Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wrapping up the American Loss

I'm going to say I was encouraged by the Mount's effort and performance last night. For 30 minutes they were the better team - and if it was a fight they may have won on points. Or they have been stopped during that ten minute stretch in the second half, that was woefully bad. Although, woefully bad mainly because of the increased American pressure on the perimeter and the change to use some more athletic guys on the Mount post players. It took the Mount too long to adjust, but once they did they executed down the stretch. The four-point halftime lead went to a 10-point deficit and the ladder wasn't big enough to get them out.

A few observations...

  • The inside game was fantastic in the first half. I think 15 of the first 17 points were in the paint. There was definitely a clear effort to capitalize inside. A great job by the coaching staff and great execution by the players. Not sure the Mount can play any better than it did in the first 20 minutes.
  • There was a definite intensity that I didn't see the last two games (in the parts I saw). Maybe that was being there live. Maybe that was just the way it was. But I liked what I saw.
  • Is that zone the Amoeba? It isn't a 2-3. It is extended but it is a two-man front to it. There are definitely traps in the corners, but not so sure about the wings. It is active and was played aggressively last night.
  • I think that was Lamar Trice's best game. He didn't take too many bad shots, only had one turnover and dished out six shots.
  • The offense is clearly better, and Julian Norfleet is better, when he takes his shots within the flow of the offense. He outside jumper is needed but the freshman needs to learn how it fits into the gameplan - and I think he did a much better job of that last night. 
  • Down 10 in the second half you could almost feel the air going out of the players. And then I saw something very interesting. Josh Castellanos, whether on the floor or the bench really started to lead and pull the group together. He gave them instructions and it was almost like he was saying "we're only down 10 - we can do this"
  • My high school coach used to say, some games you don't lose, you just run out of time. I had that feeling last night, that another 5 minutes and the Mount may have won. I thought Castellanos and the staff did a real good job of refocusing guys when things started to get out of hand.
  • I was surprised to see Evan Cleveland. But I think the staff realizes that the team needs somebody additional on the wing, whether Cajou returns or not, to help with some of the rebounding. Cleveland is athletic enough and his background as an interior player should help him on the glass. He was aggressive offensively and scored a nice bucket early.
  • Cajou was in the house. Saw him with my own eyes after the game. I believe his family was there with him. He also confirmed to a source close to The Fan Blog that he is going to play again. I saw Burke's comments afterwards and not exactly sure how that fits. But if Burke is saying it is stuff Jean needs to take care of, and Jean is saying he is going to play, then I've got to believe that Jean knows the stuff he has to take care of, and is working on accomplishing it and going to play. Again, as always, we hope that it works out best for Jean.
  • Sorry to any of you who may have been following on the Twitter feed. My daughter hijacked my phone and was getting pictures sent to her of her newborn cousin. So I couldn't really object. All of a sudden I had no battery life. 
  • If the Mount is able to play like they did for those 30 minutes last night for a consistent 40 minutes, they'll win more than they lose in the NEC. But it's still a challenge. And unfortunately they haven't shown enough consistency to guarantee that is going to happen. Still they have played well against good teams and some performances continue to be encouraging. But some W's would help as well. And I'm not exactly sure where they are going to come from in the next few holiday weeks.

  • Send an email to thefanblog@gmail.com


  1. I am actually surprised that a few other players didn't try to transfer before the season. From what I heard, Burke does things completely different- heck even decides which exact hotels they stay at on the road, some of the former hotels they don't even stay at anymore. The bus trips are completely different as far as what the driver says, and even the drivers have not particularly liked whatever Burke's road game plans have been. Burke seems to have a lot more say in things than even Brown did. I don't know, this season is real perplexing for me, very weird one to say the least. I do not really even understand why Jean would want to come back and risk injury all for a few measly games. Maybe he would love to come out and be introduced on senior day or something. Whether he didnt like the new coaching change or not, he can't think that everything in life is going to go his way. People are way too spoiled babies these days, geesh. I am puzzled, oh well, I have more important things to worry about this year than the Mount issues. Guess I will just watch the games I can and not stress out about them as I normally do. To heck with it, I am almost throwing in the towel for this season.

  2. Anonymous2:57 PM

    Poor Richard's Almanac continues. Please filter comments.

  3. 'k' and some others: Why is it that you seem to only like to hear positive things? Reality is not all that positive, positivity is simply a mindset and at most times fantasy. Poor Richard? I believe that I am far more richer with my inner resources and abilities as a person than any spoiled materialist that has their way most of the time. So your poor assessment is wrong. I have most likely experienced way more of a variety of things than you could fathom. I havent met a person in which that was not true yet, so why should I think different? So 'k' and others who think they have a 'right' to do as they please no matter what, go root for RMU or something, at least they aren't as pansy-azzed.

  4. Hey, Richard - don't feel too badly about the reference to the "Poor Richard's Almanac" - it was written by Ben Franklin! I interpreted the cryptic comment of 'k' to simply be another one of his (or her) complaints that he/she does not like your posts.

    As to the situation of the team/coach/players/Jean:
    Looks like you are saying the new coach is doing things his own way. Well, of course! Do we really want the hoteliers and bus drivers determining our policies?

    With Jean - mind you I have NO information not already available to you (even though I know and speak regularly with several faculty and staff members) - I think his situation should be treated with the utmost respect and concern.

    This obviously has nothing to do with the coaching change, for heaven's sake he left school! Give the guy all the love and support you can find. Whatever his issue may be, just pray (meditate, say positive things, whatever your personal system allows) for his well being. If it is to be, he will prosper and perhaps play ball with the team this year.

    P.S. - There are 16 league games, three more other games and as many as 5 additional games yet to play. Not a 'few measly games'.

    He would be a great addition to the team. Risk injury? I want him to know how much we all want him to do well in life and I wish I knew how to help not only him but every one else I encounter.

    Merry Christmas.

  5. John, it doesnt really much matter to me, honestly, anymore. Sometimes I do just like to rile people up here or elsewhere. I do not, by far, and in the least, take the internet or cell phones so serious, like the majority these days. Let Burke do all he wants however he chooses, I am sure it was in the contract, or else he may not have signed it. For some reason I believe that Norfleet was courted a little by the former staff or through some former players, and still ended up wanting to come to MSM anyway. Evan Cleveland was a surprise recruit. I will hereby apologize to y'all and Jean, about comments I have been making. I will not listen to anything that has been told to me that are supposedly close to the team either. I am tired of hearing about why he sat out from those people. I feel the same way you do John about him and wishing him well. I just predict that we will have future teams resembling American, and other Patriot-Ivy League teams due to Burke. While, I'd much rather have the style of players Brown had(somewhat), I guess I have no power over it. My assumptions about why he didnt play, were rooted in what others said, sorry again. Merry Christmas to you too, it sure sucks living in Hanover or PA for that matter. Maybe I will take a ride down to MD on Christmas and it will be merrier. Sorry for my antics, my leg pain and spine pain have been murdering me and I have been in a bad mood toward everyone.