games they played at area high schools/ICC while the new arena was being built.  I hope to be able to go see a few games this year.  Raisa Taylor is the only player I even recognize, she had a nice night.  Some of the players I'm not familiar with looked pretty good.  Maybe Paula's finally going to turn in a big season.  We'll see, I guess.

As for the guys, it was a little sloppy but I thought showed some promise.  Sam Maniscalco, Taylor Brown, Will Egolf, and walk-on Jordan Brown all sat out with injuries.  None are reported to be serious.  The men's scrimmage started off as a "conventional" twenty minute game with two halves.  As it is, they changed things up in the second half, by putting most of the better players in red and giving them a 10-pt disadvantage.  I think it was an attempt at a kind of situational set up.  Didn't work out well as the white team with walk-ons and reserves increased their lead to 18 or so by the end of the 10-minute period.  Didn't matter much, I don't think as some players were changing which squad they were on fairly frequently.

As for the players, I'll start off with the "bigs" I guess.  I thought Anthony Thompson looked a bit bigger, especially in the arms, while Jordan Prosser looked absolutely huge. Thought freshman Andrew Davis showed some nice skills, and also if you watched them dunking in the warmups he looks to be pretty athletic and a good leaper. He also looks like Hayden Christiansen (the guy who played Anakin Skywalker in the prequel Star Wars movies), so until further notice he's to be known as Darth Andy (and he doesn't like Sand People, okay?).  Thompson showed some good ups with a couple of nice putbacks and a big block (that I think was actually probably a goal tend).  He was still having trouble with leverage/strength though as the new and improved Jordan Prosser was really able to muscle him around.  Prosser looked fine out there-- hoping he'll be good for at least 15 minutes a night.  Be interesting which of those two becomes the key reserve or takes a starting role if the Braves go big and move Taylor Brown to the 3.

Now I'll move on to the guards and wings.  I missed the three guys who sat out, but I figure there's no point whatsoever playing a guy who's less than 98% in something like the Red/White, so I'm fine with them sitting. With those guys out, the only returning players who saw a lot of time were Andrew Warren, Dyricus Simms-Edwards, Dodie Dunson, Milos Knezevic, and Jake Eastman.  AW looked okay, made a couple, missed a couple.  Looked good on defense and came up with at least one big rebound.  Dyricus looked strong.  He was playing point a lot and looked good, but didn't do anything spectacular.  A part of that was Dodie's (and Walt Lemon's for that matter) defense.  It was a fun one-on-one matchup to watch... And it's nice to see Dodie back on the court after last year's season ender.  Dodie played well; good defense, and I think 1/2 shooting from 3.  Milos didn't have a good night, not much else to say.  Eastman played a lot of minutes and made a couple of shots.  He gets to the basket well, and over all I'd say he looked fine.  I'm nervous they had him matching up with forwards a lot of the time.  I have to think his best chance to contribute comes as a guard and not a forward (too small)... So I hope he'll see less/no time in the front court.  He also dunked it once during the warmups.  So, uh, he can dunk.

Freshman Walter Lemon, Jr. looks good to me. Played good D and looks like a great athlete. Nasty first step. Been hearing positive reports about him from practice, and am hoping he'll get some chances to develop against live opponents this season.

The two healthy walkons got a lot of floor time and this is probably the only chance I'll get to comment on them, so here goes.  The kid from Geneseo has a nice shot, but he's tiny and I can't imagine him seeing the floor... Hope we don't get into that situation. That being said, Charonn Woods looked decent to me. He's very strong looking and has average quickness. He played decent defense against guys who were definitely much quicker. Hope we never need him, but I'm thinking he wouldn't be a disaster for a few minutes.

Speaking of defense, with as much stoutness on the defensive end, regardless of who was playing, I'm hoping that means the team is buying into whatever it is that Platt is selling.

I don't read much into a scrimmage like this, but I felt like it was an okay result and a nice way to kick off my Bradley season.

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