I missed the first five minutes, and therefore any competitive portion of the game. Great to see the Irish roll over a clearly overmatched opponent. Obviously, this was just a game to pad the stats. Citadel came into the contest on their tour of big school executions. The lone win of the season was at home vs. Ohio Valley. Since then, Michigan St., Iowa, and Charleston Southern have had their way with the Bulldogs at their respective arenas.
The Irish shot 44% from the floor and looked in control all night. This was my first game of the season, but already the team looks more athletic and in shape. Luke Harangody's a beast. Take T. Francis' size and give him a double helping of athletic ability and heart. At one point, Bam Bam slapped a ball away at midcourt, picked it up, and raced towards the basket ahead of a streaking Citadel guard. Even better, after getting hacked on said play, he popped right up and sank the double free throws. I'll take 18 pts in 17 minutes from the young man any day. By Big East time, he should be starting.
Nice effort defensively with 9 steals and 5 blocks. They got away with a little under the basket, but it does get the team ready for a physical Big East season. Kurz didn't shy away from contact, nor did Zeller. Most impressive was Hillesland. I'm still not sure where he fits in on the team. He's a big guy with moves, but plays a bit of an awkward 3. I'd like to see him beef up and get down low, but Zeller, Kurz, and LH seem to take up all that time. On defense, however, he was smart and effective. Our 2-3 has gotten burnt in previous years because of a lack of fundementals. Hillesland, however, played every possesion with his great wingspan out to disrupt possible passers. I like his basketball IQ and he seems to hustle. Not bad to have a guy like that on the bench.
We'll get to K-Mac some other time. Today he was just efficient. T. Jackson, however, may have some trouble in the college game. "The Chosen One" reminds me too much of a certain #1 who no longer plays for the University. He travels, and drives into traffic, and once threw a pass backwards over his head into the third row. Not the guy to lead the offense. 16 minutes, 4 points, 5 turnovers. No thanks. Give him a couple of years backing up K-Mac. I'd rather see Falls and Carter at the 2/3.