Hey Guys, this is my first fan post but I've been reading articles on here forever. Seth already did a great job breaking down the basketball team but I just wanted to add another point a view to the basketball insight. I was able to attend both the South Dakota and Oregon State games. My first thought is how much this team is more athletically gifted than last years squad. The JUCO players play a significant part in this. Theron Jenkins was tremendous in the game against South Dakota. He was all over the boards and had really good aggression towards the basket. Brad Reese didn't flash the same brilliance but showed a whole lot of potential. He clearly loves to take the deep threes and play just as physical inside. I expect that he will find that jump shot he loves to take. You've probably already heard plenty of talk about David Tairu by now. If you haven't seen this team in person though, David is everything you want in a shooting guard. This is where the new defense starts and finishes. He puts in 110% effort every time on the court whether the team is on offense or defense. Not only that but he's money on the free throw line and showed on Sunday that hes not afraid to take the big shots when the team needs him to. The new freshman Mike Davis is also very talented. It took him awhile but he finally made his first three pointer as a Red Raider on a buzzer beater to end the 1st half against Oregon State. You can tell in his game that he knows being the youngest on the team he has to put forth that extra effort. He did a good job this weekend fighting on the boards. Being the second shortest guy on the team he's got really good ups. He has a lot to learn at the point guard position but John Roberson is a great player to learn from.
My thoughts on the returning players are a little different because I know what to expect out of them. Through these first three games, Robert Lewandowski didn't appear the same as in conference play last year. First off as a team, Tech is not feeding him the ball like they did but when given the opportunity he was unable to cash-in. It also appears that he hasn't completely grasped the new defensive idea. In the entire second half against Oregon State, the Beavers Joe Burton absolutley dominated the post. Most of those times were against big Lew where he would just slip right past him. I expect to see more of him as the season goes on but his defense must get better as he will see the same type of post play in the games to come. Nick Okorie started off the season a little rocky. As I pointed out I didn't attend the game against TAMU CC but supposedly he didn't play. Considering he had a good amount of minutes Sunday, I believe Pat Knight decided to hold him out for fresh legs in the third game of a back to back to back. Mike Singletary looked great out there. In the two games I saw, Mike showed that he's ready to be the leader this team needs. He sparked a few runs that were crucial to winning the game against Oregon State and hit the big three pointer to put the raiders on top. He appears to be playing with the same determination and enthusiasm as he ended the season with last year. I'm going to a little bit harder on John Roberson because he was the leader of the team last year. He needs to get better at protecting the ball. Right now he's now creating enough opportunities for his team vs. the number of turnovers hes recording. However, I expect this to change. John can still hit those money jump shots and proved that he could also carry the team when they need him to. Darko is a new man this year. Those jump shots that you really wish he wouldn't have taken last year he is actually hitting this season. He's rebounding the ball like a madman (he actually caused a turnover in the OSU game because he tried to out-rebound Theron Jenkins). I believe his defense is what separates him and Big Lew but he could still be a more physical presences when players post up. D'walyn Roberts is the last guy I want to talk about. He hasn't had a transformation of his game but hes playing with more confidence. He could possibly be one of the most athletic players that Bob Knight ever recruited at Tech but just lacked the confidence every season. I believe the influence of the two JUCO forwards Brad Reese and Theron Jenkins is giving him an idea of how to play the position and how to be more physical inside. I hope this continues because with his 7' wing span and 4' vertical he could really make a difference in how this team does this season.
The season is early but I see a lot of potential with this team. I can't wait to see what they can do Thursday night against Northwestern State with three games of film. Wreck'em Tech.
**Anyone know where Trevor Cook is??**