Thursday, February 7, 2008

Charlotte Review

Feeling extra smart this afternoon after being so prophetic about the Charlotte game. Let's break down my keys coming in to the game vs. how they played out last night.

More Charles Little
Wanna know who creates mismatches for other teams? C-Lit. Put a 3 on him and Charles can score in the paint. Match up your big, slow 4-man and Little will take him to the rack (only with the right hand, though).

16 points in just 19 minutes of play, 6-7 from the field and 4-5 FROM THE FREE THROW LINE. Where the hell did that come from? Too bad he fouled out in those 19 minutes, or we could have seen even more of him. By the way (#1), that charging call that fouled him out was totally bogus.

By the way (#2), what was up with the white t-shirt under the jersey? Awful look. If you want to wear that Under Armour-looking stuff or the sleeveless T under your jersey, go for it. The full white T was not a good look for me in junior high basketball, and it is still not a good look for Charles Little today.

Less Jimmy Binnie
Less JB wasn't really an option last night what with Little and Huelsman picking up ten fouls in just 33 minutes of action. Binnie played admirably, especially down the stretch when he was the tallest Flyer on the court. Hard to complain about 15 points and seven boards.

I'm nitpicking but I still have two areas of criticism. The first is that after one miss, Jimmy seems to lose confidence in his stroke. He's out there to shoot threes when open, but he is very streaky. If he makes one and gets his confidence up, he shoots a very high percentage. If he misses one, he seems hesitant to shoot and misses more frequently (3-8 from downtown last night). Hell, with Mickey Perry basically MIA, Binnie is probably our best shooter other than B-Rob.

Second is that he's not that strong on the glass. Seems like he gave up a lot of Charlotte's offensive rebounds, especially in the first half. But like I said, he played very well especially when Little and Kurt were on the bench because of fouls.

Don't Suck, Sand Man
I've always been a big Andres Sandoval fan. I've been preaching patience with the kid while the rest of you were calling for his head. I said, "Just give him some time, guys, and he'll come through with a 10 point, 4 rebound, 2 assists, 4 steal and zero turnover game against Charlotte."

The steal at the end and subsequent dunk, along with the London Warren free throws and block, won the game for us. That's not sucking at its finest.

(If you had told me the three plays that determined the outcome of a Flyers game were a Sandoval steal, Warren free throws and a Warren block ... I'd have said it was Sandoval getting the ball stolen, Warren missing two key free throws and Warren getting his shot blocked in a UD loss. I'd have been wrong.)

Slow Down Leemire Goldwire
Kudos to Marcus Johnson and the other Flyers who defended him. 2-18 FG, 2-16 threes, 8 total points.

Have a Plan, BG
Wow, I'm at a loss on this one. It's like UMass "figured us out" and we haven't recovered since. At least as far as countering the crazy defenses teams are throwing at B-Rob. If we had a plan last night, it was spend 15-20 seconds trying to get the ball in Roberts' hands, then stand around and watch. The offense was, in a word, stagnant.

Teams are double-teaming him on the high ball screen and we still have no answer for it. Other players are standing around too much on offense when he has the ball. B-Rob probably played his worst game in more than two seasons last night, so that certainly didn't help.

If someone else knows, please take a crack at why we don't have an answer for the gimmick defenses and insane pressure teams are using on B-Rob. Also, feel free to explain to me how a team can be ten times more fluid and in sync (bye, bye, bye) on offense with its best player on the bench.

Just Win, Baby
I don't care who does it or how they do it as long as UD ends up with a W tomorrow night. This is the epitome of a must-win game.

Nothing pretty about it, but it counts as a W. Down 11 with 8:30 to play is not how I like to do it, but the Flyers found a win. I've learned never to count this team out.

If we had lost this game, I was prepared to write a post entitled "NIT tickets go on sale today." Thankfully, that was not necessary.

The Pick
Kurt Huelsman steps up as the player of the game and records a double-double. Charlotte slows down but cannot stop B-Rob. He chips in 17 points. Leemire Goldwire shoots many, many times; most of them are threes. Flyers win 72-67.

Huelsman was on pace for a double-double if he could have stayed in the game. Actually, he was on pace for a triple-double if you include turnovers. Leemire Goldwire shot many, many times; most of them were threes. Charlotte did a helluva lot more than just slowing down Roberts. No points for the first 35 minutes is scary.

But I gave you the exact margin of victory and was just three points off on each team's total. Note: Coming in to the game, UD was averaging 70 ppg and allowing 64 ppg, so this was -- in essence -- the easiest score prediction ever. But I'm still patting myself on the back over it.

Remember that kid who played for Pepperdine two or three years ago. He came in to a game against Dayton as some sort of hot shit freshman who had just hung 25+ on UConn. He proceeded to taunt the UD Arena crowd after a made bucket. The Flyer Faithful returned the favor by mercilessly booing him and chanting "Airball!" at him the rest of the game. After putting up a Goldwire-esque shooting night, he was so rattled that Pepperdine benched him -- its best player -- for the majority of the second half.

Yeah, that kid is apparently on Charlotte now and also rocks a t-shirt under his jersey. The students' section chanted "Airball!" at him from the opening tip before he (or anyone on Charlotte, for that matter) had even attempted a shot. First, a "Taser" cheer for Pitt's Levance Fields and now this ... those UD students do their homework. Gotta like that.

Next up: at George Washington Saturday night.


1 comment:

BroadcastingFool said...

Secaur, my man, the N Sync reference is completely forgivable. What's unforgivable is the fact that you knew to put an asterisk before the N, thus making it "official". That's kind of creepy. If you weren't such a huge sports fan, I'd probably wonder a lot more about you and what you like to do in your free time.