I watched the streaming TV on SWX, and the cable version was about 20 minutes late. I will try to write this for those who haven’t been able to watch TV broadcasts. Please forgive my militaristic style of going back to bulleted statements, but I try to maximize information and minimize words.
Dickau and Heister opened the telecast and it was really nice to hear them together again.
The first event was a short video, I suppose, put together by former TSSF writer and now Gonzaga Video Coordinator Stephen Carr. Introduced by coach Roger Powell, he started with last year’s loss to Arkansas, followed by notable events from a few era.
Hester and Decaw interview with Drew Tim, Anton Watson and Brian Michaelson in between. The highlight of the interview was Timmy looking forward to playing in Texas, Watson’s value without goals but he wants to score more and Michaelson generally talks about the strength of the team.
Decau points out that this year’s team’s biggest weakness is that Hickman is the only real goalkeeper.
The first basketball event was a skill challenge that featured Salis, Strother, Half and Watson. Watson missed three free throws and two throws, being the only player who did not advance to the second round. Straw ended up winning the event, barely, over Salis. He and a hunter looked very sharp at night.
The second event was a three-point competition. Harris vs. Bolton and then Hickman vs. Smith. The television broadcast did not announce the results and it was difficult to follow, but Bolton and Smith made it to the final. Again, the final was difficult to follow, but what I saw was impressive. Bolton and Smith looked very strong with Bolton winning. I have no idea of the quantity. During the competition, Watson was interviewed and said Dom Harris would be allowed to play on Monday, and sat outside the fray.
There is no immersion contest this year (bummer), so straight into the fray. The Whites’ players were Bolton, Timmy, Smith, Brooks and Greg with Perry and Eagle on the bench. The blue team players were Reed, Salis, Strother, Watson and Hickman with Mitchell and Hof on the bench.
The white team won the 15-minute event 38-36 as Ben Gregg hit the winning basket with the help of Bolton. Salis had a chance to win it for the blue team, but his three at the bell hit the front of the rim.
I don’t have a full square score, so I’ll go each player individually and give a brief description of my impressions:
Drew Tim: He looked really sharp, hit the opener three times and dropped a few nice mid-range shots over Reed. Only played a few minutes.
Julian Strother: Today’s best player; A couple of very nice triples, some aggressive drive-to-edge and a couple of good rebounds.
Rasir Bolton: It looks very sharp and works well with a Smith. Very fast but not in a hurry. Some very good passes and his strokes look great.
Malachi Smith: Everything I expected; Big body, good shooter, smart.
Caden Berry: She looked healthy, bouncy, and aggressive on both ends of the floor. You can tell he hasn’t played in a while and his timing is a little different.
Colby Brooks: Pretty amazing, strong athlete and good builder. He’d be very interested in the transfer gate if he decided to go this route.
Abby Eagle: It wasn’t a lot of minutes, but a nice job moved towards the end of the ruckus.
Ben Gregg: Actively chasing his shot, Hester commented on the bigger body and summer in the weight room. He made three great players and the match winner looked at me as the winner 4The tenth big.
Ifton Reed: Legit 7 feet tall, 240 lbs. He had a nice dunk but didn’t do much else tonight.
Hunter Salles: It’s not temporary at all, it’s nice to get into the hole, great help for Reid. Very impressive.
Kaelen Mitchell: Please someone correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t remember him playing.
Braden Hoff: Bigger than I thought, seemed a bit temporary, doesn’t look as good as Greg or Perry…… yet
Anton Watson: As usual, he did a hat-trick with an offensive rebound and a dip, and he took two more shots. Great D and a great help for Strawther.
Nolan Hickman: Massive offensive, three back and strong drive to the edge. I don’t remember a notable assist and Dekao and Heister felt his distributing ability would increase as the season progressed.
An all-encompassing fun event as usual. Even early on, there were some good scary plays. Smith and Bolton will kill it, Strother adds from behind the arc and I can’t see how anyone could double Tim’s team. Hickman and Salis no longer look like a freshman and will provide quality minutes.