Archive | December, 2011

Nebraska Omaha at Seattle – 91-72 WIN, San Jose State at Seattle – 84-74 LOSS

31 Dec

The Elgin Baylor Classic taught us two things that we might have already known about the Redhawks, as they split the two games taking place Thursday and Friday before New Year’s Eve.

The blowout win over Nebraska-Omaha showed us that Seattle U can easily beat teams that it has significantly more talent than. UNO is also transitioning up to Division I, and it showed. They were significantly out-rebounded, out-scored, and out-everything-elsed by Seattle in a blowout that saw some huge numbers. Aaron Broussard tossed in 31 points. The Redhawks grabbed 49 rebounds, 20 of them on the offensive glass.

Friday’s loss reminded us of another, more painful fact. This year, Seattle has been completely unable to beat teams in close games. In games decided by 10 points or less, Seattle U is 0-5. On Friday they were tied with SJSU at 50 near crunch time in the second half, and promptly gave up a 10-0 run to let the game get out of reach. Whether that’s due to bad discipline, bad leadership or bad coaching, that’s not a good trend.

Hero: Aaron Broussard. He’s been the man for the Redhawks all season, and the Elgin Baylor Classic served somewhat as his coming-out party. The senior tossed in a combined 50 points in the two games and collected a combined 19 rebounds, as well as providing solid defense. It’s a shame he won’t be around for at least 1 year in the WAC, because after what he has given to this team, he deserves it.

Goat: Sterling Carter. It’s great that he isn’t afraid to put up shots, but… there’s a certain point when your shot isn’t on that you should think about becoming more of a distributor. Sterling hasn’t found that point. In the two games he shot 4-20 and had just 1 assist in each game. All 13 shots he took against San Jose State were 3’s. He’s not an asset to the team if his play remains that one-dimensional.

Key stat: 5. Of the teams Seattle U has beaten this year, those teams have a combined 5 wins against other Division-I teams this season. (And one of those 5 teams was Utah, who barely count as D-I this season, anyways. Zing!)

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Better know a Redhawk: Eric Wallace

30 Dec

As a new Redhawk this year, and one without any Seattle ties, it would not be surprising if Eric Wallace was off the radar of most Seattle U fans. Or any basketball fans, really. Eric Wallace is even off the radar of Google. The first two results on Google for Eric Wallace are those of a writer for the TV series Eureka and of a Maine saltwater fisherman. Neither of those are the Eric Wallace Redhawks fans are interested in, unless they really like weird sci-fi TV shows.

Anyways. Our Eric Wallace is a big post player, a starter, and a guy who has been an important player at times for the Redhawks.

Vitals: Senior center, 6’7″, 233 pounds.

Where he’s from: Wallace is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He originally signed with Ohio State out of high school, and played limited minutes with the Buckeyes before transferring to DePaul. He was there for three years (missing one season entirely due to injury) before transferring to Seattle for his last eligible season.

What he’ll bring: Toughness. Wallace is a battler inside. He fights for rebounds and has the athleticism to get in position for many of them. Wallace is far and away the team’s rebounding leader. And he’s experienced, having played in the extremely tough Big East for two years.

How he’s doing: Very well on the boards, collecting 8.1 per game, and solid on defense. And he’s third on the team in points per game as well. What he hasn’t been doing is scoring efficiently. His shooting percentage is just 38%, and you’d like to see a lot better than that out of your main big man. An ugly 52% from the free-throw line hasn’t helped, either.

Below is a highlight of Wallace posterizing some poor defender as a DePaul player.

Virginia at Seattle – 83-77 LOSS

23 Dec

It almost doesn’t seem fair to put this ‘loss’ in capital letters, because in many ways it felt more like a win.

Certainly, the Redhawks turned in their best effort of the season against Virginia, although they came up a basket or two short at the end. Whether it was the ranked opponent, the several hundred orange-clad enemy fans in attendance or just a particularly good pregame speech, Seattle came out playing with intensity and passion. Players were diving all over the floor for loose balls, battling for every rebound, hustling and scrapping on defense. It was a refreshing sight to see. If Seattle plays with that level of caring every game, they’ll be at least a .500 team.

