Random thoughts after watching this debacle on dvr...
1. I hope I never see a zone with ND, JK, MR on the backline again. On the flip side I would love to bobo, RN and TH on the frontline in a zone for easily our best shotblocking and rebounding trio.
2. JA to a screen is like a moth to a flame. I think he tries to run into them... even in a zone.
3. JK is just as clueless on defense as ND, but at least he tries hard. That one where he hedged way out on a screen set away from the ball and screener rolled unabated to the rack and JK had to give up a foul to prevent a lay up was the all clueless play of the game for me. ND never would have recovered on that play to get the foul by the way because he would have given up.
4. We are not nearly as bad as our record and we can blame the players all day, but the coach keeps putting them in there for careless turnovers. The most careless of them today for once at least the honor went to MR instead of JA. MR should never be a primary ballhandler at the top anyway.. he should be on the wing to receive passes and do something with them.
5a. I am not buying the effort thing whenever we lose and the passion was there when we played Cal. We pretty much played the same game on both ends, but Cal forced and bricked enough 3-ptrs to help nullify our careless turnovers. We also despite our bad free throw shooting made it a point to get it to the post and got to the line. We put no pressure on their bigs to defend throughout the game. Playing to our size should be a point of emphasis in my opinion instead of seeing that dreaded small unit that can't handle the ball consistently well anyway.
5b. I am not buying the lack of talent thing either. Lack of experience with our most talented players I'll buy that, but there is certainly some talent not getting the minutes, not unlike last season.
6. TH played just as well as RN this game. And on offense sure he is not aggressive at the moment trying to score his, but he is the only player who consistently looks for an opportunity to feed the post. Most of our guards are overtrained to whip the ball back and forth up top, but sometimes you need to have the patience and awareness to allow your interior player to get position to receive a pass inside. JA ML and MR rarely if ever think interior 1st unless it's a drive and draw play. Sure TH may choose a bad angle and turn the ball over, but experience will alllow him to make a better choice soon enough.
7. I love to watch TH get after rebounds as well. Watch carefully one day someone like JK rebound.. check out how many times if he gets to the ball he actually is either coming down or out of balance. I would love to go through tape to see if he has ever caught the ball at the top of his limited jump. TH goes for the ball and his timing is often close to if not perfect when he leaps. It's not just the ability to leap it's the timing. TH definitely gets bodied out of position at times, but he is one of a couple players that know how to go and get the ball.
8. ML's game was not as bad as his 7 turnovers. He got a travel falling after he got after a tough board, he got at least one dubious charge, and he was credited with one that Roll took his eyes off and it went off his head. He also made some plays and got us baskets no other player on the team could make. Yes he was out of control especially on a couple of occasions on the break, but he is also going through his 1st real year. I can't say that for the careless ones MR and ND made.
9a. Have we ever been a real good fastbreak team in recent memory? Sure we have been able to convert turnovers into easy baskets or we have had the most exquisite outlet passer to play in college basketball in recent memory, but have we ever run a good, fundamental, 3-on-2 break? We have players that can break down a man and set up a player in a 2-on-1 break, but do we know how to balance the court properly on those breaks? We just seem to have bad spacing frequently allowing a defender to more easily defend 2 players. We also have players get out ahead of each other. I just get the sense this is a facet CBH never works on. The assumption being the better ball players can just make plays.. which has been true. ML is currently the only one who can make plays and quick moves in transition to get baskets, but it's individual ability and it's also risky when a defender guesses right which caused at least one turnover in this game.
9b. I also think CBH has one out of bounds play.. it goes something like this from under our basket area.. 3 players independently run around hoping their defender forgets to cover them then the inbounder throws a long pass into the backcourt. I have never seen anything different and can only assume this is another area we do not really practice. Then again defensively we failed miserably on at least 2 occasions to cover that guy running down the middle of our defense on an inbounds, so maybe there is something to it if we run it in practice against ourselves?
10. Bobo's 5 minutes and BL's 3 minutes? BL did have a super sloppy turnover, but he should get more than that. And Bobo did nothing wrong that I could point out. That being said this season is about the future and it is horse puckey to say they couldn't get minutes in the 2nd half.