CCSU men's basketball fades in loss to Quinnipiac

Malcolm McMillan said what we all knew to be true: CCSU had run of out gas. 
The Blue Devils, having lost yet another player and running out of viable options, actually held up well for more than 30 minutes. 
In the end, however, there were just too many Bobcats. 
Central tried to hang tough, but a big loose ball went to Shaq Shannon, who stuck a big shot and ended Central's comeback bid. The Blue Devils would have been outrebounded no matter what, but losing Brandon Peel's services to a rolled ankle proved costly for Central, which needs all the interior help it can get. 
So, on a night when Central went zone to try and save some energy and force the Bobcats to make shots (which they did), let's play man-to-man. 

Adonis Burbage: I liked his aggressiveness. He tried to be more than just a corner shooter tonight, and it paid off with free throw opportunities. He's going to have to start helping inside, however, with some rebounds. 

Brandon Peel: The ankle injury doesn't sound too serious long term, but Central desperately needs bodies at this point, especially now that it seems as though De'Angelo Speech won't be returning. 

Kyle Vinales: He jsut had nothing left. Here's a kid who plays darn near the entire game every night while being double-teamed, not to mention grabbed and harassed when he's being covered by one man. He was brilliant for a half, but couldn't hold up, even needing an extended break down the stretch. Howie Dickenman admitted Vinales was tired after the game, and hinted that he wouldn't have put Vinales back in with a minute to go if Burbage hadn't fouled out. 
It's totally understandable, but Vinales has had some games recently where he's only been able to put one big half together. If Central is going to do anything with this season, it must figure out a way to not only get Vinales some rest, but get him going more consistently while he's on the floor. 

Malcolm McMillan: I mean, what else do you want him to do? He's becoming a scorer, even making outside shots. He played 36 minutes and had one turnover. He was second in rebounding. I suppose you could try and ask him to try and do a little more to help Central's currently struggling defense, but even that doesn't seem much of his fault. I have a feeling he could be a breakout star by next year. 

Matt Hunter: If you look at his line, there's nothing wrong with it, save for a shooting percentage that's a touch low. This was a night, however, when the Blue Devils could have used one of Hunter's huge games. He has been a wonderful Robin this season, but every once in a while Central needs him to be Batman, even if it's just for 10 minutes at a time like tonight. 

Andrew Hurd: He's going to have to play eight minutes a night. He just has to. 

Joe Efese: He got the extended minutes I think Central needs from him, though the Blue Devils would have preferred they came while he was standing next to Peel. He had three blocks, but needs to get more rebounds. That one with abut 90 seconds left would have been huge. You do have to like his newly found offensive confidence, however. Those little jumpers are going in with regularity. 

Greg Andrade: I'd love to see if he could steal a couple of minutes here and there as well. 

Terrell Allen: He struggled with his shot, but gave Central some badly needed rebounding. I have a feeling that missed dunk will be seen again on TV, but he played more than well enough to deserve a break on it. 

CCSU men's basketball drops tough one at home

As happens every January, we got away from the blog a bit, but I'm looking to remedy that now as the stretch drive of the season approaches.
So let's start with some thoughts on today's game, then I have a special man-to-man segment planned for the 1/3 poll of the NEC season,
For the Blue Devils, Saturday's loss to the Mount was depressing. The Blue Devils answered the bell after the Mount caught up to them at the end of the first half, going back up by eight midway through the second half.
Then the roof caved in.
Malcolm McMillan played brilliantly, getting open shots, having the nerve to take them, and drilling three after three. This was especially important because the Mount did a great job shutting Kyle Vinales down in the second half.
He didn't have much help, however. Matt Hunter was in foul trouble all day. Central's interior offense, so good Thursday night, faltered. And the defense was non existent.
Central just got outworked defensively in this one. I liked that Malcolm thought the offense could be even better, especially against zone (something Central has struggled with of late and that I'll talk more about in the  paper soon), but the game could have been won with some D.
Too often there were open outside shooters, and the Mount had too many easy putbacks. Central just looked completely out of sorts defensively.
I liked that the Blue Devils never seemed to quit, but they have to be very upset to have only gone 2-2 on this homestand. If they don't get home court in the first round, we'll look back at this stretch (and of course the SFPA game) as a big reason why.

CCSU Men's basketball injury update

We're going to start doing more in-depth stuff on here ASAP, I swear now that I'm feeling much better and should have some more time.
For now, however, wanted to pass this along. It seems like DeAngelo Speech won't play today, as the never-ending saga of his impending return has been delayed again by the knee injury he suffered Thursday. I hear it's not incredibly serious, but it does appear as though the return will have to wait.

Update on Speech, aka no I'm not crazy

Howie Dickenman said after the game last night that the call was made right before tip to allow De'Angelo Speech a little more time to get acclimated with the team's schemes and the game itself again before getting back into action. He'll practice this week and is expected....there's that word again... to play Thursday night.

CCSU men's basketball to get De'Angelo Speech back today

Howie Dickenman just said he expects De'Angelo Speech to play some minutes off the bench today after missing the first 14 games of the year with a shin injury.
Obviously he'll have to see how he feels during the game, and best case it will only be a few minutes off the bench, but if he can give 10 minutes and provide 5 or so minutes of rest for Kyle Vinales and Malcolm McMillan each, that would be a big boost for the Blue Devils.