Alright, had time to watch the game again, from DVR now. Saw some of the same things that caught my attention in-person, but my perspective changed on a couple of things too.
I left the game angry about how we handled the press. We knew they’d press, the Fox guys who called the game talked about it before the game started. I still believe we should have been better prepared for it. However – I think my initial impression of how MS handled it was too harsh; it wasn’t that bad. KR is something special, and could beat it by himself. However, the problem (IMO) was that AP was almost always the secondary ball handler vs. the press, even while CS was on the floor. That was a bad mistake. CS should have been the second guy, but he was always forward on the wing. Bad decision, and the coaches should have had CS as that secondary ball handler – no doubt in my mind.
AP was awesome – don’t get me wrong. His performance was, hands-down, the biggest plus we saw. But CS should be the 2nd ball handler.
I can’t overstate how pleased I was with AP’s game. A completely new balance to his game. His ability to get to the rim, with both hands, blew away the Fox commentators. He was the best guard on the floor, and ‘nova is respected for their guards.
KR will be awesome too. The foul issue can definitely be chalked up to 1st game as a frosh. Much better than ugly TOs, IMO. And his third foul, the charge, was a garbage call. If that’s a charge, we should see 8-10 charges/game. His vision and quickness are top notch; we got a steal with him.
TK was very good, as expected. I’m still not clear on what happened in 2nd half – will have to watch it yet again. I felt like he didn’t get enough touches in 2nd half when I left game, but on 2nd view, he did get touches. They just weren’t in the kind of good position he got in 1st half. Maybe ‘nova D adjustment; I dunno.
The TO numbers were bad, but to some extent, that’s what ‘nova does. Against that kind of press, you expect some TOs, but some easy buckets too when you beat it. And we still have a young team figuring stuff out, including playing together.
My biggest issue, by a mile, is the boards. ‘Nova does not appear to be a good rebounding team, and they were not big – even by PL standards, IMO. The ORs we gave up are just not OK – you will lose games for that reason, all by itself. I think we’ll face better interior teams in the PL than we saw vs. ‘nova. The ‘nova fans I sat near were flabbergasted at their disinterest in post play – they didn’t even try.
My conclusion is nothing new: JG needs to play more. I’d argue that he should be starting up front. He blocks and changes shots and plays with energy inside. I was damn-near giddy watching a few instances where he and TK worked some interior, big-to-big passes. That could be game changing.
I like JC a lot. He’s got great bounce, and can finish. Was thrilled to see him throw 2 down, straight up off the vert! But he gets rooted out on rebounds. I watched the missed FT tap-backs, and bigs get low on him and just move him away. His COB is too high, or he doesn’t get low enough to hold his position.
I’m putting my stake in the ground. Goldie at the 4.