Hoops wrap for Saturday night

First off, congratulations to Shemik Thompson on becoming the 32nd player in CCSU history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
It certainly is a different year than 2009-2010 and I don't just mean in terms of wins and losses. The Blue Devils couldn't throw the ball in the ocean from the deck of a boat last year, but have now scored 80 or more in back-to-back games for the first time since the 07-08 season.
Central has now won 23 in a row when scoring 80 or more, but the number seemed unattainable for a while. With this more uptempo pace they've been on of late, however, the Blue Devils might be able to put up bigger numbers more consistently. Part of it is pace, but part of it is having Ken Horton back. He's freeing up other guys to play less pressure-packed games. Oh, and he's good. Let's not forget that.
The other interesting thing is the wild mood swings these games are taking. Central has trailed in all three games by 10 or more in the first half. Against Hartford, it chipped away. Against Army and again last night (or at least long ago tonight as I type this), the Blue Devils simply exploded. Saturday night it was a 32-10 run over the final 10 minutes of the first half that turned an 11-point hole to an 11-point halftime lead. This coming off a 50-point half vs. Army.
As in the Army game, Central slowed down after the break. UMBC cut the lead to 3 midway through the second half, but Central was able to slowly build the lead back up.
I put a Blue Devil breakdown in the paper. Going to try to get a preview for the PSU game in the paper Sunday for Monday.

But for now, let's do our new feature sweeping the blogosphere. Let's go man-to-man. Coach Howie Dickenman only went with 8 tonight (De'Angelo Speech is out until the Monmouth game), so it won't take long.

Shemik Thompson: Not a great shooting night, but was 5-of-10 with 13 points in the second half as Central fought to hang on. Another example of his grit. Plus, on a night where he gets to 1,000, we can't say anything bad here.

Markeys Deans: I asked you guys to be patient with him, and Deans made me look smart. Didn't shoot too much, but scored quite a bit. 10 boards, 5 offensive.

Ken Horton: Ho hum, Yawn. 24 and 11 with 2 blocks. Don't allow yourself to get spoiled. This kid is special in the NEC. Now let's see what he can do against the big boys.

Robby Ptacek: I guess the slump is over. 6-of-10 is great, though I wonder when the last time he went 1-for-3 at the line was. No turnovers. Impressive night.

Devan Bailey: Got his first start of the year tonight and, well, he certainly wasn't boring. Scoring? Good. 2-for-3, hit a 3. Defense? 3 blocks is great but 5 fouls isn't. 3 turnovers in 28 minutes as well. I wouldn't be sure if it was a good enough night to get another start except....

Joe Efese: 5 minutes, a rebound and a turnover. Icky. Too soon to see if this is a sophomore slump, some early struggles, some sort of injury or just a lack of comfort with the new lineup, but it hasn't been a good start for Efese. Clearly he wasn't able to continue the momentum from last year. Now we'll see if he can make new momentum.

Vince Rosario: Hit a couple of gree throws late and is starting to figure out how to contribute when his shot isn't falling. No turnovers in 24 minutes, and he got a steal and four rebounds. His success comes when he's making threes, but this wasn't a bad night when he wasn't.

Terrell Allen: Got a quick foul, only saw three minutes.

Overall: Not the depth you want to see, but but the main men played very well. This game is not unwinnable Monday, but it will take a GREAT effort. We'll see what happens.

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