Friday, November 19, 2010

My 2010-11 'Cats V-Card Has Been Taken

Finally!  I got to watch the 'Cats play.  After a mad search for Fox Sports Pacific last Sunday that turned up unsuccessful (which is ludicrous in San Francisco in 2010 with Direct TV everywhere) I listened to the Idaho State game online via the Idaho State free radio broadcast.

But I still hadn't seen these Wildcats.

I hadn't yet seen if Derrick indeed moved his game to 17 feet and Jamelle became a leader and if Momo trimmed weight and his score-first mentality.  It was not yet clear to me if Kevin could get off the floor more explosively and if Solo was indeed the best player on the floor through one month of practices.  I didn't know if Jesse and Jordin and Daniel could play.  I know Brendon can shoot, but does he know?  I know Kyle can score, but can he regularly and at his own will?  Per usual, I am clueless as to what to expect from K-real the Deal.

But, courtesy of Pete's Tavern in San Francisco, I lost this season's V-card.  Pete took my virginity.  Ew.  While I didn't have anyone to directly analyze with (text messaging would suffice), I got to watch these 'Cats play.

And what did I see? 

Well, I saw that Derrick Williams is indeed a scorer.  That dude can put the ball in the hoop and it is not easy to stop him.  I was ecstatic to see Jamelle, late in the second half, catch an outlet pass on the wing, take a power step-and-drive toward the basket, and throw down with absolute ease in transition.  It was a move we've been waiting three years to see from Mr. Horne.  I hope there's more to come.

Momo is still a question mark and will continue to be.  As is much of the guard play.  Kyelcouldn't hit, Mayes looks raw, Lavender doesn't quite have the handles to be great, and Daniel has been non-existent.  But Momo and Kyle  made plays, combining for 12 assists and the 'Cats were able to score, score, score in the paint.  I liked that.  And on the theme of being what you are, the guards didn't do more than they could.  A very, very encouraging sign.

I think there's work to be done with perimeter and transition defense.  That NMSU (sounds ridiculous) guard had his way with whomever guarded him leading to open jumpers and penetration.  But I was surprised, not yet impressed, with the ability to understand defensive rotations.  It's much improved from last year.

K-real the Deal took a charge on a defensive rotation.  Repeat: K-real the Deal took a charge on a defensive rotation.  If you saw it, you wouldn't be impressed.  It sounds so much better in writing.

There's learning to be done.  The offense still doesn't flow like a well oiled machine but here and there it jumps into gear and it looks really good.  And there's a bench.  It's like a backup transmission. 

As I said, this team will be what it will be.  Through two showings, this team just might be pretty good. 

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