Just to preface this, I am still 'expecting' a win. No matter how many times you tell yourself the RedHawks are a good team, if you are Kansas you expect to beat Miami, either one, on the basketball court. Especially the one from Oxford, Ohio. Where did Miami come from? Don't ask me. This isn't a preview of the school, this is a preview of the basketball team.
And boy, do they have one. They are led by two brothers, the Pollitz brothers, Eric and Tim. Tim is the 6'6" power forward, the leader of the team, and the best overall player on the RedHawks. He looks overweight, he looks undersized vertically and he moves like a tree. And while you sit there, wondering how the hell he actually plays on a D-1 team, he puts up 20 on you. And 10 boards. And 5 assists. Actually, that isn't true. He only averages 17.7, 7.1 and 4.2. In any case, we need to keep track of him at all times. I don't trust Darrell Arthur on him, put Darnell Jackson and don't look back. When DJack hits the bench, put Sasha Kaun on him. No Aldrich, no DA. He would school them both, no matter the pools and pools of physical attributes. The one problem point for Pollitz is the turnovers, he turns the ball over more than 3 times a game. Expect our guards to help out on him, slapping at the ball in an attempt to steal it. That will be the easiest way to stop him on offense.
Their top scorer, and best shooter, is #24 Michael Bramos. He is shooting 42% from beyond the arc, and is tall enough to shoot over every guard not named Brandon Rush. Therefore, I almost guarantee that he will be the one with the Bramos-assignment. Rodrick Stewart will come on and take over. Rush is a vastly underrated defender, I bet he does a good job on Bramos.
The rest of the team is mostly role players, each with their own specialty. Kenny Hayes, #3, is a really good defender and a decent distributor. Their biggest guy on the team, #2 Tyler Dierkers, is only 6'8" and not a big factor on offense. At all. Less than 5 points a game, 5 boards a game, 4.6 assists a pop. He is decent, sure, but shouldn't be able to handle the tremendous athletic ability on our frontcourt. It should be a good test for the underachieving DA, matched-up against two overmatched and undersized defenders. Of course, both of these guys shut down Taj Gibson at the game I saw, who is also immensely talented.
I actually think that Pollitz explodes, knocking down a couple of 3's and schooling DA the couple times they are matched up. I bet Bramos is relatively quiet, but makes just enough 3s to keep the defense tighter on him than anyone else. I'll say that baby Pollitz, Eric the 6'6" 3-point shooting junior guard, explodes as well, keeping them in the game until the end. They have the lead at halftime, 28-25, but we go on one of our patented little runs halfway through the second half and charge ahead, never to give it up.
We win 62 to 57, with missed free throws at the end allowing them to draw closer than wanted.
I am telling you, don't be surprised one bit if we play a tight ball game or even if we are losing at halftime. The RedHawks are really good, really, and this is a kind of trap game of sorts. 3 days before Christmas, a couple of days after a tough road game down in Atlanta. Christmas break. Noon start. We start out slow, they are winning at halftime, but we come back and win. Sherron Collins explodes. Big time. They don't have anyone who can handle him in any fashion. They will do a really good job against our 3-point shooting game, not that it is that good to begin with, but won't be able to handle the still far-from-perfect shimmy-shammy of Sherron Collins.