Re: UC Basketball right around the corner!
Quite an impressive game against a very talented Syracuse team. I felt like they had the game under control after they took the lead in the second part of the first half. Their defense is vastly improved and they seem to be coming together as a team. That is the most important aspect of it for me. I think Mick has really pulled this team together. They appear very well coached.
One thing I would really like to see happen now is for them to cut down on the mindless fouls. It just seems like Adam H. can't keep his hands off the opponent in the paint. They are just stupid fouls. Deonta make a lot of them too. I do like the seeing them foul hard when they foul on the fast break to ensure that the shooter can't finish. That is just good fundamentals. Some of them this season have been borderline intentional fouls, but they are making sure they earn the points. Nothing frustrates me more than when a player fouls the opponent close to the basket but just taps his arm. Make him earn the points instead of giving him the extra one.
Also, foul shots. You have got to make more of them. They made them for the most part tonight. The thing that frustrates me is that foul shots are all about practice, repitition and concentration. At that level, 70% is a very attainable goal for the big men. There is no good excuse for being a bad free throw shooter. In fact, 70% should be mediocre. Williamson is almost money to be too strong on the first and perfect on the second. Anybody else notice that? The problem is that kids get into their head that they should shoot 3's and they practice them. I know some people who could shoot lights out from behind the arc, but couldn't shoot a lick from the free throw line. I just never got the point in that. Free throws are the easy points.
Finally, I would also like to see the team more disciplined on offensive sets. They tend to pass around the parimeter and look for an open three. You saw a lot of bad shots against the zone tonight. Just some dribble penetration if nothing else. Attack the seems of the zone. The post game wasn't there for them mostly because of size, but penetration and a kick out would have gave them some better looks and probably opened things up in the medium range if not further underneath. They also seem to make some bad passes. I attribute that to being a young team trying to mesh. I'm not to worried about that yet.
The effort is there, and the talent is adequet. They just need some more experience and time to learn. They are in good hands with Mick. I still don't think they quite get to .500 this year because they have a tough schedule ahead of them. However, they are going to make some noise and in the very near future they will be among the top in the Big East.