They’re hardly ever significant harbingers of performances to come.
Which doesn’t mean I won’t extrapolate some trends, encouraging and disturbing, from yesterday afternoon’s affair.
One stat, however, doesn’t talk, it swears. This is an issue that portends problems. Free Throw shooting percentage.
It’s not pretty. 9/22. Less than 50%. Way less than 50%. Not a single Cardinal hit more than half his charity tosses.
* * * * *
I had a theory about the upcoming season.
Which was that this was going to be Terry Rozier’s team, in the same manner that U of L’s ’13 national champs were Peyton Siva’s team.
Which theory I’ve now abandoned. It’s a good thing.
Chris Jones is a pretty dominant presence on the court. He hit the game winning trey yesterday.
Louisville’s backcourt is going to be a multi-headed monster. Anton Gill showed improvement yesterday. The coach believes in Quentin Snider, though he was tentative in his first permance at the Yum!
I have but two other takeaways.
Wayne Blackshear is indeed improved. Far more aggressive on the court.
And, with the breakout performance of freshman Anas Mahmoud, which you can read more about in Part I of my report of yesterday’s doings here, along with that of another rookie big, Chinanu Onuaku, I believe the team will depend less and less on Mango as the season progresses, and more on these two. If Mathiang continues to improve, the Cards will be well served, more than adequate, in the post.
* * * * *
There’s not a lot learned from the “interviews” during Media Day. Other than sound bites.
Wayne Blackshear offered that he’s been working on his leadership skills. He advised he hasn’t been home to Chicago once since the end of last season.
“It really helped me, just staying here, getting up and working out every day.”
Terry Rozier was peppered with questions about leaving at the end of the season to enter his name in the NBA draft.
“I’m definitely not looking at this as my last year in college.
“The one thing on my mind is to win the national championship.”
Given the praise he’s garnered for his summer performances, he said his family has kept him level headed, especially his mother.
Rozier, along with several teammates, talked about taking care of their bodies, “knowing their bodies better,” eating better, getting rest.
* * * * *
I didn’t get to chat up all the players, during the time allotted, as they were set up at stations around the perimeter of the Yum! Center practice court.
And, reviewing my notes, I just don’t have anything else of substance to pass along.
These sessions are always devil may care. I mean, Nanu was shooting FTs with his back to the basket, and Akoy Agau was firing them between his legs and backwards. Given the woeful percentage of those shot the usual way in the scrimmage, one might suggest just practicing them the regular way at every opportunity.
And, well, that’s about all, folks.
There’s another scrimmage this coming Sunday at 2:00 in the Yum! The Saturday after that, the Cards get to play somebody besides themselves in an exhi against Barry.
— Seedy K