Sunday, January 3, 2010

Heartbreak City Part II

I don't want to get in a big debate again about moral victories etc. but I'm still proud as hell of this team and think these last 2 games have shown that we can go toe-to-toe with anyone in this conference and I think we'll win our fair share of games this Big East season. I don't think there is anyone who thought we'd win either of these 2 games so I'm not going to panic until we start dropping games against teams we are "supposed to beat". Sure our offensive execution late in the second half was not very good and our defense was atrocious as we continued to just let people drive by us to the hoop, but hopefully we can build on these 2 close games and be fine the rest of the year after we get out of the schedule gauntlet.

Remember we were projected to be 12th in the conference and that was before J-May quit and Junior and Chris went down to injuries.

PS-I just forced myself to watch the end of the game again. Our possession with 1.5 minutes left accomplished one of its goals of using some clock but the Mo 3 isn't what we were looking for at all and Lazar never touched the ball. Secondly, our possession with 49 seconds left. DJO created for himself and had a decent look heading down the lane. Lazar was there for the o-board and was fouled. Watching the replay it very easily could have been a jump ball in which case we would have had the ball with the shot clock turned off and the game tied 71-71. I guess in hindsight I would have much preferred that. Even when we got a call yesterday we got screwed. I'm so glad Scottie Reynolds is graduating because he is such a pain in the ass, the behind back dribble between 2 defenders and the Sam Cassell and one was just sick. And Jimmy, go up and dunk the hell out of the ball. I think he was expecting to get killed and when no hard contact was made he just missed the point blanker! Oh well! That is all from the glass is half full contingent tonight...I look forward to being verbally abused again tomorrow!


Rubie Q said...

SBTG, you really should have been a lawyer: starting off the post with "I don't want to get in a big debate again about moral victories" and then going on for five lines about how great these moral victories were. Classic.

Second: we were projected 12th in the Big East before the season started. We're now 0-2, tied for last place in the BEast with St. John's, Seton Hall, and DePaul. That's some heady company right there. Again, let's win some games before we starting crowing about how off those projections were.

Finally: the possession with a minute-and-a-half to go is Exhibit A in "Buzz didn't learn anything from the West Virginia debacle." We've got the lead and the ball, and we run a "play" (if you can call it that) where the ball never got inside the three-point line. For a guy who talks all the time about the importance of paint touches, that's inexcusable.

Charlie Weis' said...


I think it's way early to start freaking out and saying you are done with Buzz (via text on Sat.). MU played 2 top 10 teams in 5 days and lost by a combined 3 points. If you think that's enough reason to group them with Depaul, St. John's and Seton Hall, that's your opinion.

I still believe MU is a .500 team in the Big East and will have a few big wins this year. We all knew this had potential to be an ugly year (did you think we'd win these 2 games prior to the season?)...made even worse with injuries and an unexpected transfer. Buzz has 7 players to work with, hopefully 8 by the end of the season and has proved that they can play with any team in the country (at least for the first 38 minutes).

The problem with this team is that in the last 2 minutes a good team has a "go to" 1,2 or 3 on the floor that can create his own shot and hit the big/clutch free throws. We've been blessed with James, Jerel, Matthews, and Diener and now we don't really have that go to guard at the end of the game that can avoid the double team, create his own shot and get fouled. We have a 6'7 forward playing out of position at the 4/5 and he takes too long to create his own shot before being double teamed. Bottom line is that we don't have a stand out guard (yet) who can help win you close games...and that's costing us the last 2 minutes. That's my opinion - which I'm sure will be slammed.

Rubie Q said...

Nah, not going to slam your opinion. I think the evidence is mounting that Buzz isn't a good game coach. You disagree. That's cool.

Charlie Weis's Gunt said...

I think he's coaching within the means of his talent.

Question(s) for you Rubie - I would say there are a handful of coaches in basketball that are great end of game much experience do you think it takes to become a good end of game coach? Crean has had 10 years and he is still not a good coach at the end of the game? Do you think this is something that you learn with experience, is a reflection of the talent on the floor or something you just have or don't have?

