Wolverheel, I don’t “100% disagree.” I do, generally, disagree with most everything Inmycourt has been saying, however. We did, as you point out, play excellent defense for pretty much the entire game. Yes, NW took that 14-5 lead early, but we weren’t playing horrible defense in my opinion, they just hit some shots. THEN, at the 13 minute mark we REALLY clamped down and played outstanding defense, albeit against a rather inept offense, for the remainder of the game.
Offensively, we did struggle in the first half, especially early, but there are legitimate reasons for that. 1. Coach B likes to run through his offense in the first several possessions of the game. He wants to see what the defense is doing, how they are playing. The genius offensive mind of Coach B is figuring in his mind how he will effectively attack that defense. I think that’s part of the reason we sometimes start slowly. 2. When you have not faced a zone defense hardly at all during the season and certainly not since before Christmas, it can be difficult for young players to figure out. In last night’s game, however, we did miss some open looks (Duncan especially), and it wasn’t until we got some live ball turnovers and run outs that we really started making an impact offensively. Defense leading to easy buckets, as a way to beat the zone, what a concept!
By the way, for anyone who would, somehow, say we weren’t prepared to attack NW’s zone, it is extremely hard to prepare for a defense you almost never see and that you don’t play yourself. Our scout team simply can’t replicate what NW is able to do in their zone, so it takes a while. Fortunately we have Coach B helping the kids figure it out, and a defense that kept it close until we did figure it out. The second half was a testament to Coach B’s coaching and to the kids’ ability to adjust and to perform.
Coach B talks of having a “play list” that they use during the first half, but at halftime they made the kinds of adjustments we’ve come to expect and appreciate under John Beilein. I thought we attacked the zone very well in the second half, and, again, if a few of Duncan’s threes, and that one of Z’s that should have gone down, if those had gone in we would have blown NW out in the second half. As it was, we were pretty much in control the entire second half. Free throws? Well, that could become an issue. I hope not.
Finally, I don’t even read the open thread comments during the game. 1. At my age I’m just not technologically adept enough, 2. I can’t multitask as well as you kids can. And, 3. I just don’t have either the time or the inclination to get involved in that stuff while I’m trying to watch the game. If I had participated, however, I would have probably been screaming for Coach to get Isaiah back into the game after Duncan missed about his fourth open three, and I’m a huge Duncan fan. Between that and comments like, “I HATE officials! I HATE officials! Freakin’ refs!” Well, just suffice it to say I do struggle to remain calm during our games! And I’m a really old guy who should know better than to get his BP up! My point, what we may say during the course of the game, when emotions are running rampant, is often entirely different than what our rational minds will think when sanity returns. Sorry, this was so long.