Friday, November 20, 2009

A sweet Tartt and a nice bath

Okay, I couldn't resist with the title, but UAlbany freshman Derrek Tartt had clearly his best performance of the year in Friday's 71-55 victory over Alcorn St at SEFCU Arena.

“When he plays hard, he’s very good,” said UAlbany coach Will Brown. “When he’s in chill mode, he’s just okay.”

In fact, he had so many points (13) that senior Will Harris was pointing it out to him in the box score before they both spoke to the media, following the game.

“I was looking at the points, but I wasn’t looking at my points, I was looking at his points,” said Harris, who also chipped in with a team-high 15. “I thought that he was aggressive and making shots and it makes me happy because everyday in practice, I’m in his ear, 'You have to be aggressive' and he came out tonight and he was aggressive, so that makes me happy. It makes me feel like a proud uncle.”

Tartt has a nice lanky frame at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds and Brown likes him as a perimeter defender and may also consider playing him more at the two or three as opposed to the point guard position.

“I think he’s much more comfortable as a wing and being a secondary ball handler,” Brown said. “When he’s played at the point, he looses his aggressiveness. When he plays on the wing, he’s more in attack mode and he’s more aggressive.”

While Brown was happy with the win, he wasn't totally thrilled that the game got close in the second half.

“The difference between a 15-point win and a 25-point win is executing the scouting report and not helping off (Jonathan) Boyd at all,” Brown said. “We left him a couple of times which is disappointing.”

Brown said that Mike Johnson left Boyd, who hit four 3-pointers, to help on defense, when the report was to stick with him.

"He's trying to be aggressive and trying to be a good team defender, but we needed him to be a smart team defender," said Brown.

Brown also wasn't happy with the team's 21 turnovers.

Alcorn State committed 19 turnovers, which didn't thrill their coach, Larry Smith.

“We have to play mistake-free basketball, for the most part,” said Smith. “We can’t continue to turn the ball over. We're averaging more than 20 turnovers a game and that’s killing us. We have to value the ball more.”

This is the first of three straight games and Brown tried to limit some players minutes so that they would stay fresh throughout the weekend.

Harris said he has his own measures to stay relaxed and refreshed - bubble baths.

Harris said he has some salts to put in the bath and he will be taking a nice soak tonight, I'm sure while reading the scouting report prepared by assistant Jeremy Friel on Detroit.

“That’s what I’m going to be doing,” said Harris about taking a bath. “I have to take care of these legs.”

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