Sunday, December 16, 2007

Men's Basketball vs College of Idaho 12/16/2007

Stanford 81 College of Idaho 53 After last year's post finals embarrassment against Santa Clara, I was glad that an exhibition game had been scheduled to let us shake off the rust. The turn out at Maples wasn't that spectacular but who could blame anyone for skipping what was essentially an open scrimmage. The students had also been chased out of the dorms the day before. There were about 60 people in the 6th Man Section - many not even wearing 6th Man shirts. The red coats tried to regulate initially, but were told to back off, perhaps in line with the holiday spirit.

The first thing that struck me when I glanced at the Idaho team was that they were tiny. A couple of the players looked like they were in freshmen in high school. They also had purple jerseys with Albertsons on the front. This prompted some "Safeway's better" cheers from the 6th Man Section. With Fred out after having one of his knees scoped, Taj entered the starting lineup. It wasn't very necessary for this game where the average height of Idaho's players was probably 6 feet 3 but might be a sign of things to come for the upcoming matches. Brook wasn't dressed and I suspect his TA's/Profs hadn't got the message to grade his finals and enter them as soon as possible (for the record, I hadn't received grades for any of my classes either). It would have been nice to get him some action but I guess it'll have to wait. More intriguingly, Will Paul was also not present.

We started the game on an 8-0 run with Robin hitting another 3 pointer to make him 2-2 on the season (although this game doesn't count). It looked like it would be another Harvard like massacre but Idaho's coach called a quick time-out and they hit some outside shots to tie it up at 8 a piece. Idaho played zone exclusively and we threw in some zone looks on defense as well. With our size advantage, they were content to shoot long jumpers and hit at a pretty good rate to keep the score from getting out of hand. We cleaned up on the offensive boards with Robin and Taj. We also tried to get it in to Robin in the post but his close in shots were simply not falling. I'm not too worried though.

In a game like this, it's really hard to get a feel for our team. I suspect that we were using it to work on our zone offense. Kenny was also given the chance to play point guard (with Drew on the floor). He's looked decent whenever he's had to in the past but didn't do himself that many favours this time. Defensively, we could have closed out on their shooters better and stopped helping as much when they penetrated since one big body inside was usually enough to deter them from shooting and kick it out to the perimeter instead. Some of the highlights included a nasty Landry dunk (and the foul) in the first half when Idaho was still keeping it close, a Robin offensive board followed by a spin and authoritative dunk, and Landry playing great defense on his man (granted this was against an NAIA player).

The game lasted 1 hour 30 minutes and I suspect the referees were instructed to swallow their whistles unless something egregious happened. There's not much else to say except I'm looking forward to seeing Brook (next game pending passing his classes) and Fred (hopefully soon) back in action and it would be nice if we came out sharp against Santa Clara on Wednesday.
~ Zhihao

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