Now that we've gotten a taste for the new look Golden Eagles, what does everyone think? Do they look better than originally thought? Worse? On par? I can't be a good judge in this case because I only caught the 2nd half of the Maryland East Schore game, but here's what I took away from 20 minutes of basketball: Overall, they look a little better than I thought coming into the season. What I was most impressed with was the ball movement. With the lack of go to guys (something that this team isn't used to), the ball seems to move quickly around until a good shot is available......and I didn't seem to witness many unnecessary shots. This I like and is going to be critical considering very few of these guys are capable of creating on their own. Second, I like the increased aggressiveness of Butler, Cubillan, and Acker. Butler was actually taking outside jumpers (3-3 from beyond the arc I believe), Cubillan was pump faking and driving to the basket to either get a layup or kick out (something new to his game), and Acker was creating a bit more and hitting mid-range jumpers off the dribble (something he probably hasn't done since before he transferred). Considering these are the team's upper classmen, this is good to see. We know Butler is solid, and he likely will improve his offensive output this season, but if
Acker and Cubillan can seriously contribute offensively, this team will be exponentially more competitive.
Negatives: Maymon doesn't look ready yet. It appears that he may have benefited largely from his size and athleticism in high school. He seems to do okay from a physical standpoint (rebounding), but offensively he can't do what he could in high school so I think there is going to be quite an adjustment period for him. I hope he has a solid jumper that he can implement. Otule, while improved, still isn't ready to compete at the Big East level. I hope he can continue to improve enough over the next 6 weeks where he can play a solid 15 min/game.
Ultra Negative: Erik Williams! Has only seen 2 minutes of game action in the first 2 games. Considering he was a top 100 prospect coming in.......in spite of the fact that he lost a solid year due to injury.......this is really surprising to me. With all of the new faces on this team, one would think that a player of his caliber would at least see some garbage time against these highly inferior opponents. I'll wait and see what happens in the Grambling game, but if he doesn't get in then, there must be serious issues with his transition to D1 ball. I hate to even think this, but if this continues, might there be a possibility of a transfer? I sincerely hope not! Considering the state of our program, we can't afford to lose another player. That would leave MU with 3 available scholarships going into next season.........and that's with the early signing period come and gone. I guess we will have to wait and see.
PS. Reid, what happened to our pre-season predictions that you were going to handle?