The first half was a fight. A battle. Taylor Persons and Carsen Edwards were going toe to toe.
The second half was a different story, when the Boilermakers decided to play lock down defense on Persons.
These grades will be a bit different. After my first post, I was asked by a few readers to do defensive and offensive grades rather than an overall grade. So we will go ahead and do that for this post. Again, players only get a grade if they play over 10 minutes in the game, anything less I do not give a grade for.
Why? After a poor opening performance against Fairfield, Nojel decided to dominate this one. He attacked the basket, rebounded on both ends of the court and locked up Ball State’s best player. When Nojel guarded Persons, he scored just one point, on a free throw. He was 0-7 from the field. Nojel was a beast.
Why? Carsen did a nice job defensively getting steals and getting out on the fast break. Offensively though, it appeared he was forcing shots at times. He ended the game just 8 of 22 from the field. But, he still scored 23 points. He was pretty good at distributing the ball also, with a team high 5 assists. Tied with Cline.
Why? Defensively, Cline had some nice moments. He stripped the ball a few times and on fast breaks he did a good job of forcing tough shots. On offense, he missed way too many open threes, as he ended the night just 1-9 from deep. We will need him to hit those open shots when competition is ramped up even more.
Why? Grady did a great job on hustling, as always. He did not stretch the floor like he did in game one when he hit a couple of threes. We will need him to do that so the defense doesn’t sink off of him. Grady is tough and physical. He has done a nice job through two games.
Why? The big man scored 16 points in just 18 minutes of play, as he was in foul trouble again. Get used to seeing that. On defense, he took FOUR charges! That showed me some growth, as last year he would have tried to volleyball swat most of those shots. With more minutes this year, he is going to have to be careful. We need him on the court as much as possible. Alos, if he can hit one three per game, defenses will have to respect him out at the three point line.
Why? Evan had to play extended minutes with Matt in foul trouble again. He did not disappoint on offense. He did a great job of mid range shots and showed his plethora of moves under the basket. In 21 minutes he had 14 points and 7 rebounds. Defensively, he is not super athletic, and is a small 5 when he is in, so he struggles against bigs. But, he held his own in the paint last night.
Why? Aaron is a freak athlete. You can see it when he is on the court, his stature is Durant like. If he can find a consistent jump shot he will be deadly. He gets a B on offense because he took care of the ball and only took shots within the flow of the offense. Defensively, he also gets a B. His length and athleticism will be an issue for many teams that try to match up with him with a shorter guard when he is in at the 3.
Eric Hunter Jr.:
Why? Defensively he is getting a low grade. He stood no chance vs Persons when he guarded him in the first half and when he guarded Walton, Walton blew by him a couple of times. He seemed a little off his game considering how strong his first game of the season was. He gets a C on offense because he did a fine job of initiating the offense and taking care of the ball. While he didn’t score, he came in to give our starters a breather at guard.