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Thoughts on Tech-Lake Superior State

February 13, 2012 - Michael Bleach
All Winter Carnivaled out, here are some thoughts on the men’s 84-72 win over Lake Superior State and the women’s 237-12 victory* Saturday.

* Or at least what the women’s game felt like.

Today’s version comes caffeine-free.

1. I can confidently report — after clicking through a tedium of box scores that made my eyes blur — that junior forward Ali Haidar accomplished a feat Saturday he had not managed since playing Grand Valley State in 2010, a span of 40 games.

No, it wasn’t scoring over 30. He last did that against Saginaw Valley just one month ago and against Northern Michigan early in December.

It was something much more impressive than dropping a bucketload of points.

He didn’t have a single turnover.

As someone who averages 2.9 turnovers per game and routinely kicks-out one Nolan-Ryan-High-Fastball that launches over Alex Culy’s head every contest, this is no mean feat. Haidar has only been playing organized basketball since he was 16-years-old and it shows up most in his passing from the post.

It’s not that he isn’t willing to pass. It is just he doesn’t have strong timing or a good feel for when to kick the ball out. And when he does, his passes simply are not very accurate most of the time.

Anyways, all of this leads to this exchange during post-game interviews with Haidar and coach Kevin Luke.

Luke: “And the best part about today? No turnovers. We should frame that box score.”

Haidar: “I know! I almost threw one out of bounds at the end, just to see what you would say.”

Luke: (Searching for retort.)

2. Quietly and steadily — hence why I haven’t written about it in a story for the paper, since there has been no big splash — true-freshman Phil Romback has emerged as a solid bench contributor for the Huskies.

Over the past six games, Romback has played 17.3 minutes per game, scored 6.5 points per game (on 48 percent shooting) and knocked down nine total 3-pointers. He is now the only big-man who subs in for Haidar and Mike Hojnacki unless two of that trio are in foul trouble.

Romback’s flaws and strengths are obvious. He is six-foot-seven and is listed at 200 pound, though it is easy to imagine he might weigh less. His off-season training will be to get on whatever diet/work-out regimen that Haidar has used.

Romback can shoot the ball though. And no matter the strength deficiencies a player possesses, there is always room on the floor for someone who can make a defense pay for leaving him open. Further, the game appears to have slowed down for Romback and he has grown confident/comfortable in his role now that he receives consistent minutes.

All of this is just a really long way of saying don’t be surprised if he breaks out for 18 points in a game coming soon as team’s double-down on Haidar and dare Romback to beat them.

3. I have no interesting thoughts on the women’s beat down of Lake Superior State.

And apparently, neither did the Lakers.


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