Monday, November 21, 2005

Hoops: Jackets Move to 2-0 with win over Elon

Tonight the Jackets beat Elon 81-69 in a mix of good and bad. Not the dominating performance of game one, and certainly gives Jacket fans some insight into possible weaknesses.

The Jackets went on a late 2nd half 22-4 run to jump out to a strong halftime lead (53-34). At one point they led by 22. Overall not a bad half of ball. Shooting was good (53%) and ball movement was solid with only 7 turnovers............. However, the 2nd half was very sloppy. The Jackets turned the ball over 13 times in the 2nd half and were outscored 35-28 in the half. Mario West and Re'Sean Dickey have 8 turnovers between them for the game. Elon actually got this down to a 10 point game late in the 2nd half, but could get no closer.

Elon shot 41.7% for the game, 30% from 3pt range, turned the ball over 17 times (which the Jackets turned into 20 points). The Jackets had 10 steals. It was mixed defensive effort, as Elon had a number of open shots they missed. A number of missed assignments and plenty to work on in practice this week.

The Jackets outrebounded Elon 41-30, which you would expect. Not a bad effort on the boards. Ra'Sean Dickey pulled down 8 and Jeremis Smith 7. Anthony Morrow chipped in 4 including 2 offensive. Certainly a better effort on the boards than game 1.

For the 2nd game in a row, 5 players notch double-figures, for a nice overall offensive balance........... Anthony Morrow leads the way with 16 (7-12, 1-3 3pt). Overall he had a nice stat line, with 4 boards (2 off), 1 block, 1 assist, 2 steals, and only 1 to. His shooting was not outstanding but he sucked it up and went and got a couple of offensive putbacks to make up..............Lewis Clinch dropped 14 pts (3-8, 2-6 3pt), and also chipped in 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 to's.............. Ra'Sean Dickey was solid with 13 pts (5-8), 8 boards (2 off), 1 block, but 4 to's............... Buck Fredrick did a better job tonight running the team, although his shooting was still off (2-8 FG). However, he consistently got to the line and went 8-10 in FT. That was a typical high school game for Zam in terms of getting to the line..................... Mario West was perfect from the floor (3-3) and scored 11 points. He took his turn at the point, but ended with 2 assists and 4 to's, a bit sloppy at times.................. Jeremis Smith chips in 9/7, and Bell/Tarver/Aminu each score a pair.

The Jackets only scored 2 points on fast breaks. That's hard to imagine on a team people think of as up-tempo and run-and-gun. The truth is that we have primarily run the set halfcourt offense and the few break opportunities that were there, either Elon got back and stopped the break or we didn't know what we wanted to do and were tentative................ The Jackets turn the ball over 15 times, a bit too many considering most of them happened in the 2nd half.

"Coach Hewitt is a bit upset with us and says we have to respect the game. I think he means that we were up by 19 and let it slip away".................................. "Chemistry wise we aren't doing too bad. Athletically we have 4 guys on the floor that can shoot at all times."..................."Every night so far feels like the high school playoffs. It's way more physical. I used to be able to score 50 on some guys at times, but these guys are as big and strong as me every night"

Friday night versus Illinois Chicago at 6:30pm in a game televised on FSN South.