I got to see our last 2 games on possibly the worst network on cable. Seriously people.. HD.. there is no excuse to not broadcast in HD. After seeing us play against 2 "decent" teams, it is clear that this is a team that has a LONG way to go in order to get into the top half of the ACC this year. Pray for 7-9 in the ACC. This team has a lot of work to do.
After beginning the season with 3 games shooting over .500 from the floor, we struggled about as much as i have ever seen in 3 of the last 4 quarters (2nd half vs ODU wasn't too bad), but 1st half vs ODU, and both halves today vs Seton Hall were brutal. Since we no longer press, we're not going to get a lot of easy looks (we're also not giving up 10 uncontested layups a game) but there is a tradeoff.
We finished OT of tonight's game making our last 8 FTs (6-6 from Tanner), and we shot 37 for the game compared to seton hall's 12. We have to make FTs. It we hit them in regulation (aka booker's miss with 1 second left) we would have won the game easily despite shooting 29% from the field.
Guards - Demontez kept us in last night's game by himself. He had no help. He struggled playing 34 plus minutes in 2 straight nights. As a team we did a much better job taking care of the ball tonight, but Stitt had 6 TOs trying to do to much because he knows he doesn't have much help. Andre Young is the slowest 5'9" guard in the country. Thank god he can sometimes shoot. Nobody gets more out of his ability than Tanner. He plays his butt off for a 6'5" guard with limited athleticism. He had 8 rebounds tonight, and shot 14-15 from the foul line. Stanton is what you'd expect form a freshman. He shows he can do some good things, but if you leave him on the floor long enough.. he's going to do something stupid. Noel Johnson might transfer. He hasnt earned minutes, he refused to play defense, and in the early going has 0 assists and 6 turnovers. He needs to get a lot smarter and play with more composure.
Big Uns - Jerai Grant can't only play 18 minutes and get 5 fouls. He made more post moves this weekend than he had in 3 previous years combined. It is obvious that Coach B put in a lot of work with he and Devin to see what they can do with their back to the basket. To his credit, Devin made the 2nd of 2 FTs tonight down 1 with 2 seconds left. A lot of guys would have fallen apart after missing the first. We need him to channel the Sophomore version of big brother and continue to play aggressive. Milton looks "better" He was terrified last year. The game was too fast for him. He's made a couple of 3s now. He's getting boards, but he's still turning the ball over too much. Amazingly, Bobo is getting PT as our 4th big. He's playing meaningful minutes, and we're going to need him to continue to do so.
In 2 games that i've seen I am happy with what i am seeing from Brownell on the sidelines. When a game starts to turn.. he uses his timeouts. When guys aren't giving effort.. they get pulled. When guys are struggling with the speed of a game or when they're not playing as smart as he wants them to.. or running the offense the way he expects them to.. he pulls them. I would have loved to see how Brownell would have handled T Book last year.
We have SC st this weekend before 3 straight legitimate tests vs michigan, the U of Suck, and FSU. Then we play 6 straight bunnies before the main ACC schedule begins.
These opinions are not necessarily those of the Proprietors of Shakin' The Southland.