QCSportsNet.com went live last night with its debut broadcast from Moody Gym at Dubuque Hempstead High School. Pleasant Valley’s boys basketball team opened its season with a 47-34 win over Dubuque Hempstead. Here are five things I learned from PV’s season-opening win.
- PV’s front-line depth is impressive – The Spartans have a very good mix of skill and strength on their front line. Will Carius has extended the range on his shot and looks very comfortable from 20 feet in. He will draw opposing centers from the basket and make more room for Steve Hillman’s motion offense. Carter Milam was a very pleasant surprise. The 6-6 sophomore brings strength to the middle, allowing Carius and Jeffrey Kardell to play more away from the basket. This depth will become even more apparent when Ryan Spelhaug returns from a foot injury.
- The Spartans do not beat themselves – Since I have watched Pleasant Valley beginning in the 2008-2009 season, I have been impressed by their execution. They are well-coached and rarely beat themselves. This will be important during the MAC conference season, which can be a grind.
- Austin Esters shows little rust from last year’s season-ending injury – The senior was wearing a knee brace last night, but he led the Spartans’ offensive efforts. His dribble penetration drew defenders, allowing him to kick the ball to open wing shooters.
- Hempstead will be a tough out in February – The Mustangs were frustrated by PV’s ability to control the pace of the game, but this is a young, athletic team. They have good athletes with size on the wings and will cause matchup problems with some MVC teams because of this.
- PV’s key is controlling tempo – The Spartans did run on limited occasions last night, but they controlled the game with their patient motion offense. Pleasant Valley ran a variety of offensive sets designed to create space for its wing players and to allow for dribble penetration. The Spartans’ best attribute is patience. They are tough to prepare for on limited practice time.
PV will have three days to prepare for its home opener against Waterloo East. QCSportsNet.com will carry the game live with the pre-game show starting around 7:15 PM (assuming the sophomore game does not go into double overtime like it did last night!)