Pondexter looked great offensively yesterday, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out that he fell asleep on defense and let his man (No.5, Osby) grab an offensive rebound and flush it with two hands. Pondexter had no idea where he was and helped someone else block out their man. I can’t kill him for that because he had a great game, but the little stuff like that can haunt teams in close games. He’s got to be aware and I’m sure his coaches let him know it. I'm a hard guy to please when it comes to teams I root for, it's something they have to live with. Seeing as how they have no idea who I am, and coulnd't possibly care less by the way, they're getting along just fine despite my constant haranguing.
I’m bummed for Dentmon. It’s obvious that the guy wants to be a leader and go out with a bang, but putting up only six shots is lunacy. He passed up many what I would consider “good” shots by pump-faking and passing or pump-faking and making a less-than-aggressive effort to drive into the lane. It’s possible that he just didn’t trust his jumper last night and if that’s the case, then he should be commended for not taking shots. Confidence is a huge part of shooting and if he wasn’t feeling it and his jumper felt forced, then good for him for lying off. Hopefully he’ll be ready to go on Saturday.
Brockman hit the deck after that rebound like he was thrown out of a 10-story building. He landed completely on his side. It’s amazing to me that he didn’t stay on the ground, although why would I be amazed at this point? He doesn’t feel pain like a regular human does. Nevertheless, I’d advise him to try not to emulate John Malcovich at the end of “In the Line of Fire” again. Great, aggressive game by him though. It’s exactly what I like to see out of him—easy buckets around the rim, good, physical defense, leadership (I distinctly remember him talking to Overton and telling him to settle down) and maniacally obsessive pursuit of the ball for rebounds.
Overton is a straight-up menace. It would be so painful to try and bring the ball up the floor against him. Weak guards will get tormented. He’s like GP used to be from a yappy, aggressive, and quickness perspective. My friend Chris pointed out that Overton beat MSU’s guards to the spot every single time and he got called for fouls only when he reached (which he doesn’t need to do). He’s impressive. I’m amazed that none of MSU’s players threw a haymaker his way, although it could be argued that the hit he took on that screen qualified. Through his own aggression and quickness he nearly got himself killed. People get jacked up on screens all of the time, but most people don’t run, with their head turned, the equivalent of a 4.3 40 straight into a 6’9 245 lb guy. Despite nearly ending his own life, on the very next play he takes the ball coast-to-coast and lays it in. He’s a tough S.O.B. As an aside, that pseudo-alley oop dunk was both impressive and pathetic at the same time if that makes sense.
One last guy I’ll mention is Darnell Gant. If he develops a reliable 12-15 footer he’s going to be great for this team. He’s not called upon to score, that’s obvious, but he’s left open so often that he needs to get that part of his game going. He will never be called on to put the ball on the floor and create like Pondexter does, but people will double off of him and he has a chance to diversify this team and increase his playing time. His defense is great and he’s learning how to play hard just by being on the same court as Brockman. He’s got a chance to be a real difference maker and I’m excited about his future. It’s pretty amazing that he’s only a freshman.
I’ve been killing Austin Daye every chance I get because I think that he’s a pansy, but he looked very good last night, especially defensively. It’s nearly impossible to get a shot off against him on the perimeter and it’s is truly impossible to get a good look at the hoop if he’s playing up on his guy. For as thin as he is, he’s has no quickness or speed at all, so he definitely needs to add about 30 lbs to take advantage of his size. If his game was all about using his size and quickness then it would make sense for him to remain around 190 or 200, but he isn’t that kind of player. Last night, while he looked good out there, he got shoved around. If he fills out he can be a force. I don’t know what it would take for him to get a little nasty (probably nothing because he’s probably a really nice kid who just doesn’t have it in him to be a killer) but if he added some bulk and aggression he would be a nice player.
I love Heytvelt, 'shrooms aside, that guy is a player. He has that nasty streak that Daye lacks, and perhaps Daye just needs time to grow up a little. He’s only a sophomore. Heytveldt has a bit of a strange looking jumper where his whole body is completely erect, but it’s effective. I like how strong he is and his desire to finish strong around the rim. He looked great last night and if he keeps playing like that, I was wrong to have the Zags lose to UNC. They’ll beat that team if they play like they did in the second half.
Bouldin looked good last night too. He’s got a great feel for the game and his size causes problems for opposing guards. I like his game.
I don’t like Pargo’s game very much but his leaner dunk was shocking. I know he has ups, but that was an out-of-nowhere flush. I could tell that he was going to try because he had that kind of bounce when he got near the rim, but I did not expect him to finish like that. Filthy.