Great to see a great comeback win off of a loss especially on the home front. When I walked into the Verizon Center I started feeling something good could happen today for the Hoyas and Hoyanation and it did. The Hoyas dismantle Xavier 74-52. Before tip-off, Pharrell Williams' song "Happy" was played. I was happy, the fans were happy, as a matter of fact fans were clapping their hands and swayed to the music, The player's rocked to it, and smiled to beat of the music.
From the smiles I saw looseness and lots of energy. Maybe we should play some more early games. Lots of energy is there from a good night's rest ey? The insertion of junior guard Jabril Trawick (13 pts. 4 asts. 3 rebs.) back in the starting lineup was a great move for the Hoyas. Trawick proved to be a big factorafter missing Game One with a broken jaw. The Hoyas’ frontcourt played better than it had in recent games, providing more breathing room for sharpshooters like Starks and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.
“I knew that we needed to get off to a good start, and I knew that with Coach putting me back in the starting lineup, that was the reason why,” said Trawick, who made 5 of 8 shots and added four assists and three rebounds. “We got off to a couple slow starts the last couple of games, so we wanted to come out and be the aggressors and set the tone.”
The defensive intensity was there from beginning to end. The Hoya defense became contagious. “We were out-hustled, out-scrapped, out-played, out-coached, out-everythinged,” coach Chris Mack said. “We were non-competitive from the first minute on. We played unsure. We played with no toughness. We just took it for 40 minutes.”
Decision making became contagious. Smart play was contagious. Only 3 turnovers for the whole game. Amazing! I always said Trawick had a very high basketball IQ coming into college and this still stands today. I would watch him run the point guard position in the Kenner League and he would run the offense just as well as any college point guard I've seen and his strength and aggressiveness is a big plus.
He had very few turnovers playing the point guard position for his team during summer league play. “Ithink we did a very good job of taking care of the basketball today across the board, and I think attention to detail was there today,” Starks said. “We missed that at times throughout the year.”
The Hoyas shot well today, 52.2% from the field 25-48. I like the aggressiveness and decision's to play inside, outside basketball which lead the Hoyas to shoot 73.1%, 19-26 from the free throw line. Also, the Hoyas shot 41.7%, 5-12 in three pointers. Senior point guard Markel Starks (22 pts. 4 asts. 3 rebs.) caught fire early. His play today was stellar. He just let his game come to him. Senior Nate Lubick (9 pts. 7 rebs. 2 blks. 1 ast.) led his team in rebounding. Great communication!
Tough game played by super sophomore D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (9 pts. 4 rebs. 2 asts.). He got to the line 8 times and scored 6 points. As a team the Hoyas had 5 blocks and 5 steals on a great defensive effort. The Hoyas had thirteen bench points, seven of those came from senior Aaron Bowen. Very valuable on both ends of the court. Would love for him to receive the ball in a lower stance and immediately attack and dunk on teams. I believe he can do this a lot more. That's just my thing.