What I liked:
-DEIVON SMITH! He was all over the place. Steals, rebounds, assists, blocks, he did it all. His athleticism was really on display and I thought that if a few guys would have made their open looks and he didn't get hurt, he was on pace for a triple-double.
-JA'VON FRANKLIN! He really established himself down low and showed really good anticipation on blocks and rebounds. He was, at least in this game, what we need Howard to be. I know he is smaller, but he "plays big" and gives us a legit option for a small-ball 5. We were +24 with him on the floor.
-Kelly and Coleman establishing themselves as our best offensive options. They can both get buckets all day.
-Lance Terry can be passive on the offensive end, but he has really quick hands and good defensive instincts. He had 2 steals but at least 2 or 3 more deflections. He is a solid player and good addition to the team.
-Free throw defense. Really well done in this important part of the game.
-I also liked the different sets we ran on offense (horns?). This was a good game to get creative and try new things.
What I didn't like:
-The lack of energy out of the half. I am not surprised (we were up by a mile), but we lost our defensive intensity and let them battle back. NIU was the team playing harder for those first 5-7 minutes of the second half. Needless to say, we cannot have those kind of lapses against better teams.
-Howard. He needs to play better and I am sure he knows it. His fouling tendencies are still an issue. He only played 8 minutes and 51 seconds and we were -3 with him on the floor. We will need him to bang with bigger teams, and he has not played well at all in the last two games. Is he sick?
-There were times that we got stagnant on offense. When we can't get the back-door cut, sometimes we re-set too late in the clock and end up burning the possession.
-27.8% from three-point range isn't going to cut it. This team is better than that. (at least...I hope they are!)
Nice to get the win, and nice to be ahead for all 40 minutes. That's the way you take care of business.