Monday, December 22, 2003

Credit where credit is due

It's about time to give Luke his due after several outstanding efforts. He no longer looks like he's a boy playing amongst men and is really flowing with the offense at times...let's review the last four games:

SJU: 33 min, 12 pts, 10 bds, 1 blk
AAM: 22 min, 22 pts, 5 bds, 1 blk
STL: 27 min, 5 pts, 8 bds, 1 blk
TSU: 24 min, 15 pts, 12 bds, 1 blk

With the exception of the St. Louis game (still, 8 boards not too shabby), Schenscher has shown that he can ball. Sure, these aren't Duke and UNC, but that isn't his fault. You can see him getting better on the court...obviously, this is what Hewitt was talking about.

I laid into Schenscher earlier this year with the following criticisms about his play (November 19) that were obvious then. Let's revisit:

1) "Out of position for many rebounds, that were quickly snatched up by Elder, Jack, Muhammad, etc." This remains a tough point for Luke, but he's making solid progress. We have some real athletes that pull down rebounds on this team, so he's a victim of an aggressive frontcourt here probably. Did anyone else notice Luke ripping the ball away from other Jackets today??? Good sign.

2) "Passive and slow on defense, watching [ULL center] Cameron pivot around him for easy layups several times. Since the Cajuns were out of the game early, they didn't go to Cameron that much, but he was eating Luke's lunch and could have scored 20+ against him. What will Danelius do to him when we play Wake?" We'll have to see what happens against Wake, but Luke has made the biggest strides in my opinion on his D. No one goes off against him (check the stats) and he altered the quick drive several times today vs. St. John's. Luke doesn't look like the slow guy when someone takes it to the hoop any longer.

3) "Unaggressive when he had the ball under the basket, electing to dribble (and lose it) rather than take it to the hole, even for a layup. If you can't get rebounds, Luke, at least provide some offensive production or get the other guy into foul trouble." Luke did not try to get fancy with the ball over the last four games and isn't afraid to draw the foul any longer. He made several nice moves to the hoop today and catches the ball well (as the announcer pointed out). Luke will not score 30 points against the Dookies (and we probably don't want him to) but his 8-12 points keeps the defense from focusing on our 3 point shooters.

4) "...he's slow to get back": I don't know if someone lit a fire under his *ss, but Luke can flat sprint back as he needs to in order to run at Jacket speed. This is a serious improvement as well and good work, Luke. Whatever you are doing is beginning to work.

The words that I used to describe Luke's play a month ago were unaggressive, passive, slow. Luke is showing us a good deal and if he can continue his maturation, I think that this could be a top ten team ever AFTER ACC play begins. Good work, Luke...keep up the good work. Go Jackets!