Well, it was a long and enjoyable winning streak. It came to an end because we are not playing the type of defense necessary to beat an explosive offensive team. Before the game, Dick Vitale said “I heard you have a great team.” My response unfortunately was “not at all Dick, we have a good team and I hope to get better month by month.”
Why are we just good at best?
· Very little verbal communication on defense – often leads to mishaps in the half court
· Little production on the back board from our 3’s & 5’s
· Lack of focus – on four occasions our 1-2-3’s went to the offensive glass when they were supposed to get back in transition. That was the scouting plan
· Inability to absorb scouting reports. This is an area that has been a major concern
· Ball containment – although Russ and Chris had good offensive games they were both ineffective containing the ball.
These are key areas we must improve on heading into Southern Miss.
What about Southern Miss:
This will be a tough opponent. Donnie Tyndall (Head Coach) knows us very well. Pulled off the upset with Morehead State three years ago.
They are shooting 48% from the field, .386% from 3pt line and .663% from free throw line
Averaging 12.7 assists and 14.2 turnovers
They are almost a twin of what we did the last two years
Aggressive 2-2-1 trap back to a tandem 2-3 zone
They have a plus 4.5 turnover margin with 8.8 steals per game
They are an older team (mostly Jucos) currently 6-0
Play hard and very talented
Our goal this month is to improve our defense mentally and physically. Become more humble with our focus and communication. We must get Mangok stronger, as he is being pushed around at 212 lbs. This is a must!
Although disappointed in our recent loss, I’m not surprised as I’ve noticed a different mindset defensively compared to the last two years.
Obvious mishaps from game on offense:
Terry – 1
Russ – 2
Chris – 2
13 missed makeable layups. Some were semi-challenged, but they were all makeable.
Obvious mishaps from game on defense:
Eight (8) times we were not in our correct defense
Now the sad and ugly truth:
13/15 on fast breaks for North Carolina
17/21 on layup attempts
Yes, Gorgui was a big deterrent to people driving. But more obvious is the fact that our guys are trying not to foul, thus the blow-by’s in the half court. We must learn to rotate better as if everyone is on a string. Charges are now 80% blocks. We must contain, switch when necessary, block and challenge shots, and protect the rim.
Both of these stats are extremely alarming. Our back court and small forwards must be held accountable for all these mishaps. Something we will work on diligently the next three days.
We won’t be having a press conference prior to Friday’s game but this info is more than you will need to understand our break downs and what we need to do in preparing for a very talented Southern Miss team.
It will improve!!