Some of the same problems that have shown up all season plagued the Redhawks. Dramatically out-fouling the other team, for one, and giving up a huge edge at the free-throw line. But it was almost enough to win, anyways.

The Redhawks led by 2 at halftime before Virginia rallied, stomping back to a 14 point lead. Cameron Dollar got a T for shouting at the officials, and that woke up the Redhawks, who stomped right back themselves. Aaron Broussard hit a tough shot to give them the lead with under 4 minutes left. But Virginia called timeout, immediately hit a 3 to regain the lead, and wouldn’t trail again.

The experience was fantastic, though. Anyone who was in the building – like me – is going to want to return to the Key to see more of that Seattle team this season.

Hero – everyone. But Dollar and Broussard should be singled out. Broussard had on his man pants, scoring 29 points and snaring 8 boards. And Dollar FINALLY changed his starting lineup, substituting in Sterling Carter for Allen Tate. Plus he gave Cervante Burrell major minutes off the bench. Any coincidence this led to the best offensive effort for the Redhawks all year?

Goat – fans. Less than 4,000 were in the building to watch Seattle fight a ranked team during a holiday week. Maybe 500 of them were Virginia fans, and they out-cheered the Redhawk fans with regularity. Not entirely unexpected, but still disappointing.

Key stat – 58. That’s the most points Virginia had previously given up this season, and that was to 15th-ranked Michigan. The Redhawks topped that by 19.

Seattle at Arkansas State – 87-74 LOSS

15 Dec

The losses to mediocre teams keep piling up for the Redhawks. The latest came Wednesday night, after a brutal travel schedule involving flying into Memphis and driving for at least 2 hours to get to the middle of nowhere in Arkansas. After all that, Seattle U came out fairly strong, hanging with their opponents in the first half, before gradually succumbing to their sixth defeat.

Curiously, last year’s starting point guard (and a player who this blog thinks should be THIS year’s starting point guard) Cervante Burrell didn’t play. At all. We’ll see if he was nursing an injury or something. If not, this was a very curious coaching decision. Either way, it opened the door to Sterling Carter, who got starter’s minutes for the first time this year and responded by tossing in 4 3-pointers. Three other players scored in double-digits for Seattle, but it wasn’t enough, as Arkansas State rode a huge advantage at the foul line to victory.

Hero – Aaron Broussard. The forward put the team on his back in the first half, and finished with 25 points and 6 rebounds.

Goat – Chad Rasmussen. Maybe a bit harsh to call him the ‘goat’, but Rasmussen didn’t do much. In his 19 minutes, his only stats were one missed shot, one turnover and two fouls.

Key stat – Free-throw shooting. Again. Arkansas State went to the free-throw line TWENTY SEVEN more times than Seattle U did. The Redhawks out-fouled their opponents 29 to 14. That’s a sign that your team might not be very disciplined.

Idaho at Seattle – 73-62 LOSS

13 Dec

With all due respect to the Vandals, good college basketball teams don’t lose to the University of Idaho at home by double-digits.

Better know a Redhawk – Chad Rasmussen

8 Dec

The Euro-style big man is the second Redhawk to be featured in our ongoing series of mini-profiles.

Vitals: Junior forward, 6’7”, 200 pounds.

Where he’s from: University Place, Washington. Rasmussen graduated from Curtis High School in Tacoma and was twice named to the all-SPSL team. He also played for a season for Tacoma Community College.

What he’ll bring: A 3-point shot that’s hard to guard. Rasmussen can elevate and shoot from over shorter players from beyond the arc. It’s an accurate shot, too – he shot more than 40% from 3-point land in high school, and lit up Cal State Bakersfield for 24 points last year by shooting 8 of 10 from downtown.

