Game #9-214: Eastern Kentucky Colonels at High Point PanthersDecember 21, 2012 7:00 pm
"I guess it's not too bad that High Point lost dad. Those three dunks John Brown had were worth the price of admission," is what I heard a boy exclaim to his father as fans were leaving the Millis Center. All I could do was smirk and shake my head as the father did not have a response for his son.
The fascination and excitement of the dunk is undeniable and who could fault the kid for remembering those plays the most. That is what sports highlight shows mainly focus on in their few seconds of coverage they can get sandwiched around the usual sportz banter that dominates most of these shows.
I can admit that when SportsCenter's Top 10 comes on, it will usually catch my eye, but I am more amused when they will show a spectacular play and follow that up with something like "unfortunately his team lost by 30." Well of course, that dunk will always count as two points, maybe a little coverage on how the other team executed so well to get that lead would be nice to see sometimes.
We all know breakdown of gameplay of Our Game will never be seen on the major networks. That is why a lot of mid-major schools are happy with any possible mention they can get. High Point seems to be enamored with getting onto SportsCenter's Daily Top 10. The alley-oop slam that Brown put down was impressive as he is an amazing athlete and it did make the top plays. High Point even provided a link of the play
at the top of the game summary on its website just to reinforce the fact that yeah John Brown can jump really high.
Even in the game notes I noticed that they had to mention that twice before this season that Brown was in the Top 10. First was in an early-season win against UNC-Greensboro
, while the other was in a loss against Wake Forest
This is not exclusive to Brown and this season for High Point, as I could remember seeing Shay Shine
several times on the Top 10 in his career at High Point. In talking with HPU alum Ian McCormick
at the Panthers' game against Western Michigan, he informed me that there have been plenty of instances throughout the years where the Panthers have made the SportsCenter highlights anytime there has been a spectacular dunk from the team.
It leads me to pose the question, Is High Point more enamored with making the Top 10 of a highlight show than winning? I know the question is silly, but with the way High Point has played it is hard not to believe that at times.
It made me think of a recap that was part of TMM8 that stood out to me. It was Pierce Greenberg's recap
of a game against Belmont and Troy in which he described Rick Byrd's disdain for dunking. We all know the success Belmont has had throughout the years where winning has obviously taken precedence over being on anyone's Top 10 list. Would the young High Point fan have as much fun and as many memories if he were a fan of the Bruins?
Lost in all of this are the other give or take 39 minutes and 55 seconds of action that goes on during a game. It has not been pretty the majority of that time I have seen the Panthers with my own eyes. Awful performances against William & Mary
and Western Michigan
would not have made any Top 10s. In between Brown's eye-popping plays had been poor shots, turnovers, poor defense, and missed layups.
The trend looked to continue for the Panthers against Eastern Kentucky in the first half as the flashes of athletic dominance from Brown and Alan Chaney were few compared to the efficient play from the Colonels. High Point would eventually swing the momentum back in their favor and played much better than I had seen all season, but they fell in a close game in the end.
The talent is there for High Point to be a strong team in the Big South. They obviously have two of the best athletes in the conference. It is just a matter of if they are more interested in winning and playing team ball like they did late against Eastern Kentucky or if they are more invested in seeing their face on ESPN every morning after another undisciplined loss.
EASTERN KENTUCKY 73, at HIGH POINT 70
EASTERN KENTUCKY 10-2 (0-0) -- M. DiNunno 6-12 6-6 22; G. Cosey 4-10 3-6 12; M. Lewis 2-3 3-4 7; C. Walden 4-9 4-6 13; J. Johnson 2-5 2-2 7; T. Johnson 1-5 0-0 2; D. Muff 3-5 0-1 6; E. Stutz 0-1 4-4 4. Totals 22-50 22-29 73.
HIGH POINT 4-6 (0-0) -- J. Brown 8-18 4-5 20; D. Edwards 3-11 4-5 11; D. McGaughy 1-4 2-2 4; A. Chaney 5-8 4-4 14; L. Cugini 3-9 0-0 8; A. Weary 1-5 0-0 2; J. Simms 0-3 0-0 0; B. Mikulic 2-3 0-0 6; C. Law 2-4 1-1 5; J. Cheek 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-66 15-17 70.
Three-point goals: EKU 7-23 (M. DiNunno 4-9; C. Walden 1-5; J. Johnson 1-2; G. Cosey 1-7), HP 5-16 (J. Simms 0-1; B. Mikulic 2-2; L. Cugini 2-5; D. Edwards 1-5; D. McGaughy 0-1; A. Weary 0-2); Rebounds: EKU 30 (C. Walden 6), HP 35 (J. Brown 10); Assists: EKU 14 (M. DiNunno 5), HP 17 (J. Simms 7); Total Fouls -- EKU 16, HP 23; Fouled Out: EKU-E. Stutz; HP-None.