Sunday, December 06, 2009

Weekend Watch

I managed to fit three college games in yesterday, two were recordings of games from earlier this week.

North Carolina @ Michigan State
This game was a nice upset by Michigan State of the #4 ranked team in the nation. North Carolina made it interesting with a big second half comeback, but did not have enough steam left to secure the road win. I was watching this game to observe Michigan State senior center Allyssa DeHaan. I was disappointed at first as she picked up two quick fouls and sat out the entire first half. In the second half she played quite well, displaying some skills at both ends of the floor to go along with her obvious attributes of size (6'9") and length.

Florida State @ Indiana
I had a chance to watch Florida State take out Indiana in the Big 10/ACC Classic. I wanted to catch senior Forward/Center Jacinta Monroe and did get to see quite a bit of her. The Seminoles play her mostly at Power Forward, so I will add her to this week's list at that position as well as at Center. Monroe played very well in this game, scoring, rebounding and blocking shots. Like DeHaan, though, I think she will need a stronger base to play the post in the pros. Her 6'8" height is great, she has nice long arms, and she does seem to have more of a wiry strength than I saw in DeHaan.

Louisiana Tech @ Baylor
Yes, I am watching as much Baylor as I can this year even without a senior prospect on my list. I can't pass up a chance to watch Griner and see how see matures over the next four years. The last high school phenom I watched, Candace Parker, was much more polished when she arrived at Tennessee (of course she redshirted her freshman year). Griner brings a raw quality with her skills and physical abilities that is more exciting. You watch this young woman play and wonder what things will be like next year. In this particular game, Baylor faced almost all man to man coverage in the first half. Louisiana Tech's coach, WNBA great Teresa Weatherspoon refused to use the zone defense until the game was mostly out of reach. Griner and a sharp looking set of players starting and on the bench made them pay. The 10 point final margin is deceptive, as Baylor led by 15-20 points most of the game and only allowed themselves to relax in the final two minutes. Griner ended the game with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks. I really like senior Morghan Medlock, but at 6'1" I don't think her skills will translate to the pros. On Louisiana Tech's side, I am tracking senior Power Forward Shanvia Dowdell. She was last on my PF rankings last week but in my top 40 overall players. She was clearly Tech's best player, and played remarkably well against superior competition, but at 6'2, I don't know that her skills will translate as a pro.

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