Thursday, November 26, 2009

Observations from the Niagara Loss

The game was a Mount loss, so obviously I was disappointed. However, there were some good things about the game, but also some things the Mount needs to do to get better and acheive their goals this season. I didn't think it was a poor performance, but the Mount still didn't get to that sharp feeling from this performance. Here are some things that I thought of during the action.
  • The Mount and Niagara were fairly well matched, athletically and size wise. Early on I thought the Eagles might have better shooting ability, not sure I felt that way at the end. They might have across the board been a little bit stronger and physical than the Mount was.
  • This was a good Niagara team. That was evident from the outset.
  • I was immediately impressed with how hard they went to the glass, particularly offensively. It wasn't size that was getting it done for them, it was quickness and athleticism to the glass.
  • This was the first time that guards were able to match up with Jeremy Goode in a game that I had seen. But eventually throughout the game, Goode adjusted to that. He had an off scoring the ball, but was still effective with six assists and four steals.
  • Kelly Beidler wanted to improve on an off performance on Saturday. He was very active early and he shot the ball well. He might have some sort of nagging injury as he went to the bike when he left the game.
  • Niagara was very well organized and prepared for the Mount. I think it always easier as a fan to figure out the opponents gameplan because you are so familiar with your team. It was obvious that the Eagles were attacking the Mount's weaknesses and trying to force them out of things they do well. There also seemed to be a few halftime adjustments that helped them offensively, particularly at the start of the second half.
  • I think that this Niagara team is the type of team that could be a mid-level NCAA tournament seeded team. However, with Siena in their conference, and the likelihood that the MAAC will only be a one bid league, they could easily not make the tournament.
  • I was again impressed with the play of the Mount bench. I thought it brought energy and Tayvon Jackson showed a nice jump shot we might not have seen in the past.
  • There were times when the Mount had very good possessions offensively only to come away with zero points. They seemed to share the ball a little better and make the extra pass. When those things happen it is nice to be rewarded with points. There was one second half possession where the Mount did everything right on the possession and then missed an open jumper, and Niagara came back the other way - and got a bucket off a tipped pass. It was just going to be one of those nights.
  • The foul shooting was again in the atrocious column. The same guys who made free throws on Saturday missed then on Wednesday, so I don't really know what that means. But in games where you are against skilled competition, you can't give away free points.
  • Ultimately, I think Niagara is the better team. But as I wake up this morning, I'd take my chances playing them again. I am confident that these types of games will help the Mount in the long run. And for the Mount wins and losses in these games do not determine their ultimate end result. All of that comes in the conference tournament. That is not to diminish the value of the wins or losses. Just to say that the total picture needs to be looked at.
  • Excited to see how this team responds at Navy on Saturday.
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. May you have the opportunity to share some time with those that make your life complete.

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