I go to VCU and regularly go to the basketball games, I thought I would write something about the game especially since there has been a lot of hype about Larry Sanders yet not getting a lot of spotlight on national TV. This game from the start was dominated by VCU, the whole team was shooting 3's and Willie Warren was flustered throughout the whole game. During warm-ups it looked like OKU was going to stomp on us, their team was so much bigger, more athletic, and was dunking during pre-game warm-ups with so much emphasis that it was even making the VCU crowd fill up with ooo’s and ahhh’s
Willie Warren: I was high on Willie Warren before this game and I thought he was going to torch our smaller and less-athletic guards. He was flustered the whole game, at one point he went to the bench and slammed one of the chairs. He seemed very confident in the start of the game, yet when things weren't going his way he was forcing his shot and his drive. He turned the ball over too many times trying to drive through defenders, and his shot was just off missing many open 3pointers. All I saw him make was one layup that was from a broken play, another layup from a turnover, and fade away jump shot that some how bounced in. His play-making ability was nowhere to be found while playing some PG, didn't show much effort to set up his teammates. He seemed banged up in the game, falling to the floor and not getting up for a good period of time, I'm not sure if this was out of frustration, or if he was really hurt or if he was acting. He got frustrated very easily and was clearly trying to force his way back into the game.
Tommy Mason Griffin: was probably the most efficient player on this team, because of his ability to run the team and at the same time know when to score kept this game somewhat entertaining in the second half. He sees like a very good floor general, with basketball IQ beyond his age. I don’t believe this guy is a freshman. He really seems to know when to push the ball and when to slow it down. He had some forced passes but he never really lost his cool, and seemed very under control throughout the game. His range on his shot seems suspect, missing a number of open shots. His height is probably going to hurt his NBA draft stock; also his length doesn’t seem to be that great either. He's listed at 5'11, but im pretty sure he's shorter that that he didn’t look much taller than our VCU PG and he’s like 5'7, 5'8. This guy sure is athletic though he was throwing down some nasty dunks during warm-ups.
Tiny Gallon: During pre-game warm-ups I thought this guy was going to tear Larry apart. He definitely looks like he lost weight from his 296. He is extremely quick and athletic for his size, he gets up there. He was throwing down some very nasty dunks in warm-ups. Also his dribbling seems very solid for his size and has nice array of moves away from the basket. His form on the shot seems pretty solid too hitting many 20 fters and 15 ftrs in the pregame. Pregame and the actual game were a completely different story. He seems like a big huge baby, crying all day getting frustrated at his own teammates, not making an effort on running back on defense. Frustrating to watch such a talent letting his own ego take the better of him. Larry did have a hard time to grab rebounds around his wide body. Also Tiny had an emphatic block that went into the stands. Most of points came from trash points at the end of the game, when the game was already over. When he wasn't fed the ball in the post he yelled at teammates, he cried to refs all game long, was almost always the last person down to play defense, let Larry get a multiple number of alley-oops behind him. He got lost on defense far too many times, and Larry Sanders dominated him. I think Capel took him out multiple numbers of times because of Tiny's lack of effort and negative attitude he was bringing to the court. I believe tiny gallon can be a star on this team and a lotto pick if he wants to put in the effort and puts his ego aside.
Tony Crocker: His shot is a beauty and seemed like the leader of the team. Other than his shot nothing really stood out too much about him. Had some nice hustle points, clearly a player who wants to win.
Larry Sanders: Larry and VCU as a team was struggling before this game was struggling losing to Western Michigan and looking very sloppy against an easy win. Larry over the past two games looked very average, and was not really living to the hype that carried over the summer, but this game was another story. Larry was the face of the defense; OKU clearly was intimidated by his length and did not try to test him too many times. He rejected Willie Warren emphatically one time when he did try to drive on him. Larry got too many ticky-tack fouls and his playing time was all over the place. Also he struggled to grab a lot of rebounds cause of Tiny's wide body. Even though Tiny and the other big man Wright were clearly a lot thicker/bigger than Larry he did not back down, and showed a lot of effort to fight for positioning. Larry was playing very unselfishly and trusting his team, throwing the extra passes for the easy baskets. A lot of hype goes into his defense, but his offense has come into its own this year. He was making the OKU big men go in circles, with his quickness and length. His midrange shot is very underrated, when spaced out too much he is not afraid to take the shot and make it. His range even extends out to 3pt range...he made a 3 in the game and missed another when the big men were giving him space. The other 3 he missed was on point too. His form on his shot seems pretty solid and has a nice array of moves around the basket. He was torching the oKU big men with his turn around shots and hook shots. He was also very evasive in rolling to the basket for a multiple number of alley-oops. Larry looks way too skinny, and I honestly, don't think he can add a whole a lot more to his frame. His body kind of reminds me an Anthony Randolph long and skinny. Larry seems pretty strong for his weight though, seems wiry strong, but he definitely needs to gain more weight, he literally is a tooth-pick. I've watched Larry over the last 3 years and he's grown a lot, don't forget he only started basketball in his Junior year of High School and has a lot of growth still left.
I hope VCU doesn't get too heady from this game and forget about Nevada, The next home vrs Nevada should be really interesting to watch.