Nestor asked me to bump this to a FanShot....
Last night there was a total disconnect. The fans around me were not nearly as frustrated by the game as those on the in-game thread (and UCLA fans tend to be very vocal in their criticism). I will watch the game tonight on replay and maybe I will get frustrated too.
In the arena, it appeared to me that the team played with intensity (particularly the starters). The level of play and energy was well above what we saw against SC, in the 76 Classic etc. They may have lost last night but it was not the hopeless team from earlier in the year.
We seemed to play pretty good defense over most of the game. I have said before that our zone packs the paint and if the opposition passes crisply it will force our over rotation to the point where there were wide open shots. Stanford did that and got wide open shots. They beat the zone by making their 3’s. That is how you beat the zone. But beating the zone does not mean we did not playwith intensity.
The team does appear to lose focus at times. One of the things I will watch for in tonight’s replay is if the subs are as good at getting it inside as the starters. The run to pull it out at the end was a patient focus on getting high probability inside shots. Have not seen the subs able to get the ball in.
And, N, one of the things that you sense when you are in Pauley is how much this team is together. A coworker who was also at the game last night was talking with me about how excited the bench got during the game. They were into it for the whole game not just the last few minutes. That specifically included BL and MM. This is different than they looked in Anahiem or in some of the earlier games. They appear, admittedly from a distance, to be coming together as a team. All the comments about the other players resenting the starters does not appear to be true in Pauley. (But who really knows).
To me the following are the positive things:
1. Team is starting to show signs of improvement: free throw shoting, turnovers etc.
2. The team appears to be developing an identity
3. The team appears to coming together.
4. The team is starting to play closer to its potential. The team is starting to bring more intensity to every game.
Admittedly this was all suppose to happen earlier in the season and the team’s potential may not be that great.
So I am looking forward to the end of the work day to try and figure out why the tone of the thread was so overwhelmingly negative compared to how it felt in Pauley.