Well, the road trip from hell is finally over for Central Connecticut. After losing at North Carolina A&T on Thursday with at least a few players under the weather, including Tyler Kohl who played just two minutes, the Blue Devils were steamrolled by a really good Virginia Tech team by 54 on Saturday night.
I'm not convinced that even the best defense in America would have been able to stop the Hokies on Saturday night. They were 18 of 33 from beyond the arc, with seven (7!) different players making a three-pointer.
On the flip side, they forced a ton of turnovers, which is par for the course for both the Hokies defense and the CCSU offense. 17 turnovers in just 67 possessions...that's what happens when an NEC team goes on the road to take on a Final Four contender.
Tyler Kohl goes MIA, Part 2
The good news: CCSU's star forward was back in action after missing all but two minutes on Thursday night due to an illness.
The Bad news: He played just 11 minutes, and was ejected ~12 minutes into the first half due to committing a Flagrant 2 foul.
I've watched the play a few times, and I dunno man; I've been an avid college hoops fan for about 25 years, and I've seen a lot worse, that's for sure. Yes, he did appear to give the Virginia Tech player a shove as he went up for a layup. And yes, he did undercut the guy. But an ejection?
For what it's worth, this is not a thing with Kohl; he's certainly not a dirty player, and has not had issues with technical fouls, let alone ejections.
What's more; because he's appeared in two consecutive games without scoring, his season average is all the way down to 17.8 ppg when it was 22.9 coming into the trip. Some poorly-researched announcer will say that he's "struggled lately" sometime soon, and we'll all have a good laugh and an eye roll.
Hugley Stays Hot
This roster is full of (seemingly) likable guys, but no one is more fun to root for that Joe Hugley. The dude always seems to have a smile on his face, and boy do I love bigs who can shoot.
After a somewhat slow start to the season - he scored just 11 points total against Georgetown and UMass-Lowell - Hugley has been in double figures in six consecutive games. And during that period, he's shooting 44% from three.
More importantly, perhaps, he's taking care of the ball much better; last season, he averaged 3.5 turnovers per 40 minutes. This season? A much more manageable 2.5. He's also fouling less; 4.7 fouls per 40 (5.9 in his first season).
Having the luxury of bringing a guy like Joe off the bench is huge for Donyell Marshall and this ballclub.
Krishnan Hits a Rut
With Kohl missing the majority of the past two games, the mantle of "high usage scorer" has fallen on Ian Krishnan. And rightfully so, as he's a guy who can knock down jumpers, but also create his own shot off the dribble.
However, after a hot start, Krishnan has struggled shooting the ball; he's shooting just 27% from three over the past five games dating back to the Florida A&M win. In the last two games, he's just 4 of 18.
Am I worried? Nope. On the season he's shooting 37% from three, has a 114.0 O-Rating, and is shooting 82% from the charity stripe. Remember- Krishnan is a freshman. He's still learning at the D1 level, and perhaps isn't ready to be "the guy" offensively.
That'll occur next season, and he'll be ready by then.
It was a tough one for the team's point guards; Batiste had 0 assists and 2 turnovers, while Segwai had 1 assist and 5 turnovers. On the season, Batiste still has an almost 2/1 A/TO ratio, however Segwai now has more turnovers than assists. It's probably been unfair for a guy like Segwai to be thrust into a prominent role as a freshman, but Marshall hasn't had much of a choice. He'll get better.
Jamir Coleman is another guy who has struggled over the past three games; he's 9 for 26 from the field over the span. However, like Krishnan, I don't worry about Coleman. He's the ultimate "little things" guy, and will be a major problem for opponents come conference play.
It's great to see Chris Williams knock down a three-pointer during garbage time, his first of the season. Another guy who is always smiling, I've always kept hoping he'd somehow break into the rotation.
Hopefully the coaching staff burns the tape of this game (and the NCA&T game too!) and pretends like this trip never happened.
The Hokies have now beaten two of the top teams in the NEC (perhaps the best two) by a combined 92 points. I feel badly for VMI and South Carolina State, which are next up on Virginia Tech's schedule.
Don't be shocked to see this team earn a top-4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They are currently #11 in Kenpom, and have a shot to finish in the top 4 in the the ACC.
Chicken Noodle Soup and plenty of rest, hopefully. That and studying for exams.
The Blue Devils return to the court next Saturday, 12/8, to take on Penn St. Wilkes Barre. As with the Pine Manor game, there will be no preview for that one. But be on the lookout for some fun posts over the next couple of weeks, as the break will give us time to go more in depth on some things.