How he’s doing: Not doing a whole lot with the minutes he’s been given so far. Rasmussen is averaging 4 points and 1 rebound per game, playing an average of 18 minutes. Doesn’t seem like he’s seeing a lot of the ball when he’s on the court.

Below is some (admittedly choppy) footage of Rasmussen with Curtis High School.

Seattle at Harvard – 80-70 LOSS

5 Dec

For the Redhawks, falling to 2-4 to start the season is frustrating, but taking this game by itself, there’s no shame in losing by 10 points to a very good Harvard team on the road. If the free-throw disparity wasn’t quite so much in Harvard’s favor, Seattle has a chance of making this a game. Instead the Ivy League school improved to a perfect 8-0 mark on the season, setting up a huge game against UConn on Thursday. (Seattle’s next game is against a slightly less prominent opponent in Idaho.)

It wasn’t really the shooting that did Seattle U in this time, for a change. They outshot Harvard from the field, connecting on more than half of their shots. But they were somewhat outrebounded (33-23) and badly outscored from the foul line. Harvard made 20 more free throws than the Redhawks did. Hard to win when the opponent is getting that many freebies, even on a night when you play well.

Hero – Aaron Broussard. Mr. Do-It-All filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, 4 steals, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, all with just 2 turnovers while playing a team-high 31 minutes. Nobody else played more than 26, largely because of foul trouble. Speaking of which…

Goat(s) – Eric Wallace, Clarence Trent and Allen Tate. Each of them fouled out while playing less than 22 minutes.

Key stat – Free-throw shooting, obviously. Seattle was 9-18 from the stripe and Harvard was 29-36. Leaving aside the huge disparity in attempts, shooting 50% from the line isn’t good enough.

Stanford at Seattle – 72-49 LOSS

3 Dec

It didn’t start out looking so bad for the Redhawks. Prince Obasi (as if he was inspired by our post about him yesterday!) was getting in the paint and scoring, Seattle was defending and hitting the boards with aggression, and the home team jumped out to an early lead. An upset was beginning to look possible.

Of course, that was the first 3 minutes of the game. The next 37 were a little more ugly.

Stanford began draining long-range shots nearly at will, Seattle couldn’t even get shots off on many of their possessions, and the Cardinal ran away with a 23 point win. To give credit to the Redhawks, they fought back in the second half, playing their Pac-12 opponents dead even. To take credit away from the Redhawks, they scored just 17 points in the first half and shot a horrendous 32% from the floor in the game. They were well and truly outmatched in this one, but they put up a decent fight.

Hero – Cervante Burrell. After the Redhawks had recorded exactly zero assists in the first half, Burrell got a bit more playing time in the second half, and dished out 4 in 12 minutes without any turnovers. The offense flows more smoothly with him at the helm.

Goat – Clarence Trent. After some promising games to begin the season, the UW transfer was anonymous in this one. 3 points on 1-8 shooting, 4 rebounds and 5 turnovers.

Key stat – Three-point shooting. Stanford shot 8 of 17 from beyond the arc. Seattle was a paltry 4 of 21.

Better know a Redhawk: Prince Obasi

1 Dec

As the season goes on, we’re going to do some mini-profiles on some of the Redhawks. Here is the first, featuring one of the new players on the team this year – Prince Obasi.

Vitals: Junior guard, 6’2”, 205 pounds.

Where he’s from: Reseda, California. Transferred to Seattle U this year from Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, California.

What he’ll bring: Championship experience. Obasi played for Howard College in Big Springs, Texas for his freshman year, on a team that went 33-2 and won the NJCAA national title. Obasi played in 29 games for Howard, mostly as a reserve.

How he’s doing: The junior is solid on the defensive end. He’s not always in control on offense – in four games for the Redhawks this year, Obasi is averaging 2.8 assists per game and 2.8 turnovers per game. He has played as a starter thus far, but the Redhawks are deep with guards, and if he wants to keep his starting position all year, he needs to take better care of the basketball. Shooting better would be nice, too. Obasi is 3-18 on field goals this year.

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