Niagara wrapup

Forgive the delay in getting his up, last night's work took longer than expected.
As for the game, well, I asked for it, I got it.
For a while now I've been hinting that Ken Horton needed to put the cape on and go back to being Ken Horton at the end of one of these close games. Sunday afternoon, he did just that. Robby Ptacek had been brilliant and Shemik Thompson played a big part at the end as well, but Horton looked willing to take over the game for the first time in a while, which is what was needed.
Central's defense was lacking at times, especially in the half court as the Purple Eagles got in the back door on too many occasions, but you can't complain about a win too much.
We learned a couple things in the post game press conference that I'll get to below, but there was one big thing we learned above all else.
Central needed to win one of these close games, and it did so. I think home court will make a huge difference going forward. If CCSU gets hot over these next 5, the whole tenor of the season could change again.
Especially if Ken Horton keeps the cape.
Let's go man-t0-man.

Markeys Deans: Couldn't score the ball (missed 10 shots), but managed to contribute in other ways, getting 8 boards, two steals and a block. When Ptacek and Horton are going offensively, he doesn't need to score 20 every night like he had been when those guys were struggling.

De'Angelo Speech: When your fouls are your highest number in a night it's not a great game. Still, he contributed.

Devan Bailey: Solid all-around game. Assists, steals, rebounds and minutes. Did his job.

Robby Ptacek: Brilliant. Attacked the rim, made pullups, got to the line and made free throws. If he can figure out how to do all that without committing as many fouls, particularly offensive ones, he'll be onto something. Still, 23 points and 9 at the line is a great night.

Ken Horton: He played like The Franchise, especially late. What I liked about him (and always have) is that he can pick his spots to take over. He doesn't need to take the ball from Ptacek or Thompson to get his offense. He can let them be hot, then take it back when they cool off, or in this case when Ptacek fouled out. He didn't overkill it with threes, either.
10 rebounds and a huge block late as well. Just a spectacular all-around game. Took 20 shots, but they were mostly within the offense. Not that anyone minds.
"If he wants to take 20 shots, go ahead," Howie Dickenman said after the game.

Shemik Thompson: He said after the game he's been hurt lately, which had something to do with his poor play. But still made sure to mention that he needed to be better, even when banged up, which I like about him. Apparently he's healthy now. Howie said he was going to play him in short spurts, but that he looked good enough to leave him out there longer. And Thompson responded with his best effort. 10 assists, three steals, 1 turnover, four free throws, including the big ones. Fantastic effort by the leader.

Joe Efese: The other thing we learned was that Dickenman isn't holding Efese back because he's still hurt, but because he wants him to be more aggressive. He was brilliant in the morning shootaround, but didn't get going in the game. Dickenman wants him to go out and be aggressive, even if it means he commits some fouls. I'd love to see him send one into the stands and let out a yell Wednesday night. It might kick start him.

Terrell Allen: Five points, two boards, a steal and a block in 12 minutes, including a huge layup (off a great feed from Thompson) late. Kind of took Speech's energy role at least for a night.

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