College Basketball is here, and Phenom Hoops is going to be bringing you some terrific coverage throughout the year.  We start off the season with two teams we are quite familiar with and have plenty of Phenom Hoops alums on the roster, as Emory & Henry traveled to take on East Tennessee State.

Both teams kicking off the season were trading baskets, but ETSU found early success on the boards. And they continued that trend, really attacking the offensive glass and getting those second-chance points on a regular basis.  But Emory & Henry battled throughout the first half, staying within striking distance behind Jalen Leftwich and Cade Looney.  However, ETSU was able to make a late run before half to earn a double-digit lead and take a 45-31 halftime lead.

ETSU was able to continue their balanced attack, using their size again and attack the boards and getting several players involved.  They were able to maintain their lead throughout the second half, keeping it around 20 points but that doesn't mean Emory & Henry didn't compete, just was a tough day on the glass and against size. ETSU was able to create nearly 25 more shots on the night, they had 48 bench points, and also create 35 points off turnovers.

In the end, ETSU finished the night with an 88-66 victory at home.

Player Standouts:

East Tennessee State:

Justice Smith: Smith was terrific in this game, as he led all players in scoring with 20 points and nearly going perfect from the field (9-for-10). He did much of his work inside the arc, as the 6'6 guard used his size to finish over defenders and create off the dribble. He was a big presence in the win coming off the bench.

Brock Jancek: Another player coming off the bench, the forward really was able to showcase his footwork and postwork in this one.' He excelled in getting to the block and spots, showing his feel with his back to the basket, and finishing well around the basket. Strong showing from the young man as he finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds.

Jalen Haynes: The 6'8, 255-pound forward made his mark and used his body to be physical in the paint but also showed tremendous touch to score the ball.' Whether it was being active on the boards or producing around the basket and finishing strong, Haynes used his size to his advantage and was part of a strong effort down low for ETSU.

There were other Phenom Hoops alums in action, as Jaden Seymour finished with 10 pts/9 rebs, Josh Taylor had 4pts/ 6rebs, and Jamarius Hairston had 5pts.

Emory & Henry:

Jalen Leftwich: Leftwich played well, really being assertive and creating well off the bounce.' He did a good job in making plays and scoring, getting inside the defense, creating for himself, showing nice touch, and getting to the basket.' Coming off a season in which he averaged 12.3 points and 3.8 assists, Leftwich seems to be one of the go-to players and should only continue to elevate his play this season.

Cade Looney: Looney, a 6'8 sophomore, also played strong.' The forward had a tremendous freshman season in which he averaged 14.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, and he should use that experience to continue that success this season. He was able to show his post moves and touch in the paint, and staying active and competing around the basket eventually finishing the night with 10 points and 5 rebounds.

Malcolm Morgan: Morgan wasn't able to see much time due to early fouls but he started to come on stronger in the second half, as the senior guard was effective in putting pressure on the defense and getting to the line, attacking off the dribble and getting inside the paint.  Liked his assertive nature and his ability to get downhill consistently, as he finished leading the team with 14 points.

Also liked what we saw from other Phenom Hoops alums, as Christian Drummer, Marshall Klug, Bradlee Wolf, Jacob Dar, and Jacob Morgan all got strong minutes throughout the game and had their moments.

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