The first day of the Diamond Head Classic is in the books. It went exactly as we expected. The favored teams won -- and won handily, for the most part -- setting up some anticipated match-ups in the second round. The boys have been put to bed, and the winner's bracket is filled with the "men" of the tournament.
On to a few observations from the day.
- What else can you say about Washington State's performance. Yes, Mississippi State hung around in the first half, but it sure felt like the Cougs were going to run away in the second. And they did just that. Faisal Aden did a fantastic job off the bench, Klay Thompson was a beast and the team put the clamps on down the stretch. This team is fun to watch.
- Baylor is a very good team. Don't take the Bears loss to Gonzaga as a sign they're weak. With apologies to Gonzaga, that game was a pretty clear fluke offensive performance by the Bears. How good are they? Despite have a crap offensive game against the Zags -- 89.8 OE, 38.8 eFG -- Baylor had a chance to win it. By the way, that eFG was 20 points lower than their typical rate and the only time Baylor has been outside of the 50s.
- Craig and I joked that Hawaii's Zane Johnson never stops shooting. He shoots when he wakes up, he shoots at the bus stop and he even shoots while he's sleeping. Johnson loves shooting and, apparently, never met a shot he didn't like. In the late game, he scored 24 points on 6-12 shooting. Not bad, right? He was 6-11 from three. He only took one shot inside the arc and he missed it.
- Klay Thompson gets your player of the day award. I'm biased, but he was better than everyone else. So sue me.
- Butler beat Utah, but Butler wasn't a ton of fun to watch. They do play like the old Bennett teams, but I'm spoiled by our current team. I love watching these guys plays. It can be frustrating at times, but when WSU is clicking, just sit back and enjoy the show.
- Abe Lodwick had an underrated, workman-like game. He also hit three shots from beyond the arc! Once his shot started falling, I knew it was gonna be a good day.