5 overtimes, wow! I have read, heard and talked to everyone about every reason we lost, whether it was Russ, or was it Coach not asserting himself, was it Blackshear only playing 20 minutes (another dig at coach), was it Dieng being subbed in for offense and being taken out for defense leading ND to feel no fear when driving (wow another shot at RP), was it Luke feeling like he was Reggie Miller, how about Peyton passing it once again to a big mans knees, maybe the refs missing the call on on Chane's put back at the end of the 3rd or 4th OT, we looked tired (I thoguht we were the team that never gets tired), or was it...
Our players looked like they were playing not to lose, instead of playing to win.
I have never seen 2 teams with such completely different attitudes, our guys looked like they were not having fun, their players were having a ball. ND is always a tough match-up for us, and I think the reason is simple, Brey always outcoaches RP, always.
Sure they hit some shots, sure they got a lucky tip in, but we hit big shots too, why weren't our guys happy. This team has now lost 4 of the last 8 games. I think it might be time to play Wayne a lot more, spread the offense around rather than just letting Russ do his thing. maybe get Mont Z more minutes and most importantly start having fun.
Just have some fun Cards, the wins will follow. Our D will allow us to stay in almost any game with anyone, just need to be a little more patient on O and stop standing around... oh yeah and smile!
My opinion is this, We had the ball, with the lead, with 28 or so seconds left in the 3rd or 4th overtime period. We also had a time out left. Why didn't Coach call a time out, then simply run the clock down until ND is forced to foul? Instead, Russ decides to try and drive the ball to the basket, turns it over, and lets ND back in the game. Maybe Russ was trying to be the hero, or maybe Coach was just letting them play, but I believe we should have called a time out, and set up some kind of offense. I don't think Brey out coached anybody. I'm sure he did not tell Jerian Grant to come down on 4 straight possesions with 40 seconds left in regulation and just put up 3 consecutive 3 point shots, and then drive the ball to the basket, make the shot, and get fouled, to tie the game. Grant was not looking to pass the ball, just throwing up prayers that all went in. You can say what you will about our stamina and conditioning, but when you are forced to play a slow down, physical, grind it out type of basketball game, it is physically and mentally demanding. I don't think we were physically tired, but metally we were exhausted. Every team in the Big East knows that if you can stop our guards from getting into the lane, forcing us to shoot outside shots, we are very beatable. Most of our offense comes from our defense, and the press is not effective if we don't make shots. Until Peyton, Russ, and Wayne start to shoot a better percentage, expect more losses in the future. When you watch teams like Syracuse, Indiana, Michigan, Miami, they all have guards who can not only play the point, but they are also good outside shooters. Until we can establish an outside shooting game, teams will simply continue to pack the defense in the lane, and force us to make shots from the perimeter. Our defense is very good, but it will only carry us so far. Someone on this team needs to step up, and be the leader. Who that player is, I'm not sure. It should be Siva. He is the Senior, and by now, he should be the one player who leads this team, especially late in close games. Sadly, he is not doing the job. If not Siva, then who?? When Russ tries to take over, everyone else seems to stop playing, and just watch him. As good as Russ is at times, he is Not a leader. Dieng is not a leader, neither is Chane. Blackshear, Hancock, no leader there either. In my opinion, it falls squarely on Siva. When he is allowed to penetrate and dish, and takes care of the ball, we usually win. Whe he can't get into the lane, it is difficult for us to score. By this time of the year, our offense should be a lot better. It is nearly the middle of February, and we should not be struggling this hard. King, I totally agree with you about our guys looking like they aren't having fun. Just play the game guys!!
(1) Siva needs to pull up and shoot the 8 footer when the defense overplays the drive. He will probably make it and if not, Dieng, Behanan, or Harrell is likely to put it back. Forcing bounce passes to Dieng's feet in traffic at the end of games is like hearing a bad joke over and over and over.
(2) We need a secondary offense to run when the ballscreen for Siva offense fails. Teams have figured out the "Dieng sets a pick for Siva at the top of the key every time down the floor" offense.
We can run the weave offense from 2005, the Padgett in the high post offense (2008), or some type of motion or Princeton offense. KEEP THE DEFENSE GUESSING.
(3) Russ needs to pass the ball when the defense collapses around him.
What about the option to simply foul -- not when they are shooting, but as an aggressive attempt to get a turnover -- when you are up by 3 with less than 30 seconds left?????
Michigan lost to Wisconsin for the exact same reason. 6 seconds left and you let a guy bring the ball down and get a three pointer off.
This is the same reasoning behind the sacrifice safety in football. You burn 20 seconds of clock lose 2 points and prevent the opponent from scoring 6 -- or at least make it much less likely.
In the ND game, the Cards did this at least Twice!! They have a three point lead with less than 30 seconds left and they allow a three point shot.
In one case, they had a three poing lead and actually waited till ND was shooting a layup to foul. Points scored + 1 and another tie.
Foul ND in the back court. Let them shoot free throws. If they hit both, you still have a one point lead, so you stack the floor with ball handling free throw shooters, play keep away, burn some clock, get fouled, make your free throws, and do it again if you have to.
BUT DON'T LET THEM TIE YOU WITH A UNDEFENDED THREE POINT SHOT!!!
here's my take- the irish were freaking lucky. those last 3 pointers were luck and that backup center hit every junk shot he put up in overtime. the ball didn't bounce the cards way, but they played well enough to win in my opinion.
ewinter43 you hit the hammer on the nail. South Bend and Morgantown are horror stories for CARDS basketball. Pure freaking luck. I agree with the comments playing not to lose but if Russ hit the shot at the buzzard, what would the media and the thread be saying ? 8 points to tie in 51 seconds has luck to go along and junk shots is deem luck in my eyes. It look like a charge on that layup but they called a blocking foul. Most buzzard beaters are junk shots go ask Mich after Wis. beat them ? Blaming Russ is absurb. We beat the VOLs a few years ago when Gains went berzerk in the final minute and Louisville won the game. Yes,that game made me sick to my stomach. 9 OTs out of 14 games and the past game had 5. It's a HORROR STORY IN SOUTH BEND.