Providence wrapup

First off, my apologies for not updating more throughout the game. For a nice a job as they've done refurbishing the inside of the DD Center, the guts of the place are much less pretty. Long story short, there were a handful of reporters trying to get internet after the game, never mind during it.
Hope the updates I did on my phone worked. It wouldn't let me type in this body box, so I tried to put a couple of things in the subject lines.
Secondly, I talked to Javier Mojica and Jemino Sobers tonight. Both are doing well. Jemino is coaching is Toronto.
Anyway, let's get to the business at hand. For 23:05, Central looked like a team that could win games in the Big East. The Blue Devils were patient but ran when the chance was there. They held their own on the boards and didn't get discouraged when a couple of shots were blocked early. Nor did they sulk when down 13-2. Instead, the came back to take a 9-0 lead later in the half. They drove the ball without fear, moved the ball without indecision and often shot the ball without a defender nearby. And they did it all without Joe Efese.
It actually looked like Central was going to win going away after it took a 29-20 lead late in the half. Even when Shemik Thompson went out with his second foul at the 4:11 mark of the half, Central survived, going to the break down just one.
Still, and this is gonna sound crazy because of what happened next, but I think that 4:11 was huge. If Central goes to the break up five (what they were up when Thompson sat down), the whole momentum of the game is different. Maybe Central still gets crushed, but I'm not convinced. The Devils were deflated by the way the half ended, and it carried over.
That said, what happened next seemed almost mathematically impossible. After turnovers on its first two possessions, Central still managed to take the lead. And the game was tied with 16:55 to go in regulation.
The numbers that followed are downright amazing. 34-6. 45-14. There was a 16-0 run in what seemed to be about 3 minutes. Just amazing stuff. And for the first time all year, it seemed like the Blue Devils quit. It got to the point where, with about eight minutes left, Howie Dickenman pulled his team because he wanted players who would "play hard."
That added to the tally, since some bench players who probably weren't ready for that level of opponent saw extended minutes. I'm not saying Central was going to come back from 30 down, but there's no way that game should have been 35.
With all that said, and since there are lot of them tonight, and despite the fact that Central was best in the 1-3-1 zone tonight, let's go man-to-man.

Markeys Deans: Was active in the paint, wanted the ball on the block. Struggled with his shot a bit, but more importantly, was involved in those awful eight minutes in which the Devils were destroyed.

Ken Horton: Willing to take shots, tried to get the ball inside and at least get to the line, made some good passes early, and he had a block. But he disappeared when he was needed to try and stem the tide. He had just two points in the second half, and, well, 34-6 happened in part on his watch.

Shemik Thompson: I actually didn't find as much fault in his game as others did. He had six assists to one turnover and added two steals. Yes he struggled on defense in the second half, but so did everyone. Where I'd fault him is this: As the emotional leader he seems to be, it's his job to prevent letdowns like that. I was looking for an Antoine Walker type speech. Just not the wiggle.

De'Angelo Speech: He was fantastic filling in for Efese in the first half, but had four turnovers and no rebounds after the break. I haven't pinned the player I'd compare him to yet, but I like something about Speech. He might kind of fall into that Shane Battier type role. He just is always involved somehow. I don't know that he's ever a great player, but he'll grow into a guy you want on the floor all the time eventually.

Robby Ptacek: At the end of the day a shooter has to make shots, and Ptacek didn't tonight. But there were positives. He was MUCH better even without a good shooting night. Was aggressive, and had a couple of good pump fakes that led to drives. But...... in fact, let's just do this so I don't have to type it. Just imagine that everything I say from here on out ends with "But the last 16:55," or "but the last eight minutes" depending on the player.

Vince Rosario: Had three turnovers, which hurt and were a shame because this was the kind of game Rosario could have been great in, a real shooting contest.

Devan Bailey: This game wasn't the right tempo for Bailey, though he led the second unit in garbage time as "the experienced one." For as long as we've talked about the likes of Thompson and Horton, it's hard not to forget how many young guys this team has.

Chris Baskerville: The good news is he's healthy again. He got a few rebounds and some shots up. But he missed FOUR STRAIGHT free throws. Still, if he can give Central some depth up front, that could be key come the winter.

Terrell Allen: Shot the ball well (3-for-4) had had 3 boards in 14 minutes, but had three turnovers. Another player I think will eventually help, but for now he's probably more effective in short bursts.

Justin Alexander: Welcome to the big-time, kid. He showed glimpses, getting three rebounds, throwing himself into the fire and running well. But goodness gracious, his shot needs some work. Every time I talk to one of the coaches they tell me how hard he works and how much they think of him personally, and they seem convinced he's going to turn into a player. We shall see.

That's all for now folks, I need some sleep very badly. As always, send me questions to

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