Samurai Snippets: VMI and Presbyterian

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Rollin' Ronin returns after a chaotic week to break down bits and pieces of the Basketball Deacs' two wins over VMI and Presbyterian, largely thanks to sophomore standouts Codi Miller-McIntyre and Devin Thomas.

VMI

The Good

Stingy Defense. We held the Keydets to approximately 29% shooting.  I don't care who we're playing, or how bad the shots they took were, or whatever else.  If you can hold an opposing team to under 30% shooting, that's a pretty good day right there.

Four Starters In Double Figures. Any time you can get that, that's just pretty.  Travis McKie and Tyler Cavanaugh each chipped in 11 points, Codi Miller-McIntyre led all scorers with 23, and Devin Thomas chipped in another 20.  Perhaps the best part is that other than Cavanaugh, all of them did it on better than 50% shooting.

Madison Jones can PASS. He only had 5 points, but the sophomore PG continued to show that he's probably the team's best pure passer, doling out 9 assists and only 3 turnovers.

Getting The Bench Plenty of Time. The Deacs had the game in hand early enough that Aaron Rountree, Andre Washington, Miles Overton, and Arnaud William Adala Moto all saw significant time off the bench.  Moto is arguably a starter, but it was good for other guys to get time.

The Bad

13.3% Behind The Arc. Oof.  I mean we shot over 50% from the field which is tough to complain about, but oof.  We need to shoot better.

68.3% From The FT Line. Better, but we still need to do better than that and cash in on those opportunities as well.  Now, our starters were 23-30, which is strong, but still.

14 Turnovers. We had 20 assists which was good and at least our A/T turnover was better than 1, but I'd like to see that number shrink.

The Funny

I love our bench guys, I really do, but there were a number of wacky plays in garbage time that I found rather hilarious.  If we had been losing, or even in a close game, I would not have been as appreciative.  Having said that, the atmosphere was relaxed enough that I could appreciate things getting a little zany.

Presbyterian

The Good

Adapting To Different Styles of Play. Now granted, it wasn't always pretty, but it was good to see this team be able to win a game in convincing fashion again against a team with such a fundamentally different style from VMI.

15 Point Halftime Lead?  Yes Please. The offense stalled in the second half, but the first half was tremendous, with the Deacs looking like they might hang 100 on a team notorious for trying to slow the game down,  Also, it's worth noting that much of the second half was played without starters.  For context, CMM played 28 minutes.  Devin Thomas and Travis McKie only played 25 minutes each.  Madison Jones, arguably our best pure PG, played only 22.  Regardless, the Deacs had a sizable halftime lead that only expanded.  That's good.

Coron Williams WENT OFF.. Now, he ended up only 6-13. but the Robert Morris transfer showed off what we recruited him for, going on a long-range blitz that included three in a row at one point that really seemed to deflate the Blue Hose.

Miles Overton. Kid had 5 assists and a ridiculous amount of hustle coming off the bench.  Get you some, Miles.

The Bad

Moto: Foul Machine. Only played 10 minutes but nearly fouled out?  Ouch, Moto.  That is less than optimal.  If we're gonna ride the #BillMoto train, he needs to be a little less foul happy than that.

40% Shooting From The Field. It worked out alright, but we can do better than that.

Reggie Dillard and Jordan Downing Torched Us. The two Presbyterian stars combined for 38 of their team's 48 points on over 50% shooting.  Dillard was hyped coming into the game, and he's from nearby, so it's not surprising that he might have a big game, but we just can't let that happen.

The Funny

I have a new free throw heckling ritual wherein I yell "BRICK" as loudly as possible several times until the opposing player shoots it.  If they miss, I follow that up with "HA, SEE?!"  I normally wouldn't give myself that much credit here, but Reggie Dillard, despite an otherwise baller game, missed four free throws.  I'm taking credit for at least two of those.

The Bottom Line

I'm combining the two here, because the takeaways are pretty consistent.  Codi Miller-McIntyre is averaging over 20 points a game, Devin Thomas is playing like an All-ACC caliber player, and man does it ever feel good to dominate lesser teams the way we probably should.  I don't care how bad the teams are, the fact that we get garbage time to our benefit is such a welcome change, I could hardly care.  The way we're playing, 5-0 seems like a very solid possibility, and even though we'd be atrociously bad if we didn't end up 5-0, the past few years, that wouldn't have been a given.  Signs of improvement and potential, so I will absolutely take it.  On to the next.  Go Deacs.

--SF

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