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EZCUSE FINAL ANALYSIS

PROS:

1. RJ deserves credit for a 4th straight season of improving his game.  Outstanding rebounding and field goal percentage totals.  Great defense.  Good for him! 

2. All four freshmen showed us something.  Keita was the early stud, giving us a spark on defense.  Fair was the next one, stepping up at Pitt to keep us in a key game in the absence of Joseph and continuing thereafter.  Melo had the nice few games in March.  And then in our game against Marquette, Waiters showed that he has the ability to play a solid all-around game.   Although he showed us stuff all throughout the year, he was the only one that seemed to step up when it mattered.  

3.  #3 seed?  Are you kidding me.  Before the season, I thought we'd be sweating the bubble.  We didn't always look good, but we won a bunch of games that we perhaps should have lost on paper.  We were a 7-10 seed masquerading as a 3 seed.  The season was a success before we even took the court in Cleveland.

CONS:

1.  My source of frustration down the stretch was obvious.  I really cannot believe the lack of progress within the season by our upperclassmen.  I get that the freshmen will make mistakes.  However, our upperclassmen (and I will include Triche here) need to be the rocks as it relates to fundamentals.  While Scoop gets a lot of the blame because his mistakes come in astonishing quantity and quality, this was not limited to him.  Joseph, Triche, RJ, and Jardine all had colossal brain farts throughout the season... and they shared about 12 turnovers against Marquette.  You just cannot do that.  And poor shot selection is not a turnover, but it might as well be. 

2.  Passing.  This team was nowhere near as unselfish as our 2009-2010 version.  I am a broken record on this, but I really think that the team needed to become more passing focused.  Too much trying to create shots with the dribble.  We were awful all year long on those plays (against good teams).  It might work against Colgate and DePaul, but not against the good opponents. 

3.  End-of-game offense.  For several years now, we have had abysmal end of half, end of game offensive schemes.  Watching these games this weekend, this is not something that we should just accept.  Other coaches and other teams are able to design plays that get people good looks.  It is not impossible.  We might have to emulate the mid-majors on this.  Or Wisconsin.  Or someone.  We need to be able to take possession of the ball with 20-30 seconds and be able to get a good shot more often than not. 

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

1. Big East bashing.  It is what it is.  When you have 2 teams reach the Sweet 16, that is deserved.  Pitt and ND both lost?  Georgetown, Louisville, and St. Johns couldn't get out of the first round?  There are plenty of excuses, such as anti-Big East committee work in matchups and site locations.... and the inexplicable pairing of Big East teams against each other in the Round of 32... but the showing is just awful.   4 teams was the bare minimum for respect.

2. However, we had 11 teams get in.  Of those, only 9 could have advanced to the Sweet 16 due to internal matchups.  2/9 made it.  That is 22%.  This is similar to the 27% of at-large teams that the Big East earned (10/37).  This is also similar to the 20.3% of teams that had a legit chance of advancing to the sweet 16: 11/54 (68 teams, minus all 14 teams below a 13 seed). While we had a lot of higher seeds and should have done better, 2 Sweet 16 teams is a misleading stat.

3.  It is Spring and the basketball team got us through another winter.  For you folks smart enough to live in good climates, this is less of a benefit.  But, hey, there has to be some drawback to living somewhere nice.

 

 


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