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The B1G is really good and were really almost there but not quite.
Formerly Venomous Green Duck. Join Date: Nov. 2004 # of posts: 17,867.
Incredibly impressed with Dawson on both ends of the court. He's a smart player and a freakish athlete. Absolutely no rust from his long layoff. He should be in the B1G POY conversation this year.
Also impressed with Appling, aside from the first couple of possessions. All the off-season work on his shot looks like it paid off. Nice arc on his jumpers, and he'll always have that ability to get into the lane if the jumper isn't falling.
The big area of concern for me is Nix. That needs to be a game that he steps up and dominates, but he was basically absent on the offensive end of the floor. UConn's bigs are not good, but Nix was getting pushed around and coughing up the ball way too frequently. Our advantage last night should have been in the post, and we were unable to exploit it. Hopefully it's just a one-off thing, maybe some first game jitters. We need a good Nix to have a great season.
tRCMB - Visit at your own risk of being disgusted.
Except for the fact that we just got handled by an unranked team on a nuetral court and half our team looked overmatched.
I really like the team, and enjoyed watching Tom experiment with the various rotations. It was interesting that it took a while for Valentine to get in the game, but when the game was close late in the game, Valentine was in a regular playing rotation. He is a lot of fun to watch.
It's clearly a work in progress, and now is the time for players to play, or they may get left at the end of the bench. The competition is awesome, and guys like Byrd, Costello, Guana, and even Kearney need to keep their feet on the gas pedals to stay in significant time playing rotations.
Appling is fine. It looks like he will start at the one, and then periodically rotate over to the two with Trice or even Harris playing the one. If I was Harris I would welcome some experience at the one as it will make him even more NBA ready. While Valentine probably cannot play the defense at the one, the thought of him playing the one on offense, and becoming a headache for all of the B1G coaches is very appealing.
As many colleagues have been saying Dawson is back. He stayed down briefly in a run-in early in the first half, and it was interesting watching the rest of the team picking him up off the floor. While Day Day is irreplaceable, Dawson does a pretty good impression of him on the boards, and appears to be an excellent scoring option. I agree with those saying he is a bonafide B1GPOY candidate.
The bigs need work, but we know their potential. Nix in his new role as captain is going outside of his comfort area at times. He is not Draymond, but being Derrick ain't bad. Payne has some extraordinary offensive skills. His post moves were only impeded when Connecticut doubled down on him, and as Coach Izzo has noted his shooting skills have greatly improved. Having a strong scoring option like him down low will continue to open up our perimeter guys, and I don't envy coaches having to set up a defense against him.
I would have liked to beat Connecticut, but we all know the formula. . . their are no short cuts to the Final Four and the NC. It's all in the journey, and I liked what I saw.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by whittierspartan 20 months ago
Was very disappointed with NIx and Payne. Or maybe the game plan for them. They should have dominated.
Really we just need to shoot the ball better. Shoot 40% last night and we win.
This post was edited by RP McMurphy 20 months ago
I must be crazy to be in a loony bin like this.
Or don't allow UConn to shoot 90% for the first 10 minutes. Either way, we win.
Yeah, Harris may eventually become an improved version of Charlie Bell, but his defensive rotations aren't nearly there yet.
Good point. They weren't missing early on.
Seems like teams shoot lights out against us on a reg. basis. But I know we play good D. What's up with that?
I held my first practice for my Kalamazoo Kougars 8th grade boys basketball team, ( not AAU, not travel, plain old YMCA pick-up league), and 5 of the 9 boys possess a better 12 foot jump shot that B Dawson. 7 of the 9 are better free throw shooters.
BD is an incredible athlete that needs to greatly improve his skill level beyond 5 feet from the basket.
This post was edited by Blaykezor 20 months ago
Harris seemed to play excellent on the ball defense, but got mixed up a couple times on switches. I believe it was Harris and Appling that had the miscommunication late that left Boatright wide open for 3. That was a huge bucket. Plays like that are incredibly frustrating right now, they'll get fixed. That's the risk you take when you play freshmen in crunch time early in the season.
We are not the same, I am a Spartan
I will do a happy dance if the team is so "not great" that it goes 14-4 in the Big Ten.
We gave them a lot of easy baskets early on thanks to bad turnovers. Once we started taking care of the ball a little better, the easy baskets stopped and their shooting percentage came back down to earth.
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