Dignitaries as far as the eye could see tonight. AAU staff from Howard Pulley, MN Magic, MN Select and MN Glory were all in the house. Stillwater coach Dennis Bloom and former Blaine coach Bill McKie in attendance (but no Jerry Kline of CDH which was surprising since CDH goes to MV on Friday). The basketblogger, my Twin Cities Hoops Insider and of course, yours truly made appearances. But none of that matters as Tubby Smith was in the house along with asst Ron Jirsa. I even got to meet Tubby after the game. All we were missing was Michael Much and we could have had the entire thing in pictures for all eternity, shucks.
As to game itself. Cloquet gets the last 4 pts of the 1st half to get within 30-24 at the break. They get as close as 33-28 early in the second half but a 12-5 MV run makes it 45-33 with 12:31 to go and Cloquet never threatens again. Mounds View rolls to a 73-51 win but it wasn't really that bad. Mounds View just has too many weapons and too many athletes. They're the type of team that just picks you apart and before you know it you're down 20.
As to Chad Calcaterra, here's his line for the night.
2 pts on 1-6 FG shooting
2 rebounds (1 Off, 1 Def)
His 1 field goal was a put back off his own miss. You could tell his game was still rusty from the time off.
He played 28 minutes and 50.4 seconds. Not counting the last 1:52 of garbage time after he left the game, Cloquet was a -16 with him on the floor and -1 with him on the bench (5:17.6). In the 1st half, they were -5 with him on the floor (12:42.6) and -1 without him (same 5:17.6).
He played far more minutes than I expected and his stamina didn't appear to be an issue. He shows good mobility and athleticism and a nice outside touch. He played hard and demonstrated a good attitude by not being frustrated by the physical play used against him. He did display good lateral movement on the perimeter when defending the ball.
Areas I feel he can improve on.
Strength, I counted 3 occassions where he had inside rebounding position and was pushed under the basket. Mike Schramm was able to consistently front him and continue to stay in front as Chad didn't have the strength to hold him off, but the effort was there.
Quickness off the floor, I counted 5 instances where athletic MV players got the ball inside and were able to get off the floor and lay the ball in before he could get up to challenge them. Its totally possible that this could be attributed to his timing being off due to the long layoff.
Defense, there were 2 occassions where he backed off his man and didn't communicate or help on the screen his man set allowing the opponent to be wide open off the screen, one of these went for an open top of the key 3. I also felt there were 3 occassions where his help side positioning could have been better which would have allowed him to contest MV players going to the rim for layups. When closing out on the perimeter, on multiple occasions his hands were not active and high. 1 of these instances led to an easy pass to a cutter for a layup.
Setting screens. He tended to get tall and narrow (which everyone teaches so I don't fault him for this, only Park of Cottage Grove teaches this correctly from what I've seen over the years) instead of getting low and wide. Why is this bad? Think of playing tag and using a tree to not get tagged. Would you rather use a big tree or a small tree? Same thing applies here. While he was trying to head-hunt on his screens, he was also moving when he attempted to set many of his screens and he'll learn to hold the screens longer in the future.
The last 2 items are extremely minor and easily correctable with teaching. Overall you can see the talent is there. I had the good fortune of seeing Evan Anderson (top 10 overall 2010, 6'11 from Eau Claire, WI North, currently ranked #2 soph in Wisconsin) also play this year and I feel they're both in the same league as very capable D1 big men. He certainly was more impressive than what I saw out of Patrick O'Bryant of Blaine in one of his final games as a senior. I can definitely see him developing into a very good player who will play high D1. Tonight was an off night for him and he's still getting back into game shape and form. I really look forward to seeing how he performs in next year's TWolves Shootout.
The opinion stated is mine alone and completely unqualified. As stated previously, I was a point guard in my day so my knowledge of big man play is nothing to write home about. Young big guys are also difficult to evaluate as its not all about points. It was said of Anderson that one of his best performances of the year was a 12 pt 7 rb game which alone doesn't sound impressive but enough to make a UW asst happy. Remember, you can't teach size.