I know many of you didn't see this. Let me tell you: I am amazed we were shooting to tie the game with seconds left. We had no right being that close. It was an ugly game where very few things went right in the second half. The bright side is that considering all the problems, the team kept it close. Here are my thoughts on the game.
-- Solid minutes from Roche. He hit his shots. He played good D. He had his best game of the year.
-- Raji's anticipation. Penetration was killing us in the second half. Eventually you could see Raji begin to slide over to slow it down and get the rebound.
-- Fighting back. At times in the Skinner era when the team got down, the effort seemed to fade too, leading to the occasional blowout. This game and the Providence game could have gone that way but didn't. These guys fight back.
-- Tempo. We played their game. We rarely got into our set offense. It was sloppy.
-- Reacting to the half court trap. They kept pressuring Rice and we couldn't create anything off of it. The other guards need to help him and we need people cutting for easy baskets.
-- Interior D. Why are Oates and Blair hovering at the perimeter? This led to the easy penetration by the pesky UMass guards.
-- Spear's fadeaway. He loves that shot and it never seems to drop. It also takes him away from the good rebounding position.
-- ESPN U's coverage. Andy Katz was great. Everything else sucked. Rooke was off. The edits, cuts and graphics were terrible. I appreciate that ESPN U is another outlet for us to watch, but the production can be really hit or miss.