Even in defeat it was a fun game. A great atmosphere and worth the price of admission. Made me want to go back - and I'm hoping others feel the same way.
Of course, we won't get that chance until November with what will likely be a team that looks very different in a lot of ways. With the transfers that have been sitting out this year and the incoming freshman, plus a new coach it will be a different Mount team. I expect that a lot of the excitement from last night will carry over.
The Mount needs a miracle now to make the NEC tournament. Two wins on the road at Central Connecticut and Bryant and a pair of losses for Sacred Heart in its home building. The Pioneers play Robert Morris and lowly St. Francis PA.
So pretty soon we can start looking to next year.
The article on last night's game showed that Matt Henry wasn't confident that the decisions he made down the stretch were the right ones. Couple that with the fact that his team didn't respond and make the same types of plays that they had made in building the nine point lead to begin with - translates into the disappointing loss. The game ended with a 17-6 Monmouth run.
Many will question Henry's decision to not call timeout down two with the ball after two missed Monmouth free throws late. But let's be honest, that's a coin flip. If Castellanos' runner goes - nobody would have noticed. But the Mount did need a better shot at that time. They seemed unpoised and hurried when there was more time than they wanted to believe. All of a sudden they were looking to the bench. I blame that on Robert Burke more than anything.
Where I'll question Henry was with the two substitutions right around the 4-minute mark. Kristijan Krajina had a bad night. And to insert him for Raven Barber at the time, especially with the type of night Barber was having was really questionable. To also pull your starting point guard - and the only guy who has seen significant minutes at the spot all season, for a young green freshman at the time made little to no sense. If you want to find fault with Henry, I think you start right there.
Anyhow, as I said it was an enjoyable night at the Mount. A great night to honor the '62 National Champs. I found one thing especially true about the halftime ceremony. The statement that "Behind every great team there is a great coach."
We need to find that again.
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