Surely you can tell by now, after a bunch of posts about a 30-point blowout against an undermanned NAIA school, I was very starved for college basketball to return. Thankfully the games continue with Northwestern's exhibition against Robert Morris on Wednesday, but first some final thoughts about Loyola's victory.
-Walt Gibler was very impressive off the bench. He was assertive on offense as he took seven shots in just 15 minutes of play. He also scored 15 points in variety of ways, including a three, two free throws and a couple put-backs around the rim. "I really like Gibler off the bench," said head coach Jim Whitesell. Whitesell also added that Gibler and Marcus Thomas are like starters for the Ramblers.
-It appears that the Ramblers are anticipating having Jordan Hicks back from his Achilles injury rather shortly, otherwise why would Geoff McCammon get the start in the backcourt and play just 13 minutes? McCammon is a natural player to move to the bench. He'll be a part of a very crowded guard rotation.
-I sketched out a quick scouting report of freshman forward Ben Averkamp from what I observed in his first game. Here are the bullets I wrote down:
- Good face up game.
- Needs to be stronger around the basket on offense and defense.
- Stat sheet stuffer, does all the little things.
- A guy you could run the offense through someday.
- Not very comfortable handling the ball beyond 1/4 court.
Overall that's a pretty impressive profile for a young player. All the reports about Averkamp during his recruiting said that he was very coachable, so expect him to improve as the season progresses.
-Terrance Hill hasn't seen a shot he doesn't like. Hill had an off shooting night on Monday, but he still scored 14 points on 14 shots. He made two threes and also created a bit for his teammates with four assists. It appears that he prefers to go to the rim, he took a few off-balance shots in the paint area, but he's certainly got the range to stroke it from beyond the arc. Hill and Thomas are going to be zone busters for Loyola this season.
-Personally I would've liked to see Shaun Adams get a few more minutes on Monday. He played well during the three minutes of garbage time he got at the end. Adams is more athletic than a lot of the other Ramblers and that could come in handy sometime this season. Adams' short time was quite crowd pleasing as he hit two straight three-point shots.
Anyone else see the game? Have anything they'd like to add?