Exhibition shows WIP, flashes of a promising team

Your Milwaukee Panthers played their first exhibition game of the '21-'22 season this past Saturday against Milwaukee School of Engineering. MSOE put up a good fight (this was their biggest game of the year), but ultimately the size and quickness of Milwaukee pushed the Panthers out to an insurmountable lead in the second frame, leading to a 69-63 exhibition victory.

The '21-'22 season is near... Tune in next week (Bally Sports), Tuesday night for Milwaukee @ North Dakota at 7pm

Patrick Baldwin connected on 3 triples and led all scorers with 18pts. Tafari Simms added 10, Josh Thomas added 9 and freshman Jasin Sinani scored his first college points (8), rebounds (2) and steal (1). 

The end result wasn't indicative of the overall game as the Panthers could have easily kept on the gas pedal, let PBJ and the other starters play several more minutes, and this one would have likely been well into the double digits (arguably, we should beat MSOE by 20+ with this group of players but a win is a win).

And this particuliar (exhibition) win won't count in our overall record but was very useful to give the coaches to something to evaluate (during the game and later on film) by using different players and combinations of players to see what groups will work best on the court together and in which parts of the games. 

Some observations that have people talking are the definitely legit-ness of PBJ as an elite talent on the college level. Lathon showed why he is a starter and will likely be our main point man this season but showed a bit of rust from not playing in a game for a couple years- he'll only improve as he gets his game back to where it was when he was 100%.

Protective and confident ball-handling seems to be a problem; that cannot continue if we hope to go far and open up shots and transition fast break opportunities.

This team is just getting started 

Vin Baker Jr. (previously expected to be a part of this season's main rotation) did not play as he is recovering from a knee scoping operation. He was held back out of extra caution and will likely play his first game as a Panther against North Dakota next week. If VBJ plays well- and right away, our depth and size get that much more ferocious.

But to be as measured as is possible with all of the optimism around this season- there is concern from some Panthers fans like me as to how "for real, for real" this team is, and how far they can actually go. But the small sample size given by this exhibition contained many flashes of greatness, despite the several miscues.

Milwaukee has a week break before the next contest to review video and prepare for the first regular season challenge in Grand Forks next Tuesday night.

This upcoming North Dakota road game, much more than the MSOE exhibition, will give Panther fans an indication of how good this team is and can be by March of this season. 

Let's see where this high-caliber (talent and character by all accounts) group of Milwaukee Panthers can take things.

go panthers
back to the future.