24 hours after the home loss to Navy, that dropped the Mount to 3-5 overall, I'm still trying to determine exactly it is that the Mount is lacking. I still think the majority of the problems lies in offensive efficency. Last year, during the run at the end of the season, the Mount continuously scored better than a point a possession when in won and less than that when it lost. Thus far this season, the Mount is 2-0 when scoring better than a point a possession and 1-5 when it scores less than then that.
So here is the way I recall last evening....
The Good - Kelly Beidler had a tremendous effort. He was efficient. He had his second double-double 14 points and 11 rebounds, while shooting 6-of-10 from the field. He helped the Mount stay in the game late. He guarded Kaleo Kina for most of the first half when Kina had only 6 of his 26 points.
Sam Atupem was very strong offensively. He had 12 points and made 4-of-6 from the floor. It might have been his best offensive performance of the year.
Pierre Brown made his first appearance of the season, and I liked what I saw from the sophomore in limited minutes. He had a bucket and a rebound in three minutes of action. He might be able to help this team in short bursts this year.
The Bad - The Mount has had several opportunities this year to put space between itself and opponents, but seems to lack the killer instinct to do so. Stretching a lead out hasn't been the greatest attribute for this team.
Without Jeremy Goode on the floor this team has really struggled. On Saturday, at CCSU the Mount led early when Goode went to the bench with two fouls. The lead went from 12-9 to an 18-12 deficit before the Cousy nominee returned. After a strong start on Tuesday, Goode went to the bench for an early breather with the Mount leading 8-2. Navy quickly scored six points to tie the game. Not sure what the total problem is here, but the Mount has to be able to hold the tide when Goode isn't in the game.
Will Holland continues to struggle with his shooting. The junior from Houston was 2-11 from the field. He made a key three-pointer late, but he continues to have trouble finding the rhythm. However, it did seem like he just let the last three go. And no matter how much he struggles from the field, he continues to play hard. Very hard. But he's got to just let the jumpers go to help this team.
The Ugly: A week ago, it looked realistic to think the Mount might go to Penn State on Saturday with a 6-2 record. But now at 3-5 that seemed like a pipe dream. Beidler said they will get better, the record will get better. Head Coach Milan Brown said the team could be 8-0 at this point, and while that makes sense, by the same argument they could be 0-8.
Trying to stop Kaleo Kina was disastrous. The powerful Navy forward couldn't be stopped down the stretch. And the disappointing thing was Navy kept doing the same thing over and over to get Kina free. A little bit of help defense might have been the answer.
The Mount Maniacs weren't maniacs. Pregame, I was afraid they might not even show up. During the game, you hardly noticed they were there. If the Mount is going to have a homecourt advantage they need some better support from their fellow students. And coming home after a disappointing road trip they needed you even more. There needs to be more folks like the guy with the M on his chest. He needs some friends with the OUNT or at least the SM