Sunday, December 02, 2007

The dark side of the SELA win.

Alias pretty much covered all the positive aspects of this game, but when you need a miraculous comeback to get into overtime with a directional school from Louisiana, there is work needed to be done. For what it's worth, I agree with Alias 100%, to play great defense and overcome some God awful shooting and still get the win is certainly a good sign.

We did not turn the ball over a lot, and for the most part we took high percentage shots, they just were not falling. In the first half, I thought the intensity was lacking on offense. Coach Gottfried even said as much in his post game comments. We seemed to be going through the motions, rather than making crisp passes and cutting with a purpose. In the second half, the effort was much better, but the shots still were not falling.

I would have liked to have seen us go to more of a drive and dish style of game. We were much bigger, stronger, and quicker than SELA. When the shots weren't falling, we should have tried to attack the rim and at least get to the foul line. Of course, with our pathetic free throw shooting, that probably would not have worked either.

At one point we called a timeout, then came out of the timeout and nearly got a shot clock violation. There is no excuse for not realizing how much time is left on the shot clock during a timeout at this level.

Even though they were double-teaming Hendrix, I still wish we would have got him the ball more. I can think of 6 or 7 instances where Hendrix worked to get in position to receive a pass in the low post, but our wing players rotated the ball back around the perimeter instead of working to create a passing lane and getting the big man the ball. Even though the double team was coming, Hendrix could have found the open man to potentially create some more easy scoring opportunities.

Speaking of Hendrix, I am sick and tired of seeing our centers and power forwards shooting 3's. First it was Chuck Davis, then it was Jemareo Davidson, and now Hendrix is shooting from beyond the arc. Please, Coach Gottfried, I beg of you...Make this stop! I know he made one, but that's not the point. The man is an absolute beast in the paint. Furthermore, we don't have any other big men we can really count on to get the rebound. There is no reason Hendrix should be shooting from the perimeter.

For three games in a row now, our perimeter shooting has been absent. As a former "zone buster" I believe this problem is mostly mental. Gee and Hillman have shown they can shoot at times, and we know Riley and Tubbs have the ability to be good outside shooters. Everyone is in a slump right now. When you miss a few shots in a row, you start pressing and thinking too much. Tubbs took one shot last night when he didn't have his feet set, but for the most part, I don't think the problems right now are mechanical. In my experience, you shoot the best when you have a relaxed but focused mindset. If you are over confident you tend to get sloppy mechanically or step outside your range. If you haven't been shooting well, you get tense and sometimes you tend to try to change something or simply get out of rhythm. If one of our guys can break out of this slump, I think the rest will follow suit. They just need to get used to seeing the ball go through the basket again. The only way to get out of it, is to continue shooting until they make a few and get their confidence back. Maybe Tubbs and Riley's big 3's late in the game yesterday will be the spark. We can't afford to make it 4 straight games with no perimeter play, otherwise we will be in serious trouble against a top 5 Georgetown team.

I hope everyone will come out to the BJCC Wednesday night as we try to upset one of the best teams in the country on national television in my hometown. RTR!


Alias said...

I know people don't talk about him much, but so long as he is playing I wish Hollinger would jack the ball up a bit more often. He has to work to get open because he can't shoot over anyone, but he has as good a shot as anyone on the team. If you think that is just my imagination or a product of my typical, blind allegiance to this fine young man, I found this under Brandon's section of the website: "Won team award “Highest 3-Point Percentage” for leading Tide with his .429% (30-70) from the 3-point line."

I do not know why he does not shoot it more often. Perhaps he got in that habit whil playing among all those tall players at Le Flore, but that was a long time ago.

Shoot it, Brandon, shoot it.

DJC said...

If he would shoot more and become a scoring threat, he could be the answer to PG. I was screaming for him to take the wide open, game-tying shot, but he passed it up and allowed Tubbs to take a lower percentage shot...Thankfully he made it.

Anonymous said...

You were not the only one.

MSmilie said...

Another thing to keep in mind is that Hollinger put 30 points on UMASS in the NIT game last season.
I think Gottfried has probably instructed him to focus less on socring and more on distributing the ball and setting up the offense. Unfortunately, with the way this team is shooting from the perimeter right now, Hollinger may have to start putting up a few more shots.