I wanted to write this immediately following the Marquette debacle, but then I wanted to wait a day get some sleep and let a few things settle. Kept waiting for the opportunity to find something good about what happened.
Well after days of reflection, the only good I can find is that it's over and that Marquette will be (barring an NEC tournament win) the best team the Mount faces this year.
As far as excuses go, we can make a lot, but the fact remains that the Mount faced Marquette with six scholarship players + Kelvin Parker who is a recruited walkon. 3 of those 7 were playing in their first ever college basketball game.
Some things we learned.... Taylor Danaher is going to redshirt. If that wasn't obvious on Friday night nothing was. I liked what I like from him in the Blue White as far as long term development goes and I think this is a good decision.
It must mean that Jacolby Wells' injury isn't that serious. Otherwise how deep into the season can the Mount go with two interior players. Or maybe it's an indication that Kristian Krajina is going to play soon.
Speaking of the two suspended. We'd been hearing rumblings that both Krajina and Lamar Trice were in some sort of trouble that stemmed from an incident involving Pierre Brown, who left school for personal reasons. I've been told a lot of different things regarding suspension time periods. Some from a long time to others that it would be a one-game suspension. We'll see.
That means we don't know if Trice and Krajina will be in Hartford tonight. My guess. No. But it's strictly a guess at this point.
So the Mount must find a way to handle the basketball better than it did against Marquette. No doubt some of the 29 turnovers were related to Marquette, but others not so much. And I think this is going to be a recurring theme until the Mount proves it can protect the basketball. Trice was a turnover machine last year, so not sure how much that helps or not. But he has stated that he has worked hard on it and his quickness on the floor would definitely give them an option to avoid some of the pressure.
Hartford is 0-2 and much like Marquette was the best team on the schedule, I think the Hawks might be the worst. The Mount must capitalize on that on the road.
In order to do that, they will need to get Raven Barber and Danny Thompson involved inside and open up some of the perimeter play. Hartford has struggled mightily offensively and was beaten by Sacred Heart in its opener by 20.
WWW.kenpom.com has the Mount as a five-point favorite, with a final of 62-57. That score still haunts me. So I'm going with 67-61 Mount. Look for Josh Castellanos to step up and take control of the offense a bit tonight and get guys where they need to be and protect the basketball a bit more.
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