VARESE, Italy – Every day during the Islanders men's basketball team's overseas tour in Italy, GoIslanders.com will bring you Postcards from Italy – a combination of photos from the day's activities and a brief recap on the events from members of the men's basketball team.
In today's installment, junior John Jordan decided to look deep into the team's in-game performance against Oleggio Basket.
Today I think the team woke up a little more motivated to play because we heard that the competition level was going to rise after the first game. I feel that we sometimes play to the level of competition, which is something that we have to grow out of in order to be a championship team.
I thought that we started off a little slow, which caused us to trail early in the game. The second group did a pretty good job picking things up when it was our time to get in. During the second quarter, we started making shots and started to catch a good rhythm causing us to go on at 10-0 run to close the half.
I thought that guys like Jelani Currie, Brandon Pye and Dale Francis played huge minutes starting off the second half, taking us on another big run. From that point on, we never looked back, taking a commanding lead and blowing away the competition. With everybody playing well it made the game easier for everybody going forward.
The opponents had a hard time making adjustments because of the success we were having making shots. I've been impressed with Cole Martinez's shot-making ability through these two games. If he continues to shoot the ball at a high percentage, teams will really have a hard time guarding us.
The European players play the game a little different than I am used to. Their body movements and footwork are more fluid, versus being mechanical like American players. They are very good shooters which allows them to spread the defense out. Their guards are also very good passers and decision makers.
Overall, the trip has been fun! I've been able to eat Italian food and talk and mingle with Italian citizens. The fans have been nice, treating me like I am professional basketball player already. I have taken numerous pictures while taking casual walks outside and after the games.
I love making fans happy by playing basketball because I was a fan at one point and I know the feeling of seeing someone perform well. The hotel we stayed at was amazing – the view down to the city was one of a kind! I am really looking forward to visiting the coliseum in Rome. Best wishes to everyone back at home!
A new component of Postcards from Italy is Coach Wilson's rating of the pistachio gelato from various places throughout the country. This came after Maury Hanks, the leader of our trip, told Coach about the quality of the gelato in the town of Bellagio. Every day, we'll have Coach's ratings of the dessert at the end of the postcard.
Today, Coach made it to the gelaterie that got this segment started – the one in Bellagio on the far side of Lake Como. It did not disappoint.
Day 1 – Milan – 8
Day 1 – Varese (Buosi Gelato) – 8
Day 2 – Varese (Varese center) – 6
Day 3 – Varese center (Blueberry/Raspberry) – 7
Day 4 – Bellagio – 9