Richard Law impresses the crowd__ (yet again)
Posted by Donald Wilkerson on Nov 30 2003 at 04:00PM PST
Jags' Law: Hustle and unselfishness 12/01/03 It was one of those days for Richard Law; the good version of one of those days. Scoring a career-high 18 points that included 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range and grabbing five rebounds, Law gave the few fans who attended South Alabama's 66-49 victory over Alabama State at the Mitchell Center on Sunday quite a show. And if practice performances are any indication, this will not be a one-night stand. "No one on the coaching staff is surprised by the way he played today," second-year head coach John Pelphrey said. "He has been shooting the ball great in practice." Just as importantly, Pelphrey said, Law is investing much more into this team and his play than taking 3-point shots. "Nobody works harder or cares more about the welfare of this basketball team," Pelphrey said. "He's developing into a great team leader. ... As he gets physically stronger, he's going to get better and better." Law, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound sophomore from Houston has gotten better, partly due to the extra work he put in during the offseason and also because the competition level, which is higher overall with this year's team, is pushing each of the South Alabama players to step up their games. Last season, Law averaged just six points a game, playing an average of 18 minutes a game. In South Alabama's first two games of the season -- losses at Jackson State and Mississippi State -- Law scored a combined 13 points, all nine of his points against MSU coming on 3-pointers (3-of-5). He's averaging 23 minutes a game this season. The difference, he says, is confidence. "I was feeling it (shooting touch) today," he said. "I've been feeling it in practice. If I'm open, I need to pull it. ... I feel a lot more a part of the flow of the game now, playing my second year here. I know the system better and we have a lot more depth now. "The competition level has made me better; it's made all of us better. I know if I'm not hitting (shots), somebody else will be, so I'll get the ball to them." Law said he wasn't surprised by his play Sunday. Fact is, he's been waiting for a game like that to materialize. "I expected something to happen. Hopefully, I'll have some more games like that," he said. If so, he could play a key role in South Alabama's season. Malerick Bedden, who averaged 13.4 points a game last season and was a driving force for the Jags at the end of last year, is expected to regain his eligibility after one more game. With senior Henry Williams getting stronger and Justin White showing some improvement, there could be better days ahead in the paint for the Jags. And of course, the long range of the Law will offer some perimeter help, too. Another area in which Law's game adds help for the Jags is his hustle. Pelphrey pointed out the sophomore's ability to chase down loose basketballs as a big help. Hustle plays don't show up on the state sheet, but they score big with coaches -- and sometimes are the determining factor in winning or losing a game. "It was good to get our first win at home. Maybe now we'll get something started," Law said. Sunday's game may also have signaled the start of Richard Law as a key player in South Alabama's plans. (Tommy Hicks' column appears every Monday and Friday in the Mobile Register. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-219-5685.) Copyright 2003 al.com. All Rights Reserved.
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