Sitting behind the USC band will make your ears bleed. So I have a broken psyche and busted eardrums.
Let's talk about basketball. It was great to see the guys in action today. Although it was only an hour, there is plenty of promise.
First, the newcomers. Carleton Scott looks to be a redshirt candidate. He's too small at 198 lbs. to play in the Big East right now. Still, he has a good shot and shifty moves. Bulk him up a little and the guy could be a player. Tim Abromitis looks a little out of his league right now and was unable to contribute much on either end in the scrimmage. Abro won't play much this year, but should improve with time. Ty Proffitt also looks a lot like a freshman right now. Not quite ready for big time, but has a beautiful outside shot when uncovered. He consistently made 5 or 6 three-pointers in a row in shoot around. Ty Nash is the one to watch. He has the best size and ability of the freshmen and seems unafraid of taking the ball to the basket. He looks to compete for minutes. Walk-on Tom Kopko clearly has some talent. He certainly could have taken a scholarship elsewhere if he wanted to.
Overall, there was great team communication and chemistry in the practice. Rob Kurz is the leader of the team, being the lone senior. Tory Jackson certainly has the confidence to step up and take over, however. If he and Kyle can stay humble and play together, they will form a scary tandem in the backcourt.
A few bumps and bruises to deal with: McAlarney and Kurz were held out of most of practice due to sore ankles. Kyle's icing was cut short due to an injury to Zach Hillesland... yet another rolled left ankle. Hopefully all three are not seriously hurt, although it doesn't look like there is anything to fear.
Ryan Ayers showed some great defense with his long wingspan. Luke Harangody played hard down low when given the chance, using his left hand all practice. Sean Kearney spent some time one-on-one with the big fellow, working on his ball skills a little. Nice to see that Bamm-Bamm hasn't lost much physicality even with losing 20 pounds.
Gene Cross spent most of practice with a group of recruits and families. I really like his ability to connect with the players. He's going to be a heck of a head coach when he gets the chance.
All in all, a very encouraging day for basketball. This has the potential to be a very good season, although we won't know for sure until January.