Maverick Maniac's Musings

July 25, 2008

Summer League Playoffs – Round 1

Filed under: College Sports,Creighton Bluejays,Omaha Mavericks — Jon Green @ 5:03 am

A good night for Mavs fans!

The current team played at 5:30 and raced to an early lead over Bellevue.  Bellevue came fighting back and made it close, but couldn’t do enough to catch up.  UNO moves along to play McGinn Law (Bruce Chubick, Scot Abels, Charles Richardson, Joe Webb, Earl Mitchell, Chris Kuhn, Bryce Johnson, Evan Lamprecht) next week at 5:30 at Omaha Central.

Next up was the grads at 7:30.  They were in a tight game when I got there but pulled away to beat Porter Tauke & Ebke (BJ Valentine, Lorenzo Wilson, Brandon McGruder, Nick Krenk, Ben Nelson, Dusty Sitsmann, Ben Thorn, Klaye Rowe) fairly handily.  They move on to play EQ School of Hair ( Cody Levinson, Jason Dourisseau, Brian Conklin, Cavel Witter, Elijah Collins, Andy King, Avery Tyler) EDIT-According to Bluejay Basketball Cavel’s team actually lost..so UNO’s grads will take on Hastings College at 7:30 next week at Omaha Central.  Definitely should be favored to win that game if they show up and play well.

I also watched the 8:30 game between PCS Phosphate ( Chad Cruise, Derek Paben, P’Allen Stinnett, Kenton Walker, Omar Bynum, Stanley Boateng, Hannibal Cofield, Cole Salomon) and Shanks Law Firm (Bion Flint, Rodney Buford, Kenny Lawson, Booker Woodfox, Roman Evans, Josh Jones, Travis Van Ragenmeter, Mike Snyder).  Josh’s team (Shanks) got off to an early lead and held the lead until the 2nd half… but P’Allen led his team back and they ended up coasting to the win.

Thoughts on the games —

UNO’s team tonight was Andrew Bridger, Nate Owen, Grant Nieland, Tyler Albers, Michael Jenkins, Justin Peterson, Dion Curry, Matt Akins and Jeff Martin joined the team for tonight.  Good to see Jeff get to play with the rest of the team.  Andrew Bridger had a sick behind the back (left handed) pass to another Mav cutting in to the lane… probably the sickest play of the night.  He’s also shooting the ball great, a great sign for this year.  One play that sticks in my mind was Tyler Albers penetrating and kicking it out to him… you almost knew it was gonna go in!  Nate Owen continues to bring great pace off the bench.  He reminds me of soccer players who have that blow by speed (Theo Walcott – here), he just can go right at you and get past you if you’re not on top of things.  Grant Nieland was working really hard tonight and knocked several balls away by getting his hands up in the passing lane!  He also took a great charge. Tyler Albers showed a good game tonight shooting the ball and driving, as well as helping move the ball around the key. Michael Jenkins is his usual self.  Very consistent. He’s still shooting the ball like always (had one thought that surprised me he took… and swish) loves to drive, a lot of fun to watch.  Very passionate. Justin Peterson has shown a great 3 point shot this summer.  He has a chance to have a huge year this year I think. His shot is so sweet.  Dion Curry is a physical presence for UNO. He has the ability to shoot the 3, bang inside against much bigger men, drive the ball… very good all around player for UNO.  Showed a lot intensity tonight for UNO. Matt Akins might be the key to the season.  He’s UNO’s best option at Center this year, and thus is going to have to deliver or UNO will look mighty small.  He’s had some good and bad weeks, but looked better this week.  He played hard, had some good defensive plays and a few nice offensive plays down low.  He doesn’t need to be a star, just work hard, run the court, play defense and rebound… and pick up some trash points.  Jeff Martin is a transfer from UNK.  He’s small but tough and fairly big.  Has a nice shot and plays pretty well.

The grads tonight were Calvin Kapels, Jeff Martin, Denny Johnston, Ryan Curtis, Tola Dada, and Grant Nieland… okay two of those 6 haven’t graduated but that’s okay.  It’s a lot of fun watching these guys play.  They all are very good and you can tell they’re very experienced.  Kapels is a very good PG for a team like this and does a good job distrubting the ball.  Denny Johnston is still his solid self, very reliable.  Tola Dada is a fun guy to watch.  Plays hard and has some good offensive moves.  Ryan Curtis is likewise a lot of fun.  He had one real good hustle play tonight.  They can definitely play some ball.

As far as their opposition, BJ Valentine (Eastern Washington) is always an intersting guy to watch.  He likes to do some talking, but can back it up fairly well.  Has a good shot and is an amazing player for his size. Nick Krenk (Nebraska) seems to work hard and is smart out there.  He’s not the most talented, but you can appreciate what he does.  Dusty Sitsmann (Creighton) seems to be a bit of a leader out there.  You can tell he’s the one at the best school.

In the final game the most fun was watching P’Allen take on Josh Jones… P’Allen played a great game distributing the ball alot, hitting some 3’s, throwing down some dunks.  It’s very apparent that he makes his teammates better. A lot of people love him for his dunks, but I love him for his passing.  He had one great one tonight and ran down the court saying… “Great pass” to the fans while pumping his fist… it was pretty funny.  He’s also great with the children taking time to talk to kids who come up to him :). Josh Jones definitely has talent.  He doesn’t have as good of hops as P’Allen but he can still throw down.  He’s also a better shooter.  The thing Josh doesn’t have yet is P’Allen’s ability to pass and make his teammates better.  Early on Josh was scoring a lot and leading his team, but he seemed to disapear some in the second half when his team started to lose the lead.  I think with time to mature and grow in Altman’s system and he will learn to play a better game. He’s definitely got the potential, just needs to make sure he’s not constantly calling for the ball. Booker Woodfox and Kenny Lawson were no shows for this game.

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