Saturday, January 21, 2017

Disgraceful: Three Issues

Hard to understand being up 13 and then losing the game.  We're 12 and 7 now, and 4 and 3 in the SEC.  Team has a lot of good parts, but we're falling apart late in games and it's hard to make the Big Dance if we can't close these contests out.

I.  Turnovers

Way too many turnovers, especially within the last two minutes.

Jordan Harris, you have to be strong with the ball.  You're too good to have 6 or 7 turnovers in one game.  I know you're a freshman, but you're also a starter on a D-1 team.  You need to learn now.  If you drive the lane, wrap it up like a fullback until you're close enough to shoot.

J.J., you can't drive the ball to the hoop during the last 90 seconds of the game, leave your feet and throw it to their guys.  At least, try to make a shot.

If you make a key turnover, you have to put it behind you.  You can't let a pass bounce off your chest and fall out of bounds.

You are a tough competitor and the guy with the ball late.  You will most often be the hero or the goat in close games.  Well, with the point guard position comes point guard responsibilities.

I understand that the pressure is on.  That the press is on.  Not easy to perform when the crowd is against you and athletes are running at you.  We have to find a way.

II.  Coaching

Mark Fox:  Why play Kenny Paul Geno and not Turtle Jackson?  Turtle Jackson was actually shooting well this game.  I know we had guys go out with fouls, but we needed another ball handler desperately.

It's not like KPG was an incredible defender down there.  He hustles for rebounds, and can sometimes take a charge.  But against the press, he sets a screen and then floats around, of zero help getting the ball over the time line.  Good Dawg, but it's not his skill set to break the press.

I also disagree with Yante Maten taking the ball out of bounds.  Since they were letting us throw the ball into the corner, we didn't need Maten to see over the defense.  We needed him in the middle to be an outlet.  If you insist on playing KPG, let him take the ball out.

III.  Timekeeper

Home-cooking timekeeper and refs:  You are disgraceful.

We should have won the game.  Bad coaching was part of the issue, but the last play was so weird and the clock error so egregious that the SEC simply has to step in.  In that kind of situation, the solution is to play the last 5.6 seconds again.  Otherwise, unscrupulous time-keepers will cheat to the visiting team's disadvantage.

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