I just came back from watching our alumni team compete in The Basketball Tournament, and well, we lost 78-62 to a team from Arizona. But it was still really cool to see all those guys out there together. Here are some thoughts, if you didn't get a chance to watch online.
First off, that Arizona team was really, really good. They came out with more energy and played more physically than we did, full stop. Early on, we had 2 guys with an easy rebound in sight, and they both gave up, assuming the other guy was going to get it. Instead, neither did. They did. And that really set the tone for the game. Because they came out playing as they did, they got away with a lot more physical play. The fouls were relatively even, but the fouls they got called for were either intentional or incredibly obvious, while we got called for virtually any contact at all, and in at least one case, no contact at all (Richard Roby poked a ball away from behind and got called for hitting his elbow. He did not. It was pretty funny watching Spencer Dinwiddie explain, in full Mayor mode, that there was no contact). Yes, I am an impartial observer.
Next- boy, we could just not buy a bucket. Roby especially was frustrated and at one point was noticeably shook, when he hesitated on a wide open three and subsequently doinked it off the front of the rim. I think part of that was that he had to sit for quite a while in the first half with a bloody lip and he just couldn't find rhythm. He eventually got it going a little bit, and that was a big reason why we were able to cut the lead from 20 to 10, but we just couldn't get over the hump.
Austin Dufault had an ugly line from the field (3-12, like I said- we couldn't buy a bucket), but he did everything else well, fighting for the ball, diving on the floor, setting screens, et cetera. Although I was at the game, my trusted sources indicate that the announcers did not mention that he is from a small town in North Dakota. Amateurs. Marcus Relphorde was probably the best player on the floor for us. He and Marcus Hall were the only guys who could hit from deep. Side note- it was pretty funny hearing the coaches shout out "MARCUS!" as we had 3 Marcus's on the team.
On that note, Marcus King-Stockton and Julius Ashby combined for 21 minutes. In the second half we basically went to the Warriors playbook in the Finals by playing Dufault at the 5, but we were getting killed on the boards and I wouldn't have minded seeing a double post look with both of those guys on the floor at the same time, at least for a bit.
Sabatino Chen only saw 10 minutes and completely whiffed on his best scoring chance when he had a clear look on the break, but I thought Dwight Thorne II and Jayson Obazuaye looked solid in there limited minutes.
Like I said, it was disappointing, but it was still fantastic to see all of those guys playing together, to see Beau out there looking like a natural coach, along with Carlon Brown (who actually did most of the coaching) and Trent Beckley. The event was put on well, even if it was poorly attended. It was reminiscent of a Buffs home game when I was a student, so I guess that's fitting. CU supporters made up the majority of the crowd, as Richard Roby's family was like half of it (He's from San Bernardino). I would have preferred it if the DJ would've turned the music down during the breaks. I was the only person sitting right behind the bench, like an idiot, and I couldn't hear the huddles.
Special Thanks to Beau Gamble for putting this together and taking a moment to say hello and thanks for the support (like I said- only idiot behind the bench). Thanks to Spencer Dinwiddie, Carlon Brown, Trent Beckley, and all the other fans who came out to support. Hopefully we do it again next year. Until then, I'm supporting the Air Force Bomb Squad (which means they'll probably lose).