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Maui Invitational: Day 2 Report

Wed, 11/26/2008 - 3:38am



By Aran Smith

The losers bracket covered the morning session. St Joes made Indiana look extremely young and inexperienced. Not one Hoosier scored in double digits and just one player (Tijan Jobe – 1-1) shot over 50% from the floor. It’s difficult to win when that happens and Indiana lost by 26.

Senario Hillman was the story for Alabama leading them to a 20 point rout of Chaminade. Give the Silverswords credit as they haven’t rolled over once despite their obvious lack of talent to match up with top Div 1 teams.

Hillman had 22 points on 10-14 shooting. If he can develop his passing and point guard skills over the next 3 seasons, he’ll really have something as his athleticism and quickness is at an elite level. He was able to display his phenomenal explosiveness on one open areal assault of the rim.

 
 


Luke Harangody
 

Just as it was anticipated, the Texas-Notre Dame game was the most competitive match up of the day. Notre Dame doesn’t have the talent of Texas, but their cohesiveness and toughness helped them eek out a close win.

While Notre Dame doesn’t have nearly the NBA prospects that the Longhorns do, their overachieving bunch really understands how to play the game and play together as a team. Their three point shooting and efficiency helped to overcome a strong Texas push late to pull out the victory. AJ Abrams half court shot bounced off the front of the rim as time expired in front of an emotionally charged gym.

For Notre Dame, Luke Harangody showed why many consider him a first team all american candidate as he carried the team to victory. His signature play being a 30 foot heave 3 point bank shot with the shot clock winding down off a pass that should have been stolen by Connor Atchley. Harangody just wanted the ball more and this play was indicative of his refusal to let the Irish lose.

While Harangody doesn’t look like much upon first glance, his competitiveness and deceptive athletic ability give him hope for making an NBA team. While he’s 6-7 and lacks great foot speed to defend and play on the perimeter, the fact that he can hit the mid range and even 18-20 foot J with some regularity gives him hope.

The fact that he runs on his toes makes him appear extremely awkward, but there’s no disputing his effectiveness. It’s possible he’s a college star that just has no position to hang his hat on at the next level, but don’t tell him that.

Gody led all scorers with 29 points including 13 boards, and made all the key plays to help his team win. He got Texas bigman Dexter Pittman out of the game quickly as the bigman had 4 fouls in a total of 5 minutes.

Connor Atchley needs to develop a tougher court demeanor. Maybe getting his shorts handed to him by a preseason all American is just what he needs to realize what it takes. Atchley once again deferred to AJ Abrams, Texas 5-11 shooting guard and go to scorer. Abrams lacks any real court vision and point guard skills which will likely keep him from making a team despite his amazing ability to score and create shots for himself.

Damion James was solid but not good enough to carry the Horns to victory with 11 points and 12 boards. He’s still adjusting to a greater leadership and responsibility role, and his confidence should continue to grow as the season progresses.

In the night cap, North Carolina came in as 17 point favorites against Oregon and it took them just 11:20 to build the lead to greater than that amount.

Tar Heel fans were happy to see a certain number 50 warm up and get the start. Tyler Hansbrough finished with a solid 16 points doing most of his damage from the line (12-14).

Danny Green’s outside shooting was particularly impressive as he hit 5-8 from downtown to finish with 21.

With Hansbrough still not at 100% coming off the shin injury, Harangody was the more impressive performer on Tuesday. With the two squaring off on Wednesday, it will be interesting to see who wins the individual battle of All America candidates:

Charlie Weis’ illigitmate child



or Frodo Hansbrough




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Gody led all scorers with 29 points including 13 boards, and made all the key plays to help his team win. He got Texas bigman Dexter Pittman out of the game quickly as the bigman had 4 fouls in a total of 5 minutes. Travesti
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