First let’s make one thing clear. WKU always gives us fits. They are well coached and really worked at slowing the tempo, and slowing us down. There Coach understands what we try to do to teams, which is to speed them up and getting them playing at a tempo they are uncomfortable with. I thought they played a great game; they just didn’t have the horsed to sustain that slower tempo.
As far as my Cards, man I love what I’m seeing from several in this game. Russ is phenomenal…. I know Jones had to sit out the game, but I’ve always thought, even two years ago when Siva was in Foul trouble against Florida in the Regional Final, that Russ is completely dangerous at the point. An excellent PG is very skilled at the 3 D’s…. Drive, Defend, and Dish….. You add in his 3 pt shooting abilities and I totally believe he’s one of the most dangerous players in the country…. Earlier in the season, he was thinking about passing, then half way through the game he was thinking about scoring, but now the game is coming at a more natural pace and he’s starting to add another element to his game, which is court vision…. Excellent PG’s can see a play materialize two steps before the opening actually occurs… He’s not quite there yet, but it’s getting there…. That was probably his best overall game of the season as he was not only finding the open man, but getting everyone involved in the offense and letting the scoring come to him…. I absolutely love the fact that he’s not longer Russdiculous, because now his game is tight…. Nothing crazy about it at all…. He’s playing at an extremely high level, and it will only get better as the season progress…..
Obviously, we’ve worked really hard on the high post and delivering the ball down low since our last game as Mango really came out and established his presence early… He’s a hard worker and his game continues to improve, which tells me he embraces coaching and is working hard on his game…. Baby steps, but they are steps in the right direction…. Rozier was rebounding like he was 6’10 today… That kid is the real deal and he may benefit more than anyone else with Jones being out with a strained wrist…. His shot was off today, but what I like about Rozier is his ability to shoot off the dribble… That’s something a lot of players can’t do, but it’s a part of his offensive arsenal…..
An identity is starting to form within the team… When we loss to N.Carolina, it was Russ Smith and the 4 Topps, now we are starting to really gel as a unit… The most impressive aspect is that everyone is sacrificing individual minutes and statistics for the overall betterment of the team… I don’t see pouting, I don’t see bad body language, and what I do see is players really looking out for one another, which tells me they have embraced the team concept. I’m most impressed with Behanan… The kid lost his starting spot, plays limited minutes, but when he plays, he’s productive, he does what he’s supposed to do and he has not pouted one time considering…. He’s sacrificing minutes today, so that Van Treese and Mango can be productive when we need them later in the year…… I’m very impressed…..
Luke’s the only mystery so far, but he started slow last season and Siva actually started slow almost every year he was here…. He really looks out of place but we saw the same last year and I’m not questioning Luke this time around….
Overall, the team looks mid season form offensively, they are running the high low really well, with the high post player dishing down to the low post player on occasion… Russ is driving and had well over 10 assist today from his penetrating and dishing to open players…… Defensively, we are really working at defending the post and establishing position, we just don’t have the length to be very effective blocking shots, and as a result we have to help down in the post leaving the perimeter wide open… It’s much improved but we still need to work a little harder rebounding…. We are getting excellent defensive rebounding from Rozier, who may be our strongest rebounder on the team pound for pound…… Van Treese is really working to establish position and he puts a lot of pressure on teams offensively with his ability to fight and scrap for offensive rebounds…… Today was far from a perfect game, but I’m most impressed with what we are trying to do, and the effort given as a result…. We will continue to get better and I really believe we will be a strong defensive team in time…… I like what we are doing and look forward to seeing how much we grow the next two weeks….. The game in Rupp is going to be epic this season…… Go Cards….