Samurai Snippets: Jacksonville and The Citadel

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Rollin' Ronin is back with another double shot, this time breaking down the last of the five home games to start the season, a far-too-close game against the Jacksonville Dolphins, and last night's blowout of The Citadel which featured one of the largest margins of victory in the Bzdelik Era.

Jacksonville

The Good

That First 11 Minutes. Seriously, we scored on 10 of our first 13 possessions, outrebounded the Dolphins 12-2...if we could have played like that for the entirety of the game, it wouldn't have even been close.  Absolutely beautiful basketball in the beginning.

Forgot About Trav. Travis McKie, who had been quiet so far, absolutely exploded in this game for 22 points (6-16 shooting, 3-7 from three, 7-8 from the line), 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and 2 assists.  That's just pretty.  I think a lot of it came from the fact that Travis was trying to take a slightly more passive role in order to get the younger guys more active.  It seems like it's working, but it's also good to know Travis can still go off.

CMM and Devin Continue to Ball Out. Codi Miller-McIntyre continued his string of 20+ point games with exactly 20 points (7-11 shooting, 1-2 from three, 5-8 from the line).  Devin had a quiet night scoring with 8 points (2-4 shooting, 4-6 from the line) but a straight-up beastly 16 rebounds.  While I'm on rebounding, the Deacs outrebounded the Dolphins by 17. including 25 offensive rebounds.  Competition aside, it's good to see the Deacs crashing the glass like that.

Tyler Cavanaugh: Unsung Hero. 12 points on four shots (4-9, 4-6 from the line), and 7 rebounds.  Tyler takes a lot of flack, but I really feel like he's starting to come around nicely.

Coron Williams: Truth In Advertising. 4-8 from three for Coron.  Yep.

The Bad

13 Turnovers. Not good.  I mean, we had 17 assists, so the ball movement was still pretty good, but based on how good we've been up until now, we can do better than that.

13 Missed Free Throws. Unlucky 13 for the Deacs, apparently.  If we make even half of those misses, this game isn't anywhere close.

Allowed A Comeback. They took leads in the second half.  Okay, so we shored up and everything worked out alright, but the way we played in the first half, that should never, ever have happened.

The Funny

The commentary on ESPN3...let me put this nicely.  The appropriate announce crew was working this game.  Re-watching the game after being there in person and listening to them riff about dolphins and other miscellaneous bizarre things was oddly entertaining.

The Citadel

The Good

28 Point Win. That's just good stuff, straight up.  Unless I'm totally mistaken, that makes it the second largest margin of victory in the Bzdelik era.

Beyond The Arc On Both Ends. 4-16 from three for The Citadel.  For a team that likes to shoot beyond the arc, that's good, both in the number of makes and on the number of allowed attempts.  Wake, on the other hand, lit it up, going 9-18, including another awesome night for Coron Williams, who went 4-6 from various spots on the floor.

21 Assists on 28 Made Baskets. That's tremendous.  Not only that, the Deacs had only 7 turnovers for the game.  A team A:T ratio of 3:1 is something you'll take any night, and is indicative of really good ball movement and solid offensive coaching.  Hopefully they can keep these things up against stronger opponents.

Contributions From Everywhere. Double digits for Travis McKie, Devin Thomas, and Coron Williams, with 5 or more for Aaron Rountree, Codi Miller-McIntyre, Tyler Cavanaugh, Madison Jones, Andre Washington, and Miles Overton.  Between that, the assists, and balanced rebounding this truly was a team effort in every sense.

I Love Tap Outs. This Deac squad appears to be very very good at tapping out offensive rebounds.

The Bad

Slow Start. For much of the first half, The Citadel was in the game.  We exploded in the second half, but that shouldn't happen.

Missed Layups Galore. Good lord, the number of bunny shots we missed was ridiculous,  We would've boosted our margin of victory by at least another 6-10 points on that alone, I think.

Free Throws, Again. 17-32.  Again, even half those misses, and between that and the free throws, we're looking at maybe 15-20 points left on the floor.

The Funny

The look Andre Washington gave Miles Overton after that offensive basket interference call slayed me.  Still, good on Miles for instinctively crashing the glass, and obviously a good effort by Andre.

The Bottom Line

I fully expect us to get crushed by Kansas, but I am frankly loving this team right now.  There's effort all over the floor, we have four guys (Williams, Thomas, McKie, and Miller-McIntyre) who have all demonstrated an ability to take over, the team is deep and young (and only set to get deeper if Greg McClinton returns as expected), and the games have been good enough by the Deacs that our bench is getting more experience in a variety of roles than I think we've ever seen with a Bzdelik team,

The ACC schedule is an absolute buzzsaw this season, but if these games are anything to go by, the games should at least be fun to watch, and I don't think anyone would deny that in terms of players, there's a ton of future promise even if you have questions about coaching.  That said, however, I really like the offense this year.  We run a lot, the pacing is good and takes advantage of athleticism reasonably often, and at times the half-court offense looks good too.  When your biggest problem is free throw shooting, that's a pretty good place to be.

Let's see if we can shock the world and eat some Jayhawk on Turkey Day.  No matter what, on to the next.  Go Deacs.

--SF

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