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This was a bad matchup from the first preseason magazine. Experienced QB, experienced receivers, experienced offense playing at home against a team that hasn't won on the road since.... This was a worse matchup than Wisconsin. We're not going to play well against teams that fit this bill because we don't have the cover guys. Western Kentucky's system is more diverse and complex than UC and they have more talent.
Western Kentucky, Bowling Green, Toledo, Western, NIU, and Central are all top 50-type programs. They should beat middling to poor high major teams. We're a poor mid-major with 70 redshirt or true freshmen that have won 3 games in the last 2+ seasons, not even a top 100 program.
I can't say anything about the coaching until our players develop more. Next year I think is the year to start passing judgment.
This may arguably be our best win of the season. Ringo didn't score, but except for the one possession where he pouted, he stayed under control and had 10 assists versus 3 turnovers. As a team, we had 17 assists versus 10 turnovers. Against their zone and press, we put on a clinic on how to attack. The ball found the middle of the floor, we played inside-out, and we weren't afraid to attack the basket. The way we played offensively, we should've won by more. Coleman-Lands continues to get increasingly comfortable. He also had 6 rebounds and 3 assists. McLane played a very good 2nd half. If Brown can stay out of foul trouble, his numbers would be even better. When the game got close at the end, we kept our composure and made some plays. We get to go against another zone defense this weekend, albeit a more difficult one.
They're the Wright St. radio team, what do you expect? Bake is a homer and I wouldn't expect anything else. I thought Coach Brown criticized both teams at points during the game. But he's going to be for Wright St. at the end.Outside of using the old nickname from time to time, Jim Brown was fine as a color analyst. It was the play-by-play guy (Chris Collins??) who was butchering everyone's name last night.
I've known Coach Brown for years, too. Classy guy. If he used the name Redskins a few times during the broadcast, I'm good with it. He knows more about basketball that I could ever hope to begin to understand. Chris Collins? He's normally right on with names. But if you haven't seen the Miami roster until the night of the game, then yeah, there could be some mispronunciations.
They were also homers the entire game. Nice guy, sure, but maybe just not a good broadcaster. It was brutal to listen to.
I thought we played as hard as we have all year, especially for the first 25 minutes or so. We didn't necessarily play good basketball for all of those 25 minutes, but the effort was there. Credit to the bench guys for keeping us in the game. There were some dumb plays, but they played tough, especially defensively. Buffalo had some looks, but at least we were there to contest most of the time. Then to start the 2nd half, Brown and Sibande don't communicate on the pick and pop they run al the time and they get a wide open 3.The turning point came when Ringo got his 4th foul. He did a fantastic job controlling the tempo, finding people and making shots. Buffalo didn't have an answer for him. When he went out in the 2nd half, Buffalo started to take control of the game. Going forward, the more Ringo can assert himself and put his imprint on a game, I think we'll be better off. I don't think it was a coincidence that in the 1st half with Sibande out and Ringo handling the ball more, the ball found more open people.
Standings through 3/2, just 2 games left for everybody.1. Buffalo 14-2, clinched 1st round-bye, clinches #1 seed with a win or BG loss in either of the last 2 games, at OU, vs. BG2. BG 12-4, clinched 1st round bye, at Akron, at Buffalo3. Toledo 11-5, can clinch 1st round bye with win or Kent loss in either of the last 2 games, vs. Western, vs. Eastern4. Central 9-7, clinched at least a 1st round home game, owns head-to-head tiebreaker over Kent, vs. NIU, at Western5. Kent 9-7, clinched at least a 1st round home game, at Miami, vs. Akron6. Eastern 8-8, clinches 1st round home game with win in either of last 2 games, vs. Ball St., at Toledo7. Miami 7-9, owns tiebreaker over Akron because of 2-0 record vs. BG, vs. Kent, at OU8. Akron 7-9, vs. BG, at Kent9. Ball St. 6-10, currently owns head-to-head over NIU, at Eastern, vs. NIU10. NIU 6-10, at Central, at Ball St.11. OU 5-11, vs. Buffalo, vs. Miami12. Western 2-14, locked into #12, at Toledo, vs. CentralAs I see it, Miami clinches a 1st round home game with a win on Tuesday, plus an Akron loss and an NIU loss.
