I can’t for the life of my remember the exact score but it was a three to six point win for the Rainmen in what was a surprisingly close game. Someone comment if they can remember the exact score. Halifax won 135-129 today.
Thoughts in point form:
– Halifax opened on an 11-0 run but after a time out Augusta came back started doing some damage with some excellent three point shooting and some inside play from AJ Millien.
– Seriously, Rick Lewis needs to start reading my blog before every game (or do some legitimate scouting). Augusta played exactly like I said they would with strong front court play, guards shooting from outside and AJ Millien trying to dunk every time down the floor. Millien played well all game but when Lewis put Bailey on him he was at least slowed down considerably.
– Glen Dandridge is as good, if not better, from the outside than Silverhorn. The two of them can shoot the lights out. Dandridge had 22 points and was 5/7 from beyond the arc in the first half. Unfortunately he got burnt on defense a lot.
– The rotation were sloppy, slow and just terrible on D. The lack of a shot blocker showed and guys lost their men consistently when other teams were driving and when outside shots went up. Too many offensive rebounds were given up (geez… that sounds familiar). Man to man all game and the press looked terrible.
– The starting line up was Jimmy, Dandridge, Silverhorn, Jeanty and Bailey. I would not expect to see the same thing in the season opener.
– SirVal didn’t play and Mayes and McNeal saw fewer than five minutes each. McNeal’s ankles are wrapped up super high, but I have no idea what is going on with Mayes right now.
– Dandridge looked great on offense, and Bailey was impressive on both ends of the floor. Sanders got a bit lazy on defense at times but he can get to the line any time he wants. Jeanty played all three of his potential positions – two guard, small forward and power forward – and looked great when he got inside near the baseline.
– I get that this is a pre-season tune up, but Lewis worries me. It took him a quarter and a half to realize that the centre for Augusta, Kenneth Curtis, had no functioning knees. Seriously – his knee braces weren’t supporting those knees, they were holding them together. The game turned when he started getting Sanders to face him up and taking it at him. He also had no answer for Millien until the fourth quarter (even though it was obvious from the get-go what was going to happen) and called the worst time out I have ever seen with 4 minutes left in the game. The game was tied and then Halifax scored two transition baskets (the final one on a huge dunk), they then forced Augusta to turn it over out of bounds, Augusta were this close to being broken and Halifax were ready to go… and he called a time out which slowed down the momentum. These moments – when the game is close in the fourth and you need to bust it open – are exactly where Halifax struggled last year and time outs like this are the reason why.
– McNeal only played a few minutes so Sanders and Bailey got most of the minutes at centre. Only having nine healthy guys kepy Halifax to a pretty tight rotation of eight guys with Silverhorn, Dandridge and even Jeanty spending time at two guard. Dandridge looked the best there and will probably start.
– The offense flowed fairly well at times. There weren’t a lot of set plays but they’re getting used to their half court movements. Augusta created some trouble by trapping the pick and role which was what Atlanta and Vermont did a lot last year.
– I am terrible at estimating crowd size, but I think it was about 350 700ish people including tons of kids.
edit: Chad Lucas has a list of all the scorers in his article from today. He estimated the crowd at 800 which is probably more accurate than my initial guess of 350 and modified guess of 700. Go check out the article.