The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 12
February 6 – Hartford vs UMBC
This was my first game in a while. I have been watching games on t.v., but just have been super busy. I went to New York for a Third Eye Blind concert, and for my wife’s work event. I also went on a week-long family cruise to the Bahamas. So, I have been all over the place in the last couple of weeks. I returned from the cruise on super bowl Sunday….. That game sucked. Being a Ravens fan, or maybe a football fan in general I am tired of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots. I digress……
After another boring and typical day at work, that consisted of many podcast’s being listened to, I left to pick-up my kids from the in-laws. What podcast’s did I listen to? Thanks for asking. I had many episodes to catch up on since I was gone for a week in the Bahamas. I listened to “The Pat McAfee Show”, “Heartland Radio 2.0” and my personal favorite “Pardon My Take”. Once I got the kids I came home, cleaned up some dog piss and throw-up on the couch; then preceded to eat a quick left over Little Caesar’s pizza for dinner with the kids and wife. I bought seven pizza’s for the super bowl, so I have a weeks worth of left overs. After dinner and watching some of “Kid’s Baking Championship” with the family I put the kids in the van and headed to off to church to drop them off at Awanas. My wife was doing a free financial seminar at the church and needed to get there early, so Mr. Mom in the minivan had to take the little ones before I departed for the game. I arrived at the game around 6:30 with plenty of time to settle in. As you can see I have a very glamorous Dad life.
The last time Hartford and UMBC played Hartford won at home in overtime. I watched some of it on t.v. Hartford has six seniors and all of them contribute. This was a big game for me to watch since my scouting service I provide for professional teams is for collegiate senior prospects. Hartford does not have a ton of depth, but their starting five has plenty of firepower. They are led by Irish big man John Carroll. Carroll struggled on the night. He seemed a bit off. He struggled to get things going and missed several close range shots. He was only 3-12 from the field and finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds. He also had four turnovers and four fouls. Their other big man George Blagojevic from Australia showed some versatility. He has good mobility and a decent handle for his size. This handle caused him to force some dribbles however. He finished with 13 points, six rebounds, two blocks and six turnovers. Jason Dunne the shooting guard displayed exactly what his position should entail, shooting. He made four three-pointers on the night. Several of his misses were forced up towards the end of the shot clock or were just forced in general. He has ideal size to play shooting guard at the next level. He will be able to run off screens and has a very quick release. Dunne also has solid vision and plays good defense. Travis Weatherington plays shooting guard and a little small forward. He is an interesting player. He is built like a fullback. He’s 6’2 215 pounds. Honestly probably closer to 225. His arms are like tree trunks. Weatherington is strictly just a spot up shooter on offense. He plays decent defense and is a solid rebounder as well.
The player that dominated this game was 5’10 point guard J.R. Lynch. Lynch penetrated at will for Hartford. He knew when to play fast or slow the pace. He is going to be a player overlooked for the next level just due to his size and playing at a smaller school. Lynch had 28 points, six rebounds and four assists. He also went 15-16 from the foul line. The fact that he got to the line that many times is super impressive. He drew fouls at will when penetrating the paint, and is an open court threat as well. Lynch played all 40 minutes of the game. The dude doesn’t get tired.
Lynch led the Hawks to a 70-61 win on the road. This was huge for them. It brought them to 12-12 on the year and 5-4 in conference play. UMBC fell to 14-10 overall and 6-3 in conference. This also snapped UMBC’s five game win streak. I understand Hartford lacks in depth, but I still feel that they should have a better record than this. Multiple guys on their team could play at higher levels.
UMBC was led by K.J. Jackson who had 16 points, four rebounds and four turnovers before fouling out. Arkel Lamar also chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds.
SIDE NOTE: UMBC is drawing many more fans than they use to. They have a new arena and they also beat number one seed Virginia in the NCAA tournament last season if you didn’t know…… The thing I was most impressed with was the full-fledged attacking of the refs last night. The verbal abuse from fans was something that never would have happened a few years ago. “Hey ref watch the replay so you can see how much you suck”. There were many more zingers, nothing inappropriate like you may hear at some other colleges. Its amazing how much people care about teams when they start winning isn’t it? By the way the refs were pretty bad too.
Famous Prince Street Pizza in Soho, Manhattan
My son Junior and my daughter Winter on the cruise ship
Bush Crack the Bahamian beer