Our ten losses

Of our ten losses we were beaten pretty soundly in nine of them, with the closest being to MSU, and everybody knows “we wuz robbed” in that one. I’d like to hear from some of you guys as to why we were really never in those games in the final minutes, including yesterday. Poor shooting? Silly and frequent fouls? No bench support? Coaching? Bad match ups? All of the above? What a strange team we seem to have…

-How well do we play in these games after the Cal St Bakersfield game when CJ Jones went into a half season slump that made Barford, Macon, and Beard play way too many minutes. Barford played WAYYYY too many minutes a few games after that like the UT game we barely won. Our guards were getting rest by not playing too much before CJ went into a slump which then fatigued our gaurds and the defensive intensity was less. This tapping man, switches and pressing is terribly demanding on the body.

-How well do we play in these losses when we are playing MIKE’s trapping man and pressing YET not shooting well?

-Trapping man, switches and pressing is exciting IF we have the guard depth AND shoot good enough to negate some of the weak rebounding.

We are a jump shooting team except for Gafford. Games where we shoot poorly we can get blown out. Not a great offensive rebounder in the group anywhere. Not a good defensive team at all.

I think this an interesting question.

Personally I think when we get a few scores behind, we at times settle for quick three strategy to make fast comeback, and forget to attack the rim and at least get to the free throw line.

We are quick to criticize the refs in all the losses,

But we could do better to attack and at least get a chance to chip away from the free throw line which can be critical to momentum and NCAA tourney type games.

To me it’s always ironic in our losses that we are typically behind because our outside shots might not be falling that day, but we double down by a strategy of bombing away to try to cut a lead and instead remain cold and miss - allow the opposition to keep adding to their lead.

I think in many of the games where we are behind in second half that became losses, we stopped attacking the rim and never gave ourselves a chance to get fouled and get to the line.

Mike seemed to have solved that with play at Alabama in win where we remained attacking the rim until the end.

Didn’t see as much of that at Missouri and some other losses.

To me, attacking the rim and at least getting to the line makes all the difference come Tournament time. Balance always because we need our perimeter shooting but we can’t give up on attacking the rim when trying to cut a lead.

The only games that we were never in were Florida, Houston, and the LSU game at home. We didn’t show up.

The UNC game was a two-possession game with 3:30 left. We played an 85-possession game the day before and ran out of gas with Macon out. The score misrepresented the margin in that game.

Similarly, after a horrible start, which was a big problem in January, we had the Auburn game down to 7 points with four minutes remaining.

The A&M loss was a one-point game at half, and the UK game was tied at half. We succumbed to early second-half runs.

This team has had a tendency to give in at times when the game is lost and hasn’t defended the arc well. A one-point deficit can become a double-digit deficit in three possessions under those circumstances.

This team will go as far as C.J. Jones, D.Hall, A. Bailey, T. Thomson and O. Cook carry it. Meaning the bench is the key to our success. Our core players generally does well enough to hold down their position, but in the event, one of them doesn’t that bench guy in the respective position have to step up and deliver. I really believe the bench has been our Achilles heel in most of the games that we got blew out in. J-MHO

I’ll offer two optimistic possibilities to explain why all of our losses were by fairly large margins:

  1. This team has been really good in close games that come down to the wire.

  2. This team has been really good at holding onto leads so we haven’t seen other teams come back and overtake us at the end of games.

Which team shows up. We are Jekyl and Hyde at times.

Teams with penetrating dish or score players seem to give us most trouble from my observations this year. Because of our pressure style, when penetrator gets by his defender, our rotations are slow, or too many come to help therefore leaving a shooter open for a three. Or we are slow to close out.

Second is fouls. We do foul a bunch. Yep refs miss some but fact is we slap and foul a lot. When behind trying to catch up we pressure going for turnovers, therefore the huge disparity in fouls. Score balloons because we can’t hit shots and foul trying to make up deficit

Third, when teams slow Macon and Barford, the Missouri game was a good example, or the Houston and North Carolina games, and role players cannot pick up slack scoring we tend to get beat soundly to say the least.