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Chippewas definitely held their own, but just didn't have enough down the stretch to upend the Hawkeyes at Iowa. Pretty impressive considering Iowa is a potential NCAA team by preseason prognosticators, and CMU features 9 new players. My thoughts:

The Good

  • Derrick Richardson sure looked like he has a bright future. It's only one game, but he has a very quick off the dribble move and proved he can also stroke it from 3. He had 14 points off the bench tonight, and was able to get into the lane against some pretty stout defense.
  • OV had some nice blocks today and his shot looks improved. I would expect him to get more playing time as the season progresses. He can matchup with the 3 or 4 in the MAC, and his skill-set is something this team can use.
  • Saylor had a few nice post moves when he was fed the ball. That is a promising sign, as he looks like the only players with a back to the basket type game right now.
  • Kyle Randall is a welcome addition, and he makes CMU competitive at the PG position immediately. Not sure what UNC Greensboro was thinking by letting him go. He made his fair share of mistakes (5 TO), but he looked like an experienced senior and he will bring some leadership.
  • Keno played just about everyone on the team, and his rotation of 10 guys more resembled hockey line shifts than basketball substititions. But man were they fun to watch. Even when they were turning the ball over, CMU looked to run, they pressed and they played up-tempo. Davis is correct that recruits will love to play in this system. 
  • Defensive rotations will need to be tightened up, as Iowa really took advantage of open three's in the second half. Experience and conditioning will help, but the MAC is full of good shooting teams.
  • Simons had a pretty complete game with 8 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. He is really going to create mismatches with his ability to step out on the perimeter, especially in the MAC. He had some up and down moments in the paint, but he is going to be another real solid piece for Davis to build around.
  • 77% FT shooting, not bad, but a far cry from the past years.

The Bad

  • As always, it's early, but Blake Hibbits looks like he needs a redshirt year just from a physical standpoint. He will have to play this year due to his size, but he was overwhelmed by the size, strength and athleticism of Iowa's front line.
  • Team is not going to win many games with 19 turnovers, that will have to be cut down.
  • Doesn't take long to realize this team lacks athleticism, there is no Trey Zeigler or Derek Jackson who is going to have that "wow" moment. Not always a bad thing, and the team is not built that way, but there is a reason CMU had a 3pt contest instead of a dunk contest for Midnight Madness.
  • Chris Fowler had a rough game, but he made a heck of an "And 1" towards the end. 
  • Not sure what to make of Austin Keel's game. On one hand, he never stopped being aggressive and was playing with confidence. On the other hand, he was a one man turnover machine and was jacking up treys from everywhere. But teams with athleticism at the G position will always give him trouble, and he did a great job of crashing the boards. I don't expect many nights like this out of him, and he still should thrive in this offense.
  • As expected, rebounding was an issue, especially in the second half. Iowa finished +10 in the rebounding category, but that included 14 offensive rebounds, including a bunch off missed free throws. I don't expect rebounding to be a strength for CMU with their lack of size.


CMU also played without G/F DeAndray Buckley tonight, and he is a player who can definitely step in and help. He is a big body on the wing who can rebound and matchup with bigger guards. I expect him to be a key cog in the rotation, and play big minutes at the 2 and 3.

11/12 10:06 PM | IP: Logged

I'll move my thoughts from the other thread here.

Tonight's game definitely left me with more positives than negatives.

The short list of negatives:

-We are young and are going to turn the ball over and have some dry spells from time to time.
- We don't rebound well because we just flat out lack size.

The positives

-I love watching Keno's system at work. The ball is moving constantly and it seems like open looks are constantly there all over the court.
- Zach Saylor might actually be a living breathing post player who will be just fine in MAC play. Happy for the young man who has had an otherwise frustrating career.
-Kyle Randall can flat out play and will probably steal us at least one game this year.
-Derrick Richardson looks to have an incredibly bright future. Very athletic and fearless going to the hole.
-Austin Keel seems to be playing with a lot of confidence and aggression. Got to the hole well and looked good from three.
-Hibbitts and Simons will have growing pains this year but I like their skill sets. They space the floor well and this year will only help them grow. Once they can put on some good weight and gain some game experience, they will be forces.

If we can get a big in this class, next year this team will have a good shot to have a winning season.
11/12 10:10 PM | IP: Logged

Good game last night!  Keno is highly respected at Iowa, and a lot of Iowa fans will be following his progress.  Good luck the rest of the season and quit beating Iowa in football.

11/13 11:11 AM | IP: Logged

Will be rooting for Iowa the rest of the year as well, especially they Michigan boys, especiall Sapp (Anthony Clemmons) who I talked to after the game last night. I saw a lot of good things all things considered. Especially without Buckley playing they more then held their own to in my mind a NCAA tournament team. Too many turnovers of course, but the team plays hard, the staff has a clear plan and is working it. I would agree with most of everything else that was said. Proud to be a Chippewa.
11/13 6:08 PM | IP: Logged
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