Friday, 22 October 2010

St. FX 95, UQAM 72

The X-Men thoroughly outplayed the Citadins from start to finish, building leads as large as 30 in the first half with a swarming, pressure "d" all over the floor that created numerous UQAM turnovers.  The X-Men can go 12 deep with little or no drop in talent, are very experienced, love to run and attack the rim and looked like a Top 3 team tonight. 

Although all twelve players contributed to the win, the key when it mattered again was 5'10" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw, who simply plays at a higher level with his skills and ability to read the floor, either making shots or distributing, serving up numerous creative looks for easy layups.  6'5" Jeremy Dunn has a nice, tight game with solid perimeter skills and the ability to rebound, pass and make 3's.  6'9" Alberto Rodriquez is big, long and much stronger for his fifth and final season and 6'5" Dwayne Johnson could be X's best scorer around the rim and he comes off the bench.  5'9" Will Silver didn't have his best game tonight but did initiate the most exciting play of tonight's game (see below).

The fun really got going in the second half after Silver, during a quarter court set, drove the lane and dropped a slick ally-oop dime on 6'9" Alberto Rodriquez which he hammered home in traffic to the delight of numerous X fans in the crowd in Ottawa.  Later, 6'3" Jordan Clarke slammed home a finish off a baseline drive and flashy 6'5" newcomer Terry Thomas posterized a UQAM defender with a rim-rocking follow.  All in all, X had 6 dunks in the second half.

UQAM had difficulty taking care of the basketball and with their shot selection, many of which were taken quickly and out of the context of the offense which the shark-like X-Men usually turned around into a long defensive rebound and quick transition the other way.  UQAM did make the game a bit closer than it really was with a barrage of late 3's, many of which were taken when coach Steve Konchalski showed for the first time his big lineup including 6'10" freshman Rodrigo Madera and 7'2" Rinny Ngot.  Both were impactful on the defensive end rebounding and blocking/altering shots.  But the real strength of X is their quickness and tenacity defending which sets up their running game - this season's group is the most experienced and talented that Konchalski has had in many years and possibly ever.

X gets the host Gee-Gees, who have spoiled the X-Men's quest for a championship at the past two Jack Donohue tournaments X has participated in.  Game time tomorrow night is 8 PM.  Toronto and UQAM tangle in the 6 PM game.

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