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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wrapping up the Navy loss

Last night was a real disappointment for me. I really thought the Mount would beat Navy. But it was a very frustrating evening. Listened to the Navy postgame on the ride home and their announcers and the assistant they interviewed felt that was the best they've played all year. Particularly the first half. Having not seen all their games, I'll have to go with what they said.

  • I think the game was lost in the final minutes of the first half. Navy made 8 threes during the first half - 8 of 16 shooting, and was like 1 of 11 in the second half. So I don't know if their shooting was a product of them, a product of poor defense, or just one of those nights. But the game was lost when Navy pulled away late in the first half.
  • The Mount doesn't have enough horses to rally from a double digit deficit. Especially on a night when Julian Norfleet isn't shooting the basketball very well, and last night was one of those nights.
  • The post play continues to be strong. The Mount outrebounded Navy by a strong margin and Raven Barber and Shawn Atupem scored their points inside. The success of the Mount's season is going to be whether or not they have enough on the perimeter to be able to get the ball inside.
  • The coaching staff felt the frustration as well last night. I saw Coach Burke punch the scorer's table once and hold up about six inches from slamming it a second time. Either the first one hurt too much or he realized that wasn't the best way to handle things. 
  • 20 turnovers is way too many to have and win a basketball game. If that number isn't greatly decreased the Mount will struggle to get to double digit wins. 
  • The defense was extremely disappointing last night. This was the first game where the Mount couldn't find a way to really stop the opposition for an extended period of time. And there were some really bad situations. On one fast break, the Navy dribbler went through 4 Mountaineers right down the middle of the lane. Somebody has to stop the ball. And the help defense was particularly weak at some points. It kind of caught me off guard last night, because although the defense has been different than what we've seen in the past, it hasn't been bad. Last night was not a good effort. Navy scored 1.17 points per possession. You can't give up that many and win.
  • Still offensively I like the things that the Mount is trying to do. They do seem to be doing a better job of creating open looks then they have in the past and you can see the offense growing. Making all of those open looks becomes the issue...and not giving away 20 offensive chances with turnovers is the other fix. But all in all, the offense wasn't the problem last night. 68 points was enough to win this game, but not if you're not going to defend at the other end.
  • The schedule is about to get a lot tougher. We'll have to see how they respond with two road games against NEC competition this weekend. 
  • 2-4 at this point in the season isn't all that unlikely. It would be nice to be 3-3 but I wouldn't have expected too much more. The Dayton and Cincy games were always expected to be losses. And they played well in those games and had a chance in the road game at Niagara. But they need to keep pressing forward, believing in the new staff and what they are doing, and believing in themselves. The next home game isn't until December 20th. The time between now and then may define what this team ends up being.

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