Coach Dave Rose said he mostly liked what he saw tonight as the basketball team held its annual Cougar Tipoff at the Marriott Center.
"I'm just excited to get going again," Rose said. "It's a great time of the year."
For the record, the Blue team defeated the White team 84-70 in front of about 3,000 fans (my estimation) on Wednesday night. The Blue had a 47-42 lead at halftime, despite 20 first-half points from Brandon Davies, the White team's best player. But in the second half, Davies sat out after having taken two hard falls, and the Blue pulled away.
Tyler Haws led all scorers with 26 points on 9-for-17 shooting. Matt Carlino added 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Blue.
"It's good to be back," Haws said after his first game in the Marriott Center since February of 2010.
The White was led by Davies with 20 points and seven rebounds in just a half, while Agustin Ambrosino chipped in 17, Raul Delgado 14 and Brock Zylstra 10.
"I was really pleased with how we moved the ball," Rose said.
The highlight of the night was Josh Sharp's hammer dunk over Ambrosino.
"He's always been that guy," Davies said of Sharp. "He catches you sleeping, he will put one on your head."
The scariest moment came just before halftime when Davies landed hard on his hip. He said he was fine and "feels great" after the game, but said it was Rose's decision to hold him out the second half.
Ian Harward switched to the White team at halftime.
Other odds and ends:
* Davies made a three-pointer in the first half, and said postgame that he has worked hard this summer to add that element to his game. Is he now a three-point guy?
"I am a get-the-ball-in-the-basket guy," he said.
* The Cougars were a combined 13 for 43 from three-point range (30 percent). Delgado was 3-8, Zylstra was 2-7, Haws was 2-3 and Carlino was 2-6 from long range.
"We shot a lot of quick threes -- some advised and some not so much," Rose said. The coach was pleased that multiple players made multiple threes, having said at media day that improving their perimeter shooting was a big team goal over the summer.
* Regarding Sharp, Rose said: "That [dunk] tonight was pretty nice ... His legs have kinda returned to him ... He has made some really important plays in practice."
* Rose brought up the team's relative youth and inexperience in his postgame news conference, noting that "we have some experience issues." Then he said that's the last time he wants to talk about that particular shortcoming the rest of the season. So don't ask him.
* On Carlino's 19-point, eight-assist game, Rose said that those who have watched the point guard in the past will notice that he "is a different guy" this season. Certainly, Carlino looked to be a distributor and playmaker more on Wednesday night than he did last season.
* Asked about the play of the juco transfers, Delgado and Ambrosino, Rose said: "I saw two guys who are really confident in their ability to play .... That's the beauty of junior college guys."
* Ambrosino isn't shy about putting up shots -- Jonathan Tavernari would be proud. He was 1-for-6 from three-point range, including some from Jimmer territory.
* Ian Harward showed some post-up moves and a nice touch in going 3-for-5. With the news that Stephen Rogers is retiring from basketball, Harward will likely play more than expected this season. He looked like he's going to be able to handle a few minutes, perhaps even hold his own.
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