Ouch. He is a frustrating player to watch. He just seems to lack good judgment on the court. Too many turnovers in traffic. He needs to stay out of those situations by anticipating better and playing within himself.
I wanna give some credit to Duncan Robinson. I was all over him earlier this year when he wasn’t making shots about what he doesn’t bring to the team when he’s missing…
Not only is he making again, I think he’s done a very admirable job against KBD and Stephens back to back. He gives this team a whole different gear that they just didn’t have in the first half of the season.
Oh God this again? They’re like, middle of the pack talent wise, at best.
I don’t care if I sound like a whiny homer, but it seems that at least a third of Matthews turnovers in traffic are because defenders are raking or grabbing his arm. If refs would call those, maybe defenders don’t try to grab so much and he gets more opportunities against one defender at the rim. With that said, he needs to learn something new for next year. Better handle, pull up mid-range jumper, etc.
Rahk’s strength is that he always, for about three years now, finds ways to make positive contributions if he’s struggling overall - his layup and three late in the game, as well as his possession saving dive for the loose ball at the end attest to this.
I’ll also say this for Mathews - while he’s been blindingly terrible on offense, he has still managed to retain value by how hard he plays defensively and on the glass, as well as his solid passing vision. He had two really big dimes tonight, he’s somehow our best rim protector, and you really feel his absence when he’s not on the floor defensively. I feel like from Manny to Hardaway to Irvin, we’ve had a run of wings who would check out if the game wasn’t going their way, and Matthews hasn’t.
That said…man, the game really needs to start going his way. Any attempt at this point seems lucky to draw iron.
Finally - you have to feel happy for Duncan for how he’s played the last few games, he’s worked so hard on D and is actually reliable now, it’s good to see the shots go down finally. Hopefully Charles can follow suit.
Matthews frustratingly dribbles until he’s guarded. Do something before you’re in a tough predicament. He will bounce back with avengance soon, hopefully in College Park Maryland
They are basically a more talented team running the Rutgers offense. The problem for Penn State is that they have a few really talented starters but don’t have a lot of depth.
In line with MGL’s comment about Matthews defense—It seems like when we are missing shots our team actually dumps even more energy into defense…Rather than give up this team plays like an angry swarm of bees when things are not going their way. I love that.
My takeaway from Penn State last night was that as a group they seemed like a lot of fake tough guys. Lots of chirping, pretty physical game, doing the whole goaltend after the whistle thing, but I felt like they consistently got beat for loose balls and lots of hustle/effort plays. Their transition defense looked pretty pitiful.
Catt and Stephens are monsters 1 on 1 but I’d love to see them in any sort of offensive system that would put them in scoring situations beyond pure isolations.
It reminds me of a comment a poster made here several years ago when the young THJ was struggling with ball handling. It is not that he is a horrible ball handler but he does dribble himself into some horrible situations.
Maybe it would help if Matthews worked on his retreat dribble?
I thought that PSU looked a little off, right from the start. I don’t know if it was them or UM making them look bad, but they seemed less energetic than usual and they had every reason to be fired up.
Love the way that Wagner is playing right now. Scoring, but also playing defense and rebounding and diving for loose balls. I never knew that 6’ 11” guys dive on the floor for loose balls.
It is an interesting trend I have noticed is that for whatever reason, when opposing teams try to intimidate our team, it actually backfires and the opponent ends up looking like fake tough guys. As far as the 50/50 balls go—yeah—this team gets like 75% of 50/50 balls. Very fast hands on this team. Very willing to get on the floor. Love this team!
Josh Reaves. He’s fine
He’s a bad ball handler in the open court, when he’s trying to run fast. He’s almost always got his head down and usually loses it at least once in the process. That part mystifies me.
What is season win total over/under right now? I’m a tad optimistic but I’ll set it at 30
Matthews does remind me a bit of a sophomore Hardaway…very good athleticism and good skill set, but just needs to polish up his overall game. Hopefully he will see the same kind of improvement that THJ did from his sophomore to his junior year.
I might catch some flak for this…but as the year goes on this team is really reminding me of the 2011-2012 senior Novak/Douglass team. Kind of overachieved and had a really successful somewhat unexpected regular season. Lots of quality young players returning and a HUGE incoming recruiting class. Our best player will have a late first / early 2nd NBA decision to make…2 reliable senior leaders that came from off the radar as recruits and found their niche under JB. Matthews/Hardaway still figuring it out as ball handlers.
That said…I agree with many that this team could make a big run in March. But I am a little bit worried we still don’t have the shot creation necessary to do so with a tough draw.
Totally agree with this take. Wouldn’t be surprised if we made the Elite8/Sweet 16 and wouldn’t be shocked to lose round 1.
Solid comparison. Very, very different teams but the overall quality is similar. I think this team is better right now and has the chance to get even better though.
I would be shocked to lose round 1.