We probably shouldn't take too much out of this one yet. It is December. Thoughts as we broadcast the game:
- AC is clearly suffering right now as the footballers get in basketball shape. Some of these guys clearly were rusty. Advantage Oldham as the Colonels don't have any footballers in their main rotation.
- Christian Gritton of AC looked solid early when the adrenaline was pumping and the game was close. But he noticeably tired as the game went on - either the ankle isn't 100% yet (likely) or the lack of practice due to the injury means his conditioning isn't quite where it needs to be (also likely).
- With Gritton slowed, Oldham County absolutely dominated on the inside at both ends of the floor, and held the Bearcats to just 19 rebounds by our count.
- The matchup of Andre Brewer, Oldham's defensive whiz, and Cobe Penny, Anderson's candidate for 8th player of the year, was pretty good. Give Brewer the "win" in the first half as he held Penny to 1 of 6 shooting and only 5 points. Penny gets the win in the second half as he exploded for 15 second half points and was almost unstoppable on drives to the basket.
- Jackson Gibson of Oldham showed once again why he's a POY candidate. Gibson, who scored 14 in each of his first two games, was the one player Anderson had absolutely no answer for. For four quarters, Jackson scored however he wanted to, including a dramatic three just before the halftime buzzer. He finished with 20 points.
- Zach Larimore of Oldham emerged from his "slump". OK, it was just two games, but it was very unlike Larimore to have just 9 combined points in Oldham's first two games. He was a force last night, scoring 20 points to tie Gibson for Oldham scoring honors.
- Anderson's Dylan Pittman simply doesn't get enough love. This kid was electric in the first period, and helped stake Anderson to a 17-16 first quarter lead. He attacked, he rebounded, he handled the ball well.
- Anderson has to find someone outside the "Big 3" (Pittman, Penny, Gritton) to be a playmaker, particularly at point. Rice and Rutherford were the other starters last night, but both sophomores appeared overwhelmed by the game. That said, it's a long season - and Glen Drury is one of THE BEST and developing players over the course of a long season. Look at how many Anderson teams have very average December records....then wind up going deep in the region. Still, whether it's Rice / Rutherford, or someone else, Glen has to find some answers to supplement the Big 3.
- Oldham County can flat-out shoot. The Colonels hit 55% from the floor, and it really was just about everyone hitting. They are hitting well over 50% through three games from the floor.
- Both teams were dismal at the line, both going exactly 50% at the stripe. Maybe Oldham's players need to spend more time with new assistant coach Sam Gruber, who played at Oldham and hit nearly 90% of his career free throws there.... LOL
- Both coaches are known for their defenses, but honestly, neither is quite where they'd like to be yet. Oldham showed more versatility, though, and Coy Zerhusen's switch to a 2-3 zone in the second quarter was a pivotal move in the game, sparking a 20-10 Oldham run in the second that put Anderson in a 9 point hole at the half.
- Penny was an absolute beast in the third quarter, putting the Bearcats on his shoulders and practically trying to will them back into the game. But without scoring support from others, it led to a quarter dominated by the Colonels, as they outscored Anderson, 23-11 in the period to put the game away.
- Oldham has been getting good scoring from its bench, but the starters carried the load last night, with four (Gibson, Larimore, Henderson, and Brewer) hitting for double figures and Dewitt scoring 8.
- Despite fast pace, Oldham had a very manageable 10 turnovers. For an early season game against a formidable opponent in a fast-paced affair, I was relatively impressed. They had just two turnovers in the first half; most came after the game was settled and the subs were in.
Conclusion: Both of these teams will get a lot better, but Oldham is clearly the better of the two teams NOW.
Big matchup for Oldham next week versus Walton-Verona. Anderson has W-V this week.