In sports, some things are given: philly fans will boo, Tarheel fans will annoy, and, unfortunately, Kimmel Arena will not be rowdy. The first “D-Fence” cheer came with 3:50 remaining in the 2nd half despite a great defensive effort by the Bulldogs. At times, the away crowd, a fairly sizable crew considering Siena is located in New York, outcheered the home crowd (thanks to the pep band for trying to out do them). Nevertheless…
Men vs. Siena
UNC Asheville played a good game this past Sunday against a strong Siena team, winning 92-80. Siena’s tall squad prompted Coach McDevitt into starting Zilli and Weeks with Robertson, Thomas, and Vannatta. Though, after the first possession, Coach subbed Teague in for Weeks. The beginning of the 1st half really set the tone for the whole game. Giacomo Zilli’s post game and rebounding were excellent and, on defense, he forced his man into post-ups outside the key. This solid play would eventually be carried out by Wnuk. The Bulldogs transition game sparked an early lead held for the remainder of the day. The biggest happenings were 3’s that grouped themselves at the most apt of times and the best bench effort ever.
On the negative side, the Bulldogs had serious troubles with the Siena press and trap. In the first half alone, I counted four passes into traps.
Lastly, the referees called an inconsistent game. What began as “all contact is fair,” changed in the 2nd half to “it’s all a foul.” Siena found themselves in foul trouble as they attempted to make a run and Vannatta fouled out shortly before the final buzzer. Most importantly, it appeared the officials committed an awful miscommunication around the 7:42 mark when one official signaled 2 free throws while another showed a 1-and-1. Needless to say, when the missed free throw came off the rim, the Bulldogs simply stood around as the game proceeded without them.
The Bench. Raekwon Miller, Macio Teague, and Alec Wnuk scored a combined 51 points. Teague’s shot has certainly been found as he continues to put up good numbers. Unconventionally, Wnuk drove to the basket several times and deserved the free throws he scored when fouled.
Raekwon Miller. This game was his game. He scored 18 points in 19 minutes, missing only a single three. Unfortunately, he also committed 4 turnovers, but more about that during the…
Men at Furman
As of this morning, the replay of UNC Asheville defeating Furman 64-58 could still be found on WatchESPN. However, I suggest you not watch it. Sometimes teams are terrible and, for both teams, this was one of those times. Both teams shot under 40% and committed double-digit turnovers, with Furman sinking themselves at 20 turnovers for the game. The Bulldogs scored 18 points off those turnovers while the Paladins mustered one basket off UNCA’s 11 to’s.
Off their hot game versus Siena, Raekwon Miller made one basket and Alec Wnuk made none. Miller’s bobbing game swings from a great feed to a forced pass, a missed open layup to a made contested three. Cutting out even a few of these mistakes would take Miller’s game to a truly effective place.
The two teams tied and traded the lead for much of this sloppy game. My final teams notes include giving up three offensive rebounds to Furman on one of their final possessions and beating a sub-par trap defense when Furman pressed.
Will Weeks. In 28 minutes, Weeks almost grabbed a double-double with nine points and seven rebounds, including three offensive. He also added three assists.
Macio Teague. He was the only player on the court that I actually expected to score when he had the ball. Teague, shooting just under 50%, scored a career-high 22 points. Had he not stepped on the sideline, his only turnover, before making an early three, Teague would’ve made his high 25 points and 5-10 from long range.
Kevin Vannatta. Unfortunately, Vannatta’s shooting hands are still chilly, but his effort continues to be 100%. Despite making only two baskets, his determination to score racked up nine free throw attempts, making eight, and finishing with 13 points.
The Ref. With impeccable timing, one referee made a charge call and, when he turned to signal with his fist in the opposite direction, he nearly dropped a Furman player with a punch to the gut. Thankfully, both men are fine.
Hopefully, this game got all the bad stuff out so the Bulldogs can show up against a fantastic Kansas squad, who recently beat an injury-ridden, No.1 ranked Duke team.