Sunday, December 05, 2010

Wrapping Up the Quinnipiac Loss

As I've stated here earlier, I did not see the whole game. I saw from about the midway point first half until about 13 or 14 minutes were left. But here are some of my observations on the whole of the game.

  • Remember, I was the guy who stated after the Navy loss that a split in Connecticut would be acceptable. That was accomplished with the win on Thursday night. And still I wake up on Sunday morning thinking that more should have been accomplished. When I quit watching the Mount maintained a nine-point lead...and when I got back in contact with the game they were up 4 with less than two minutes to play. Now it sounds like QU really made some plays down the stretch and maybe it was just one of those games that you aren't going to win, but up 4 with less than 2 you should win your fair share. And I guess the major disappointment was the turnover that led to the winning basket. When my daughter told me QU had tied it with 28 ticks left, I told her the worst case scenario was the game goes to overtime. Somehow, worst case became best case, and QU won at the buzzer.
  • The evaporation of the second half lead still feels too much like the Niagara game. However, I think you have to be excited by the offensive execution down the stretch. Six straight points to retake the lead and then a clutch bucket from Atupem to increase the lead to three. At Niagara the offense really sputtered down the stretch and left the door open. That didn't happen here. QU made a lot of plays and they won the game. 
  • Still I think what we found out this weekend is that this team is going to compete with everyone in the NEC. To be honest, I wasn't sure that was possible before this weekend. And that isn't to knock the new coaching staff or the players, it was just with the inexperience and everything that has gone wrong (injuries included) that it was still a question mark.
  • This team has played hard from the opening minutes of the opener at Dayton to this game. I never questioned that and they definitely have some players who are adjusting to the college game and are going to get better as the season wears on.
  • I really liked the balance of everything I saw yesterday. Not only was their balance on the scoresheet, but there was balance on how the points were coming. Post ups, on the break, jumpers out of the flow, easy buckets out of sets, it was just a very good balance.
  • Sometimes you just like the look of a player. I've always felt that way with Danny Thompson. And the guy has really been hindered by injuries but he's never stopped working hard even when others have passed him on the depth chart. If you recall he was part of the same recruiting class as Shawn Atupem and I think he was the more highly recruited player. It was nice to see him contribute yesterday. The Mount has a lot of depth at those forward slots and a lot of quality.
  • I like the switching defenses. I'm a Syracuse grad so I don't mind the 2-3 zone. As long as the zone isn't a YMCA zone it can be effective. I like the activity of the defense when they play it. They rebound better out of it, maybe because they play three forwards. And it can be effective. I think it will get better the more they play it. Coupled with the fact that the players still play good man-to-man defense can make it more effective.
  • The staff has done a great job of putting people in positions where they can succeed. A lot of questions since Robert Burke was hired were about what type of system he was going to run. After eight games its hard to say that they are a system type of team. Instead, I think he has built the game plans around what this group can accomplish. He has certainly put them in a position to succeed. The easy buckets that the team is getting out of the offense have been refreshing.
  • The schedule is about to get difficult. I don't see a game in the next seven (8 if you include yesterday) where the Mount will be favored. That doesn't mean there aren't winnable games. In fact after yesterday, I'm not sure that you can put any in that category. The fact remains that there are 3 money games in there, plus three road games, and a home game with the Patriot League favorite. 
  • Hopefully, we continue to see growth from the team. I think I've seen it every game. We definitely saw it this week in the jump from the Navy loss to the Sacred Heart win, and then the improvement even from that until yesterday. We need to see it during this stretch.
  • Glad to read that Raven Barber missed the game because of the flu. Ok let me rephrase. Not glad he missed the game. Glad that it wasn't anything more serious. The team has already been hit with enough injuries and I was fearful that Barber might miss something more than just Saturday's game. Hopefully, the big fella returns strongly and didn't pass that sickness around the team.

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  1. To shoot 55% against what has been a good defensive team has to be taken as a positive, although I'm sure you're upset the Mount didn't win the game in the end.
    The rebounding wasn't very lopsided, and James Johnson - inconsistent - had to go 5-for-7 from behind the arc to win the game.
    That's a lot better than I thought the Mount would do, and I think they can build on it.

  2. Raff, i believe that your assessment was very accurate! Good job. Yesterday, James Johnson simply willed his team to victory. Read their article on their site and it says that he did.

  3. Anonymous6:57 PM

    Good comments both. Please note Richard used 32 words. YES!

  4. Whatever 'k'. My mind is on heading up to State College Tuesday. I will be sitting somewhere behind the Mount bench, not immediately behind it but in the area. So, um 'k', maybe you should get your butt up there and support them too. I highly doubt I see many Mount fans. It would be nice to be surprised though.

  5. I hear there is gonna be some snow up around Bryce Jordan. Maybe Norfleet will provide a blizzard of threes instead.