After a sluggish one-point exhibition win over Dixie State, the Rebels reassured their fans that all of the preseason excitement was justified with a 92-54 thrashing of Northern Arizona on Nov. 12. The defensive pressure was much better, and the offense was—with occasional exceptions—more disciplined. Players such as freshman Anthony Bennett got the jitters out of their system against Dixie State and felt right at home for the NAU game. It was clear throughout the game that the players had found their comfort zone—and it shows in some impressive stat lines:
Bennett had 22 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 20 minutes and looked like he could have added plenty more to his stat line. Anthony Marshall looked at ease at point guard, going 6-for-6 including 2-2 from 3-point range. He also had six assists, and three rebounds in 25 minutes. Bryce Jones had 15 points and showed no ill effects from his preseason hand injury. Freshman Katin Reinhardt finished with 14 points and four assists despite a slow start, and Savon Goodman also scored in double figures, finishing with 11 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes.
Mike Moser, the Rebels’ returning superstar, was the most unselfish player on the court, but contributed plenty with his 11 rebounds. Quintrell Thomas came off the bench to impress with six points and seven rebounds. Justin Hawkins, meanwhile, may not have made a splash on the stat sheet, but his hustle on the court created many opportunities for others. This team showed flashes of how good it can be—and that’s what the fans are buzzing about. My question is: Can the Rebels have five or more players average in double figures this season?