Scrimmage Recap

In front of a couple hundred of their closest Panther friends, the Milwaukee Panthers played as a group in front of a crowd for the first time in 2010-11 in the annual intrasquad scrimmage at the Klotsche Center.

Instead of going through game situations in front of fans or losing their dunk contest to a student (seriously, Green Bay?), the Panthers played a full 40-minute game, with starters mainly occupying the white team and reserves filling up the black team.  While the 26 point score differential wasn’t important, what was important was the team play exhibited for the first time in front of a crowd.

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Some notes:

– Quinton Gustavson will miss his redshirt freshman season as he overcomes a stress fracture.  As Q said last night, “I’ve been playing on it for seven years, it was bound to be hurt sooner or later.”  He can apply to regain his eligibility once his next three years are finished.  PantherU wishes our tall sharpshooting friend a full recovery.

– The other, big injury news was that of Mitch Carter, who was playing with a brace on his hand.  While he played a lot of minutes, he was limited to shooting with one hand.  It was good to see, however, that he showed flashes of dominance despite having a club on the end of one arm.  He’ll be perfect for short bursts of the game when Ant Hill or Tony Meier need a spell; he keeps it simple, is an absolute presence on defense, and is quite reliable inside four feet.  I’m told that his hand will not be an issue moving forward.

– Tone Boyle was absolutely spectacular.  His first four three-pointers didn’t touch rim, including one that sailed over the outstretched hand of 6’9” Kyle Kelm.  Boyle’s back showed not one single sign that he will be hesitant in any way.  In fact, he looked much stronger and is built like an ox at his height.

– Speaking of Kyle Kelm, he did not dominate but didn’t look like a freshman either.  He is an excellent passer and once he gets more assertive in the block will have a great inside-outside game.  Kelm will be a beast for four years; forget redshirting this guy, I think the coaches will have trouble keeping him off the court.

– As for the other true freshman, Evan Richard, my guess is that he will probably redshirt.  This is in no way due to his play.  In fact, if someone were to get hurt before the season started, I’d have no worries with him playing 25 minutes a game – seriously.  But the fact that we have so many guards, including two seniors (Tone Boyle and Jerard Ajami), leads me to say that we should save his eligibility.  The idea of Evan Richard and Shaq Boga playing together for four years is AWESOME.

– Ja’Rob McCallum and Lonnie Boga have made strides since last year.  McCallum didn’t look so lost defensively and has bulked up enough that he won’t be a liability taking on bigger Horizon League guards.  Boga, on the other hand, has developed a better-looking jump shot, scoring ten points. Of course, McCallum hasn’t dropped off at all in his offensive game; the sophomore dropped 26 points in the scrimmage. They’re start-worthy guards who may be between the fourth and fifth guards in the rotation.  That’s no joke.

– Speaking of start-worthy guards, the talk of the night was Ryan Allen.  The JUCO transfer scored 19 points, trailing only Tone Boyle’s 21 on the white team.  He is ridiculously talented – I don’t think a lot of us quite knew what we had when we recruited him – and will vie for serious minutes in the guard corp.  His defense is Horizon League-ready, he slashes to the basket as well as Avery Smith, and he’s got ups…ooooohh, he’s got ups.

– Tony Meier is bigger, stronger, and more experienced than he’s ever been before. The junior forward from Wildwood, Missouri showed a very polished game last night, including a bevy of post moves that we’ve only seen sparingly, if at all, from him in the past.  He was strong on post defense as well.

– Jerard Ajami showed no signs of backing off his progress from the summer.  He shot the ball well, scoring 12 points while nabbing a couple steals and playing the point when Williams was on the bench.

– Speaking of Williams, he was flat-out dominant against everyone.  He pushed the ball in transition, shot the lights out, threw several “holy sh-t” passes, and showed unbelievable chemistry with Tone Boyle and Ryan Allen.  Those three on the court together are going to be awesome.

– On that note, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jerard Ajami exits the starting lineup this season.  He will still play starter minutes, and by his play in the scrimmage those minutes are warranted; however, he did run the point when Williams was on the bench, and he may fit better on the team by playing with the second group as its point guard; after all, he has played far more with Ja’Rob McCallum and Lonnie Boga than Williams, Boyle, or Allen.

– Down in the low block, Anthony Hill missed one bunny and was stone cold blocked by Evan Richard on a floater (awesome), but otherwise showed why he is the focal point of this team.  His footwork improved over the offseason, and while down low he

– Here’s an awesome statistic from the night that I hope carries into the season: 83%.  That was the team’s free throw shooting percentage on the night, with the black team going 17 for 17 from the field.

– Mitch Roelke, who made his Panther debut on the roster last night, did not play in the scrimmage and will be a member of the scout team this season.  From what I’ve seen in pick-up games over the summer, however, he’s got a heck of a shot.

– Patrick Souter is 100% healthy following his knee injury as a senior in high school.  He’s lightning quick and will continue to grow in his role as a scout team player and spot point guard.

– James Haarsma didn’t kill the opposing team, but he wasn’t bad either.  Few mistakes.  Christian Wolf had a foul, but otherwise he didn’t screw up either.  They will challenge Mitch and Ant this season, with both picking up on court time next season (in Haarsma’s case, a lot of time).

PantherU will be relatively silent this weekend (my sister is getting married on Saturday), but we will return on Monday for the MSOE game preview.  Holy crap, gameday is MONDAY!!!!!!


  1. Derick

    October 28, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Mitch R. did play last night actually, he played in the last few minutes of the game.

  2. Derick

    October 28, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Yeah, he’s even listed in the box score thing listed in the write up on the athletics page.

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