Friday, December 02, 2011

The Mount loses; We all suffer

I make no bones about it. This blog is about sports from the perspective of a fan. No doubt I have a journalistic background, and no doubt some of the things I've done as a journalist have contributed to what I write here today. But still this blog is about my feelings as a fan.

I truly don't think I've ever rooted for a team longer or harder than I have for the Mount. And I know that despite all the sad and troubling things going on at my own alma mater right now, there is nothing in the sports world that pulls at my heartstrings like the Mount.

That's why last night, and for that matter the last few weeks and maybe even the end of last season have been so upsetting to me. The bottom line is this is not a very good basketball team right now. There isn't a ton of talent. Still they wear the blue and white and I like the guys a whole lot. They play hard and they give the effort that you want to see. describes the Mount in its team profile as has difficulty scoring baskets and defensively challenged. That's not a good combination.

It's tough right now and it's certainly easy to point figures when things are going well. There are a slew of reasons. Reasons or excuses, I guess.

When things like this go wrong as fans we tend to blame the coach. And no doubt Robert Burke has to be accountable for his actions and the play of his team. But we also need to give him time to craft to his program. As far as I'm concerned this freshman class is his real first recruiting effort - and the abilities of Kelvin Parker, Xavier Owens, Chad Holley and Taylor Danaher will fully be measured in the years to come. It's tough to win at this level with freshman.

Josh Castellanos and Julian Norfleet were both pleasant surprises in their first year last season. But both have had slow starts compared to our expectations this season.

Burke came into a tough situation - just about all the weapons were departing and the cupboards were starting to look a little bare. Graduation took a few more after last season and injuries and defections have made it even more difficult at the start of this year.

I've heard the Burke complaints. I can't argue with some of them. He obviously has a short hook - and I'm concerned about how that plays with some of the players who lack confidence right now. There also are a lot more combinations being floated around then I normally like to see. In addition, the decision to play Julian Norfleet as the lead guard last night seemed a bit odd to me. Norfleet filled in adequately at Navy and might have reduced the turnovers from that slot. But on a team that struggles so much offensively, it seemed like an odd choice to take away your best offensive option.

Still its our jobs as fans to stay the course and root for the team and the coaches that are out there. And I'm hopeful that the right things were said in the 40-minute post game chat session last night to solve some of the issues.

The defending league champ is coming to Mount St. Mary's on Saturday night. Truely it has the makings of something that could be ugly.

But I'm hoping you'll be there with me to cheer on our team. Because it's at times like these when things get tough that we as fans are needed the most. Let's keep this positive and get things going forward again.

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  1. Anonymous5:16 PM

    I got no journalistic background. I bleed the White & Blue. Coach good, injuries and player decisions (suspensions and P. Brown) bad. Injury not coaches doing. Limited talent available.

    Prediction: They will make NEC playoffs and win in the 1/4 finals this year.

  2. That was a great post!

  3. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Raff and all fans. I will see you there tonight. Mount 14 point dogs at home, but perhaps tonight it's our turn to get it together.

  4. Even though Raff did not put an article/thread up for tonight's Long Island game I would like to give y'all my analysis of the game from the notes I jotted down throughout the game:

    First off I believe that Mount played awesome!!! Secondly and the bottom line as well- Long Island is a damn good team and just simply a little better than the Mount.

    Ok here goes some of my perspective in no particular order of importance. Reasons for losing the game consists of: 1) The refs yet again; I thought I seen the worst ref in the NCAAs tonight but i am not sure. I am referring to Tom Fahey. He wasn't quite as horrible as he is usually when he is simply anti-Mount, but he did make some bad ones. Another thing about the refs was that they seemed to make a few calls against both teams(mostly MSM) where they blew the whistle before the foul actually occurred, even if it was a true foul.

    Second, a few times when the Mount was about to break through the barrier and at least come close to tying LIU, they put up some quick shots instead of going to what was working the whole game inside. Norfleet threw his usual couple shots up recklessly.

    Next, there was some more points left out on the court again by some missed easy layups- namely Castellanos and Barber- yet again.

    Another cause for losing the game was how the Mount failed to get back on transition to counter LIU's specialty the fast break. A few times that happened after the quick shots I mentioned.

    Next, Long Island just took advantage of virtually everything that was given to them by Mount- super awareness. LIU just kept fighting us off when it was a necessity for them every time. The next reason for the loss was that LIU absolutely murdered us with those 3 pointers, which is quite normal for them. I only have 2 words for the next reason and they are: Michael Culpo.The guy hardly ever misses does he, geeze???

    A few more glaring causes for the loss were: Krajina and his hard luck when the balls just kept popping out of the basket; there is still a lack of 3 pointers by the Mount, although we definitely took more shots and were more assertive offensively- that will and better change when we get the great Rashad Whack and Sam Prescott; we also missed the good play of kelvin Parker- he only had 5 points but did make a few great passes inside; Parker and others should have kept driving to basket for a layup instead of making the extra pass to someone else down low, a few times when that occurred tonight and has been happening all year as well.

    However, in conclusion, the Mount played awesome!!! Now, I just want to see consistency and they come out and make that kind of play a normality like LIU does. Now they proved they could do it, so they need to focus on that and ride that confidence in their ability. This was a damn good Mount effort overall!! I am very happy with the performance tonight. The true bottom line is that Long Island is simply a better team, but we are not that far behind. We are going to definitely win some games if we can play like we did tonight, possibly even beat LIU the next time. I dont know if it was a very good gameplan the Mount had tonight, or if it was LIU that just was not prepared for the Mount's tendencies, either way it was very nice to see some high quality basketball tonight.

    We will beat Maryland if we play like we did tonight!! Why not? Iona devoured MD by like 40 pts or so and LIU is almost as good as Iona. well, thank you Mount, Raff, and all our fans that provide fodder for the Fan Blog!! I hope I didnt bore you with my many grammatical errors and the length of my post. my right arms has about gone dead from some severe disc problems in my neck and I had to use my left hand mostly to type. Welll, I am going to bed. I am in bad pain and another surgery is likely looming on the horizon for me. Have a good night Mount Maniacs!!!