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WBB: Maroon & White Scrimmage

A few diehard Women's Bouncy Ball fans got a first look at the 2014-15 fightin' Texas Aggies at Reed Arena on Saturday.

Coach Blair showed his commentator skills during the M&W scrimmage
Coach Blair showed his commentator skills during the M&W scrimmage
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Maroon and White scrimmage is a fun way to get a bouncy ball fix, but it's a different kind of event from anything else. The team played 4 quarters, with quarters 1, 2, and 4 being the Maroon team vs the White team and quarter 3 being against the (mostly) Men's practice team. The White team ended up on top 74-71, but it's even more meaningless than it might seem at first glance, as the composition of the two squads changed each quarter: lots of players played on both teams and the practice team was the White team for quarter 3. For quarters 1, 2, and 4, Associate Head Coach Kelly Bond-White coached the Maroon, while Assistant Coach Amy Wright guided the White team throughout. Assistant Coach Bob Starkey roamed the court coaching D for both sides, while Coach Blair provided running commentary for the crowd from the scorers table. Listening to Coach explain what was going on was probably the best part of the day; some of the nuggets he gave the crowd included explaining that a particular hand signal is not "Hook 'Em" - its the most visible way to indicate double high posts. He told the crowd what plays were coming, and commented on what players should have done on the break and on D. It was also amusing to hear him say "money!" as Courtney Walker went up for a jumper, and "Louisiana Lightning" as Tori Scott slashed to the bucket.

Some random observations, backed up by coverage (with stats!)

  • When we walked into Reed, it smelled like fresh paint, reinforcing how this is a very early look at a work in preparation
  • Courtney Walker's preparation is at a different level than everyone else: Walker looked like she could score at will. She had 23 points on 11-14 shooting. She also had 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Walker ran the point for the White team when the Maroon was working the lineup with both Jones and Knox playing together.
  • If I recall his comments correctly, after the game, Coach said he thought Walker, Knox, and Scott played the best. From his in-game comments, it sounded like he thinks the O is ahead of the D, especially for the press D.
  • We had a lot of minutes with a small lineup with Achiri in the middle.
  • Tavarsha was 2-2 on 3 pointers. Coach called them Moon Shots due to the very high arc on the shots. Tavarsha was another player who stood out for me. High energy and for the most part her shots were within the flow. She ended up with 12 points on 5-6 shooting.
  • Hard to evaluate the 3-headed post. All 3 played close to the same number of minutes, with some time with two bigs in at once. This might be more preparation for the teams we expect to see than something Coach plans to put on the floor himself.  I thought Rachel looked more comfortable on the floor than in the past and was talking more on D. Khaalia looks very promising, but is still a freshman.  In the stats, Jada had the best scrimmage: 12 points on 6-8 shooting and 3 rebounds in 22 minutes.
  • Kristi Bellock was in attendance, at least for part of the time. Kristi has been playing in Europe and has returned to finish her degree.
  • No obvious help for the football team on the Men's Practice Squad.
After the scrimmage, Coach took questions from the crowd and the players split into four tables to sign autographs for the fans. Overall, the M&W scrimmage reinforced my sense of the team expressed in my preseason preview: we're going to be fine in the backcourt and we have questions in the post.

Next Up:

Exhibition vs Oklahoma City Univ
Nov 8, Time TBA
Reed Arena
SEC Network+ coverage