by Twinkie the Kid
In reply to: Random Thoughts posted by Taxman
Taxman, I always appreciate your perspective and generally agree with what you write. I don't post much, but I do have a pretty good understanding of basketball and attended the game in-person this past Saturday. My thoughts:
1. Goodwin is going to be a very good player. He has tremendous lateral quickness. His on-ball defense is excellent -- moves his feet well and is always in good position. He reminds me of fellow Ohioan Aaron Craft in this regard. I recall one drive where Brissett tried to take him off the dribble, but Goodwin was with him step-for-step and got a hand in his face on the shot. Unfortunately Brissett still made the bucket (he is 6'8" after all), but it wasn't without a significant challenge.
2. Mooney had his way with the Syracuse bigs. I know Boeheim recruits a certain player for that zone defense, but when Mooney battled for a rebound, rarely did Syracuse win. He needed to hit some of those jumpers from the elbow to more quickly draw the attention from the middle big from the zone, but he was just off this past Saturday. And that issue was compounded in that a miss from Mooney from ~15' meant ND's best rebounder was out of position for an offensive board.
3. What happened to ND free throw shooting? I guess we were spoiled with Connaughton, Grant, Jackson, Vasturia, Farrell, et al. ND left a lot of points on the court with those missed free throws.
4. Hubb will be fine. He hurried his shots, and with his somewhat low release, a hurried shot makes for an inconsistent and erratic result. He is a very good athlete, and if he improves his shot form a little (higher release, getting more comfortable with a quicker set/release), he'll be a contributor.
5. I agree with your analysis when Durham is in the game. Play pressure man defense, and if you get beat on the drive, Durham can hang back and protect the rim. Mooney is also an intimidating presence in the post, though certainly not the shot-blocker that Durham is. The only problem, though, with playing pressure man defense is that it wears out the players more quickly. I don't think ND can do it for a full 40 minutes, particularly with a 7-man rotation. Maybe if Rex was still able to play.
6. I didn't mind any of Gibbs' long range three pointers. It seemed like for all but one of those shots, he set his feet, had good elevation, and fired off a nice shot.
7. My facepalm moment of the game was when Syracuse went fullcourt press. The ball was passed to Hubb who went deep into the corner and picked up his dribble. He then promptly turned it over. C'mon man. This is CYO stuff. Try not to catch the ball in the corner, and if you do, don't give up your dribble. The key to breaking a 1-2-1-1 press is fast decision-making -- immediately dribble to split the trap or up the sideline (depending upon from where the trap guys are coming) or pass right back to the inbounds guy or to a big flashing at midcourt. It was a great call by Boeheim because it took ND completely off-guard, but damn it was frustrating to see that.
8. My second facepalm moment of the game came immediately after my first one. ND successfully and beautifully breaks the press resulting in a 3 on 1 fastbreak, and they settled for a 3-point shot (which ND missed). That fastbreak should've either resulted in a layup or foul. I looked at my wife (who knows nothing about basketball) and said "that's unacceptable." She didn't understand. Oh well.