Exhibitions, quotations, scoring, oh my

27 Oct

Rick Pitino had some strong words to say about freshman PF Chane Behanan after Wednesday night's exhibition game.

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

It almost felt like college basketball was here on Wednesday night. Louisville was on national television, er, internet (thanks ESPN3 or WatchESPN or The Ocho or whatever it goes by these days), Kentucky was being Kentucky and a low-major favorite revealed some things to us.

PLEASE DON’T SEND YOUR EMAILS, IT’S AN HONEST QUESTION

Call me a pessimist if you’d like, but at what point do we ask ourselves this question: How well can Kentucky defend the post this year?  I realize that it isn’t a fair question to ask because, well, the season hasn’t even started. But freshmenn don’t come to college perfect.

Terrence Jones scored 52 points on Wednesday night. Not all of those buckets were against Anthony Davis, the best incoming talent in the country. In fact, most were at the rim in transition. But Davis guarded Jones the most of any Kentucky frontline player. Kyle Wiltjer’s biggest knock is his foot speed and last time I checked, there are some pretty quick and athletic post players in the SEC.

It does make me wonder.

Davis is a freakish defender down low because of his length. But let’s also not forget that he was a guard less than three years ago. A sub 6-foot-6 guard at that. Davis played at a tiny high school with little competition. He is still working on the education of being a good big man in every facet. He’s also part of a very thin big men class. The competition against the best of the best big men wasn’t at a premium like it has been in the past.

Davis struggled, at times, with Bismack Biyombo during the week I watched players behind closed doors at the Nike Hoop Summit this summer. Both were outstanding when the lights came on in the real game, too.

Jones is clearly getting better at every facet but let’s not forget that Wiltjer and Davis scored over 50 points against Jones’ team. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the team’s best defender and at 6-foot-7, he’ll have a chance to defend every position this year. He’s the safety in the defense.

The value of Jorts – Josh Harrelson – was tremendous last season. He was the guy that didn’t mind playing physical and defending the post. He reveled in that role. Davis and Wiltjer still have a lot to learn, yes, and they are talented enough to pick things up fast.

I’m probably reading too much into it but frontline defense could be a crack in the armor for the Wildcats this year.

HE SAID IT…

Louisville coach Rick Pitino on freshman Chane Behanan the 6-foot-6, 240-pound power forward led his team in scoring with 16 points in a win over Pikeville.

“He’s as good as any freshman I’ve coached since (Jamal) Mashburn. That’s about as good a statement I could possibly say. I’m very pleased with his attitude. I’m very pleased with his game, but he is a freshman and he has to learn. Believe me, that is about as high a praise I can give him. We’ll keep teaching him what he needs to learn.”

YOU’VE WAITED ALL SUMMER FOR IT…ORAL ROBERTS NEWS!

The Summit League will be interesting to watch this season because Oral Roberts is loaded and Oakland still has some magic in the hat from last season. Oral Roberts held an intrasquad scrimmage of its own and a couple of things were revealed.

For starters, this team has good scoring depth. Utah transfer Shawn Glover pumped in 30 points while Michael Craion scored 14 and grabed 16 rebounds. Craion missed last season because of an injury. Warren Niles, a 14 point per game scorer and big-time perimeter threat, added 20 and hit four threes for their team’s win.

Oral Roberts has a deep roster, going nearly nine strong into the bench. And all of this is notable because Dominique Morrison, a favorite for the Summit Player of the Year and NHR Top 100 player, was solid but not spectacular in the scrimmage.

This team can score. And score big. With West Virginia, Gonzaga, Xavier and Texas Tech all on the non-conference slate, there’s an opportunity for a nice tournament resume building win to be had.

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One Response to “Exhibitions, quotations, scoring, oh my”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. They said it: Part 1 of SEC Media Day « - October 27, 2011

    […] “The guy who was guarding him wasn’t a very good defender. That’s one thing. I think he scored a bunch on the whole team. We had three freshmen on one team, and we had three veterans on the other.” – John Calipari on Jones’s 52 points. Hmmm, sounds familiar to my morning observations. […]

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