Tuesday, February 23, 2010
If it wasn't for Hornets freshman Marcus Oliver, Delaware State will have a very hard time scoring against a last place team like Coppin State.
Don't get me wrong the Hornets defense did it's job in Monday's 59-43 victory, but their offensive game was so slow even time almost stood still.
Marcus Neal's shots were not falling again for the second straight game and DSU missed 10 of their first 11 shots from the field including missing their 11 three point attempts.
Talk about a tough way to rebound from a lost to Morgan State last Wednesday.
However, in the final five minutes of the first half the Hornets went on a 18-5 run to secure a halftime lead. Marcus Oliver had 10 points in the first half to lead all Hornet scores.
When the second half started, it was all about Marcus Oliver.
The MEAC Rookie of the Week dominated the second half by scoring most of his points in the paint. Whether it was a down low post, getting under the basket against two Coppin State defenders, putting back shots, and making the most ridiculous acrobatic layup on two flat feet to woo the crowd, Marcus Oliver was everywhere on Monday night.
Oliver was everywhere on defense as well blocking five shots, forcing turnovers, and rebounding the basketball.
Marcus Oliver save the Hornets offense Monday night by scoring a career high of 23 points. Entering Monday's game, Oliver was only averaging 4.5 points per game.
Hornets Head Coach Greg Jackson, Sr. told reporters that during the first 15 minutes of the game the Hornets were sluggish on offense and they can't afford to do that during the final two games of the regular season before going to the MEAC Tournament in March.
Jackson also praise Oliver for his performance by not only Monday night's game but also the entire season. The only problem is Oliver didn't get enough minutes to play. Monday night he play for 31 minutes and hopefully he will continue to play more minutes as the Hornets play Hampton on Saturday and UMES on March 4 before getting ready for the MEAC Tournament March 8.
Marcus Oliver proved Monday night that he is one of the best versatile weapons on Hornets team.
Even though he is a 18 year-old freshman, Oliver will continue to grow more on his role heading into next season as the strongest players in the MEAC Conference.