NEW YORK - MARCH 30: Marcus Johnson #32 of the Dayton Flyers drives against Zach Graham #32 of Ole Miss during their semi final at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2010 in New York, New York. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Like all post-games, this will be in bullet form. I was in attendance for the game and have a good number of thoughts.
Terrance Henry was 4-11 from the charity stripe. All his attempts were in regulation, which ended in a tie. You do the math. I will say that Henry had the right idea. In the second half, he was the only player on our team who was taking it to the hoop every time he touched it and drew a good number of fouls. It just didn't work out for him on Saturday.
Nick Williams continues to play hard. He scored fourteen points on 6-9 shooting and had three steals, one assist, and no turnovers. More than anything, he isn't burned on defense and makes the opponent work out there.
Chris Warren was 1-12 from three point range yet continually shot contested threes in an effort to be the hero and win the game for us. He did have six assists, but that doesn't make up for his horrid shooting performance.
Zach Graham was 6-14 shooting with 16 points. It was actually only a modest game for Graham though his stats suggest otherwise. In the first half, he scored twelve points. After that, he was barely involved and reminded me of Terrico White. He also attempted seven three pointers- something Graham hasn't fallen victim of in the past.
Dundrecous Nelson was very impressive despit picking up four fouls in only nine minutes of play. He scored twelve points on 5-8 shooting, and he had a particularly nifty steal which saw him jump into a passing lane, tip the ball ito himself, gather it in, then rifle it down the court to a waiting Nick Williams for the easy two. Nelson also had a great looking lay-up in the first half where he got around PG Juwan Staten and took it to teh hoop before any defenders noticed. He's going to be quite good for us during his time here. He's also not a defensive liability and has adequate size to fight through picks.
Steadman Short continued playing quality minutes. in 21 minutes, he gathered in six rebounds, attempted two put backs (making one), and registered two blocks. He's another Rebel who fell into foul trouble though, and I'm afraid this is a theme that we'll see repeated over and over for this Rebel team.
I was most surprised by Trevor Gaskins, who only attempted two shots in 24 minutes of play. Think about that. Trevor Gaskins played a good bit but didn't shoot. I couldn't believe it when he passed so often. I think Gaskins is developing into a heady player who looks to generate offense with teammates. On defense, he fouled out in overtime.
Demarco Cox was 1-2 with a nice looking spin move to the basket when he was given the ball down low. He also had a dunk called back for traveling (it wasn't anywhere near traveling). He has a lot to work on, but he's not a liability out there right now.
Reggie Buckner played for the first thirteen minutes and had already registered five rebounds, an assist, a steal, a block, two turnovers, and only one foul. Then he landed strangely on his knee and sat out the remainder of the game. With him out, our defensive presence inside suffered a little bit. The good news is that the injury is only a bone bruise and shouldn't hamper Buckner for long.
Overall, we lost for three reasons.
1. Terrance Henry didn't make free throws. I hesitate to say this (because I know that the game would have flowed differently had this been the case), but if Terrance had gone only 5 or 6-11, we would have won the game. It was crushing to see him miss attempt after attempt, particularly knowing that he's a quite capable shooter.
2. Chris Warren tried to make things happen with his own shot and failed. When things were unraveling, we resorted to our offensive philosophy from a year ago. Shoot a three with 25 seconds left on the shot clock.
3. The refs were awful. Just awful. I never blame losses on the refs, but wow. It was difficult to understand where they were coming from on some calls. Our players were hacked several times under the basket with no calls. Our players took charges and were called for blocks. The reverse happened as well. Essentially, nearly all the subjective calls went Dayton's way. A lady behind us was screaming "Four Fouls!" at halftime since Dayton had only been credited with four to our 10 or so. It was nuts.