The results were not quite what I expected. NAU's coaching staff and players controlled tempo throughout and really slowed things down. Packing the zone defense down low frustrated U of A, who probably showed the most streaky three point shooting I've ever seen in person, and left the U of A with zero inside presence. It looked like Big East basketball but I was impressed with NAU's approach against a team with superior hops/athleticism. Maybe NAU "uglies" it up from this point on and slows games down?
Proud of NAU's effort in Tucson. Definite improvement in effort from NAU's previous games against Division I competition this season. Best stat by far: 8 turnovers after averaging 20 a game previously.
It's frustrating to watch growing pains with such a young/new team but there were lots of signs pointing to a positive future. Gruber hit some big shots. Douglas shows promise and athleticism. NAU's four "bigs" are a work in progress as none of them saw court time at the division I level last year. The effort is in place. Give it time for the results. Norman, Saldivar and Dunn left it all on the court.
On a side note - U of A's fan base seemed to have escaped from a nursing homes. An abundance of grey, silver and blue-hair. Lots showed up late due to the rain and lots left 5 minutes early. No need to act like "California" fans, Tucson. Fun day in Tucson, regardless.
Looking forward to the game in Tempe vs. ASU. Go Jacks!
NAU Athletics on BigSkyFans.com
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