FanPost

January was good...

I think it speaks a lot considering how terribly we played (minus T-Will) and lost by 17. It could have been worse.

That said, I have a few comments. 1. I don't know what Pitino was thinking throughout this game. Playing 11 men deep was a good idea, but it became apparent early that UConn was not going to be worn down. They're too deep. On top of that, there were obvious deficiencies in both of our games that we either continued (ours) or did not exploit (theirs). Case in point: the press. It's obvious that UConn's three guard attack was not going to be slowed down, and they were, in fact, exploiting it to get points in transition. They weren't turning the ball over, either. I understand the press has worked well for us all season, but it was just painful to watch uncontested layups over and over and over again. Thabeet is another example. For all the difference he makes on defense, the man is slow and is late getting back in transition. It could have been exploited by attacking in transition more often, but we just didn't do it. We would always slow down and wait for him to catch up; he didn't even get tired playing 39 minutes. Attacking the rim and drawing more than 3 fouls would have been advisable as well. 2. I hate UConn. I don't remember the last time I remember losing to a team that I hate. First, Adrien was acting like a punk. Give it a rest, half the people in the student section would have punched you in the face if not for the cops, and you would have cried. Also, Thabeet pisses me off because he's really not that great. He just uses his size to enforce his will. He's slow in transition, he's slow on help defense, and he fouls a lot more than he gets called for. The only outstanding thing he has going for him is his freakish size, and it's frustrating that it's so effective. He's not terrible, it's just that his size hides his inadequacies and he knows it. Also, Calhoun's decision to leave all his starters in till the end, even when we had finally rotated four freshmen in was just not a classy move. It's such a shame too, because I don't remember him being like that before, so maybe I'm just seeing more than what was there. 3. The offense was not working. Ball rotation was much better than Saturday, but the lack of an inside game was painful. The guards didn't worry about collapsing the defense because they knew we wouldn't shoot from in there, and even if we did, it would get blocked. I really felt like if Samardo had been able to knock down a couple of his jump shots, it would've helped draw Thabeet out from under the basket more. 4. The defense was getting killed. How many offensive rebounds and put-backs can one man possibly have in one game? Because Thabeet had to have had at least a billion. The formation really wasn't bad, and the guards were putting on a lot of pressure, but we just couldn't beat them. Especially when we were getting fouls called every time they would drive the lane. Still, it could have been worse. They've only scored 68 points or less twice this year before this game. Given all the free layups they got in transition, I think that's not terrible, but I obviously wish it had been better.

5.  The officiating was pretty bad.  It felt a lot like the SuperBowl.  There were a lot of missed calls and a lot of questionable calls, but I really can't complain too much because they pretty much evened out.  It was just frustrating seeing so many fouls called against us and so little against them, but I really think we were fouling more.

6. I really think this might be the best team I've seen play all season. The game was a little reminiscent of Providence early. They let you on early, and I think they're just feeling you out. Once they find your weaknesses, they exploit them the entire game, and don't let up. It's really impressive. The only other team I can see matching up even a little is UNC, and that's only because Hansbrough is similar to Monroe in that he can actually draw Thabeet away from the low post. I don't think Griffin is enough of an outside threat, and I really don't think the rest of OK is good enough to match up on defense. 7. We will bounce back. The good news is that we don't play again until Sunday, and that's at St. John's. They're not to be overlooked, but I expect to come out with intensity after this game. One loss in the Big East is not a surprise, and it was coming sooner or later. This was probably the best way to lose. 8. I still believe in ADMM. Maybe sit him out a few rounds and let him catch his breath. But I still think he'll pull through in the big games.

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