- Dax Dessureault's team-high 12 points and nine boards, plus a block on 6-foot-7 forward Rodney Alexander, was the conversation piece coming out of the Gee-Gees' day game vs. Illinois. The Gee-Gees' only seasoned big got to the rim for a two-handed dunk in the second quarter, a few minutes after a foul at the last possible instant kept him from throwing one down. He noted "finishing" was the biggest thing he worked on in the summer, and it seemed to have paid off.
"I'm just trying to step it up," Dessureault said. "My two mentors, J.C. (Jermaine Campbell) and Curtis (Shakespeare) are gone (after graduating), so I need to."
The Gee-Gees showed a different look in the half court -- "four (guys) out, one in, trying to keep a post outside because we have posts who can shoot," in Dessureault's description. It looks like a lot more of their offence might run through Dessureault. He passed well out of the post and on the final play of the first quarter, had an one-motion rebound/outlet pass to Josh Gibson-Bascombe who was ahead of everyone. (Gibson-Bascombe's layup was waved off after just failing to beat the buzzer.)
"He knows he's got to be The Man in terms of playing in the post with all the young kids we have," Gee-Gees coach Dave DeAveiro said of Dessureault. "The biggest thing with him is maturity... understanding a little bit more what he's capable of doing."
- Illinois-Ottawa was our first exposure to a men's game played with the 24-second shot clock. It probably wasn't the best gauge of the rule changes' impact, since the Gee-Gees are a team that tries to play a lot of games up in the 70s and 80s.
"You are going to see the coaching change a little bit," said DeAveiro. "Coaches are going to have to get creative, do some things we haven't used yet. We're changing our style a bit, trying to be a transition team, trying to get some open shots."
- The aforementioned Rodney Alexander was the name on our mind after watching the Illini. That is meant to say he's going to dominate in the Big 10, but it would be cool to see how the junior college transfer does, especially after reading up on his humble hoops beginnings. Against the Gee-Gees, Alexander drew two big "ohhhhhhs" with a putback dunk and a block on rookie guard Jacob Gibson-Bascombe.
- The younger Gibson-Bascombe is going to have growing-pain moments, but with eight points and four assists, impressed in his debut. "He's is definitely going to help Josh out in terms of being a backup," said DeAveiro, who needs a second point guard since Willy Manigat, who was a sparkplug off the bench in '06-07, is sitting out the season due to personal reasons.
- Checking over cishoops.ca's wrap of the day's action across the country -- the York Lions beating Morehead State on a last-second shot by Tut Ruach was the big highlight -- it also jumps out that the Gee-Gees wing Donnie Gibson had 18 points vs. Alabama. Defence was off in both of the Tide's games (97-88 over McGill, 104-80 over the Gee-Gees), but it seems like a good bounce-back for Gibson
- Carleton-Villanova (the Wildcats won 61-46) was a Big East basketball slogfest with more fouls than baskets. Aaron Doornekamp had a hard-earned 30 points, but anyone who's followed Carleton knows how it spreads the scoring around. The Wildcats will bear following in the Big East, since Syracuse is at a low point and they have a player, Dante Cunningham, whose name is an amalgam of our two favourite Minnesota Vikings quarterback.
- No regrets, none at all: The Gee-Gees game was at the same time as Appalachian State's upset of Michigan that no adjective could do justice to (the same can be said of App State's promo video). Seeing Carleton meant missing Clay Buchholz's no-hitter for the Red Sox. Those were OK, but it's a good policy never to pass up a chance to see a game in person.
- Michael Jordan didn't show up to watch son Jeff Jordan play for Illinois (he could show up in Montreal over the next two days), but rumours still abounded that he might. It was too cute by half when DeAveiro's nine-year-old daughter, Jordan -- wearing a replica Washington Wizards No. 23 jersey with her name on the back -- was one of the children who took part itnfor the halftime shooting contest.
A basketball coach with a child named Jordan? "It's some coincidence," DeAveiro said with a big smile.
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