Hudson, Yates fuel offensive attack in Blue-White scrimmage

Duo combine for 53 points on 20-of-35 shooting from field

October 20, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - If Saturday's Blue-White scrimmage is a barometer then those offensive struggles Middle Tennessee endured last season appear to be a thing of the past.

The Blue Raider men's basketball team appeared to be a much better offensive team and scored with much greater ease in the 36-minutes of scrimmage action Saturday morning. Junior center Theryn Hudson led all scorers with a 29-point outburst, followed by Kevin Kanaskie and Desmond Yates with 24 each. Calvin O'Neil tallied 17 and newcomer Demetrius Green finished with 16.

"I do think we are a better offensive team and we can finally play at the tempo we want, which is faster," Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis said. "Sometimes that will mean going smaller and playing four guards. Even our two '4' men (Yates and Dino Hair) can make the 3-pointer and drive the ball."

The Blue Raiders combined to shoot 58 percent (54-of-93) from the field and 52 percent (17-of-33) from 3-point range. They also knocked down 76 percent (31-of-41) of their free throw attempts.

The big story in the scrimmage was the post play where Hudson and Yates dominated. Hudson has flourished in the first week of preseason and that carried over into the scrimmage as the 6-foot-10 center knocked down 12-of-15 shots, including 11 of his first 12. Yates was 8-of-11 from the field as the two interior players combined to shot 20-of-35.

"Theryn was very good today. He has great positioning and we did a good job post feeding him," Davis said. "He was just big down there. We have gone with a different offense that I think can isolate Theryn and (Boogie) on the post. Our post defense wasn't great today but Theryn had a lot to do with that. He made progress and that was his best 20 or 30 minutes in a game of simulation since he's been here."

Hudson touched the ball on five of his team's first six possessions to start the scrimmage and he cashed in on all five attempts to set the early tone in the paint.

"My teammates were looking for me and I was scoring," Hudson said. "It's always good to finish when you get good position and your teammates get you the ball."

Perimeter play was not to be overlooked, either.

Kanaskie, an all-Sun Belt guard, was solid offensively as he connected on 5-of-7 shots including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. The State College, Pa., native was also 10-of-10 from the free-throw line. Green, a heralded newcomer who sat out last season after transferring from Daytona Beach Community College, came on strong after getting in a rhythm. The Lexington, Ky., native was 4-of-4 from 3-point range and 6-of-9 from the field overall.

He nailed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift his team to a two-point win in the third 10-minute scrimmage game played. In fact, Green has the last eight points of that period to rally his squad.

"That was an exciting little moment right there," Green said of the buzzer-beater. "I had to get in the rhythm after sitting out a year. I was trying not to go too fast and let the game come to me. I felt pretty good about the first scrimmage."

Nigel Johnson, Broderick Gilchrest and Josh Sain each scored 11 in the scrimmage. Johnson was smooth in transition and helped lead a more up-tempo style with his fast play.

The scrimmage consisted of three 10-minute quarters and one 5-minute quarter with players being placed on different teams to utilize different combinations in each quarter.

The Blue Raiders will continue preseason practice Sunday afternoon.

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