A few thoughts of reflection after that Mount's 84-76 win over archrival Loyola at Reitz Arena on Friday night.
....I thought the Mount played extremely well at times on Friday night. But it was not a consistent effort. There are things that the coaching staff will look to fix before they goto Blacksburg at the end of the weekend. But still it's a win on the road to start the season, and that doesn't happen all that often, so you've got to be very pleased.
....Jeremy Goode was very good. He played within himself and controlled the tempo of the game most of the way. His 25 point effort led everyone, as four Mounties got into double digits.
....Kelly Beidler became a much bigger factor in the second half and finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds (numbers we might have to get accustomed to this year - he's ready to have a huge season). He knocked down a pair of threes in the second half and was a huge factor.
....Meanwhile, the brothers Atupem combined for 23 points (Shawn 13 off the bench, Sam 10 including the first two and a huge bucket after the Hounds had climbed to three with under two to play.
....The Mount led most of the night. Loyola's only lead came just before the half, but a Goode three quickly gave the Mount the advantage back.
....I thought the Mount struggled defensively, particularly guarding some of the Loyola wing players and will have to make some adjustments there. But still at times the defense was pretty good.
....I haven't seen a box score, so I'm sure unsure of some of the final numbers, but I'll be interested to see the final assist totals. It seemed like there were some very good passes inside that led to some easy buckets.
....I don't think this Loyola team was as good as any of the teams the Mount will see for quite some time. I think at least the next four opponents will provide more for the Mount to handle. But this was a good effort and even though they lacked the ability to cleanly finish it off, they never let it get away when things got tough and rough in a tough environment.
Good job by everyone. It was fun, even though I blew the whole ticket thing. I'll have to make sure that never happens again. Shame on me.
Virginia Tech is next on Monday at 8pm at Blacksburg on Comcast.