I was fully-geeked for the duration of yesterday, so much that I was even having trouble focusing at work (okay, that's normal, but this was an exhibition game). I had such a bad taste left in my mouth by how last season ended and I was craving some 'Nova hoops.
In particular, I was salivating at the thought of Corey Fisher and Maalik Wayns running the backcourt together. Coupled with Corey Stokes at the 3 and Antonio Pena and Mouphtaou Yarou manning the post, we finally had a team that looked like it was built according to plan, instead of sticking the 5 best players of the court. And even better, those actually are our 5 best players.
Long story short, Fisher and Wayns were electric. They were completely unstoppable in every facet of the game. The only complaint is the 5 turnovers by Wayns compared to only 4 assists. But his 23 points (on 10-12 shooting mind you) and 5 rebounds offset that a bit in my mind. If there is a faster player in the country, I'd like to see him. Wayns will be having defenders on toast for the entire season.
Fisher? Oh, only 17 points and 6 assists in 25 minutes. The hype looks real for him. He was under-control, scoring at will, and getting his teammates involved. The consummate senior leader.
More on what I liked, and didn't like, after The Jump.
Like: Maalik Wayns' speed - He was blowing past people all night. Defenders didn't have a prayer. This wasn't Pitt, but it was frankly shocking how easy it was for him. A lot of ole! defense out there.
Dislike: Maalik Wayns out of control - He was caught a few times going too fast for even himself and lost the ball. I can live with it if he has nights like last night, but I'd much rather him slow down a bit to avoid those stupid turnovers.
Like: Corey Stokes - Seriously, everything about his game last night was exactly what I wanted to see. Draining shots, getting to the rim, rebounding well, strong D.
Like: Mauice Sutton's D - He's a monster back there. He can jump life himself into the air at a moment's notice and almost always blocks the shot or causes a misses. The one time a guy got it in was a prayer answered.
Dislike: Team D - UDC was bad. They were missing open shots. Our D, especially int he 2-3 zone, isn't there yet. We still fouled too much, and are clearly a work in progress.
Like: Dominic Cheek's aggressiveness - He filled up the stat sheet. Is he THAT guy this year? It would appear so. He wasn't passing up open shots, and he was still collecting assists and rebounding well. He looks much more confident.
Dislike: Mouph's agressiveness - Don't get me wrong. He was demanding the ball, and when he got it he finished, but he also was throwing his weight around too much. He's a monster down there, bigger than a lot of people he'll face this year. He needs a bit more finesse around the hoop. Nobody better to teach him than Pena.
Like: Team Rebounding - 58-23 final margin. Wow. Particularly on the offensive boards, we couldn't be stopped.
Like: Jay Wright freaking out - While the team was up 40 nonetheless. This program has had a lot of success and last year appeared to lose the toughness that defined the Final 4 team. Time to beat them down a notch and demand more.
Dislike: Jay Wright's suit - He realized it was only an exhibition game too. No nights off for you Jay!