By Rich Ruben
The regular season begins with a home game on Tuesday, November 5. We will have a season preview posted next week. In the meantime, the Trojans continue to work hard to get ready. Practice was on the main court in Galen on Tuesday. There is some touch up painting ongoing in the seating areas. Walking into a completely empty Galen is an experience. Each time I stop to take it in. The only time it looks better is when there is a large crowd.
– The Trojans overall record at Galen is 148-69, with a non conference of 79-21. This year’s team may be the team to get the students and fans to Galen in larger numbers, and help the Trojans create a better home court advantage.
– SC plays a closed home court scrimmage game against Santa Clara later this week. The other SC finished 15-14 last year, and beat the Trojans in Santa Clara in double overtime 102-92. The Trojans trailed by as many as 19, and by 16 in the second half, before making a big run. Jonah Mathews made a layup with 23 seconds to go for a one point lead, but a free throw with 2 seconds left sent the game to OT. Last year’s team struggled to get over the hump in a number of games.
– The Trojan record for three point shooting percentage in a season is 45% set by Gabe Pruitt in 2005. San Jose State transfer Noah Bauman shot 45.5% from three last year at SJS as a sophomore, second best in school history, slightly lower than his own freshman season record.
– Noah may turn out to be a recruiting steal. He has a very smooth shooting stroke, which he repeats precisely every shot from any point behind the three point line. At the end of practice, the staff had the team working on final minute and a half sequences with the clock and shot clock running and fouls being called. In the next to last sequence, Noah made the winning three with 11 seconds left. In the last one, he made the winning three at the buzzer. Everyone was competing hard. Each time, the winning team celebrated as if they had won a regular game, and the losers ran four full court sprints. (See below for notes from my interview with Noah).
– Grad transfer Daniel Utomi had a great night shooting against Villanova last Friday. But don’t sleep on fellow grad transfer and co captain Quinton Adlesh. I watched him make a series of corner threes on Tuesday. He can really shoot, and Enfield complimented his defense after the Villanova exhibition.
– The student section in the lower bowl was about 90% full last Friday, which was a very good turnout for an exhibition game. It demonstrates both the excitement for this season and the draw of a big name opponent.
Interview With Ethan Anderson.
– The staff is now allowing freshmen to talk to the media.
– Ethan said the freshmen class is very close and go everywhere together. The summer European trip accelerated their bonding.
– He felt comfortable from the moment he entered the game against Villanova. Elijah Weaver has been a big help in getting Ethan ready to play. Ethan thinks the practices have been tougher than the Villanova game.
– He was not surprised by how well the Trojans played man to man defense last Friday, or that they played very little zone. The staff has emphasized their man defense from day one.
– His biggest surprise since enrolling is how quickly the team has jelled, especially on defense. The European trip helped acclimate the new players with the staff, the returnees and the system the coaches want to run.
Interview With Noah Bauman
– Noah decided to transfer for a number of reasons. He was looking for a school where the coaching staff was more focused and demanding. San Jose State is a commuter school. Since he arrived on campus at SC, people have been friendly, he feels like he fits right in, and there is a lot to do in LA.
– When he decided to look at other schools, Assistant Coach Chris Capko contacted him, and SC was his first choice.
– It’s hard knowing he has to sit out this entire season, and was especially tough during the Villanova exhibition. He knows it will get harder as the season goes on, but also knows he needs to remain focused and learn, and work on his game.
– From watching and talking to him, Noah is a bit quieter than most of his teammates, but he is plenty competitive.
– He will have two seasons of eligibility after this year. He believes he will have a lot of opportunity next season, knowing that shooters Mathews, Utomi and Adlesh are all leaving. He has great confidence in his three point shooting, and is working on improving his ability to create shots off the dribble and his defense.
– Even though they are smaller than the 6’6” Bauman, the two Trojans who play the best defense against him are Jonah and Quinton. They are both great man defenders.
– He loved the crowd and atmosphere at the Villanova game. He’s anxious to see what the crowd will be like for the home opener against Florida A&M, which he knows doesn’t have Villanova’s name recognition or fan attraction.