Thursday, February 24, 2005

Leftover thoughts on loss

While fans and players are whining about the refs…again, I think 'Nova beat us fair and square (with an impressive 36-41 effort from the line). Yes they went to the line 18 more times than we did, but they played a lot of aggressive, physical, man D and really kept us out of a rhythm offensively for most of the game. They also exploited a big weakness –- ball handling. This BC team passes well, but Dudley, Hinnant, Hailey and Watson are the only guys who can dribble through midcourt pressure and/or dribble around tight defense away from the basket. This pressure led to Sean Marshall –- one of our better outside shooters –- sitting for large chunks of the game. I also felt that we wasted some opportunities with Sean Williams on offense. He is still raw and lacks confidence (and some of the skills) to make decisive moves when he has the ball. So needing dribblers, you saw Hailey and Hinnant out there together, which helped protect the ball but limited the offense.

Despite these problems, we almost stole another. I thought tempo would be the key to the game and we unfortunately did not do much to slow them down in the first half. Once we went to the full court 1-2-2, it threw the Wildcats off. If we had gone to it a little earlier, I think we could have beaten them.

The loss is disappointing. And I think we’ll drop another in the Big East Tournament, but I am still confident about this team’s chances in March.

I think Villanova has a lot of talent and could win the Big East Tournament. Yet at the same time it wouldn’t surprise me if they go in to the NCAAs hot like their 1995 team and flame out early.

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