Now that I’ve gotten my emotions out of the way, today’s game was a complete joke. Oral Roberts was completely overmatched, and today’s game showed us absolutely nothing about the Panthers, other than that we’re taking this tournament seriously. Great 18-0 run early in the first half, and really just put it in 3rd gear and cruised the last 25 or so minutes. The only concerns were fouls on the big men- DeJuan, Tyrell, and Sam all picked up at least 3 fouls, but I think a lot of that was due to the small statue of the Oral Roberts frontcourt. While they were tall, none of them really had any bulk, so a small shove by anybody in our frontcourt sent them sprawling to the floor. Saturday’s game against MSU, a much more physical team, will be a different story. If they’re going to call those fouls on us, they’re going to certainly call a similar sort (and amount) of fouls on the Spartans, and the game will go much more smoothly.
Great job by the Panthers to not really relax in this game, but it was even greater that we didn’t have to overexert ourselves like another Louisville- even though the starters played a good deal of minutes, they weren’t exhausted by the end, and should be in great shape for Saturday. Game ball today goes to Levance for putting on an offensive show, but I also have to give great props to Gil Brown. It seems like he’s going to be our “x” factor for this tournament- if he plays well, we have a great ceiling. I wish I could have seen more from Brad today, just to get the “First NCAA Game” jitters out of the way, especially up 20 points, but i’m sure Jamie had a reason to not play him. This team is clearly ready to play, and I feel bad for the team that Michigan State has to play on Saturday. This could really be the year. We’re in Panther Country now.