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Men’s Basketball Beats Frostburgh State in Exhibition, 77-59

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Chris De La Rosa made his debut at point guard

There was some very good moments, and there were very bad moments for UMBC. They went into the half with a 42-18 lead but Frostburg State outscored UMBC 41-35 in the second half. But granted, UMBC did not play the starters for long. As expected Robbie Jackson started at center, Chris De La Rosa started at the point, and Matt Spadafora started that the small forward position. The other two starters were freshmen Shawn Grant and Adrian Satchell.

The biggest bright spot was Spadafora. After failing to meet his expectations last season, which was a result of trying to hard and forcing shots, and being hesitant after getting elbowed in the eye, he played very well in the exhibition. He led the team with 17 points with four rebounds, but the importants thing was his shot looked good. He went 5-7 (71.4%) from the field, including 2-4 (50.0%) from three point range, and 5-8 (62.5%) from the foul line. His shot looked well times, clean, and it looks like he can step up and be a big scorer for UMBC in his senior season.

Jackson had a very interesting game. He scored 13 points and had nine rebounds with two blocks, which was to be expected with his size, but his shots game from a few feet out off jumpers, rather than from right under the basket. But his 7-8 performance at the line is a good sign, especially since he’s the center. The ball will get inside ot him, and he’ll get fouled quite often. With a center like that having free throw ability, it’s a big plus.

But Chris De La Rosa was the star of the game. He scored 12 points with six rebounds and had four assists. He went 3-5 from the first and a perfect 6-6 from the line, and he played good defense. While he’s an extremely different style player than Jay Greene, it’s nice to know that UMBC has a solid option at the point running the show. De La Rosa didn’t even try anything from three point range, but that was because he didn’t need to and he just passed the ball around.

When it comes to the only other two returning players. Bakari Smith and Jake Wasco, neither had a decent amount of time to evaluate them, but neither played very well either. Wasco is needed as a defensive forward and he struggled a bit, while Smith needs to use his physically matured body (he’s 26) to his advantage more. They combined for five points and eight rebounds, five of which did come from Wasco in just 12 minutes.

As far as freshman, three shined, one disappointed, and one did not play. Jamar Wertz will be out of action for the start of the season with a leg injury but Satchell and Grant played very well. Satchell scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Grant scored nine points with three rebounds. Satchell played a great all around game. he went 4-5 from the field including 1-1 from three point range. But his 0-2 performance from the line needs to be improved. Grant however did get the point but needs to pass the ball around more. He took too many bad shots and only went 3-9 from the field and 3-3 from the line. If he passes the ball more and takes better shots, he could be good. But Nick Groce looks like he may be the best of the bunch. He went 3-5 from the field and 2-4 from three point rnage for eight points while getting four assists. When he was in the game the same time as De La Rosa, he was running the point, and his defense was phenomenal. Expect good things from him this season.

The disappointment though was Brian Neller. He had early success with two jumpers, but went 2-8 from the field in the game and 0-4 from three point range, not something a guy recognized as a solid shooter can do.

But you also have to look at the situation. Only three guys played last year, and two of them didn’t even play that much. Overall, I liked what I saw from the team.

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