I’ll have stats for you on Monday, but I wanted to go ahead and share a few thoughts about the TV coverage of this afternoon’s 72-59 home win over Henderson State.
CSTV was incredibly kind to Harding and the fans on-air, making repeated comments about the quality of Harding’s student body, the spirited crowd, and the facilities. Aside from a technical glitch in the first half, it wasn’t much unlike watching a low D-I game on a network like CSS, which I suppose is to be expected, since CSTV is actually owned by CBS.
The broadcast team was decent, and the camera work was solid enough to give a home viewer like myself a great picture of what was going on during the game. It was nice, for once, to see replays of some of the great moments, like Trent Morgan’s on-his-back steal and Kevin Brown’s high-rising dunk after blowing past Antoine Vinson.
A halftime interview with GSC Commish Nate Salant gave him the platform to show how proud he is of the league’s success with televised games, particularly in football, where the GSC has had a game of the week on CSS each Thursday. He claimed to have been pushing for a TV game at the Rhodes Field House for years to show off the league’s best basketball venue, and he finally succeeded.
Like most Division I games, both schools got to run ads during the game, and I thought Harding’s were particularly tasteful. Good or bad, they both featured Larry Long strolling through campus; the first time with him narrating about how well-prepared the students were going to be, and the second with narration by a student to the same effect. They were simple and well put-together, especially in comparison to this video.
The game turned out great as well, with the Bisons taking control early in the second half with stifling 2-3 zone and soft man defense. I thought they had their best possible lineup on the floor for much of the second half, when Morgan, Dixon, Brown, Hall, and Bynum were on the floor together for several minutes. Bynum hit (and missed) a couple of jump shots, while Morgan worked his way around the floor to find easy open baskets and take some of the pressure off Matt Hall.
The final result is a temporary 1.5-game lead over the rest of the West, which includes four teams tied at 7-4 in second place. The Bisons have Southern Arkansas and Christian Brothers left on the schedule, and one more win would clinch a spot in the conference tournament.