Since Murray has been out, we have seemed to play better. I don't think this is a knock of Murray, he was playing hurt. But, without him, it is next man up. Monson recruited Tone hunter to back JM up and to prepare to take over next year. His time has arrived sooner than planned. My take is he is going to be another in a long line of all BW PGs Monson has recruited. But, he is still learning. At times, Hunter is out of control, but he is lightning quick, sees the court and passes better than Murray in my opinion. On the other hand, he is not nearly the scorer Murray is yet.
Another really positive development has been Lassina Traore. LT started okay, but in the last couple weeks is becoming all league in his play. LT this year has been the best rebounder since TJ Robinson, and he is beginning to look like a dominant post scorer too.
Another player who I am really enjoying watching develop is AJ George. AJ is so efficient. he doesn't not need to have the rock constantly to make an impact. he is efficient. on the season, AJ is averaging 7.5 points but that is increasing as he gets some more minutes. But, on the efficiency side, he is shooting a team best .589 from the field and has scored 158 points in a total of 109 field goal attempts. I think George is a future all league talent.
For me, Marcus Tsohonis has been a mixed bag. He can be a ball stopper at times. His .274 three point shooting ave. is really poor. But, with Murray out, we need scoring and in SD last week did he ever deliver with a record 46 points. MT is very good in the paint. he has enough size, strength and experience to post up the smaller guards in the BW at will. Additionally, with less depth at the point, MT has experience playing the point in the Pac12, that depth will be critical down the stretch.
Overall, I really like the grit this team has. They have faced some adversity (see last week in SD) and come up strong. I know Cal Poly sucks, and beating them is no huge. But, doing what we have while short handed, and winning anywhere on the road by 18 is still impressive. I don't expect this team to win the regular season. But, I sure would not want to face them in the BW tourney. I think they are capable of beating anyone.
I take no games for granted. We had a huge character, feel good win, and then beat perennial bottom feeder Poly.
We still have same flaws, but to give ourselves a chance, need to end up 6th or better to avoid the first round games plus avoid UCSB until semis at earliest.
We sit alone in 6th place at 5-4, with Foolerton right behind us at 5-5
vs UCDavis 6-3, can tie them for 5th with a win
@ CSUF, a win keeps them behind us
vs UCI and UCSB: win both, we are near the top. Lose both, we are cemented in the middle. Go 1-2, hopeful for a better seed
After those games, an easier one @ Bake, then 3 toughies @ UCR, vs Hawaii, @ UCSB.
End the season with 2 out of 3 easy, one tougher (@ UC Davis)
I see our best record being 12-8. Hoping no worse than 10-10.
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