Thursday, November 17, 2011

Game Recap: Cornell 59, Buffalo 68

Below, recaps from Cornell's 68-59 defeat at Buffalo on Wednesday night.




After trailing by double figures in the second half, Cornell rallied to tie Buffalo on the road, but the Bulls were able to pull away late and capture a 68-59 victory over the Big Red on Wednesday evening at Newman Arena. The Big Red slipped to 1-2 on the year, while the Bulls remained unbeaten at 2-0.

Junior big man Eitan Chemerinski posted a career scoring high for the second straight contest with 14 points as the lone double figure scorer for Cornell. Drew Ferry hit three 3-pointers to give him nine points, while Shonn Miller added eight and Josh Figini and Chris Wroblewski each had seven points. Wroblewski added six rebounds and four assists. Cornell shot just 38 percent from the field overall and was just 7-of-27 from beyond the arc for 26 percent. The Big Red had 14 steals as a team, a total that ranks 14th in a game in Big Red history.

Javon McCrea had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Mitchell Watt scored 19 points and added nine rebounds to lead the Bulls. Zach Filzen added 11 points to round out the three double figure scorers. Jarod Oldham registered eight points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the victory. The Bulls were able to use their superior size to collect a commanding 41-30 edge on the backboards. It helped them overcome 20 turnovers. Buffalo made just 4-of-16 shots from 3-point range, but made 19-of-34 shots from inside the arc (56 percent).

After trailing by as many as 12 in the first half, Cornell entered halftime trailing by just five (29-24) after 20 minutes despite shooting 30 percent overall and 29 percent from 3-point range and turning the ball over 11 times. The Big Red was able to scramble, forcing 13 Bulls turnovers with a season-high 10 steals in the first half alone.

The game was delayed due to a malfunction with the lights in pregame, but Buffalo wasn't fazed. The Bulls picked apart Cornell's defense early, getting three layups and an alley-oop dunk and generally looking like the veteran squad on the floor in moving out to a 12-5 advantage after five minutes. The lead grew to as many as 12 (21-9) before Cornell started chipping away. Johnathan Gray nailed a 3-pointer after the Big Red missed two open treys on the previous two possessions. Wroblewski answered with another to make it 21-15. The Big Red kept cutting into the lead, using a couple of transition baskets and a pullback 3-pointer by Ferry to get within two at 24-22 with two minutes to play in the half. The Bulls first basket in over six minutes led to a conventional three-point play, his first basket after scoring eight of Buffalo's first 10 points of the game. His free throw made it 27-22. Chemerinski answered with a finish off a feed from Asafo-Adjei to get back within three, but Watt closed out his strong half by hitting a running jumper as time expired to send the home team into the break with a 29-24 lead.

Buffalo opened the second half with a 7-0 run to almost immediately get the lead back to 12 (36-24). Just when it looked as though Cornell the Big Red might be finished, the Big Red started the comeback. A 3-pointer by Wroblewski kick started a 17-5 run that was punctuated by a Figini jumper from the corner to tie it at 41-41 and force a UB timeout with 11:07 left. The junior big man had seven points during the run and forced a jump ball that led to a Miller layup on the other end.

The teams remained tied over the next several minutes, with the Big Red never able to take the lead. Cornell forced another tie at 44-44 on a bullet pass from Miller to Chemerinski for a layup, but Jarod Oldham answered on the other end with a driving layup to regain the lead for the home team. Another great look from Wroblewski to Chemerinski for another layup made it 46-46.

From there, Buffalo took over again. McCrea hit a pair of free throws, Oldham hit the second of two charity attempts and then McCrea popped in a jumper from the top of the key to extend Buffalo's advantage to five points. Cornell got within three on a pair of free throw attempts by Dwight Tarwater, but that was as close as it would get. The Bulls pushed the lead to as many as 11 in the final minute, but two late Chemerinski buckets provided the final margin.

The Big Red return home to face Boston University on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. at Newman Arena at Bartels Hall. Cornell dropped a 66-61 decision to the Terriers in Boston a season ago.


Box Score

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- After trailing by double figures in the second half, Cornell rallied to tie Buffalo on the road, but the Bulls were able to pull away late and capture a 68-59 victory over the Big Red on Wednesday evening at Newman Arena. The Big Red slipped to 1-2 on the year, while the Bulls remained unbeaten at 2-0.

Junior big man Eitan Chemerinski posted a career scoring high for the second straight contest with 14 points as the lone double figure scorer for Cornell. Drew Ferry hit three 3-pointers to give him nine points, while Shonn Miller added eight and Josh Figini and Chris Wroblewski each had seven points. Wroblewski added six rebounds and four assists. Cornell shot just 38 percent from the field overall and was just 7-of-27 from beyond the arc for 26 percent. The Big Red had 14 steals as a team, a total that ranks 14th in a game in Big Red history.

Javon McCrea had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Mitchell Watt scored 19 points and added nine rebounds to lead the Bulls. Zach Filzen added 11 points to round out the three double figure scorers. Jarod Oldham registered eight points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the victory. The Bulls were able to use their superior size to collect a commanding 41-30 edge on the backboards. It helped them overcome 20 turrnovers. Buffalo made just 4-of-16 shots from 3-point range, but made 19-of-34 shots from inside the arc (56 percent).

