Monday, November 29, 2010

Old Spice Classic Review

Not gonna lie...I'm a little concerned about how our team has opened the season. I'm not going to overreact, but there are numerous, obvious deficiencies on our team right now. Our "marquee" win so far is probably the St. Louis game, but let's face it...they lost to Austin Peay earlier this year. And Colorado...they lost to San Francisco one game after playing us, and then lost to Harvard by 16 this weekend. Soooo...I'm not putting too much stock in that win either.

Now, as for the OSC...well, we were at least competitive against some legitimate NCAA tournament teams (Notre Dame and Temple) and a NON NCAA tournament team (Manhattan). Allow me to list some of the negative things I have noticed first:
  1. The three-point shooting is horrific. We were 12-55 (21.8%) on threes during the tournament. I mean, we were missing shots every way you can -- back iron, front iron, smashing off of the backboard from straight-on, barely catching front iron and sort of falling straight down and hitting off one of our big guys and going out of bounds, toilet cleaner, the in-and-rattle out shot, and of course -- the classic airball. Regardless, we have no pure shooter and until we prove we CAN shoot, defenses will continue to zone us. Speaking of the zone defense...
  2. When teams realized we couldn't shoot and ran zone against us, our players reacted like they just saw a deformed ghost. (A similar facial expression is used by Chris Barnes when he is contemplating firing up a shot longer than 3 feet away from the basket...just a baffling look). And not to go X's and O's on anyone, but have our players ever heard of a shot/pass fake? It works wonders when trying to penetrate a zone.
  3. I'm still confused about the point guard situation. In the off-season, we heard, "Oh yeah, Robinson and Ware can just switch off and either can play the point". Well, it looks a little Miami Heatish when we are running our half-court sets. No one seems to want to take control. Hopefully one of these guys will emerge as the main ball handler because I'm not a fan of the "point guard by committee."
  4. Too many turnovers. Probably related to number 3.
  5. Robinson reminds me of a shorter Mike Mercer, for better and for worse. I would say the good outweighs the bad and he hasn't played in two years so I'll forgive the turnovers/weird decisions for now.
  6. Jeremy Price...he's been Jekyll and Hyde for three years now...and he figures, "why change?"
As for the positives, well, let's remember, Trey was pretty much thrown into these games because we needed him, and has probably gotten more game time than practice time since his injury. We don't have to play again until Friday (home vs. UAB) so I would expect our team chemistry to improve drastically now that we will have ample practice time for Trey. Also, Notre Dame, the first team we lost to in double-OT, ended up beating Wisconsin to win the OSC yesterday. So, like I said earlier, at least we're competing with the big boys.

That being said, we have GOT to start winning some of these out of conference games (like this Friday and next week against Tech) if we want any chance at getting a tourney bid. I would expect an A+ effort against UAB Friday, but if we lose that one...well, we will just talk about it later. We still have a lot of games left and I think Fox said it best on his twitter:



  1. "Robinson reminds me of a shorter Mike Mercer, for better and for worse. I would say the good outweighs the bad and he hasn't played in two years so I'll forgive the turnovers/weird decisions for now."

    Have you been watching the games? Robinson has been our most consistent player - 15.8ppg & 5.3apg - not too mention our best outside shooter - 38.1% 3PT. He's the only player on our team that can create his own shot.

    Mike Mercer had 1/10th the offensive game that Robinson possesses.

  2. First of all, thanks for reading as ALL opinions are welcome. That being said, Robinson has 24 turnovers this year which by far leads the team. The next guy is Leslie with 15. Ware only has 6. ALL he needs to do is protect the ball better, which is why I said "the good outweighs the bad".

  3. Agree with everything you said and will add to it. The 3-point shot is really hurting the team right now. The Dawgs are knocking down some big 3's at times (i.e. Robinson at the end of regulation vs. ND), although we aren't consistant enough to be a threat. Ware appears to be the biggest threat. Makes me wonder if Ware should play the 2 guard and let Robinson run the point. This leads me in to #2. It's obvious that the offense has a hard time against a Zone D. I think it should be a priority of Coach Fox to install a very solid offensive set against the Zone, if he hasn't already. The one complaint I had about Felton was the way we ran our offense. I love Fox's M2M Offense, but we need to develop an offense against the Zone that all the players are comfortable and understand their role and position on the court. They looked lost against Temple.

    Here is a question: at times, does it appear that the players are getting frustrated with each other?

    All that said, we have several tune-up games after we play Tech. This should allow the offense to gel with Trey back in the starting line up. (By the way, what you think about Trey's haircut?)

  4. "Here is a question: at times, does it appear that the players are getting frustrated with each other?"

    Yep...Trey has a history of this more than anyone. As for his haircut...I prefer Robinson's 'high fade' which is coming back into style!