UND played their final (we think) non-conference game against Drake. UND played decent for the first half before the Drake press did a number on UND in the 2nd half.
Score: Drake 88, UND 55.
-Drake is a very good team, they will be competing with UNI and Loyola for the Valley crown. They have the talent and the depth at the guard spot. If their bigs can produce, look out!
-UND shot 20-23 from the free-throw line. This is more typical of Sather led teams and what UND was doing last year. Hope to see more of it going forward.
-Urbonavicius had another solid outing once again from the bench, scoring 16 points in 20 minutes of action. In the last 4 games, he is averaging 11 points per game in 13.5 minutes of action. He is shooting 71% from the field so far. Most of the damage was from the free-throw line in this one, going 9-10 from the line. Sather is wanting to give him more minutes and I definitely believe that should happen, he’s earned it.
-Sueker had a better game on the offensive end, but most of his damage was down low. He is still ice cold from 3 and I wonder if his struggles are mechanical right now. I’ve been noticing that his shot appears to be more line-drive and not much of an arc. Going back to his time at Mines, I’ve noticed a lot more arc in his shot. I think this is fixable and can use this time before conference play to adjust.
-Rebraca struggled with turnovers, but he also had 4 blocks and 6 rebounds to go with his 11 points. I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten any double-doubles yet, but I’m sure as we roll into conference play, this will come.
-Nero and Ihenacho had their struggles. Tyree had some foul trouble in the first half and then had turnover issues in the 2nd half. Nero struggled with his shot but made his free throws. Guard play has been up and down so far, and this needs to be more consistent going forward.
-The press offense in the 2nd half was not great. Okay, I’m being nice, it was bad. They absolutely struggled to break it. Because of it, Drake made more shots (22) than UND made attempts (20) in the 2nd half. Drake also scored 32 points off of turnovers in the game, 32!!! UND has to do better with the ball when the press is applied.
-Another issue is the 3 point shooting, which continues to be a problem. They went 3 of 18 from 3 yesterday, but more alarming was the fact that no starter hit a 3. They went 0-10 from 3. Igbanugo, Danielson, and Urbonvicius were the ones that hit the 3’s. This cannot continue if UND is going to be successful going forward. It will make things difficult to drive and defenses will just continue to say: Prove that you can hit an outside shot, we dare you.
-Drake made things difficult on the rebounding end of things as well, they were aggressive in crashing the boards and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, 10 of them in the first half. UND has some good rebounders on the team, but they need to do a better job when teams decide to crash aggressively on the boards.
-No DAE again. I thought he would give it another go but understand why they would wait for conference play starts.
UND now has 9 days off until conference play starts against the Roos. (Unless they manage to score a non-conference game next week). Hopefully, UND uses this time to heal, get in some good practices, and enjoy the holidays. The first half of the conference schedule will be tough with trips to Tulsa and Brookings on the dockets, and a battle with arch-rival NDSU at home. Getting these two wins to start conference play is very important and they are capable of getting these wins. Something else to look forward to next week: THEY GET TO PLAY AT HOME!!!!!!!!!!