All seats were general admission and since we were in the losers bracket, and the crowds were light we could sit anywhere. I had not sat this close to the floor since our undergrad days in Rec Hall, which was 20 years before the Big Ten and somehow watching those early 70’s teams play Juniata and such just isn’t the same. Man these kids today are so physically and athletically head and shoulders better. A lot of fun being that close.
We sat just to the center court area of the PSU bench. So we were close enough to hear all the bench chatter. I never realized how constant ALL the coach’s are in yelling out instruction. Every trip (especially on defense) they are all coaching and shouting out instruction. In some cases it is probably overkill, as with them all barking instruction, that sometimes is directed toward different players it has to be difficult for the players to filter all the messages out. At one point in the Davidson game with them all shouting Talor let them know they (the team) had it covered when he dribbled over by the bench and quietly said, “were cool, were cool.“
Many times I have felt that Ed has been too passive in working the officials, but being that close gave me a different perspective. Ed must have communicated his disagreement on calls no less than ten times in the Tulane game and a few times he really got on them. Yeah, because he is not demonstrative about his objections it’s only something you would realize if you are right in the bench area.
Jeff Brooks improvement is just great to see. Offensively it is easy to see that his confidence has taken a big uptick and he is taking it to the basket with some assertiveness, which is something we haven’t seen in his first two seasons. Still not as physically strong as he needs to be as a down low defender. In the second half today I thought he reverted to the arc and that is not where he needs to be.
Tim Frazier is going to have a great career. Athleticism and quickness, just jump off the page and IMO his shooting is not the huge deficit that we had heard about. He has looked bad in some situations where he no longer can beat defenders with the ease he did high school. He is still trying to adjust to the faster, bigger opponent, but he will adjust and the mistakes will lessen. His vertical is off the charts, kid has a lot of upside.
I’m not sure what made Billy Edwards knee unplayable on Thursday and Friday and able to go 18 minutes today but I was glad to get to see him. Rusty for sure, and it showed when he didn’t finish some close in shots that I am sure he will when he gets rid of the cobwebs. Not at all shy and what’s great is that HE DOES TAKE IT TOT THE BASKET. Also I thought he showed presence and poise for a first time gamer.
Sasa is another freshman with good upside. It’s been mentioned here that he shows a good basketball IQ. I agree with that. He should be a solid role player for us this year, who can come in and play steady and without many mistakes. I was disappointed that he didn’t see the floor in the second half today.
Almost every game in this tournament came down to the last 90 seconds of play and the separation on these teams is less than it appears.
We have a bunch of new players and players playing different rolls. There is still a lot of settling into roles going on. This team is going to get better. With the improved Big Ten it might be hard to always see it. This team is going to need something that this board is often short on and that is patience.