X-lucidity wrote: ↑
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:42 pm
Tre's slump/shoulder injury is a smoldering concern. Turnovers have been a bug-A-boo. But my main area of focus, were I C Mack, would be improving our "man D. Zones are a gimmick and will be effective now and then. But X needs to improve their susceptibility to dribble penetration. Naji getting more minutes may help. Goodin yesterday got toasted a few too many times in that midway 2nd half period where X was scoring every time down for about a 4 minute stretch. Yet we remained 6 to 8 points down because we could not get even one stop. Goodin is supposedly one of our quicker defenders... Lord knows JP and Tre are already challenged in this realm.
Tre will heal and get hot. Turnovers are mainly concentration and focus. But our ability to defend the dribble continues to haunt. We have known this to be Team 95's potential Achilles' heal since October. Hopefully they are working on this aspect 24/7. Fortunately X does many other things extremely well.
Spot on with all your points, particularly your comment re. the defense, especially as it pertains to the use of the zone. I like the fact that it is employed now and then, but I think he sticks with it too long at times. One thing which really perplexes me is his absolute reluctance to apply pressure. I think the identity with CM as a coach during his tenure has always been good offense, not defense. Never has been. That's ok, as he has maintained the very good results of his two predecessors, who both were better defensive coaches, but inferior to CM's offensive acumen. He is obviously a pack line guy, and that works if your team defends well with it. I don't ever expect X, or anyone else to defend like VA, but it can't be like Iowa St. either, if X wants to reach its 1st FF (even though X won the de facto NCAA tourney in the 60s?) in the modern era. X has to score 80 virtually every game against good teams to win, because every team we play seems to execute better offensively than they normally do against us. The pack line has been a sieve this year, and previous ones as well.
This year is particularly frustrating, considering the addition of athletes with length in Marshall and Scruggs (as defense is his positive contribution this year thus far), to go along with the likes of Goodin, Gates, J Mac, and Jones. Nova is similar to X in that that they both have athletes with length, and one glaring high-level offensive player who is a defensive liability in Brunson (X's counterpart is obviously Tre). Despite this, Nova still employs pressure very effectively, and their results speak for themselves.
T.o.s, as you point out, are also a concern, and the issue I think it even greater than it seems, because of how many poor shots X takes early in the shot clock, which is almost the same as a t.o. When Tre drives in the lane and shoots Globe Trotter shots 3 times a game, I just pray he gets fouled, or I know it will lead to a runout.
Despite the deficiencies, X's tremendous depth with offense has masked these problem areas up to this point, but now X is getting into the meat of a great conference schedule. The potential 2 seed line can become 7, if these issues aren't corrected very soon.