It’s late, so just a brief post, with more to come tomorrow.
That said, USI won its GLVC opener at home over Missouri-St. Louis because its defense held the Tritons to 32.8 percent field-goal shooting, shutting down leading scorer Joshua McCoy in the process. He came into the game averaging 18.3 points; he left, having fouled out with 3:49 left in the game, with just six points while going 1-for-6 from the field.
USI senior guard and defensive maestro Kenyon Smith refused to take much, if any, credit for stopping McCoy. “We just threw a couple of guys at him,” said Smith. “My job was mostly guarding him at the 3-point line.”
So let’s pull out the final stats on Kenyon: five points, five assists, only one turnover — and four steals — in 26 minutes (He was in foul trouble early). He’s up to 17 steals now in just nine games. But the best way to appreciate what he does is to get down near the sidelines and listen. Smith working through a game is like a man engaging in heavy labor — lots of grunts and groans and huffing and puffing. No matter what the Eagles do on defense, Kenyon Smith is the man who sets it all up with his perpetual motion, who forces the opposition to have to know where he is at all times. Not that it matters.
By the way, McCoy — who, granted, appeared to be ill early in the game — had sunk 19 of 40 3-point shots before Thursday night; that’s an average of 47.5 percent. Against USI, he was 0-for-3.
Yep, Kenyon did his job. Again.