Great start to a new era in Warrior Basketball! Here is an awesome breakdown of the game from BBfanfrom71:
We were superior physically to Montana State – not that they didn’t have 2 or 3 players that were every bit as good as our best – but their lack of experienced depth eventually killed them. Our offense is really simple, so everyone can play it. That enables us to play a lot of people, as we did tonight, and eventually wear down a visiting team that isn’t good enough physically to make us struggle and force us to keep our best players in the game in order to keep pace.
Once Hiram Thompson put the team on his back and carried us to working 8-10 point margin in the second half (with an able assist from Bo Barnes), it was all over. Montana State’s “players” just did not have enough in the tank to continue shooting 3s and to stop our offense. That’s the way it should always be. When other teams play here, we should wear them out and take charge in the second half.
The danger is that when we meet a team that is superior to us physically (Florida State, BYU), we are going to have to keep our best players in the game, and most likely, we will be the ones wearing down. You saw a little of that tonight. In the first half, when Hiram got tired, Montana State’s players were still fresh enough to bother Bobby Miles and keep him from running the offense successfully. Hiram had to come back in to rally the team, and for a little while I thought we might see a reprise of many games last year, where opponents literally wore Hiram out and left us rudderless and foundering.
I think we will see the same thing tomorrow against Fullerton and Monday/Tuesday against Central Michigan. Fullerton is decently athletic, but they are awfully small and therefore limited in what can they can do offensively and defensively. Central Michigan has one fairly tall (6’9″), decently athletic big man and a couple of decent 6’4-6’6 guys, but I don’t think they are even as athletic as Fullerton. So both of these teams may give UH some trouble early, and no doubt both of them will go after Hiram Thompson early and try to wear him out. But neither Fullerton nor Central Michigan is physically good enough to sustain pressure defensively or offensively for 2 halves. So barring something unfortunate (like and injury to Hiram, Joston Thomas or Bill Amis), I see similar double digit wins against both of these teams.
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