We got our first glimpse of the 2011-2012 Patriots in action last night in a 90-62 win over Lycoming College. I won’t read too much into this dress rehearsal but there were a few things that we can take from the game last night. Overall the Patriots shot well from the field but not from the three-point line, they dominated the glass which was expected considered the huge size advantage, and forced a number of turnovers. It was not encouraging however how they turnovered the ball over 11 times themselves and that the Lycoming zone defense gave them a bit of trouble. A pleasant surprise was the play of Paris Bennett, who showed glimpses of being a “glue-guy” finishing with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.
-Erik Copes was as good as advertised and showed a much better scoring touch than I’d thought we’d see. He’ll have a much more difficult time trying to get those jump hook shots off when they play DI teams obviously, but he looked a lot less raw than I thought he was. He’s gritty, tough, inside player that will complement Morrison and Pearson inside nicely this season.
-Mike Morrison shot 5-6 from the free throw line. Please tell me he’s improved from there.
-Paris Bennett looked a lot more comfortable playing at the 3 spot instead of subbing in at power forward like he did last season. He won’t score 10 points a night but he will grab a rebound, dish out an assist, and collect a steal whenever he’s in the game. The Patriots will need a guy like this to help fill the void left by Luke Hancock.
-Bryon Allen and Corey Edwards looked comfortable running the point however their roles could change once Vertrail Vaughns is back on the court. Allen looked confident and will most likely see a lot of time running the point this season. Edwards did not look like a freshman and helped the offense run smoothly, especially in the second half. He will definitely push for minutes in the back court this season.
-Sherrod Wright looked a bit rusty, which was expected. I was surprised he didn’t attempt any shots from behind the arch but he did finish 5-for-7 from the field. He showed his ability to get to the rim, which is something fans should get used to seeing this season from Wright. Hopefully he dusts off the rust sooner rather than later.
Post game interviews: