January 12, 2013

Notes Following a Couple Losses

There's little need to format this post in paragraphs while I watch Milton Jennings bank in multiple threes against our pathetic basketball team... so here's a list of my thoughts (some from a twitter conversation with Kendall) following this crapshow at Clemson and Wednesday's just-as-embarrassing loss at Wake Forest:

- Can't blame the refs, but they sure didn't help: Not including fouling at the end of the game, UVA has shot 8 free throws. Clemson? 23.

- A lot of that comes from getting abused in the paint all day. Atkins and Mitchell were both gimpy and Tobey just doesn't have the weight to deal with the likes of whichever Booker brother it was who beat us this year.

- The heart of most of our issues, which pops up much more on the road: the team is completely passive. Is Tony coaching them to play as such? I can't imagine it, but it seems like the only plausible explanation. Scared to shoot. Missing lay ups. Getting blocked at every turn in the paint. Throwing the ball at people's feet or out of bounds. Passive and stupid basketball: the theme of this week's games.

- Playing without a decent point guard can cause a lot of that passive play. Jontel had a decent game against UNC, but has otherwise been abysmal - stupid mistakes, no ability to shoot it, poor passes. Teven Jones, who at times had played like an ACC-level player, has been completely outclassed so far in conference play. Brogdon's injury has been really damning to this team - but they've had a year to prepare/adjust. A year.

- Defense? Bennettball? Clemson shot 51%. Wake at least only managed 40%. At times, the defense has been dominating. Look no further than keeping Wake without a FG for the last 10 minutes of the game. But it hasn't been enough. When your team can't run a pick and roll without traveling or throwing it away, you need to smother teams for 40 minutes a game. Isn't that why we give up on trying to offensively rebound?

- One of the more annoying aspects of this pitiful week is the level of competition. Clemson and Wake aren't just bad teams, they're horrendous teams. The ACC outside of a couple teams is just abysmal this year - and we can't take advantage of it, because we're abysmal too.

- It's also a shame that the basketball team can't alleviate any of the pain brought on by the pathetic football season. Frankly, many of the same complaints and uncertainties exist about both programs... yeah it's not quite as bad as football - but could it get there?

- It's too early to think past the rest of the season, obviously. But boy does there not seem to be anything but mediocrity in our near future. Next year? Devon Hall and London Perrantes both add actual talent to the 1 position, plus we only lose Jontel. I'm sure we'll have our hopes up...

- Duke lost. Haha. But I hate seeing Mike Gottfried happy about anything. It's a wash.


  1. I think I would be pretty hesitant to shoot as well if I was bricking and air balling as many open shots as we did today. I mean at this level you are supposed to be talented enough to hit wide open shots. And while I love Jontel for his defense when he is on the floor it is one position the other team does not have to worry about scoring from.

  2. Great post, Pierce. MORE of this, please! MORE, MORE, MORE!

    I think the lack of a point guard is really screwing us up right now. Like, I can't overstate it. It's more than just bringing the ball up the court, it's table-setting, tone-setting, creating offense, finding one's own shot, providing a go-to guy in crunch time, giving the team confidence, giving the team an edge, providing swagger, etc. The 1 is so, so, sooooooooo important... and we don't have one right now.

    I also hate our lack of punch in the frontcourt. Why hasn't Tony landed a big man with some muscle? Those Clemson guys - especially Booker - made us look stupid today. No help is on the way, unless Fundamental/Atkins/Tobey/Gill add some serious girth over the offseason.

    We just need some dudes who can score points. Joe Harris is the only one we have. Everyone else makes it look hard.


    Like I tweeted, baseball season starts in 34 days...

  3. James Johnson had decent size, and Akil is strong. Can't put it all on Tony, things happen. Agree on the point guard issue. Jontel's dismal play in my opinion, is one of the biggest factors in the 2 losses. I feel like our expectations were definitely too high though for a team as young and banged up as this one.

  4. Also has anyone else noticed that the commentary for the past two games has been praising both Clemson and Wake for playing 3-4 Freshmen. We play 4-5 freshmen and have only one senior but no one seems to acknowledge that we are a young team. WTF

  5. Haha good point Havens.

    And I like how you phrased the scoring issue. At least with guards, at this level you should be able to hit wide open J's. Having one (not to mention 2 sometimes!) Guards on the floor who can't do that really limits the offense - and gives the opponent's D an easier route.