Exhibition Game - Bearcats 100-and-something, Buffalo State 64

I was impressed tonight with the Bearcats' hundred-point destruction of D-III Buffalo State.

Of course, every exhibition-game report needs the blah-blah-this-game-doesn't-really-count disclaimer at the outset. But there were some impressive things to take from this game.

The big story, to me, was D.J. Rivera. Nine-for-13 from the field for 21 points, Rivera's intensity is unmatched. His rebound-dunk combo about two minutes in energized the crowd and his teammates, and was hopefully just a flash of what's to come.

Ordinarily, I'd be wary about such intensity on the court, especially after watching cool-as-ice Mike Gordon lead the team for the past few years.

But Tiki Mayben's calm-and-confident demeanor seems to contrast Rivera's energy perfectly.

I've written before about Mayben's prior transgressions, and I still think there is a fundamental flaw in Kevin Broadus' recruiting philosophy.

That said, and not to downplay those reservations -- when you give these two guys the ball, special things happen. At least tonight.

There were other positives tonight. Specifically, Dwayne Jackson.

I have always been a fan of D.J. He came in as a freshman and worked his way through the system, doing everything right from the beginning. No legal troubles, no whining, no B.S.

Of course, the kid lit it up tonight, 4-for-5 from downtown, with another make questionably called back after a Jaan Montgomery foul. If D.J. has improved his horrendous rebounding skills, I think he deserves a spot in the starting five.

Having sung the praises of Mayben and Rivera, the spot for Jackson would be the 3-spot that now belongs to Sean Watson, who played the quietest 22 minutes-13 points-7 rebounds I've seen in a long time. At times, you'd just forget he was on the floor. That can be good or bad, but I don't see that style jiving well with the creativity of Mayben and the electricity of Rivera -- at least as a starter.

It felt good to see Jaan Montgomery succeed tonight. When you're five inches taller than everyone on the other team, it makes things a little easier, but it was nice to see him doing the things that I'm sure Al Walker dreamed of five years ago.

As for Reggie -- I wrote last year that I thought he could develop into a top-tier-type player if he could develop that 16-foot jumper. But I don't think that's the case anymore. In this system, I see Reggie becoming a solid role player, but he'll be shooting even less this season with these hired guns -- erm, transfers -- running the show.

I won't be able to make Monday's game because of work (can you tell how happy I am about that?), but I'll likely post some more on this game later tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

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