Thursday, March 12, 2009

The calm before the storm...

Just got back from watching Eastern Oregon, which was rolling with 10 minutes left thanks to some impressive shooting in the second half. The same crew of officials that Morningside had this morning were doing this game, and they weren't any better. They actually had to go to the replay to determine who an early foul was on in the lane, when myself, Adam Tyhurst and Matt Culhane all clearly saw who it was from the other end of the court. How did our six eyes see the right number from there, but the six eyes on the court didn't?

It seems like a guarantee that there are going to be a few touch fouls on the perimeter called in the opening minutes no matter what. That could be a factor, as we'll be up on Grand View's shooters. We'll have to play them close, but keep our hands off.

Today's shoot-around was pretty good. I spent most of the time chatting with our "Honorary Coaches," Mark Sill from Hiland Dairy and Kevin Gerard from Country Mart. They're both great guys and have been really accommodating during our stay. The honorary coaches program is pretty cool, and a good way to tie teams into the region and give them someone in the area to give some support.

One interesting thing I took from today's shoot-around: during the team's layup drills, Ike Muoneke and Preston Broughton were standing under the basket to give guys a little contact or a hand in their face while they were going up. Since these tournament games are typically a little rougher inside, hopefully this tactic paid off to get our guys used to the contact down low.

Today hasn't been quite as long as I thought it would be, although maybe it's been worse for the players. However, everybody seems relaxed and adaquately prepared. We'll be going to the gym to see the game prior to ours, which is No. 1 Oklahoma Wesleyan and Fisher. The winner of our game will face that winner, so it will be a good chance to get a little scouting in, and I think it's good because it mirrors our regular season routine. If I can, I'll check back in with one more post from the gym before tip off.

**The DWU women's basketball team has signed two recruits thus far, and both are on display this weekend in the Class B State Tournament. Click here to read about Sully Butte's Elizabeth Lamb, and here to read about Summit's Brittany Hills, both courtesy of the Aberdeen American News.

**I actually found one place in Branson that carried the Big Ten Network so I could watch my Minnesota Golden Gophers beat Northwestern to advance in the Big 10 tourney and hopefully clinch a spot in the big dance. I wasn't the only Gopher fan in the Branson area today. Another guy who actually graduated from Minnesota's journalism school the same year as me was in town for business and looking to watch the game and a family from the cities also showed up to watch the game. So it's been a good day of basketball for me so far, now let's hope it continues tonight.

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