Saturday, December 22, 2012

Work in Progress

Fordham did everything wrong against UConn in the first half.  They turned the ball over time after time which fueled UConn’s best weapon, the fast break.  The Huskies turned those turnovers into 21 of their whopping 57 first half points.  It also helped that UConn hit eight 3-pointers in that half and blew the doors off this game.  But then the second half happened.  Fordham settled down, started making jumpers, getting second & third chances on the offensive glass, and kept UConn in the half court sets.  The Huskies' jumpers soon dried up and that once 32 point lead started to whittle down until it looked like a paltry 13.  But it was too big of a hole to climb out of and UConn made enough plays down the stretch to pull off the victory, but to get beat so badly on the boards and to be outscored by 14 points in the second half put a bad taste to this 15 point victory.

Napier had a really good game, he wasn’t shooting the 3-ball at an alarming rate, taking only 5 of his 11 shots from the arc.  He also had a better handle on the basketball, only having one turnover while doling out 4 dimes.  The amazing stat was his rebounding, 7, which is a great sign, but unfortunately that was the team high.  If your point guard is your leading rebounder that means your frontcourt isn’t getting it done.  His defense was causing problems all night and had 4 steals that lead to easy fast break points.

Boatright came out to a scorching start, making 2 lay-ups, a dunk, two 3-pointers, 2 jumpers, and 4 free throws, but like UConn, his offense struggled in the second half only mustering 1 jumper, 1 lay-up, and 2 free throws.  What really marred his night was his turnovers, 6, which were more than the rest of the team combined.  Even though he had some turnover problems, he distributed the ball extremely well, having 9 assists.  Like Napier, his on the ball defense was impressive and turned 3 steals into fast break points.

Omar Calhoun carried over his solid play from the previous two games and has turned the corner on his season.  He didn’t shy away from taking shots, hit some early jumpers, didn’t turn the ball over, and made plays in the second half.  He’s finally found confidence in his game to assert himself on the offense side of the ball.  He now needs to do the little things like get to the line more, attack the offensive glass, and create steals.   R.J. Evans was able to get some playing time in this game and it looked like that sore shoulder wasn’t bothering him at all.  He hit a rare 3-pointer, had 3 steals and 3 lay-ups.  He adds those under the radar contributions to this team and when he isn’t playing, it shows.

DeAndre Daniels had a frustrating night.  It started out great with him hitting a jumper and a dunk in the first 3 minutes of the game, but then he missed four jumpers before he scored again, which was in the middle of the second half.  This team needed him in the paint and battling for boards, but he only had 3 which isn’t going to cut it.  He needs to hover around 6 to 10 each and every game.  Giffey had a sub-par game.  He did hit a nice elbow jumper, but didn’t contribute much other than a rebound, an assist, and 2 steals.  This team needs him to rebound better than he has so far this year.

Enosch Wolf got the start, but he wasn’t playing the way Ollie wanted him to and he only played 8 minutes.  He struggled on the boards, only snagging one.  If he wants to maintain his starting job then he needs to focus solely on the boards.  Olander’s frustrating season continued.  He is having a hard time finding the bottom of the net and boxing out opponents for defensive boards.  He did have 6 rebounds, but numerous times opponents got offensive rebounds on him.  This frontcourt is struggling mightly and for them only to muster 7 boards in 25 minutes just isn’t going to cut it.  Might as well go all small with this team instead of banging a square peg in a round hole.

It’s hard to gauge this team.  They look great in stretches, have taken out an elite squad already, are obviously frontcourt deficient, but have such a strong backcourt that they can match up with anyone in the country.  So heading into the end of non-conference play there are still plenty of questions left to this team.  The frontcourt isn’t going to become a weapon and they are going to have to lean on the wing players to contribute much more to overcome the lack of a power forward and center position that are role players asked to be more than that, but for now it is a work in progress.


No comments: