Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'll take it...

Any win on the road is big. I don't care who you play.

Some quick observations right after the game.

Wes Matthews... Man! Anytime Rutgers was getting rolling he would hit some floater/leaner/pretty Wes-type shot.

Dominic James... Absolutely outstanding game. 2 threes that shouldn't have been taken... maybe, but oh well. His court vision is that of legends. Some of those passes are ridiculous.

Jerel McNeal... A seemingly pedestrian effort by him. Still some big shots including big throws at the end.

Dwight Burke... Way to start off big buddy. Too bad they didn't keep feeding him.

Lazar Hayward... Not a great game. His shot wasn't there. One stupid charge foul. Not a horrible game but not helping himself as far as D3S's theory goes.

Jimmy "Legs" Butler... Great to see him do what he did in the first half. A very dumb charge (just like Lazar).

Buzz Williams... Well he even admitted in the post game that he didn't have his greatest coaching effort tonight. He said he took chances and put guys in at spots where he normally wouldn't and left guys out longer than he normally would. At least he is learning. Gotta like that.

As Zone says, "Survive and advance."

Oh yeah... and could that R at center court be any bigger. I'm sure you can see that from space.


EMoney said...

While we shot a good percentage overall and surpisingly had a ton of points in the paint against the #2 shot blocking team in the nation, I didn't think that we played a very good game overall. That being said, we still won the game....on the road so I'm very pleased. 2 years ago that probably wouldn't happen and shows how valuable an experienced trio/quartet really is.

As far as Buzz' coaching performance goes, I agreed completely with what he did and was calling for it earlier in the game. I don't know if I'm the only one, but not at one moment did I think we were going to lose that game. So when we were up 20+ points in the 2nd half, why not give our starters some much needed rest and let some of the reserves get some much needed in-game experience. So while Rutgers "made it a game" by making that 26-9 run against Otule(look Rub's no '), Butler, Hazel, Acker, etc, we still won the game and allowed much of our bench to see the court. And considering MU is playing a tough WV in 2 days, it will be necessary for our starters to be well rested as it was evident that at least 2 of the starters didn't have their legs last night (Hayward and McNeal).

Nice unexpected performances by Burke and Butler last night!

Rosario is going to be a beast! Take away the first half when James frustrated the hell out of him and he has a monster night. Prediction....Rutgers will be much improved and finish in the top 10 of the Big East next year.

Devil's Threesome said...

Fatigue should not have been an excuse - I don't think Lazar and McNeal were mentally prepared to play last night. That can't happen and really disappoints me. That being said, Rutgers' run really served as a wake-up call and could serve us well later in the year. It's always good to learn a lesson and not have it hurt you.

I'm not sold on Rutgers. Rosario took 24 (!) shots last night. They are not a disciplined team and they don't have a viable second option. Mrs D3S and her friend were laughing at their defense. How many TO's did they have? With their TOs and our shooting %, we should have annihilated them.

I'm bummed we didn't put them away, but not very alarmed, again, I think this will serve as a wake-up call.

Question to the group - was last night's second half struggle a result of fatigue or boredom/disinterest? My vote is for the latter.

Rubie Q said...

I wouldn't say disinterest. It was more: once we got up 20, we expected them to quit, like Cincy did. And that didn't happen, and won't happen very often on the road.

I think the boys are trying to learn when they can go into "coast" mode and save their legs for March.

EMoney said...

I say a little of both, but still think fatigue was the major contributor. Did you not notice that Jerel's and Lazar's jumpers really were not jumpers? They had what looked like a 4inch lift on their shot. They're averaging 35+ minutes a game, so yes there will be nights when they will not have their legs.

May I also point out that entering the preseason, a few of us were questioning our ability to win on the road at all. We win on the road yesterday to go 3-0 in the conference, yet we complain that we didn't blow them out? We aren't freakin' North Carolina loaded with McDonald's All-Americans. Yes, we probably should have won by double digits but I'll take a road W no matter how it comes. And may I also point out that the Vegas number crunchers only had us at 9.5pt favorites, so it went about as expected.

Rubie Q said...

I don't make anything of the lack of lift on 'Rel's jumper. He's been shooting a set shot on his three attempts all year. He never gets more than a couple of inches off the ground.

And there's no reason that 'Rel's and Lazar's legs should have been dead yesterday, since they only played 30 and 20 minutes against the 'Nati, respectively.

Devil's Threesome said...

And Zar never gets much lift either, in any situation.

I'm not complaining at all, every road win is great, I'm just a bit peeved/miffed at the second half sleepwalking, though, as stated before, that should help us going forward.

EMoney said...

It's not just the lift.....their form was bad too. The shots looked flat I thought. I know that I'm overly observant of details, but am I really the only one that noticed this?

Rubie Q said...

I don't know, I guess I've always thought that 'Rel, Wes, and Lazar shot more line-drive type jump shots. Dom's ball is the only one that has any arc.

EMoney said...

May I also remind all of us that Notre Dame lost at St.Johsn, Syracuse almost lost at South Florida, and Villanova had to win in overtime at Seton Hall. It's a crazy league and I bet Rutgers wins 5-6 games in conference play.

Devil's Threesome said...

I think Rutgers is horrible, but they will steal a big win at home this year. Any road win is huge, so, overall, I'm really happy about the win. We weren't hitting 3's (shocker), but we adjusted, cut down on 3 attempts and owned them off the dribble. Very good things. Wes was fantastic.

The game at Providence next week will be tricky - that's shaping up to be a big game regardless of the outcome of WV.