Very, very good win to start the year. North Florida did outscore the Irish by ten in the second half, but a 47-16 lead at the break allowed Coach Brey to play every guy on the bench, including Mike Broghammer and Jack Cooley for nine minutes a piece.
Tory Jackson was just about flawless from the point guard position. 9 points, 7 assists running the offense. He only turned the ball over once and shot 3-4 from the field, all three point attempts. He was only on the floor for 27 minutes, his second shortest non-injury shortened stint since sophomore year. It's nice to see our floor leader get a break out there for once.
Ben Hansbrough really impressed with his ability to knock down three pointers. The whole team was on fire today, but Hansbrough led the way with a 5-5 outing. 19 points in the contest, plus 4 assists to boot. If he can continue to stretch the defense with outside shooting, our additional athelticism in the rotation could lead to a more potent offense overall than last season.
Jonathan Peoples earned another start and played rather well. 11 points, 3 assists with some solid three point shooting, as well. This is about as good as it gets for Johnny, however, and I hope to see Tim Abromaitis get more playing time after a very strong game today.
Ty Nash had a bit of a ho-hum performance in the post. 4 points, 3 rebounds in 24 minutes. He did grab 3 steals and looked like one of our better defenders out there all day. He did miss half of his free throw attempts, a major problem last year.
Luke Harangody also struggled a bit with his scoring, which just made our 21-point win all the more impressive. 19 points and 7 assists, but most of his scoring came from the charity stripe. In sharp contrast to Nash, 'Gody was silky smooth from the line, knocking down all nine shots he attempted. That's what a veteran big man does when his game is a bit off (5-12 from the field). He drew fouls, picked up some free points for the team, and kept the Ospreys from ever making this a close contest.
Off the bench, Abro looked great. 13 points, 4 rebounds in just 21 minutes. He shot 3-4 from beyond the arc and also knocked down a couple shots inside the arc. More opportunities for this guy, please. LaPhonso Ellis, our radio commentator who will soon be moving to ESPN, has liked him from the start. I would not be surprised to see the Alumni Hall resident in the starting lineup before the beginning of conference play. Carleton Scott struggled a bit, missing his three attempts from long range. It is increasingly looking like only Tim has a shot of knocking Peoples out of the starting lineup. Broghammer and Cooley played rather well in their nine minutes a piece, some good experience for both guys. Joey Brooks played four minutes, the walk-ons two. Thomas Knight did not see the floor, I have to think he will redshirt.
Next game is Monday. Another easy win and wide playing time distribution will put us on the right track for the Chicago tournament.