Thursday, December 23, 2010

Saint Louis vs. Southern Miss

Saint Louis

Mike McCall- This freshman has really stepped up in the absence of Mitchell, and is running his squad as the lead guard. McCall is a solid ball handler who is able to penetrate and dish to his teammates. He is fairly quick, but he must learn to implement more stop and go moves in order to blow by defenders. In this contest, McCall really hit from the perimeter, evincing a pretty stroke beyond the three point arc. He has a nice lift on his shot and shoots in a consistent manner. On the defensive end, he must do a better job staying in front of his man. He possesses the lateral quickness necessary to defend the point guard position.

Brian Conklin- Conklin is a solid collegiate forward who was able to outplay Flowers in this contest. He limited the Southern Miss standout to 10 points and was able to exploit his defense in the post. Conklin is a strong player who relies on his girth to really muscle defenders inside. Standing at 6'6, Conklin does not have much long-run potential as a professional basketball player, but he is a solid role player for his Saint Louis squad.

Cody Ellis- At 6'8, Ellis is a decent spot up shooter who had a breakout game in this one. While his decision making and shooting percentages have declined this year, Ellis will look to take on a bigger role in the Saint Louis offense.

Southern Miss

Angelo Johnson- Johnson was the sparkplug that really willed his team to victory. Not only was this point guard able to distribute the ball on occasion, but he took on an increased role scoring the ball. Specifically, Johnson was able to attack his defender and draw body contact. He finished strong around the rim and made some difficult shots, absorbing body contact in the process. Johnson is a solid slasher who utilizes the pick and role offense to create for himself and teammates. While he does have a nice stroke at the free throw line, Johnson has been hesitant to really demonstrate much perimeter shooting. While he is shooting 41% from beyond the three point arc, he rarely takes more than three attempts per game. On the defensive end, Johnson is quick enough to stay in front of his man and is able to collect steals. Angelo switched off along the perimeter and was able to defend multiple positions effectively. After watching this contest, it becomes clear that Johnson provides excellent intangibles on both ends. He is an excellent decision maker and has the best assist to turnover ratio in Conference USA. All in all, look for Johnson to be a key contributor for Southern Miss if they are to contend for an NCAA tournament bid.

Sai'Quon Stone- This underrated senior has received limited playing time throughout this season. However, Coach Eustachy decided to give Stone extended minutes in this contest, and he produced. Stone's game begins and ends with his play on the defensive end. He is arguably the best on-ball defender in Conference USA, and- standing at a strong 6'6- he is able to defend four positions on the floor. In this contest, Stone was aggressive with his hands and was able to deflect multiple passes and get out in transition. He tallied three steals and was able to play excellent team defense, rotating properly and generally wreaking havoc on whomever he was guarding. Because of his excellent play on this end, Stone was able to attack the basket and draw fouls. His handle needs to improve if he hopes to play at some professional level. Also, he must extend his range and work on developing consistency on his jumpers. Overall, Stone is one of the best role players that Southern Miss has, and he was critical in securing a victory in this game.

RL Horton- Horton did not display much in this contest aside from an extra gear, which he employs when attacking the basket. Horton was not particularly aggressive, and really let the game come to him. He was quick to the ball, and fairly effective shooting from the perimeter. Overall, Horton must improve upon his finishing ability when going to the glass and put on more weight so that he can better absorb contact.

Gary Flowers- Flowers was a huge disappointment in this contest, as he looked sluggish on both ends of the floor. Not only did he allow Conklin to receive deep post position, but he also was slow hedging to perimeter shooters. Mentally, his game just was not there. In certain instances, he seemed more concerned about the player rolling to the basket, despite the fact that the said player had not scored yet. Therein, he allowed several players to receive wide open perimeter shots and was sent to the bench for long stretches in the second half. Standing at 6'8, Flowers is a skilled power forward who can shoot the ball from beyond the three point line. While he was not effective at hitting outside jumpers in this one, Flowers has shot an impressive 50% from beyond the three point arc. Flowers is also an excellent face up player who is able to contort his body and finish past slower big men. His handle is also solid when attacking the basket. Despite these strengths, Flowers must improve upon his low post game- he was unable to really establish low block position against Saint Louis. Further, he does need to improve upon his current set of back-to-the-basket moves in order to really impress scouts and land a potential contract down the road.

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