Penn St. wrap

Well, I think all told, the score was pretty representative of the game. I think Central deserved better than the 27-point gap it once faced, but I think Penn St.'s 2nd half start was worthy of a double-digit win.
Central MUST figure out its zone defense, it was ugly for a stretch. Penn St. moved the ball perfectly, getting to the middle of it, which allows you to force the zone to shift and usually opens up a man. The Blue Devils will have to do a better job of denying that first move to the middle, whether it's a drive or a quick pass to the foul line.
If the Blue Devils can avoid foul trouble and make some outside shots the next time they play one of these games, they'll be in better shape. They certainly showed they can score the ball, especially in transition, against a BCS school.
I'd have loved to have seen Howie Dickenman call a time out when the score was still salvageable, but I don't think it would have mattered.
Btw, if you read this tonight, Chaminade is tied with Michigan State at half. Anything can happen in this great sport, so don't count Central out in some of these bigger games later in the year or, potentially, in March.

With that said, it's time to go man-to-man. (I really need Bill Raftery to do a voice over for me for this). Bill, if you're out there, help a young guy out!

Markeys Deans: Probably the best player on the floor for Central. Did a little bit of everything, and can score inside and out. If he can find a way to stay out of foul trouble against bigger men, Central will be fine. Wasn't great defensively in the second half, but no one was.

Ken Horton: Couldn't get his 3-point shot going, and couldn't figure out a way to escape the swarm of bigs that attacked him when he went inside. Moved the ball well (three assists) and was solid on defense (3 blocks), but Central will never win one of these "play up" games if Horton can't score. If he's not going to be effective inside, he must make jumpers. He did neither tonight.

Shemik Thompson: He scored (18 points) he distributed (six assists) he rebounded (seven) and he defended (three steals). If he'd made another outside shot or two and got to the line a bit more, it would have been an incredible night.

Robby Ptacek: Turned it over a couple too many times, but he was aggressive, which is nice to see. Didn't shoot the ball well, but tried to drive it a few times and had a couple of steals. Him making some outside shots, especially open ones, is a key to winning one of the three big non-conference games left on the schedule.

Vince Rosario: Filled in reasonably well in that he didn't turn it over, but couldn't make a shot. If he's going to take over that Vinny "Microwave" Johnson role (man I'm old) he has to come in and make some shots early. He seems to feed off his own momentum, and it seems like 2 makes can lead to five. On the other side of that coin, however, one miss can lead to three.

Joe Efese: Welcome back, Joe. Solid offensively and had a block. Now must work on his interior game, both rebounding and defense. But after a horrid start to the year, great for Devils fans to see him going again.

Chris Baskerville: The good news is he's back in the lineup. We'll see if he can help provide some depth up front.

Terrell Allen: His usual come in, play hard for a few minutes, cause some havoc and sit down routine. Interesting to see how that role works once De'Angelo Speech comes back for the Monmouth game.

Justin Alexander: Nice to see him get to see the floor. Someday, everyone associated with the Devils thinks, he'll be a player.

Hoping to keep getting comments on this feature. I have been, so we'll keep doing it. Please keep it up. I'm having a blast writing about a fun team here, so I hope you're enjoying all of this stuff, too.

Send me some questions at With no more football to write about, I need some new topics. Your questions will be good fodder.

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