The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 4
November 24 – American @ UMBC
The next day after my trip to College park to see Marshall vs Maryland, I made the short trip to see American University vs UMBC. UMBC was coming off a successful trip to the Bahamas, where they went 2-1. They had wins over High Point and Air Force. There loss was against South Dakota. UMBC was 4-2 on the season. American was 2-1 on the season, with wins over George Mason and New Hampshire. Their only loss was to Northwestern.
This game was a back and forth affair. UMBC led most of the way but faltered to execute on defense down the stretch. Sa’eed Nelson, the quick and craft point guard for American consistently shredded the defense. He got to the rim at will and also found his teammates regularly. He found teammate Sam Iorio for the eventual game winning 3, with under 2 seconds left.
Nelson is a problem at the college level. If he can hit the three consistently, he will have a shot in the NBA G-League and for sure a legit chance to be a solid pro overseas. The junior point guard had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Iorio does a little bit of everything for the Eagles. He is the leading rebounder on the team and provides a 3 point threat, as well as playing solid defense. He had 11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Stacy Beckton Jr. had a solid game also. He chipped in 14 points and 4 three-pointers.
For UMBC it was a disappointing finish. They had the game in hand, but let American score 46 points in the second half. Max Curran had a nice game. The slender built junior, had 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and a highlight dunk over Marvin Bragg. Sometimes the skinny tall guys can extend and yam over the broader shoulder fellas.
This dunk is a different one. This is actually the game tying one late in the second half.
Senior Joe Sherburne did his normal thing contributing a steady presence on offense and defense. He could still be more aggressive at times though. He had 11 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. Arkel Lamar also was not as aggressive as he may need to be. Junior point guard K.J. Jackson filled the stat sheet with 6 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists and 6 steals. Problem is he shot only 1-10 from the field. Brandon Horvath the other slender man on the team(see what I did there?), who also yams on people from time to time, had 14 points and 8 rebounds.
Overall the issue was UMBC could not stop the penetration from Nelson. He carved them up and American passed the ball very well in the second half. They could be more of a factor in the Patriot league than people originally thought.
Food for thought – UMBC had breakfast food in the media room. I chose to pass. I ate a muffin and had some water….. Very basic I know…… But I did get carryout Indian food for dinner from Tandoori Kabob in Pasadena. Spicy ginger chicken with garlic naan. Well worth the price.