The Van Buren Boys

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Monday, November 13, 2006


I must admit that I thought the game against Hartford was a pre-season game which is why I wasn't concerned about the score (I didn't see / listen to the game).

For those that went, did Hartford play that tough, or did GU just not play well? Or conversely, did GU just execute the Princeton offense which doesn't tend to blow other teams out of the water?


Diamond_Mike said...

A bit of all that. We didn't shoot well from the outside, nor did we attack Hartford's zone. We didn't play good perimeter defense and Hartford was very hot from outside. I think all of this will fall into place for us. I just hope it does before Wednesday.

Jester of Magellan said...

Stallion, glad to see you were able to tear yourself away from the books in order to check in. I had hoped that between Diamond, IBP, and I all attending the game we would have gotten a good analysis up by the time you checked in. Sorry that we did not.

Let me start by saying that Hartford played a very good game. They took the Hoyas to the limit and almost came away with a win. At the end of the day all that matters is a “W” or a “L.” But believe me when I say the Hawks have a lot more to be happy about in their loss than we do in our win.

Though the “Princeton”-style offense will rarely result in big blow outs, this game was closer than the score indicated. We won by 10, but could easily have lost by almost that many. To say that we looked rough would be an understatement. We definitely did not look like a top 10 team. I’m not saying that we aren’t a top 10 team, but it didn’t show on Saturday. In fact, if we play that way on Wednesday we could easily be looking at an early season loss.

The Good
After that glum introduction, let me go over the high points of the game. J-Wall looked good. His shot looked better than I remember, and he showed the same kind of poise that made him one of my favorites last year. That being said, Wallace needs to be more aggressive. He needs to take more shots and be more assertive moving towards the basket. Selflessness is a key aspect of our offensive scheme, but he takes it too far. If we’re going to be successful, he needs to step up.

Jeff Green had a tons of turnovers (very uncharacteristic), but he also had the best offensive play of the game, with a baseline spin that he finished off with a reverse dunk. Further, in a return to his freshman-year form, Green shot well from the charity stripe. Jeff is the best player on the team and I expect him to perform better down the road.

The best defensive play of the day goes to freshman DaJuan Summers, who had a monster block. Summers was a non-factor on offense during his 10 minutes on the court (0 for 1 from the field). But his one block really highlighted his athletic ability. I expect good things from Summers as he becomes more comfortable with our system.

The Bad
Now, here is what really troubled me. First, Roy did not have a good day. Roy shot under 50% from the field (5 for 11), which is not good when all of your shots are coming from about a foot away. He only had 5 boards. And he looked tired! After all of the hype about his off-season conditioning, Hibbert only played 28 minutes. Down the stretch he played very little because it was obvious he needed a blow and could not run the court. This really concerned me.

Also, I still don’t know who’s going to step in for D.O. and Ashanti as our down town threat. Jonathan can hit those shots, but not if he’s running the game from the point. Sapp did not look bad (he had a good steal), but he’s no shooter. Rivers (despite what Diamond claims) looked bad (i.e. threw the ball right to the opposing team on an inbound and looked scared the whole time on the court). And Tyler Crawford has been limited in his playing time the past two years for a reason. For quite some time we’ve heard that Crawford was a shooter and would eventually find a niche in the Hoyas’ offense. I think his 3 for 12 performance said otherwise.

That leaves us with Egerson and Ewing. Both were non-factors. Egerson started (as we had heard he would) and didn’t really show much—even though he played for almost 30 minutes. Ewing played for 10 minutes and didn’t even attempt a shot.

The Ugly Summary
Over all, our problem remains that we have 3 talented juniors and a lot of unknowns. We can look at Saturday’s game as JTIII trying to figure out who is starters are really going to be, and who he’s going to be able to count on to help Wallace, Green, and Hibbert. After two halves of play, I’d be surprised if he was any closer to an answer. I just hope that someone decides to step up sooner, rather than later. If not, our hopes for a deep post-season run could end very early this season.

P.S. - Here are the A.P.'s photos of the game.