The best surprise of the night: Terrence Jennings. I thought TJen was fearless and frankly that he out-hustled Samardo. I can see why the Godfather said he jumps out of the gym; he will probably be the team's lead shot blocker unless his PT is extremely limited. In fact, I bet by the time February rolls around, I will be digging up UL blocking stats to see where he stands. TJen is to UL as Thabeet was to UConn last year. (I give him credit for being more developed as a frosh than Thabeet was.)
'Swop', as I heard his teammates call him, showed more determination and skill than I expected; he was the second best surprise of the night. Fearlessness is a word everyone is using for this kid and for good reason. Alas, the long dreadlocks are gone. I was so looking forward to that change of scenery on the floor.
Jerry Smith, on the other hand, was the biggest let down of the evening. Outside shooting was off as was his ball handling. I almost felt as if the level of talent surrounding him over whelms him. If you think about it, that could mean great things about the team. Meanwhile Jerry, we still luv ya. If you're looking for your place on the team, just keep listening to coach.
Samardo got lots of love for his 36-16 night out. Yes, he's as athletic as hyped; a very flexible, quick and strong post player. Nice hands showed with some putbacks. The best part? Hitting free throws! I bet coach doesn't like that fade step-back he does at the end of his shots, but hey it works. SS will command a double team because of this; opponents will have to try to prevent entry passes. So the key for a title run as far as SS goes is for him to be able to spot the open wing or guard for an easy jumper or open 3.
Reggie.. is it ok if we call you Reggie? I wrote right after last year's scrimmage that you were the best scoring talent on the floor. Keep using your head like you do man, your PT will come and it's all good for the title run because the other BE coaches are paying attention to the headliners. You and Swop and Preston,. you guys are the depth that's going to wear out the other teams.
Andre.. is it ok if we call you Roadrunner!? Dude, where'd you get those new wheels!? You were fast last year, this year you look fantastic. If we could just get you and Preston on the starting 5, the Cards would lead the conference in steals and breakway layups. Congrats on all your hard work Andre; I think it's going to pay huge dividends this year.
I continue my man crush on Preston. Hasn't slowed down a bit. I watched him get angry when he couldn't shut down E5 in the paint after a mismatch pick paired them up. Preston, mad that he couldn't shut down our next NBA draft. What does that say about this kid! Thanks to front row seats courtesy of my now-favorite CBS poster Russ, I could also hear Preston hollering directions to his frosh teammates when he ran the point. This kid will be a future team captain.
Speaking of man-crushes, are there any UL fans without one on TWill? Barred from playing due to his knee injury, the guy was all over the place handing out towels and water, slapping high fives, cheering on his teammates and shooting practice shots during the breaks.
Samardo has a very nice freethrow touch. He didn't seem active enough on his D, so I'm not sure if that made TJen look more potent than he really is. Both big men showed some flashes of good hands, too.
Earl. The man. Well, not the man any more, and I fear I saw that precise emotion in his eyes. Seemed frustrated that he wasn't able to dominate and perhaps forced a couple of plays. Fear not E5, it's only that you have much more talent surrounding you now, and those other guys, well they know you extremely well. You will get yours when real game time comes.
George Goode: I can't say much about him as he switched teams more than once. I had lasik surgery 3 days before the game and was unable to keep a good eye on him because of the switching.
Sosa.. Jury's still out dude. Some folks think you looked better. I didn't. It's now or never though dude. If you don't produce - and do so exactly in the way coach wants - there is plenty of bench to turn to. I personally think Preston should get your spot now. See Edgar, I'm just not the patronizing kind. I do think you have the talent and ability to do special things, but you kept letting your head get in the way. Here's hoping you are as reformed as my friends think you are.
Brickley. Who?? I have to go re-read our scouting archives. I remembered Steiden, who I am eagerly waiting to see what he does with the small minutes he will get, because he was one of the first Pitino targets of this class. Oh yeah, and Will Scott is still there.
I am more excited than i was before seeing the kids - and I was already quite pumped. It's very hard to remind myself that this was only a scrimmage and not to be considered a very telling display of what to expect.