The first ten minutes were awful, but the rest of the way things went pretty well. The 4-0 conference start puts the team in a good place, but the stretch will be very tough. I think they need to finish 7-6 (6-6 in the ACC) to make the tourney. Here are my likes and dislikes.
-- Getting the ball to Dudley. He is still not getting enough shots, but the offense moves best when he has the ball. Plus he was able to lead the adjustments against UVA's varied defenses.
-- The pressure. We are never going to be a Bruce Pearl/Nolan Richardson style team, but our soft press is proving very effective. Another benefit of Williams: he can lay back and protect the basket in this scheme, but you also see him dart out and break up long passes.
-- Spears on the boards. He is still limited, but Spears worked hard on the defensive boards when we needed it.
-- Al not panicking. This can be frustrating at times. When we got down early, I was upset. Yet Mr. Cool remained calm and the team slowing worked back and adjusted.
-- Coming out flat. You can only get away with it so often...especially against good teams.
-- Letting UVA claw back late. Like the Wake game, the team let the Cavs back in when they should have put them away. It is sort of on Rice. His transition D is still shaky and sometimes he doesn't get the play moving when we have the lead. Yet, he equally deserves credit for making late foul shots.
-- Oates' 3 attempts. He is out there for rebounds, fouls and minutes. The occasional 3 is nice, but now he is forcing it. He needs to take a dribble or two and either take a shorter shot or get it to the cutter.