This was also the most complete game the team has played this year- after surviving OSU’s 7-for-11 start to the game, the Panthers pulled out to an impressive 18-point halftime advantage, and again weathered a revived Cowboy defensive effort to start the second half to again pull out to a double-digit advantage and put the game away with about five minutes remaining.
The biggest delight today was watching the play of DeJuan Blair- for a team that was supposed to become a fastbreak, jump-shooting team, it’s been incredible to see how Blair has kept the ability to get the ball into the post alive, while still allowing the team to be incredibly athletic and be able to move the ball in transition. It will only be a matter of time before he is recognized on the national level, but putting up a monster game (20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 2 steals) on ESPN will certainly help. His inside presence will certainly be a huge factor against the Duke Blue Devils in our next (and most important game so far) matchup, this upcoming Thursday night.
I know it’s not basketball related, but it was great again to see the Zoo give a warm welcome to top football prospect Shayne Hale, and after he donned a Zoo shirt near the end of the first half, it seems like he will follow his cousin (and fellow football star) Cameron Saddler to being a Panther in the fall. Wannstedt is certainly a great recruiter, but it can’t hurt to have a section like the Zoo chanting your name and holding up signs throughout the game.