Monday, November 24, 2008

Early Thoughts

While the first half of the UWM game was a little unexpected, I was pretty happy with end result and the overall effort throughout the game. UWM was shooting 65% almost 15 minutes into the game and they went into the half down 5, so I was pretty confident that when UWM would come back down to earth that we would walk away with it......and we did. Positives: 1) I like the new offense and I think it fits our team better than Crean's pro-style system of setting plays. Result....we are averaging over 100 points a game through 3 games! 2) Wes Matthews continues to display his confidence and assertiveness this year. What we thought he may do last year is coming to fruition this year. Again, I think that this is a credit to the new offensive system. 3) To further #2, Lazar Hayward (who might be the most underrated player in the Big East) has quietly put together a 3rd great outing and his 2nd double-double of the year. We are going to need his rebounds this year! 4) After shooting a bit too many 3's in the first half, which kept the game close, they came out in the 2nd half and did what they are good at....taking the ball to the hoop. I think after 4 years, they are starting to realize what they need to do to be successful. 4) Dominic James also had a quiet great game. 16 pts, 8 assists, and 3 steals. And he shot a pretty good percentage. I think that Dom is reverting to the other guys more than ever, and is settling into more of a distributing role. Perfect! The one large negative that I took out of this game is Dwight Burke. Thus far I am completely wrong on my prediction for him. Again, it's a little early, but against inferior competition he has been a complete waste out there. I'm afraid that he is not starter material at this point, and while he will continue to get the starts, I foresee Hazel taking away large amounts of minutes away from him and probably playing more mpg than Burke. Why is it so hard for us to find a competent big man? I would kill for Scott Merritt right now!

9 comments:

Rubie Q said...

Good points, all.

The most striking thing was that EVERYBODY who scored in double-digits had a 'quiet' game, in that none of them stood out as playing exceptionally well (except maybe Lazar). But then you looked up and saw Lazar with 25, and Wes with 25, and Jerel with 22, and Dom with 16. Everything came within the flow of the offense. Outstanding on that end.

The defense remains a work in progress, but hell, we've only played 3 games. That said, there's no way someone like Tone Boyle (is that #11?) should go for 20-plus against MU. He's a completely one-dimensional player who has zero ability to create his own shot. He should've had 6, at the most.

And as far as I'm concerned, Dwight Burke can start walking east on Wisconsin Avenue and stop when his hat starts bobbing.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

don't let VaJayJay hear you say that about Burke. I also agree with everything $ is saying except for the bring back merritt part. are you serious? he was the poster boy of the things we are bitching about burke. same shit different player.

EMoney said...

Defense seems to be everyone's issue to this point which is understandable. However, the highly up-tempo pace that we are running means an unusually large # of possessions for both teams as well as a large number of easy transition baskets. It's almost as if we have a Phoenix Suns philosophy that we're just going to outscore you tonight. Furthermore, the way that our guards gamble for steals leads to a breakdown of the defense many times and sometimes allows easy buckets or at least an open shot. I imagine they will become more disciplined as the competition picks up a little bit. You can gamle alot more and not worry about it when you're up 20 points.

And that Boyle kid....I think he's actually pretty good. He's not going to wow you with athleticism, but he's an outstanding outside shooter and proved it so saturday night as most of his points were jumpers beyond the 3pt line so he earned them.

EMoney said...

You can't be serious Scott? Sure merritt was a bit of an underachiever, but compared to Burke he is Michael Jordan in the scoring department. Furthermore, he would grab 5-8 boards every game and also block a few shots. He started on the final four team for pete's sake, so he wasn't that bad. You look at Burke's stat lines for the first 3 games and tell me that they are not ANEMIC. Remember I was a Burke supporter coming into the season, but he has absolutely failed thus far. I haven't looked but I will bet that for the year he has less than 10 pts and 10 boards total in the 3 games. That's horrible for a starting PF/C in the Big East versus low-level non-conference competition.

Rubie Q said...

Merritt could at least make a free throw. The first three rows of fans should be given flak jackets when Burke goes to the line.

EMoney said...

Also......GO UCONN!

Devil's Threesome said...

Saying Merritt isn't any better than Burke is like saying: "Stacy Dales-Schuman, Doris Burke? I'd rail either one, doesn't matter." It's not that Dales is the hottest chick at ESPN, but she certainly serviceable.

Devil's Threesome said...

Also, I agree with Money on all points. Regardless, I still have a bad feeling about this season. I can't wait for some decent competition this weekend in Hoffman Estates. Look for me in Row 2 with the big MU fan and stocking cap.

FPMKE said...

I'm glad to see that talk continues to be about a big man. I had some idiot at the Schoolyard trying to argue that our most glaring need was a pure shooter. When I pointed out the numerous scoring threats (Matthews, McNeal, Hayward, James, and Cubillan coming off the bench to drain the the occassional 3) and said that a "pure" shooter would be nice but that a legitimate big man was our biggest need, the guy came back with a "well I think you're wrong". Well, I thought he was a spaghetti noodle, good comeback my friend. A few minutes later, he stopped back and admitted that he had been spoiled by the Steve Novak era and didn't know what he was talking about.

On another Schoolyard note, Garrity still shakes his watch a ridiculous number of times per a conversation.

Scott Merrit was great, when his shoulder wasn't hanging by a flap of skin and when he wasn't molesting children.