I didn't expect this and based on the schedule, I don't think Steve Donahue did, but I am starting to wonder if we have the worst roster for the NCAA's new style of basketball. We weren't a good defensive team in any year under Donahue, but the general style of play was slower and our guys could make up for any lack of athleticism with hand checking. Now anyone with a quick dribble can get free. And we don't have a shotblocker in the paint to force bad shots or get rebounds.
And things only get worse on offense. We are still getting to the foul line and making a lot of free throws, but we waste too much time swinging the ball around. And don't get me started on the terrible decisions made on kickouts. We would be best having Hanlan drive and drive and drive some more. But then again, we are not well built for this style. We really only have one penetrator. Rahon has a good handle and is willing to go to the basket, but he's still not all that fast. Heckmann can go to the hole in a mismatch. But we could really use a guy like...oh maybe Jordan Daniels.
There are other issues here too. Our second half adjustments. General carelessness with the ball. A lack of intensity or sense of urgency. But I really think the world changed and not only were we not ready, we are not equipped to handle it. The one time we could use a soft schedule to figure out a new approach and new defensive schemes, we are playing the toughest schedule in the country. I usually trust Donahue's ability to adjust but because of the new rules, he's flying blind.
This is not a problem Lonnie Jackson or Dennis Clifford are going to solve. This is major coaching triage. Donahue has to retool his whole offense and defense in about a week. If he doesn't, he's done. I know that might seem harsh, but how can you let him fill the 2015 recruiting class with six or more recruits when the program is struggling like this? I want this to end well. I was really excited about this season. But I have real doubts. Wake up, guys! This is it!