Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
Consistency may be the hobgoblin of small minds and academics -- but I think our biggest challenge can be summed up in one word CONSISTENCY. We don't bring all we have, every game, all the time. Or for 3/4 of the time. If we did, we'd not have to play from behind or be in close games (which run the risk of bad calls from the SPTR's). Yes, I know one can say that furd came out "on fire", but if you watched the game, they were burning down an empty building -- our D just was not there. And, yes, you can say that they cooled down -- as any team would -- but isn't it funny that they cooled down when we started to play D?
I may be wrong and this is not an "empirical" finding, but my impression of the season is that the only player who has been bringing it all, all of the time is PAA. I would say JS has been a close second. I'm not faulting any of the players, I truly admire them all, but I don't think it is hard to explain why we are where we are -- we are not consistent, not within a game and not game to game. And, that forces tough choices for CBH. For example, no one can doubt JH's talent and although some may question his heart, I don't. If anything, he's not learned to play top notch D, and that's understandable. Most freshmen take a while to learn. (Yes, KL got better, at this stage of the season, but I think the D KL had to play easier and he had Luc helping out.) What troubles me most about JH is that he seems to hold back and defer to others when he could be taking the ball to the hoop and scoring. The dilemma? Keep him in the game because of his immense promise or pull him when he's not stepping up. Just when you think you might pull him he'll drive and make an amazing, clutch shot or grab a key board and you'll say -- "Here he goes" leave him in. And then ...
ND raises the same concerns. His D still isn't there. He may be a vastly improved player, and he's having a good year, but many of their open shots were on him. So, you think pull him for DG -- and then ND buries some 3's. D or outside scoring -- if you can't have both, what do you do?
DG has been consistent in most phases of the game. And, there is one phase in which he has been the most consistent on the team. He is truly passionate about winning. Much has been written about this and last night, we had a great example. At the end of the game, when we were trying to pull away, DG standing up in the bench area waiving a towel and cheering on his mates.
ML has been consistent off the bench. He's done some amazing things. IIRC, he turned a likely turnover into a 3 -- we had made a bad pass, the ball was going out of bounds, ML went after it and before touching the ground threw a perfect pass to JS who buried a wide open 3.
MR has played with consistent intensity and focus. I think he is often under appreciated. We have been trained to see him as an outside shooter. His game is bigger than that. Last night, the best example of how he does things right was when he boxed out, perfectly, and grabbed a key rebound. If you watch his game, his D is good, and he may be our best passer to the post.
We are consistently at a disadvantage at the FT line. We took 10, they took 16. The differential was greater until the end of the game. There were a few bad calls against us -- blocks that the replays showed were all ball. And, we were going inside and drawing fouls but not as well as they did. And, then there was ND's foul on a 3 point shot ...
And, finally, there is one broadcast announcer who consistently gets it right, Donny Mac. No babble -- just insightful analysis. He has been spot on in his critiques of our lack of effort and defensive failures -- and of our reliance, too much, on the outside shot. Last night, someone in the thread mentioned that Donny Mac would make a great coach and I agree. But, if he were gone from the microphone, I'd have to pull a Fox and turn off the sound.
The ultimate "consistency" -- I love our team and this season. And, I love CBH. This may be his best "coaching" year. He's had to work so much harder to get us where we are. For example, at one point, with at least 4 minutes left, we had 3 starters with 4 fouls on them. His player management was brilliant -- great combinations of players that kept all but ND from fouling out -- and ND went late in the game.