(Wenham MA) Nice start!
Before a playoff-sized crowd, Gordon defeated non-league Lesley, 86-70, in the season opener on Friday night at the Bennett Center.
I couldn’t get over the crowd. The home side was filled and they had plenty to cheer about especially in Gordon’s 52-point second half.
Part of the excitement at this game was a first-time look at the Scots nine new faces. On a roster of seventeen players that is a substantial turnover from the 2014-15 squad.
My two biggest concerns for this season were rebounding and scoring.
Gone were Hans Miersma, the all-time rebounder in GC history, as well as Jason Dempsey and Taylor Bajema. On this night, forty-nine rebounds were gathered. A number topped only four times last season. How did it get done? Guards got involved on the boards. Jaren Yang had a career-high eight rebounds.
Scoring? Returnees Sam Johnson (17) and Jaren (10) reached double figures. Newcomers Garrisson Duvivier (13) and Eric Demers (15) provided the scoring depth that put this one in the win column for the Scots.
Lesley has lost four straight to Gordon. The Lynx were blown out last year (85-52) but only lost by a point (62-61) the year before.
Freshman Xeo Golding had a big night in his college debut for Lesley totaling 24 points to lead all scorers.
The Lynx were still within six points of GC with 3+ minutes left but clearly ran out of energy because of a short bench.
It certainly didn’t help the visitors to have three of their starters combine for a 2-for-26 shooting night. Credit a very persistent Gordon defense for some of that.
I am a keen follower of the Efficiency Rating. Why? Because it factors more than just points to get the number. It is the result of subtracting the negative stats (missed shots and turnovers) from positive stats (points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals). The NBA coaches use it because it recognizes all-around contributions.
Sam Johnson 22
Xoe Golding 20
Garrisson Duvivier 20
Jaren Yang 17
Eric Demers 16
Junior Sam Johnson topped that list tonight. Sam recorded his second career double/double (17 points/11 rebounds) and looked like he can be the go-to guy inside this season.
Freshman Garrisson Duvivier (6-6) showed some noteworthy versatility by not only getting points (13) and rebounds (8) but also adding assists (4) and steals (3). One of Garrisson’s assists came from a layup pass to teammate Sam Johnson that started the second half. The Scots never trailed thereafter.
This was sophomore Jaren Yang’s best game. The 5-8 point guard reached career marks in rebounds (8) and assists (8). Jaren also had only two turnovers during an evening of handling the ball most of the time.
Freshman Eric Demers notched three of Gordon’s nine 3-point conversions. The outside game will have plenty to do with how the Scots will do in 2015-16.
Former Scots Hans Meirsma, Greg Walker, Dominic Paradis, and Carter Bras were in the house.
Coach Charlie Mason of New England College made the trip from Henniker (NH) to check out his next opponent (Lesley).
Next for GC will be Fisher on Tuesday night (7:30PM). Is it possible that tonight’s crowd will be back for that one? I’m betting the GC team is hoping so.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)