Takeaways From PC's Italy Trip

Ed Cooley

While it was nice to see the Friars win all 3 games in Italy by decided margins, it's a little tough to figure out what to take away from those wins. Here's what I think Friar fans should take from the Italy tour.

First and foremost, this trip to 10 day trip to Italy was about team bonding and chemistry. The games were just an aside to get the young and new guys some run against someone other than teammates in practice. One of the other big things about this trip was additional practice. NCAA rules allow for 10 additional practice sessions ahead of an international tour and I think those additional workouts will end up serving this team well since there are a number of new faces that need to be added to the mix for the 2014-15 season.

One of the big disappointments of this trip for many Friar fans was that 3 of the 4 freshman couldn't make the trip. Ben Bentil and Paschal Chukwu, both African-born, had visa issues that prevented them from making the trip while Jalen Lindsey was home in Tennessee with a case of mono. While it is unfortunate that those three guys couldn't go on the trip, I think the guys that did had a very memorable experience.

Now onto the games.

First here are the cumulative and per game stats from all 3 games:

Player

FGM-A

2PM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

Reb

AST

ST

TO

BS

PTS

Rodney Bullock

24/42

20/35

4/7

18/24

36

8

8

11

5

70

Casey Woodring

8/19

6/9

2/10

2/4

2

2

2

1

0

20

LaDontae Henton

18/41

14/32

4/9

11/13

19

5

5

3

3

51

Kyron Cartwright

12/19

10/13

2/6

12/14

13

25

15

9

0

38

Tyler Harris

21/43

19/35

2/8

19/26

24

4

7

15

1

63

Junior Lomomba

23/37

17/28

6/9

17/23

21

7

10

13

0

69

Carson Desrosiers

8/19

8/18

0/1

3/9

31

7

3

5

13

19

Tom Planek

3/12

3/12

0/0

7/10

20

2

6

5

1

13

Totals

117/232

97/182

20/50

89/123

166

60

56

62

23

343

 

50.43%

53.30%

40.00%

72.36%

 

 

 

 

 

 




Player

REB/G

AST/G

ST/G

TO/G

BS/G

PTS/G

Rodney Bullock

12.00

2.67

2.67

3.67

1.67

23.33

Casey Woodring

0.67

0.67

0.67

0.33

0.00

6.67

LaDontae Henton

6.33

1.67

1.67

1.00

1.00

17.00

Kyron Cartwright

4.33

8.33

5.00

3.00

0.00

12.67

Tyler Harris

8.00

1.33

2.33

5.00

0.33

21.00

Junior Lomomba

7.00

2.33

3.33

4.33

0.00

23.00

Carson Desrosiers

10.33

2.33

1.00

1.67

4.33

6.33

Tom Planek

6.67

0.67

2.00

1.67

0.33

4.33



I really wouldn't put too much stock in anyone's performance other than to say that it was nice to see guys like Junior Lomomba and Rodney Bullock seizing the opportunity to take shots and score some points. I'm not expecting Lomomba to turn into Bryce Cotton because he scored a ton of points in 3 games against low level Italian teams but maybe these performances will give him a little added confidence and maybe that confidence will help with his workouts with God Shammgod which might lead to a better offensive season overall than fans were expecting out of Lomomba. Or maybe it won't. The point is that we really can't take a lot away in terms of performance because of the level of competition and the fact that none of us were able to watch the actual games. All we have are some social media reports from some PC staff on the trip and box scores.

Having said that, here are my takes on some of the players from the Italy trip.

Junior Lomomba had a reputation as a defensive specialist and I'm sure Friar fans were pleased to see him score the ball frequently and be a pretty efficient shooter in Italy. Lomomba started at the point guard position with Kris Dunn not playing on the trip which was a little surprising but may give an inkling as to how the Friar staff feels about the work Lomomba has done with Shammgod on ball handling. Lomomba was a point guard in high school. If Lomomba can truly handle the ball well enough to handle some backup minutes that gives Ed Cooley a lot more flexibility with lineups and it would allow Kyron Cartwright to be developed and not have to be thrust into too many minutes too soon which would likely expose the freshman's issues and possibly hurt his confidence.

With the team's exhibition game against Stonehill being 75 days away, a player like Kyron Cartwright will need to continue to refine his game and mature if he is going to be able to be a serviceable backup to Kris Dunn. My takeaway from the Italy trip for Cartwright is that he will get the chance to play some minutes early in the season but those minutes may dry up once the calendar heads to 2015 and Big East play begins. As I said above, Lomomba started each of the three games at point guard with Cartwright coming off the bench. It will be interesting to see the dynamics at the guard positions with the Friars being a bit thin at both guard spots. The various lineup possibilities are seemingly endless and the potential for some lockdown defensive configurations must make Ed Cooley drool. Cartwright appears to thrive in an uptempo setting and that's where the Friars may score most of their points this season as they may struggle a bit to score in the half court. I think Cooley wants to turn defense into offense as much as possible and Cartwright may be able to play a role in that if he develops this fall.

Rodney Bullock was another player that appears to have had a very nice trip on the court. The redshirt freshman could see a pretty large role even with the crowded frontcourt as Ed Cooley has liked what he has seen of Bullock in practice. Some fans have asked if Bullock has a similar game to LaDontae Henton. I would say their games are similar but Bullock is taller and is a better overall athlete. While it was unfortunate that Bullock had to sit out last season due to a suspension, he was able to practice with the team and seems to have used the "redshirt" year to get better. I wouldn't be surprised if Bullock ends up being a 6th man type for this Friar team.

One other player that I'll give my takeaway on is 5th year senior Carson Desrosiers. The New Hampshire native was the lone big man on the trip so he had to play a lot more than the staff probably wanted. However, his stats were somewhat disappointing. Reading too much into his lackluster numbers would be a mistake but there is something to be said for the fact that he seemingly did no shooting which was a problem last year for the 7 footer. He needs to be more aggressive and look for his shot more as the 2014-15 version of the Friars will have to make up a lot of lost scoring from the 2013-14 squad.

The bottom line is that this trip was about way more than just 3 basketball games and it’s my contention that it was a successful trip even though 3 freshmen remained behind in the US. Last year’s team had the Navy SEAL training that served as a bonding experience for them and this year’s team has the Italy trip. The extra days of practice before the trip were welcomed by Ed Cooley and his staff as there are a decent amount of new faces in Friartown that need to be meshed together heading into this crucial season where Cooley and Co. will look to build on last season’s successes and begin their Big East Championship defense.

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