Happy Tuesday Morning to you Cougar Fans!
First of all, in the last few hours this here blog has eclipsed 1,000,000 visitors. For that, Shane, Tim, Adam, Sutra, Myself and of course Sean, owe you our sincere gratitude. You are the ones who keep us going, and here is to another million visitors!
Today I am not going to bore you with more banter about the Halliday vs Lobster debate, but instead, want to take a look at our Men's Basketball team who squared off with Gonzaga. For those Geriatric readers of our's, it's highly unlikely you saw the game as it tipped off at Midnight EST as part of ESPN's 24 Hour Tipoff Marathon. If you took Broadcast Management with Glenn Johnson while you were an undergraduate, you are aware that putting a program that will likely have low ratings, after a program that has high ratings, that is called a Tent Pole in "the biz."
So thanks to the Packers beatdown of the Vikings on Monday Night Football, it's likely we got some solid national exposure to start the season.
Lots of questions as the program appears to be in a transition year. For the first time since the 2008-2009 season, we are without the services of Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto. Unless of course, you count Senior Night last season when KT was suspended for smoking pot in his SUV, or the time Casto nearly missed the Northwestern game when too was busted for marijuana possession.
Hope that off-the-court drama is behind us. In-fact, I heard Coach Bone brought in a renowned expert in moral development to work with the guys this off-season.
Click the jump to get my thoughts on last night's game.
I am glad you made it this far.
The rest of this post will not be some boring charts, graphs or annoying Ken Pom statistics, just my observations on the night that was.
Last night our Cougars fell to the Zags on the road, but there are lots of things to take away from that game. Here are some of my thoughts.
-The perimeter defense was ugly in the first half. Gonzaga made something like 10 shots from downtown as we struggled to rotate and man-up to the shooter. This was clearly addressed at halftime and we made them beat us inside at at the line in the final 20.
-Lots of sloppy play. The first 15 minutes of the game were marred with Wazzu turnovers. Early in the second half, turning the ball over on five of seven possessions, allowed Gonzaga to take the lead from six to 16 points.
-Poor free throw shooting. Without looking it up, we finished the night something like 14-21. If it weren't for Reggie Moore going 6-6 when fouled twice from downtown, that number would have been a lot uglier. This has been an area we have struggled greatly under Coach Bone.
-There was lots of speculation as to who would handle the scoring load with the departure of Klay and Casto. It appears we have able scorers in Reggie, Lacy, Ladd and Aden. Oh, and don't think for a second I forgot about the Big Aussie. Brock Motum was a monster, finishing with 17 points (and eight boards to boot).
-I was also really pleased with the return of Mr. Sky Blue. Moore handled the point exceptionally well. He attacked the basket and his crossover has clearly returned to 2009-2010 form.
-The Trapping Defense forced the Zags to get sloppy with the ball, especially down the stretch. Down 17 points, inside of nine minutes to go, we forced turnovers via the Trap and were able to convert from the field and the line down the stretch. Sure the final difference was nine points, but it was a one possession game, when Lacy's three ball went halfway down and popped out, before we began fouling.
-Down low, where we had lots of question marks, I was pleasantly surprised with the play (especially on the defensive end) from Charlie Enquist. Given how strong GU's front court is, to come away only -8 on the glass is surprising to me.
-I loved to see this team fight hard to come back. To open the season on the road, in one of the toughest places to play, against a Top 25 team, not to much disappointment here. My early thoughts are is we continue to grow and play like we did the finaly ten minutes of tonight's game, we should win all but maybe one of our remaining out of conference games, and then we shall see where things go in-conference.
Well that about wraps things up. The Cougs return to action on Wednesday as they host Sac State, and looking further ahead at the schedule, not many challenges present themselves. A 76 Classic match-up in Anaheim with a bad Oklahoma team and a visit from Santa Clara are the two potential stumbling blocks. An exta "like" to the reader who can identify our opponent on December 18th without visiting any other site than the one I linked to.
All for today, make it a good one. Go Cougs!
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