-- Reggie Jackson playing to the whistle. Too often over the past couple years we've had players who sort of gave up on plays. Not Jackson. He cleaned up a crucial missed layup from Rakim late and he also went for blocks inside on GT's much bigger frontline guys.
-- Southern's shot selection. I expected much more out of Southern this year. He has not progressed as quickly as I predicted. When you see his touch and decision making today, you see what type of player he can be. Hopefully he turns it on over the next week.
-- The final play out of the timeout. Like Dave Odom, that is not what I would have drawn up. But it worked. In hindsight it was brilliant. Instead of Rice -- who was cold from the field -- forcing a final shot, you had the much hotter Sanders move to the midrange and get space. Sanders also drew two guys over, so if you watch the replay, the rest of the team was in good position for a potential putback.
-- Rice's decision making. Certainly a deceiving stat line for his final game at Conte. While his free throws were important, he made multiple mistakes throughout the game. Dumb fouls, sloppy and forced passes, wasted possessions while he dribbled around, and ugly shots.
-- Awkward lineups in the second half. Roche played a lot and not particularly well. Paris never got much PT. Al went smallish while their bigs dominated the boards. There wasn't much flow and no group looked good against the press. If not for their fouling us, we would have lost.
With 9 ACC wins, this team is in. But they will be one and done if they don't start playing better. Fortunately Jackson and Sanders are coming on to the point where they can fill the void on Rice's off nights. See you all in Atlanta.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
"What bubble?" Ugly win but I'll take it
I hate watching Paul Hewitt's teams especially against Skinner. I don't think Hewitt is a great coach (far from it actually) but his micromanaging, style of play and the type of player he has in his system makes for an ugly game especially against our more deliberate scheme under Al. Our guys didn't help things by playing some of the most sloppy and dumb basketball of the season in the second half. Rakim Sanders final 20 seconds was a microcosm of the game. Up 1, he makes a dumb foul to send GT to the line for 2 shots. Then out of the timeout, he dribbled into the corner to take a tough shot...and made it. Fortunately style points don't matter. No one will care about an ugly win on Selection Sunday. Here are my other takes. As always, leave your thoughts below.