Well, the goal of every team is to make strides in each game. Very little was accomplished vs. St. Francis except gaining a victory. We were not on top of our game and allowed too many paints to touch the middle, then being late with the shot-blocking.
What was the major weakness? Stance! Allowing penetration in the middle by poor athletic defensive stance. Plain and simple. Now I know it bothers you that our front court shot 4/13 from the free-throw line.
My good friend Ralph Willard reminds me they shoot great in practice from the charity stripe. Unfortunately, they don’t count in practice. We will continue to work on becoming better and I do believe Ralph is somewhat correct.
It’s a technique, relaxation, and focus. Our fast break numbers were down because we reverted to pointing to the rim for lobs instead of making fundamental passes for every basket. The first time they tried to play to the crowd.
It seems like I could be nit-picking with a lopsided victory. True, but with Saint Louis looming, we must be fundamentally strong.
They will make you pay for mistakes on defense. They are a motion team that is constantly screening and moving. They will try and keep possessions low and we can’t fall into the trap of taking quick shots.
Defensively, they play pack-line defense, very similar to Virginia. It will be a great test for our young team. Anas and Ray continue to improve. Both players pass the ball extremely well and help us get high percentage shots by reading defenses. This is an area that Mangok and Jaylen must improve.
We opened up with home games to gain some confidence. Now we travel to a neutral site in Brooklyn, New York. I’ve never seen the Barclays Center and look forward to seeing some old friends. It will be a very small crowd and we must generate our own emotions.
There were still a lot of positives:
- The continued good play by the L & L boys.
- Ray Spalding gets a lot done with limited minutes. Excited to see if he can do it against taller, stronger players.
- Rebounding – I like the way we are hitting the glass. An aggressive mentality will continue to help us with the tough schedule ahead.
- The zone attack – our unselfish and attack–the–paint mentality leads to a high percentage of shots.
Happy Thanksgiving Card fans. There is nothing better in life than family time. As we watch the world news, we realize how much there is to be thankful that we are Americans.