Saturday, October 27, 2007

Men's Basketball Open Scrimmage 10/27/2007

Finally, it's that time of the year again. Basketball is and will always be my favourite college sport and I've been faithfully going to the open scrimmage every year (even last year, when it was way too early for my liking). It's a great time to see the freshmen/transfers play for the first time and see how the returning players look.

Of particular interest was Josh Owens, our only freshman this year. He looked really athletic, exhibiting good rebounding and great shot-blocking ability. He had two big blocks on Law and Fred that had me salivating over his potential. It was also good to see that Brook's suspension had been lifted. He looked pretty rusty in parts and I wish that both he and Robin would attack the basket more instead of settling for shots falling away from the basket.

We sat behind a couple of alums who mentioned that they were in Tuscon for the Arizona football game last week. They were also going to be at the Northwestern, Siena, Oregon and Oregon state games, and were working on the Colorado one as well. Looks like we'll be seeing quite a bit of them on the road!

The second half of the scrimmage was sloppier than the first and Trent had seen enough with about 4.5 minutes left (pretty similar to what happened last year if I recall correctly). This year, however, it didn't end right there. After making them run sprints from baseline to baseline, I was pleased to see them shoot free throws, which I thought was one of our weaknesses last year. Hopefully we're focusing more on free throw shooting this year. Some of the players were pretty winded and badly missed their initial tries.

After the players were done stretching, a group of around 50 little kids descended on the court to take a picture with the team. It was pretty cute.

I was, unfortunately, on the wrong side of the court to get a good picture but if you want to see what it looked like from the back...

All in all, it was great to see the guys on the court. It's a pity there weren't more undergrads but I'm sure the alums and the little kids had a great time. Basketball season is upon us. Hooray!
~ Zhihao

It felt so good to be back in Maples for basketball. Like Zhihao, my heart and soul lie in Stanford basketball, so today felt like a real beginning. It was interesting to see who shined today. Taj and Peter's offensive games looked great, really getting the ball up and finishing it and making good decisions (particularly Taj). Josh Owens was really exciting to watch. Brook looked like he hadn't practiced in a week... which isn't too surprising, but it was also hard for his team to penetrate with the ball so he didn't have much to do (the other team was headed by our starting five until Brook gets back, and they did a much better job). Surprisingly, Landry was completely non-essential from watching game play, and Anthony put the ball up but it just didn't drop. Mitch dropped a couple threes, proving once again that he's capable of shooting if he would take the chance. Our passing looked really sloppy, with three or four passes completely missing their mark or slipping right out of the hands of their recipients. Also consecutive plays with the ball knocked out of bounds by Fred and Taj, who saw a chance for a steal but couldn't finish (with a quite hilarious backslide by Taj for a ball that was way ahead of him). But it's early in the season yet, and we'll learn really fast with four games from Nov 5-11. I'm excited for the season. 9 days!

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