I has all been stated before about the emotions of last week and rankings and all that stuff. Then Jaylin was not playing. We were going on the road against a physical team that blew GA away. I was hoping that we would stay in striking distance and win a close one at the end. Well, we saw how much I know about it.
This was a remarkable job by coach Muss to have this team focused and ready to play. Sometimes we forget that these are 19-22 yr old kids, but they are playing and approaching the game like pros. Amazing.
I guess he will now have them completely focused on A&M. That is how it should be.
I shared your concerns Jim. I really feared getting off to one of those slow starts against a hot team playing at home. You get the feeling that Justin Smith just isn’t going to let that happen. He’s been serving notice early in games that you better be ready to defend the paint when you play Arkansas, and that has really opened things up for our shooters. A lot of veterans to go with 3 very mature freshmen. What a joy that game was to watch!
I think Frank Martin looked at the tape of our winning streak and opted for a defensive strategy designed to stop what we had been doing successfully-doing most of our damage close to the basket and not depending on inconsistent three point strategy. That zone was designed to collapse on guys trying to handle the ball anywhere close to the paint, and it did cause several turnovers in the first 30 minutes or so of the game when our guys ended up in traffic. It made sense for his team, which is not blessed with a lot of defensive quickness at guard to make man defense a good idea against our bunch, and their bigs, while physical and able to block shots, are a bit foul-prone.
What Frank did not count on was the way we moved the ball and took open threes with confidence. Moody kept scoring until we got in a good rhythm shooting threes, and that just wrecked their defensive game plan.
Two things that don’t bode well for Frank going forward. First, in his ninth year at SC he apparently lacks the talent to be confident playing man against upper level SC teams. Second, SC’s passing last night was atrocious at times, which even in a stop/start goofy year is pretty damning in a March game.