Originally posted January 21, 2017
Driving to Hersey Centre in Friday rush hour traffic I was cautiously optimistic. Having connected with @mdeleonon twitter on Wednesday night, I was excited to see whether a Project Spurs/Spurs on the Sixth press pass would waiting for me (spoiler alert, after some last minute emails the pass came through!).
With @ByuJohnDiaz providing a nice recapof the game (good job of working in the Drake references), I am going to focus on some in person observations for my second game of the D-League Showcase in this joint Spursinthe6 and Spurs on the Sixth (this could get confusing) post.
My first game with a press pass!
As Diaz noted, Austin started off slow and finished the first quarter with 15 points on 27.8% shooting. Thankfully, Northern Arizona was not much better with 18 points on 32%. Jefferson, in particular, got off to a slow start going 1-6 in over 9 minutes of run.
Interesting tidbit: Jefferson seems to take some time to get warmed up in the great white north.
Things picked up significantly in the second as Ryan Arcidacono led Austin to 37 points on 56.5% shooting, which included the team shooting 6/7 from 3 (2/2 for each of Arcidacono and Ledbetter). After the first half, the good guys were up 52-46 behind Arcidacono's 16 points of perfect shooting. Jefferson also continued his strong all round play with 8 points, 6 boards, 2 assists and a triple.
Interesting tidbit: coach McDonald closed the half with the starters on the bench - wonder if this is a development thing.
The third quarter was Cory Jefferson time - 8 minutes of run, 4/7, 8 points, 2 boards, 2 blocks, +8. Well done! Austin added two points to the lead and was up 79-71 after 3.
Interesting tidbit: I didn't notice Garino on the court... maybe that is because he only played 3:41 in the 3Q with no shot attempts. I didn't notice if he got banged up or missed an assignment and was pulled, but it was strange. I will have to go back and watch some tape on this one.
Although they were outscored by 3, Austin held on for the win behind perfect free throw shooting in the 4Q (14-14).
Interesting tidbit: Once he was subbed out, Garino did not re-enter the game until the 4 minute(ish) mark. Yet, he was the only Spur to finish with a + rating for the quarter.
Post Game with Coach MacDonald
After the game, Ken MacDonald was asked about DeJounte Murray - some of direct quotes on Murray:
"He's a lot of fun to be around, watching his growth - you can see it everyday.""He still makes some mistakes that a 19 year old makes.""I didn't get to see the game and then I saw the 24 points so I sent him a text and, you know, just messed with him a little bit.""It doesn't surprise me because he is so fast. He is really really fast.""We're happy to be a part of him getting better. He's come in with a good attitude.""He's a great kid, he's got a good sense of humour.""I'm happy for him, our staff is happy for him."
I need to read up more on his background, but I have to say that Ken MacDonal seems to be another perfect fit in the Spurs organization. His comments after the game were insightful, honest, intelligent and sprinkled with some humour. He also shook hands with and introduced himself to all of the reporters (there were three of us). I'm a fan! In particular, his comments on the D-League showcase and the D-League in general were particularly insightful and I hope to expand on this in a future post.
A Quick Twitter Recap
Austin's black uni's are nice!
It was close game until the end, Austin's free throw shooting helped them to the win!
Once agin Jefferson led the way with 23 points, 9 boards 3 blocks and 2 assists.