Wayzata vs Armstrong, what we learned

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  It may be a holiday week, but thanks to technology I still took the day to review last night's Armstrong at Wayzata game.  Wayzata coming in ranked #5 in the AAAA poll.   No Isaiah Chatman in the middle for Armstrong, he was in street clothes.

  • The blowout score 83-65 is a little deceptive.  While Armstrong did get down 15 in the 1st half, they did cut it all the way down to 5 with 12 minutes left.  It was only a 9 point game with 5 minutes left.  Then a couple of defensive breakdowns to leave shooters for open 3s and it gets out of hand in a hurry.
  • Both teams will play a ton of guys.  That means a minimum of 10 both ways.  That depth not only does the obvious to keep the starters fresh, but it also provides a ton of options to mix and match based on who they're playing.  Wayzata gets a chance to show that on Saturday with how they choose to play Carter Brooks and Nate Reuvers.
  • Armstrong definitely has 2 guys who can provide the bulk of the offense in Jubie Alade and Race Thompson (37 combined).  As a 3rd guy, Simon McManus had 8 off the bench in the first half.  Nobody else besides the big 2 had more than 1 field goal in the 2nd half though.  14 total field goals for Thompson/Alade, 9 for the rest of the roster.
  • Speaking of Race Thompson, he continues to impress.  He did what you expect inside and added a couple of threes to boot.  Not to mention, a nifty push of the ball in transition, behind the back dribble and finish.  I worry about the rest of roster being too reliant on him though when they have other guys who are also able to step up.
  • Wayzata didn't shoot it well in the first half but hit 6 of their 9 3s in the 2nd half.  There is no team in the state more dangerous from 3. 
  • For Wayzata's offense, I really like what they do with a post player as a foul line screener.  They'll start 2 guard with it, 1st guard passes and cuts, 2nd guard Hawk cuts off the high post.  Post pops and they can get into offense from there.
  • For Armstrong's offense, they're now using the Blur screen idea on passes to the wing.   Will be interesting to watch that as the season progresses.  
  • Great Wayzata balance and unselfishness on offense.  4 starters in double figures with 10, 12.13 and 14 points.  Plus Ryan Lindberg leading the way with 15 off the bench.
  • MN-Moorhead commit Johnny Beeninga quiet in the 2nd half, but his attacking was very productive in the first half.  Showed he could hit the pull up off of that too.  That's a shot that in the modern lexicon can be highly criticized (based on points per shot data and shooting percentages).  However, if teams need to stick with shooters, that's a going to be an available quality shot that a point guard needs to hit.
  • Armstrong will learn a lot from this first game.  Sloppy play early got them behind 26-11.  Then down the stretch, leave Lindberg on a kick out for a 3, miss a dunk and give up a 3 point play, then leave Sowada for 3.  Game goes from down 9 to 17 in about a minute and any chance is lost.  Lesson there is that the little details add up quickly against high quality competition.
  • Armstrong did try some 1-2-2 3/4 court pressure and run and jump.  That did show some success.  If you can really get after it on the defensive side, you might be able to force some mistakes from Wayzata.

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