1. First, PSU staying in this game to the end is something like a football team turning the ball over 7 times and still staying in the game. The only reason this analogy doesn't work is that while "turnover margin" is the golden statistic in football, in my mind, FG% margin is the golden statistic in bball. It's not discussed as much, but I have noticed that when one team blows out a comparable team or if there is a big upset, usually the winning team has shot lights-out--See Xavier over St. Joe's today.I will be surprised if we don't get completely gassed tomorrow.
2. If we break down bball into three phases--offense, defense, and rebounding, we are awful at rebounding, good in transition offense, bad in set offense, and awesome on defense. We are one dimensional, sort of the way we are in football, but in different facets.
3. Jitim Young: Lionheart on the boards, with loose balls, and quick and intense on defense. Very quick on the drive and in transition. Poor outside shooter, but barely even tried this game. JY didn't have a great game, but once again brought all he had, as expected. The main thing is that JY just gives the team a focal point and sense of themselves out there. You can almost feel that nobody wants to let JY down and that he is willing the team to play as hard as it is--and it is playing very hard! This team could easily be 2-14 in BT if it didn't have incredible heart.
4. Vedran Vukusic: Shot wasn't falling and unfortunately he didn't take a couple he should have late in the game. Not his best game, but I wanted him to shoot every time he was open, because he was the only guy whose shot anyone believed in. Our only complete player but might be even better as focal point of offense next year, giving way to JY this year.
5. Mohamed Hachad: I completely understand why this guy was a phenom in high school. I am going to love watching him for the next two years. 2nd best shooter after VV, has a nice stroke and rhythm to his shot, but needs consistency. If he can just move his shooting up a notch he has as much upside as anyone in the conference. Great vision, incredible ball-handling at times, Kobe Bryant type moves in transition. And with all that offensive talent, he has a shot at being defensive POY in BT if he puts his mind to it.
6. T.J. Parker: The most glaring thing is his awful perimter shooting. A decent shooting touch from under 10 feet, nice touch driving to the basket, on a couple drives he moved so fast I could barely believe it. Between he and Hachad, it will be very hard for anyone to press us. Excellent intensity. Same old story--if he could become a decent shooter, he would be awesome. Coaches may have to completely reconstruct his shot.
7. Davor Duvancic: Warm body, role player, plays hard, I appreciate his effort. His shot didn't look pretty today. I think he knows what he's doing at least, so he doesn't hurt us on offense or defense, but is limited as a player right now. Still could be productive next year.
8. Bench: Ivan Tolic played 2 minutes. I don't blame BC, I was nervous about taking out any of our big 4.
We need Evan Seacat to spell these guys and to provide an outside shot. One problem we have is that we love to and need to play transition offense to score, but this must tire us out. I was amazed that we maintained the intensity during this game.
But we were quicker and more athletic against another team without a bench. If we beat MSU, BC deserves more than COY. Maybe the guys find something extra for Jitim Young.
Overall, I love the way these guys play. We are far from a great team, but we give as much as any team I've ever seen.
Beat 'em All!
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