Golden Eagles Smash Hiwassee
The struggling Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (2-5) got their feel-good game Monday night. Hosting Hiwassee (3-2), TTU put together a more convincing complete game.
The first four minutes ended with TTU up 8-0. They never looked back.
The strength of the Tech team is clearly in the backcourt. Aleksa Jugovic and the elegant Markell Henderson gave TTU 23 first-half points. Entering the season Coach Payne attached scoring leader duties to Jugo. He can.
The Golden Eagles are tasked with replacing their entire frontline this fall. Judging by the early games, Head Coach Steve Payne likes redshirt freshman Micaiah Henry under the tin. Facing Hiwassee, Henry hovered in the lane in the back of the 2-3 zone.
Coach Payne gave his entire team significant minutes in the blowout victory. It allowed fans to see the bench.
The Tech offense was eager to spread the love around in the scoring column, with 10 of the 11 players to see the court contributing in that department. The Golden Eagles collected a season-high 27 assists in the contest, with sophomore Savonte Frazier leading the way with a career-best mark of seven.
Hakeem Rogers never showed much discretion last season, but thankfully the ball was dominated by All-Conference guard Torrance Rowe. On the season Rogers is shooting his way out of the lineup (23.4% FG).
The perimeter defense is not great. Collectively they defend decently, but when guards attack, TTU provides minimal deterrence. Obviously, porous perimeter defense creates many problems. When a dribbler gets into the lane multiple bigs are forced to collapse. The Golden Eagles are not blessed with a deep frontcourt, so any foul trouble in conference play would be troublesome.
In an easy victory, the takeaways are few. Still, Tennessee Tech was able to get major minutes to their rotation’s 6-10. This always helps team morale. Thursday TTU travels to Lipscomb.