November 20, 2008

Coachspeak: Breaking down Texas-Tulane brought former college player and coach Anthony Walker in this year to give the site a look at the team through the eyes of a guy that's been there and done that. One of the things that Walker will do throughout the season is take a game-by-game look at each of the key components on the Texas roster. Here's a player-by-player breakdown from Tuesday's win by the men's basketball team over Tulane.

PG A.J. Abrams: Poised is the first thing that comes to mind, I know Stetson and Tulane aren't North Carolina or Kansas, but A.J. has a very relaxed, confident demeanor about himself right now. He continued to impress me with is defense in Tuesday's game.

G Justin Mason: He did a great job on Tulane's PG Kevin Sims as far as disrupting his ability to initiate Tulane's offense. Didn't do anything spectacular offensively, but his presence was felt as his stat line showed - seven points, seven assists, five rebounds and 3 steals. Justin may not be scoring like many want to see but his contribution is enormous.

F Damion James: Playing within himself right now, I think Damion is doing a great job of playing to his strengths and not forcing the issue. Damion still needs to get comfortable creating off the dribble from outside the 3pt. line which will come over the season as he gets more comfortable being further out on the court.

C Connor Atchley: The words underrated and solid keeps coming to mind, night in and night out Connor will just do his job, and I love the throw back hook shot in his game. A quiet force on the defensive end, as he walked out of the game with four blocks, giving him a two-game average of 3.5 blocks per game.

F Gary Johnson: A star in grooming. I see so much potential in Gary. He easily could average a double-double. What I realized last night is that Gary is much stronger than I gave him credit for. I like how he makes contact on his post moves. That's very important because as a post player you always want to have a feel for where the defender is.

C Dexter Pittman: Stamina, that's the only thing that will hold this kid back. I think Dexter gets most of his fouls when he gets tired. Outside of that I like the way Pittman gets into the defender before he posts up and claims his territory. Yes, he is a big body but that doesn't get you position all the time you have to claim it and Dexter does a wonderful job of that.

PG Dogus Balbay: Smart, heady, crafty and tough is what I saw out of Dogus Balbay in his debut in the Erwin Center. I saw a guy who has a natural feel for the game and a natural PG. Once he settles in completely I look for a lot of good things from Balbay. I have yet to see him shoot it outside of warm-ups, but if word is true - Texas will have a combination of a heady point guard that can shoot it. He could make a great combination with A.J.

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