Monday, March 8, 2010

Devendorf Lovin It Down Under

Eric Devendorf showed that offense is his best defense for the Waikato Pistons.
This week saw another NCAA team rise to #1 in the rankings, only to be knocked off the perch in the same week.

The Syracuse Orangemen (#1) traveled to Louisville to take on the Cardinals in what was to become an historic game at Freedom Hall.

Where am I going with this story you may ask? Stick with it.

The Orangemen who usually have no trouble scoring as they run out of their world renowned zone defense, struggled against the Rick Pitino coached Cardinals.

I'm guessing that 'Cuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim would have loved to have had former standout guard Eric Devendorf at his disposal.

Instead, Devendorf kick started his New Zealand pro career with a lazy 49 points (7-10 threes) against the Nelson Giants as his defending champ Waikato Pistons ran out winners 92-73.

I was told (secondhand of course) that Devendorf and Pistons coach Dean Vickerman had an interesting conversation during the early stages of this game.

It went something like this.

Vickerman asked, "Eric, can you give me a little better effort on the defensive end when we are in man to man, please?"

Devendorf responded, "Is that where I stand at the top of the keyway and way my arms around like I'm landing a plane? The way Coach Boehiem had me do it so well for four years?"

My understanding was Vickerman was a little taken back and needed to think of a better way to get his message across.

In the next break in play, Vickerman calls over the tatted point guard and hopes this message gets the point across.

"Ok Eric, lets try this philosophy I learnt from a former player I coached this past year. You are responsible for that player (points to Nelson's point guard Mike Fitchett) and if you can score more points than him, you have done a great job defensively in our man to man principals", Vickerman explains to Devendorf.

History shows that Devendorf liked the idea of this defensive concept.

I will keep an eye on this situation to see how this man to man theory continues to pan out over the season.

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