AC “won” the second half yesterday. Frist, they are a good, well coached, hard nosed team that will not go away. Also, it is difficult to maintain a 20 point halftime lead. I don’t know if it is a head deal, or what, but often those leads are not maintained.
AC hit some big time 3s as well. On couple of those from way out that were somewhat covered, you just have to say “good shot” and tip your hat.
The thing that concerned me was our in the paint defense. It seemed to me that we did a very poor job of that. Could be wrong, but this is the down and dirty stuff I was posting about the other day. I bet we see a lot of that pound it inside stuff from the SEC. Will Muss have them ready for that? I am sure he will try, but am wondering if we can handle that type game by teams that are rugged and good at it. To me, this is sort of like stopping the run in football. That takes special, physical players.
I will be interesting to see how that develops. If coaching can fix it, it will be fixed. I am certain of that.
I am not panicking yet on that.
Points in the paint look like this so far this year
I do agree that there is some weakness when the opponent has a guy down low that is big and strong. That’s not CV’s strong point. There may be a few games this year where we have to come up with a plan for that.
Maybe a lot of weak side help. Maybe work on better positioning for CV.
Interior defense may the weakest part of this team’s game. Two things that caused that yesterday, was,because of foul trouble, Smith played 15 minutes fewer than the previous game and he’s our only really solid interior defender. And, for some reason, Vanover didn’t seem to quite be himself yesterday (tired maybe?). He played 25 minutes without a block and only 3 boards.
Vance Jackson played the most minutes he’s played since the first game and I thought he played pretty well. He’s not a solid defender, but he did get 2 blocks and hit a big 3 for us. In just 2 fewer minutes than Smith, he had just 3 boards, while Smith had 10, including 7 defensive boards. IMO, the main reason Muss is playing Smith so many minutes is because he’s our only solid and consistent interior defender. I do think that Connor will normally play better interior defense than he did yesterday.
We don’t really have any inside offense or defense and in the SEC it could are Achilles heel, we will see how things go but our 1st 6-7 games are pretty tough so hopefully we can get a solution to are inside troubles.
I don’t believe we will have much of a problem with our inside offense. At least not nearly the same problem we may have defensively against the bigger teams we will be facing in the SEC. We have outscored our first 8 opponents 314-200 in the paint. I expect us to at least hold our own in the paint offensively overall in the SEC games. Sure, we may struggle a bit against teams like TN, LSU, FL and maybe KY.
That’s true, but remember, a lot of our paint points come from our guards. We don’t have to have 4 or 5 bigs to beat some teams in points in the paint. Desi and Tate get those points in nearly every game. Notae also, gets points in the paint frequently.
You really need good length for defending the paint, but you can somewhat overcome size with points in the paint from good driving guards and SFs (Moody has started improving in scoring in the paint also). It helps when we have Connor and Jackson on the floor to draw other teams bigs out to protect the 3 point line.
What’s going to happen inside is a big unknown heading into SEC play. We have been solidly taller and thicker than every opponent so far. That won’t be true against Auburn. They are 2 to 3 inches taller and/or about 25 lbs heavier per player on the court than anybody we have faced so far. We will be at a height and weight disadvantage for the first time this season. Their size advantage over us is about the same as our size advantage over Central Arkansas. Auburn is one of the biggest teams in the SEC. We are about the SEC average.
Vanover will struggle with the short PF who is as wide as he is tall. This player can get his center of gravity under Connor’s and move him easily.
The biggest weakness might be an at-the-rim scorer. Jones, and to a degree Whitt, could get the ball and go to the bucket and create points. We have a lot of shooters. The few times Vanover has shown an inside game its been fine.
One of the reasons we got “Beat” in the second half yesterday is that Tate did not play after about the 10:30 mark due to his ankle. Our offense would have looked a lot more fluid and scored more had he played and I doubt we get “Beat” in the second half as his half court defense was also missing.
Also, I am not using “Beat” to call out any posters because I had the same thought as I was watching the game until I read that Tate didn’t play as much due to the ankle.