This is a hard game to evaluate. I would've stressed the following in my scouting report as keys to victory:1. Make them play in the half-court.I'd say that this happened at times, but not nearly often. The pace felt frantic, which favors Buffalo2. Run them off the 3-point line. If they beat us with 2s, so be it.Nope.3. Good shot selection.At times, but not enough.4. Clog their transition lines, only 1 guy should offensive rebound.Nope.So we didn't do any of those things well. To make it worse, we come out like deer in the headlights with the national TV audience and big crowd and spot them 18. Yet this was a 1 possession game with 2:30 left?!?!?I thought our defense was bad most of the night. Since it appeared Ayah's knee was bothering him, we couldn't play an ideal lineup with him at the 5, so Bowman was in no man's land all night long. We're quick enough that we should be able to switch screens 1-4, but that requires talking and I don't think we communicated well. There's no way any one of their shooters should be wide open for a 3. Yes, they're good and they put a lot of pressure on you offensively, but if you can switch every screen/handoff and stick on shooters, they shouldn't get any open 3s. We tried to collapse on the drive and rotate back on shooters, but they move the ball so quickly that the rotation will always be behind. That's why I think you have to live with 2s, give Perkins the post and see if he can score over Bam. Then the times we did play good defense, we didn't get enough loose balls. I think they might've worn down at the end of the game, which surprised me. They missed a lot of open shoots and free throws, which kept us in the game.Offensively, we were too immature in our shot selection. By tonight's play, you wouldn't know that we had a senior point guard. I don't think Buffalo is a great defensive team. Their best defensive strategy is to speed you up at the other end and get you out of sync. You can attack them off the dribble and go inside and we did a pretty good job of that, but you have to finish when you get in there, you can't throw up crap or miss dunks because they get the rebound and go. So our 14 turnovers (only 4 in the 2nd half) is a little misleading because we had some bad shots that led to scoring opportunities for them.Coach did a good job of staying calm during the beginning of the game. He probably realized our guys were nervous, overwhelmed, then shaken. Some of you will hate to hear this, but we're still young, especially compared to Buffalo, so the worst thing, I think, you can do is get too riled up at the beginning of the game. 18 point leads, especially 4 minutes into the game, aren't what they used to be, they're overcome more frequently.I would also tell the team that we didn't play remotely close to how we played at BG, yet we had the ball down 3 with 2:30 left against a top 25 team. Also, Tuesday's game is just as big, if not bigger. There can't be any dwelling or pouting over this game.
Only because it's easier for me, I'm going to take Blues's points one-by-one.1. I agree (easy enough)2. I'll agree with Dick in that I think Sibande's improved during the 2nd half of conference play, though I'd like to see him become a better defender. He definitely lacks. Brown started the year red hot but has really flat lined as the year's progressed. Obviously, Bowman made the biggest jump and is our MVP.3. If you would've said we'd be 15-15, 7-11 in the league, I wouldn't have been surprised. What would've surprised me is how up and down the year has been and how inconsistent our effort's been. Opposing coaches have a year-plus of tape on our players and system, so we're easier to scout. I actually expect the biggest jump to be made between the sophomore and junior season. Next year is an important year.4. Lairy has actually bucked the trend of a mid-major recruit: started really well, fell off in the middle of the year, but has picked it up in recent games. McNamara is a typical mid-major recruit and I agree with Dick, should've been redshirted. I would expect some minutes from him next year and hopefully some kind of jump in 2 years time.5. If we're going to shoot a lot of 3s, a lot of 3s better be shot over the summer. But at the same time, I hope we're going back and watching tape of what works, what doesn't, and what could work. I'd love to work with Adaway in the summer because I think he's willing to put in the work and he has the most upside. I would have him shoot at least 500 one dribble pull-ups, using a guide hand to shoot a more conventional jumper versus his one-hand push jumper.If we get anything from next year's incoming freshmen, I would consider it a bonus. The bulk of our production should come from our core returners.6. The best teams are player-led. Who will be that guy for us? I can see ICL and Adaway being our leaders. If someone else wants to step up and provide good leadership, that's fine too, but someone needs to.