Let me start this with a quick disclaimer. I think Coach Howland is awesome and I wouldn't want anyone else running our program. I think he's a great recruiter. I think he's a great in-game strategist. I think it's amazing that he has managed to get west coast talent to buy into playing east coast defense.
I'm bothered, however, that in what seems like at least half of our games against top-shelf opponents over the last few seasons, we have a good chunk of time during the game where we're held without a FG. Our defense is going to keep us in every game we play and it's going to get us far, but we're not going to get banner #12 if we can't find ways to score consistently in tough
This year, it seems clear that teams are going to zone us like crazy to try to take the ball out of Kevin Love's hands. Right now, we're not handling the zone too well. There's far too much passing around the perimeter and far too many three-point attempts from a team that doesn't play a lot of great three-point shooters. I DID like the way they attacked the zone tonight early in the 2nd half by going to Luc at the foul line. Problem: that's not Luc's game. I'd be very interested to see what happens if Ben decides to play Love and Mata-Real at the same time and use Love at the foul line to trigger their zone offense. Love is an amazingly versatile player and I do think it's a waste of his talent to keep him in the low block all the time when the other team is packing in a zone to take that away.
But this is why we like Coach Howland. He doesn't need me to tell him this. He's probably re-diagramming the zone-offense as I wrie this. He has proven in the past that he can make adjustment mid-season as well as he can mid-game. Time will tell how well those adjustments will work, but at least we know he's going to make them.
Just be prepared, Bruin fans, for the fact that we're probably going to have to win some ugly games this year. I know I'm happy that we have a basketball coach that we can nitpick, rather than outright tear apart . . .