There go the god damn brownies said...

PS - The Gunt is now There go the god damn brownies

Rubie Q said...

Probably a combination of the three, but mostly, it's something you have or don't have. Some guys are really good at Xs and Os, at being able to draw up a play in 15 seconds. Crean could never do that, and, based on what I've seen at Indiana, still can't.

I'm worried that Buzz falls into the same category. I mean, we're 2-8 in the last 10 games decided by four points or less. Can you really chalk that all up to "them's the breaks"?

Rubie Q said...

P.S.: I think you should change your name to Mr. Rumsfield's Brownies. But that's just me.

There go the god damn brownies said...

What's your opinion on the guard situation and how that impacts our defense at the end of the game and play execution? Since MU has 4 guards that are either too small or too inexperienced at this level?

Next question - let's say that Buzz get's hit by a bus tomorrow and we are need of a coach for next year. Who are your top 3 realistic candidates that can coach, recruit and most importantly make Rubie a happy fan?

Rubie Q said...

Jeez, man, I'm not saying we should can the guy. I'm saying that I'm coming to the conclusion that this end-of-game stuff is something we're going to have to deal with during his tenure. It's just not one of his strengths.

Re: the guards, I'm not sure what you're asking. Any time Mo is on the floor, our D is negatively affected. DJO was a mess on Saturday on defense.

Mr. Rumsfield's Brownies said...

Do the shortcoming of these guards, their inability to execute a play or make a clutch shot or draw a foul or play solid D at the end of a game make it that much harder for Buzz to coach the last 2 mins?

My guess is that it's not Buzz's coaching at the end of the game but the lack of the right guards...he doesn't have a guard he can trust with the ball at the end of the game on the team. Maybe it's Junior?

Again - my opinion, but having a guard that can run the offense, make the open shot, hit the free throws, create his own shot, etc is critical at the end of the game, and we don't have that player yet.

Rubie Q said...

And that's my problem: giving a ball to a guard and saying: "Go get me a basket" doesn't suddenly make the guy a good end-of-game coach. In fact, that's not coaching at all.

Lazar is our best player, a senior, and an excellent shooter. Why aren't we running any plays for him at the end of the game?

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

Brownies is on the offensive this morning and has Rubie reeling!

ps-our best player has not been burned 3 times on defense for game winning shots (he was guarding the big dude for FSU, Butler for WVU and lost his jock to Scottie Reynolds on the and one)

Charlie Weis' said...

If you and I are smart enough to recognize that Lazar is the best player on our team, so does the other coach. Can almost guarantee he'll always be doubled down low....which means Lazar would have to create his own shot from the top of the key...which I haven't seen him do.

even if he wasn't double teamed down low - I'm not sure we got guards who are good enough to execute plays or create the penetration necessary to free up Lazar for a shot.

I'm certainly not saying that Buzz is doing a great job in the last 2 mins...but I think the blame can be spread beyond him. Also - I think end of game coaching is really hard to do, and only a handful of coaches are great at it. Expecting a 2nd year coach to draw up a play that's going to get a wide open shot in the last 30sec of game against a top 10 team with the players he has might be unrealistic.

Rubie Q said...

Listen, I understand that we're inexperienced and that most of our players aren't used to the pressure cooker environment of a down-to-the-wire BEast game. The nerves we're seeing -- especially with DJO and Jimmy -- might change with time, and Buycks might get more assertive in the last two minutes, and so on.

Until those things do change, though, we need Coach to put the kids in position to succeed. And he's not doing that, on offense or on defense -- and especially on defense. There was no reason, whatsoever, for Mo Acker to be in the game guarding Scottie Reynolds when there were 15 seconds left.

OK, I've beaten this horse enough, and I'm not convincing anyone of anything, either, so I'll shut up now.

You are a Baffoon said...

Enter cheesy one liner below_____"Close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades.____"