Basketball News: Random Thoughts From BFT
Posted by William Kristoph
By Bill From Tampa
Hereâ€™s just a few thoughts (and they are random BTW) on that game.
First of all you have to always take into account the level of competition in these games. They are always not going to be even close to the caliber of teams we will play. So it should be no surprise that the Seminoles easily won this game 96-53. And really it could have been larger except for a lineup that Iâ€™m sure will be rarely seen on the floor once the season begins.
And on the lineup, I know many are always interested who starts. Well, hereâ€™s who started. Ryan Reid, Solomon Alabi, Toney Douglas, Devidas Dulkys, and Jordan DeMercy.
Briefly about that game, Florida Tech had one lead, 4-3, until FSU went on a 16-2 run to lead 19-6. With a lineup of DeMercy, Alibi, Luke Loucks, Jordan Pierre, and Brian Hoff, FSU struggled a bit on both ends and Tech closed it 19-11.
That didnâ€™t last and as other players were substituted in (and Leonard subbed early and often; VERY often as in barely two minutes much of the time before someone came in) as FSU went on a 22-0 run. That was basically the end of the game right there.
Not dressing for the game were Uche Echefu, Chris Singleton, and Derwin Kitchen. All hope to be recovered enough to play on Saturday. But all three are chomping at the bit to get out there.
Talking about the team in general, Iâ€™m seeing far more talent in this group than Iâ€™ve seen in the past Again keep in mind the level of competition. But that said these guys; all of them can make plays.
And itâ€™s not just the athletic ability. Iâ€™m seeing overall good basketball IQ. Thereâ€™s an understanding there of the little things. Yeah, guys got out of position on defense at times and some passes probably should not have been made or shots that were forced. But that happens and you try and keep that to a minimum which I felt last night we did for the most part. However when I freshman knowing to cover the ball up in traffic on a rebound, keep their head up looking down the floor on the primary breaks we have, and more importantly on that aspect guys getting down the floor on those breaks, that just shows me heady players. Plus this looks like an unselfish group knowing that the pass is better a lot of times than taking the ill-advised shot.
Will all that happen in every game this season? I highly doubt it. There will be times we struggle. There is just going to be a transition period where the young guys find out they canâ€™t do and get away with some things in high school in college ball. They will either learn not to do those things i.e. get the pass out faster or bring the ball down or they will learn to do them differently.
But after seeing these guys in person last night I donâ€™t feel we will lack for effort throughout the season.
As to individual players, here are some thoughts (and again, theyâ€™re random).
Xavier Gibson, he really impressed me. Very athletic. Got up and down the floor and made plays at both ends. I still feel more muscle will be needed for him. But my goodness he runs that court well. One of his better offensive plays was getting out on the break after Tech turned it over and finishing the play with a slam dunk off of a very nice bounce pass from Dulkys.
And speaking of Dulkys, OMG!!!! I avoid making predictions usually. But Iâ€™ll make one here. If this guys in not in the NBA, youâ€™re going to see him on the Lithuanian national team in the Olympics or something like that in the future. This guy who was kind of under the radar is good!! Deadly shooter from the perimeter. Squares up every time and releases it quickly. But donâ€™t consider him soft on defense. Heâ€™ll mix it up inside if he has to. There is a certain attitude with him, a cutthroat kind of attitude. Also realizes making the extra pass sometimes best as was the case on that play with Gibson.
Luke Loucks. I saw nothing from him that I had not seen when he was at Clearwater meaning there were the same kinds of no look passes, the deadly accurate bounce passes, the drive and dish to someone coming down the lane kind of passes he executed for the Tornadoes. Iâ€™m also not as concerned about his foot speed. I think he needs to learn to change speeds a little better, but Iâ€™m seeing some pretty good skills.
Pierre Jordan. He has sort of been compared to Josue Soto. Thatâ€™s kind of unfair IMO. Played mainly the two guard when Luke was on the floor. Iâ€™m not saying he will be a star, but he can contribute. He had some nice defensive plays and some pretty decent passes as well. He is more athletic than Soto. So at the very least he helps our depth.
As for the returning players,
Solomon is obviously a factor in the paint with his defensive. Heâ€™s going to change a lot of shots as he did against Tech. He has a limited variety of moves offensively but he did make a number of them. As is the case with a lot of young big men he puts the ball in the floor like AJ used to do before taking the shot. Had it not been for some poor defense by Tech where they left him one on one, well, heâ€™s just not going to get away with that in the regular season.
Toney Douglas. I really donâ€™t need to say anything here. We know what Toney can do. How much point he will play is going to be dictated by Derwinâ€™s play as well as Lukeâ€™s.
Jordan DeMercy. He wasnâ€™t all that pleased with his game fouling out late. But you have to appreciate his energy that will be measured in the number of floor burns he gets. He will be a factor for this team certainly on offense. I look at him as another Andrew Wilson that will do whatever is needed including all the nasty little jobs.
Lastly Ryan Reid who was the leading scorer of the game (as I recall he scored 21 points). He definitely looks like he has improved his game some. Forced a couple of shots here and there. But had some better more athletic moves under the basket and improved his FT shooting as well. Defensively he took two hard charges (could he be out Shane Battier in that dept?) and was pretty decent at either getting the rebound or tapping it to keep it alive for someone else to rebound.
So now comes the real season. We will get to see how they perform when the games count. How it will turn out I have no clue. It looked pretty darn good to me for the most part Tuesday night. Get that kind of play starting Saturday night and from then on and we have a chance to win more games than not. But of course those teams we will be playing are pretty good too. It all comes down to how fast those freshman can adapt to D-I basketball.