Rebounding was bound to be a key to Seattle University's game tonight with Utah Valley being one of the top defensive rebounding teams in the nation.
So that the Redhawks beat the Wolverines 45 to 32 on the glass is impressive on its own. That they beat them 17 to 5 on the offensive boards for a 13 to 2 advantage in second chance points is even more impressive.
While Aaron Broussard and Garrett Lever led the team with 10 and nine rebounds respectively, guard Cervante Burrell led the offensive rebounding charge in the second half with three of the team's eight offensive rebounds to finish with 7 rebounds to complement his 15 points and five assists.
Sterling Carter is always exciting, but after scoring 14 points in the first half, he was 0-7 from the field in the second half. He'll pull threes from anywhere and clearly has the range, but Redhawks coach Cameron Dollar attributes the inconsistency moreso to adjusting to Division I basketball and the offense rather than solely poor decision-making.
"Being a freshman, you're going to have moments of not making the best decisions with your shot," said Dollar when asked about his 6-foot-0 freshman. "But bottom line is he's been 35 percent for us pretty much all year long and doing a good job. The tricky thing is if you watch his makes, they all come from broken plays. And he's got to evolve to be able to make his makes out of sets and off of guys' passes. He's been out of playing for two years, so he's really comfortable doing it out of a broken style of play. He's just got to evolve to doing it and when he does that, he'll be shooting 45, 48 percent from three. So he'll get there."
Despite some mental mistakes in the first half that led to four turnovers, last week's Great West Player of the Week Isiah Williams ended up with 14 points. However, as explosive and quick as he is, his 6-for-16 shooting performance is also something for the Redhawks to be generally pleased about. Dollar gave credit to gritty senior guard Garrett Lever for that.
"Honestly, we can just give him Garrett Lever and then we don't have to worry about that," said Dollar. "The only thing is sometimes you want three or four Garrett Lever's - you want to spread them around."
Seattle U's next game is against UC Davis on Tuesday, February 15, a week before the all-important showdown with the Washington Huskies.