I know everyone is football crazed after today's dramatic win over Temple, but the basketball team did show up last night and won, so here are 5 quick thoughts.
The Team Looked Good in Transition: In past years, there were a ton of blown lay-ups when this team got out and ran. Not sure if Eddie has taught them something else or they were relaxed because-hey!-it was only Caldwell, but this team excelled in the open court. Myles Mack was his usual solid player, netting 16 points. J.J. Moore looked very good too, tallying 14 including an electrifying alley-oop from Mack. The only downside? Too often the big men turned easy baskets into turnovers by trying to make a difficult pass down court. If Caldwell can intercept it, so can Louisville. The half court offense was ragged as well, but this comes with building on the court chemistry.
The Press Needs Work: Eddie Jordan knows this team has small guards, and the way to combat that is to press and allow them to disrupt the flow, so he's instituted several full court presses to try and counteract that weakness. However, the team hasn't full grasped the concepts yet. Caldwell was able to get open lay-ups because players were out of position. That needs to be rectified or Shabazz Napier might put up 60 points in a game.
Eddie's Demeanor: For most of the first half, Eddie barely even stood on the sidelines. He sat, and let the players play. He didn't pull a kid when they made a mistake, but during a timeout, he made sure to talk to them and let them know. At one point, a cheap foul was called and Jordan jumped up, but he never stopped his feet, and I never heard him swear. There were a few times you could tell he was upset, but comparing that to the previous coach was like comparing sweet tea to sucking on a lemon.
The New Scoreboard is Great: Instant replays! Graphics! You can actually hear what was being said. Between that, the new lights, and the refurnished floor, it almost felt like a brand new arena. Can't wait to see what it looks like when the regular season begins and the RAC pulls out all the stops.
Team Captains: Kadeem Jack, Myles Mack and... Greg Lewis? It's clear Lewis is a favorite of Eddie's and giving him the captainship is a big deal. Jordan said he wanted continuity with players who were at RU last year, will be there this and next year. He still expects Moore and Wally Judge (who didn't start to let Lewis see the court) to be vocal leaders because they are seniors.