I do this after football losses and after three-game losing streaks in basketball.
#1 18-0 was not a fair measure for this team, but they earned it I guess. The Seton Hall game is not a true measure either. Somewhere in between. A 4 seed. Not too shabby.
#2 Why not better? Oh let me count the ways:
A) We have a point guard that doesn't care about assists. We were down 17... Scoop had a breakaway and was fouled. He missed the free throw and we never got closer. However, why not give it back to Joseph for a rim shaking dunk??? That's what point guards do....they get people involved. On another play in the first half...Southerland was wide open...Scoop took a shot instead. That is terrible basketball IQ, but doubly terrible for the point guard. 0 points and 11 assists out of Scoop and we will win a lot of games.
B) We do not have shooters. Period. I am not sure Wes was a dagger 3 pt shooter either, but Andy, Devo, and McNamara were. I'd be more confident with Duany taking a 3 pt shot over anyone on this team. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I think the players would agree. That doesn't mean I want contested three pointers (Scoop). I just don't think that these kids have the confidence to want to have the open shot with something on the line. You can't teach that. You have to be born with it.
C) We are below average finishers. Waiters has missed a dunk or a layup in three straight games. Jackson is hit or miss from close range, and missed a dunk. We had a bunch of 3 footers miss tonight. If you can't make--say--MOST of those shots... what chance do you have?
D) We are weak with the ball. Not mentally, physically. Everyone is always tapping it around like a beach ball at a baseball game. Grab the f-ing rebound. Fair is young and needs to get stronger. RJ's hands are butlerfingered again. How many drives by KJo or Southerland or Fair where they lost the ball out of bounds. What are we doing??? Treasure the ball.
E) Smart ball. Scoop's alleyoop to Triche was three times as dumb as the announcer made it sound. Let's learn to get the rebound and reset out front. There is no law, as far as I know, that says that a rebound must be immediately shot within 4 seconds. It's not a grenade with the pin pulled. You can pass after a rebound. This means "you," guys from Philly.
#3 Mookie. We cannot learn much from Mookie regarding most of his game. But the kid can shoot. We can't find a few minutes for him when we need a lift? He can't get 4 minutes a game to shake things up. At the very least, someone has to guard him. I am not sure why Scoop launching a terrible shot is so much more acceptable than Mookie launching one. If anything, Mookie has a better chance of scoring. Heck... down by 15... why not sub offense and defense? I have seen other coaches do it. It is possible.
#4 Offensive philosophy. Last year, we seemed to be an unselfish team from a passing standpoint. This year, we seem to take turns on offense. While it looks like unselfishness, it really is a very selfish approach. "We haven't gotten RJ involved" might mean that he is being double teamed. That makes someone else a better candidate to score. Work that dynamic rather than forcing it in to RJ. Conversely, just because KJo has 1 point in the first half... that doesn't mean that he needs to shoot in the second half. We need to take what the defense gives us. Eventually it will open up. IF you are a passing team. If our guards cannot get everybody involved the system breaks down.
#5 Seton Hall was on fire. The defense was passive, but a lot of those shots were deep. Not sure what else you can do. You can't MAKE them miss. The effort was not there tonight, but that has not been the case. I'll give them a pass.
The great thing about some of these problems is that they are fixable. You can't get taller, but you can play smarter.