We got to watch college basketball today.
Now with that out of the way, UND dropped a 81-67 decision to Miami (OH). UND got off to a sluggish start and couldn’t quite recover. Despite a few efforts to get close, they never felt like they were in striking distance to make it interesting. My thoughts below
-I think Miami is going to be a better team that 9th in the MAC. Dae Dae Grant is a very good basketball player and should be on a all-conference team list at the end. Their big guy, Beck, also had a solid game in the post. I’m not saying they will win the league, but I think they should finish a few spots higher than 9th.
-I was surprised to see Panoam and Igbanugo in the starting lineup. Could be a one-off on this. Panoam grabbed a few rebounds. Igbanugo hit a few outside shots, which was huge.
-Not surprisingly, UND got off to a slow start and showed that they were a team that ways trying to fit the pieces together. They also made many mistakes with turnovers, silly mental cramps, and poor shooting.
-Team got better in the 2nd half offensively but just couldn’t string together some points and stops to really make it interesting.
-8 assists and 17 turnovers… cannot happen going forward.
-7-27 from 3… not great
-18/24 from the free throw line. 75% as a team is alright, keep it there all season guys!
-For the newcomers: It ranged from okay to struggling. I think Nero (16 points) played the best of the bunch. He had his moments of struggle with the ball and on defense but he showed you why UND fans should be excited. He flashed his 3 level scoring ability. As he knocks off the rust, he should only get better. Shockey had some nice moments off the bench as well, knocked down a 3 and had a nice drive. I think he will continue to grow as the year comes along and if he can become a consistent bench threat at the guard spot, that would be a big deal for UND. Sims showed some great hustle on both ends, but didn’t stuff the stat sheet too much, but will continue to get better. Enjoyed watching him play the 3 and the 4 spot. Sueker struggled in his first D1 action, but he will come along. He will be counted on at the 4 spot.
-I think Urbonavicius was the best big on the floor for UND this afternoon. He played well in his 12 minutes on both ends and showed his range on a few makes. 7 points and 7 rebounds. If he can give UND that consistently this year off the bench, that will be a big help going forward.
-Rebraca struggled today. You look at his stat line and think: 15 points and 7 rebounds is struggling? He had 7 turnovers and struggled when Miami doubled him. Credit the Redhawks for their work on the defensive end to make things difficult. To his credit, he ripped a nice 3 and shot decent from the line. He will play much better in the next game. I hope that he can stretch out and knock down those 3 at a consistent rate.
-DAE was up and down today. He had a sweet dunk in the first half that gave UND a spark, but he struggled with his outside shot again. He is going to have to hit those shots going forward.
-Brady was Brady: He hit a 3, battled for rebounds, drew some fouls due to his hustle. He went 1-3 from 3, and this is the part of the game that he needs to develop more.
-Mentioned Ethan hit a couple of 3s in his 21 minutes of action. Had 8 points. Like with G, if they can get this from Ethan consistently, that will help the squad going forward.
Why I am hopeful: The depth of this team could be better than last year. This will be important if any normal circumstance, but especially this year.
Why I am concerned: Point Guard play behind Nero. Turnover issues.
-The team had its moments where they looked good and their moments where you think, this might be a long year. This squad is going to need games and practices to gel. The more practice time and games that they can get before conference play starts in 6 weeks, the better. UND is off to Utah to take on Dixie State on Wednesday, unless they find a team to play between now and then.