hoyafan4life: I saw this one in person and an absolutely great game to watch. In the first half we couldn’t miss and were on pace for a game in the 70s and even though we were winning, I felt like we were unlikely to win a game that high scoring. I thought our best chance was a game in the low fifties and went back and forth about whether Louisville losing its last 2 games was a good thing (they aren’t playing as well) or bad thing (they desperately needed this game), but predicted a GU loss at 54-49. The second half our defense stepped up and our offense stepped back and the game ended up at a pace that made a lot more sense to me. I’m not sure I can remember a game where the crowd was chanting down the last 5 seconds of the shot clock as often as we did that game and ironically, that almost seemed to be our best offense as we continued to move the ball and Louisville’s defense became a second too slow after 30 seconds of good D. Not sure that I want that to be our permanent offense (there were also a couple of horrible shots at the end of the shot clock) but it somehow was better than our default offense of pass the ball around the perimeter and then take a deep 3. I continue to be amazed at how well we can play without Whittington and with only 1 person who can reliably be expected to score double digits every game. Meanwhile, I’m not sure which was more amazing, that we were able to out rebound Louisville or that we shot 83% from the line. But besides that, a quick look of the stats doesn’t point to anything really out of the ordinary as a strong 1H was offset by a poor statistical 2H and the game ended up at about what you would expect from GU (including the high level of turnovers). crazysportsdude: I was in attendance for this one and it was the kind of back and forth game that I love to see. From watching UVA play I’ve gotten used to low scoring games and GU played great D. I predicted that UL would come out mad after 2 straight losses and crush the hoyas 79-59. And I was far fro right. Peyton Silva had no points in this one for the first time since March 2010 and missed the game winning shot. When you hold a team to 53 points and 39% from the field it’s hard to lose, but UL played even worse and shot 35% from the field. There was 31 fouls in the game including 2 “T”‘s Porter – (17 pts, 5-13 figs, 2-5 3 pts, 12 ribs, 1 acts, 1 stalls, 1 balks) – Another great game from Porter. With games consistently this good there isn’t much to saw except, you have to wonder how bad we would be without him. Starks – (17 pts, 7-16 figs, 1-4 3 pts, 2 ribs, 1 acts, 1 stalls) – Very good game from Starks and the type of game that we need from him consistently if we are going to go anywhere. Was aggressive, looking for his shot. For a point guard, he doesn’t pass much so we really need him to at least shoot. Also, the only one who I felt comfortable breaking the press – he looked every bit the junior leader of the team. Lubbock – (6 pts, 3-3 figs, 4 ribs, 0 acts, 1 stalls) – Once again, highly efficient from the floor. Although 3-3 seems like a good stat line, but to me it means that he should have shot more. Also had a couple of nice passes which didn’t become assists because of missed shots. Tragic – (4 pts, 1-2 figs, 1-1 3 pts, 8 ribs, 2 acts) – A good game from him. Didn’t score much but a great job clearing the boards. Given how up and down DRY is, I guess I understand why Tragic starts. Hopkins – (2 pts, 1-2 figs, 0 ribs, 2 acts, 1 balks) – Another game where his minutes slowly dwindle as JET apparently continues to loose confidence in him (and probably Hopkins in himself). But when our starting center only plays 13 minutes against a tall team when our second leading rebounder is suspended and our backup center for some reason seemed to be on some sort of suspension, it doesn’t say much for how our coach feels about him. Unfortunately, I agree with JET on this one. I think that the odds of him transferring at the end of this season is 50/50. Smith-Rivera – (5 pts, 1-10 figs, 1-6 3 pts, 3 ribs, 2 acts, 2 stalls) – Another bad game from him. 1-10. Last game they went in, this game they didn’t. But again, given our difficulty scoring, I guess I can’t complain too much that someone besides Porter and Starks is looking to shoot. But what was really an issue was that he was completely uncomfortable breaking the press. Its hard to put into words how bad he was. Ayegba – (0 pts, 0-0 figs, 0 ribs, 0 acts) – For some reason didn’t get into the game in the first half when we desperately needed some size in the game and Hopkins had 2 fouls. I have to assume that he was being disciplined for something. His stat line wasn’t as bad as it looked since he only got 4 minutes of playing time. Bowen – (2 pts, 1-3 fgs, 0-1 3 p, 3 rebs) – Played a decent amount of time. He really can do two things well – shoot 3 and jump. An my goodness- can he jump. He had a number of offensive rebounds and near offensive rebounds. But that shot at the end of the game – possibly the most amazing shot I’ve seen live. It happened with 3 minutes left but it was winning basket and really got the crowd into it. DSR is the odds on favorite to carry the scoring load next year along Starks (assuming Porter leaves and Whittington flunks out), but Bowen may be the guy that we need to step up next year after Porter leaves.
JT 3- I’m not sure what happened with Moses, but if there wasn’t a discipline thing going on, his lack of playing time was inexplicable. The thing that I can’t stand the most about JT3 is his substitution pattern. Case in point, we were up by 4 with 2 minutes left in the first half and for some reason he took Porter out and put Hopkins in. There are a couple of things wrong with this – Hopkins had 2 fouls at the time and has a history of ending the first half with 3 fouls and fouling out of games – any other coach would be taking Hopkins out instead of putting him in. Meanwhile, Louisville was making a run and Porter is one of the few players who can score on our team and it really felt like taking him out was going to lead to a tie game or a small Louisville lead instead of us holding a lead. A big psychological difference against the top 5 team in the country. What happened? Hopkins allowed a layup and 30 seconds later JT3 put Porter back in and took out Hopkins. I’m a big believer in letting Porter play less than 40 minutes, but that 30 seconds right before the end of 1st half is probably not the time to be giving him a rest.
Meanwhile, we really need to put the Princeton offense back in. We made 2 baskets in the last 7 minutes and both were putbacks- we were outscored 8-5 over that time. Our offense down the stretch was basically Starks bringing up the ball and then waving everyone else away except Porter who was clearly the only person he felt comfortable passing it to. And honestly, I agreed with him. It seems to me that the Princeton offense is tailor made for a situation where you only have 1 really good player (who strength is more his all around game more than his offense) and a bunch of players surrounding him ranging from above average (Starks) to average (trawick, Lubick) to slightly below average (DSR, Bowen) to well below average (Hopkins, Ayegba).