CCSU men's basketball breakdown after the Blue Devils' first win of the season

I don't mean this to sound like "oh I'm a great writer," but I think I summed up last night's win over Brown in the lead to my story.

For a half, Central dominated without Kyle Vinales much offensively, which was a great sign for a number of reasons. Not only did it give the team a little confidence, which it might need on a night when Vinales is struggling or hurt or in foul trouble, but it helped Vinales know he doesn't have to be the man for 40 minutes.

When they needed him to be, however, he was.
Last night, 20 minutes was fine, and the three or so in which he single-handedly took the game over were special. His comment after the game about letting the game come to him was rather telling I think. That understanding will be key to the Blue Devils' season. Vinales told me the other night during the women's game he was trying not to press as much. Last night he picked his spots, and in the process put forth a masterpiece.

I know Central gave up more than 64 last night, but the defense wasn't bad. Brown knocked down too many open shots, but a lot of them were covered as well. The defense didn't hit 77.7, but I still think it's a good defense.

Now, let's dig a little deeper by playing our own man-to-man.

Adonis Burbage 
The quintessential Burbage night. 4-of-6, 3-of-4 from three and four rebounds. As long as he fills the other stats on nights when he's not scoring, he'll be a big factor. I admit I was wrong about starting Terrell Allen over him. Allen likes his role off the bench and Burbage is thriving.

Kyle Vinales
What else can you say? In the first half when other players were hot, he had 4 assists and allowed himself to slip into the background a bit. Then, when his teammates were starting to falter, he took off his jersey to reveal his Superman costume, scored 10 in a row and won the game. As impressive as his streak was, his management of the game was even better. It's one game, but if he has figured all this out in three games, Central is about to go on an upswing.

Malcolm McMillan
Seven assists, one turnover, six rebounds, 37 minutes. Those numbers make his offense irrelevant really. If he scores on top of all that, great. If not, that's fine, too. He's a point guard. You young readers might not remember an era when the point guard wasn't asked to score 20 points a night.

Joe Efese
He's making his shots, which is a good sign. Eventually he'll need to rebound more, but I'm not going to say a single negative word about him right now considering the fact that he's on the floor at all despite all that's going on in his life. As I wrote last week, the kid is an inspiration.

Matt Hunter
If he makes a bit higher percentage of his 2-point shots, he'll be a star. Of course he has to cut down on the turnovers, we've talked about that before. But six rebounds and six assists to go with 17 points despite the other issues is an impressive night.

Erik Raliegh
Great to see him get in the game. He's another good story. Someday he might be able to help.

Terrell Allen
The team's new 3-point shooter. Ok, probably not, but he'll now have the confidence to take a couple here and there. The key will be not to overdo it. I don't think he will. More important, he talked last night about enjoying his role off the bench, which is more important than you think If he likes the role, he'll be more effective.

Brandon Peel 
A little bit of everything last night. He's become a nice piece off the bench who can help add to a thing big-man rotation. That will be big since Central doesn't have a lot of numbers. De'Angelo Speech's return is still a ways off, so the Blue Devils need him to be the seventh man.

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