After trailing by as many as 12 in the first half, Cornell entered halftime trailing by just five (29-24) after 20 minutes despite shooting 30 percent overall and 29 percent from 3-point range and turning the ball over 11 times. The Big Red was able to scramble, forcing 13 Bulls turnovers with a season-high 10 steals in the first half alone.

The game was delayed due to a malfunction with the lights in pregame, but Buffalo wasn't fazed. The Bulls picked apart Cornell's defense early, getting three layups and an alley-oop dunk and generally looking like the veteran squad on the floor in moving out to a 12-5 advantage after five minutes. The lead grew to as many as 12 (21-9) before Cornell started chipping away. Johnathan Gray nailed a 3-pointer after the Big Red missed two open treys on the previous two possessions. Wroblewski answered with another to make it 21-15. The Big Red kept cutting into the lead, using a couple of transition baskets and a pullback 3-pointer by Ferry to get within two at 24-22 with two minutes to play in the half. The Bulls first basket in over six minutes led to a conventional three-point play, his first basket after scoring eight of Buffalo's first 10 points of the game. His free throw made it 27-22. Chemerinski answered with a finish off a feed from Asafo-Adjei to get back within three, but Watt closed out his strong half by hitting a running jumper as time expired to send the home team into the break with a 29-24 lead.

Buffalo opened the second half with a 7-0 run to almost immediately get the lead back to 12 (36-24). Just when it looked as though Cornell the Big Red might be finished, the Big Red started the comeback. A 3-pointer by Wroblewski kick started a 17-5 run that was punctuated by a Figini jumper from the corner to tie it at 41-41 and force a UB timeout with 11:07 left. The junior big man had seven points during the run and forced a jump ball that led to a Miller layup on the other end.

The teams remained tied over the next several minutes, with the Big Red never able to take the lead. Cornell forced another tie at 44-44 on a bullet pass from Miller to Chemerinski for a layup, but Jarod Oldham answered on the other end with a driving layup to regain the lead for the home team. Another great look from Wroblewski to Chemerinski for another layup made it 46-46.

From there, Buffalo took over again. McCrea hit a pair of free throws, Oldham hit the second of two charity attempts and then McCrea popped in a jumper from the top of the key to extend Buffalo's advantage to five points. Cornell got within three on a pair of free throw attempts by Dwight Tarwater, but that was as close as it would get. The Bulls pushed the lead to as many as 11 in the final minute, but two late Chemerinski buckets provided the final margin.

The Big Red return home to face Boston University on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. at Newman Arena at Bartels Hall. Cornell dropped a 66-61 decision to the Terriers in Boston a season ago.

Photos | Video | Live stats | Boxscore | Preview

BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team held off a pesky Cornell squad, 68-59, at Alumni Arena on Wednesday night. Javon McCrea and Mitchell Watt each scored 19 points to help the Bulls improve to 2-0 on the season.

McCrea hit a layup to put the Bulls up 21-9. But Cornell responded with a 13-3 scoring run to cut the UB lead to 24-22 with 3:39 left in the first half. Watt hit a jumper in the paint in the closing seconds of the half to give the Bulls a 29-24 lead at the break. The Goodyear, AZ native had 13 first-half points to spark the Bulls.

Buffalo opened the second half strong and extended its lead to 41-29 with 14:03 remaining. However, turnover trouble and timely Cornell shooting helped the Big Red mount a 12-0 run and knot the game at 41 with 11:08 left.

The game was tied at 46 before McCrea hit a pair of free throws to give the Bulls the lead for good, 48-46, with 6:32 remaining. McCrea proved to be the spark down the stretch as he scored 10 of his 19 points in the final 6 ½ minutes of the game.

Zach Filzen also reached double-figures with 11 points, including three three-pointers. Sophomore point guard Jarod Oldham had another solid game with eight points, seven rebounds and nine assists – all career highs.

The Bulls dominated the glass, outrebounding Cornell, 41-30. McCrea had 10 rebounds to complete the double-double. Watt added a season-high nine rebounds.

Cornell (1-2) was led by Eitan Chermerinski who scored 14 points. The Big Red shot 7-of-27 from beyond the arc.

Buffalo will next hit the road to play at Princeton on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is slated for 12:30 pm.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)—Javon McCrea and Mitchell Watt scored 19 points apiece to help Buffalo hold off Cornell 68-59 on Wednesday night.

The Bulls (2-0) opened up big leads in both halves, with the Big Red getting close each time but never pulling ahead.

With Buffalo up 21-9, Cornell (1-2) closed to 24-22 with 3:39 left in the first half.

The Bulls took a 29-24 edge into halftime, increasing the lead to 41-29 with 14:03 remaining. However, turnover trouble and timely shooting helped the Big Red tie it at 41 with 11:08 left.

McCrea hit two free throws to give Buffalo the lead for good at 48-46 with 6:32 remaining.

The Bulls made 18 of 22 free throws while Cornell was only 4 of 8 from the foul line.

McCrea had 10 boards for a double-double as Buffalo dominated the glass, outrebounding Cornell 41-30.

Cornell was led by Eitan Chemerinski with 14 points.

Its been several years since the Buffalo Bulls opened up 2-0, and at times it looked like Cornell might extend that streak of 1-1 starts. While the Big Red were behind pretty much the whole game they managed to close several double digit UB leads before the Bulls finally pulled away late in the second half.

Mitchell Watt was the early hero, of Buffalo's first ten point Watt scored eight and assisted on the other two. It was that effort that powered Buffalo to a 12 point lead early in the first half. Than Cornell switched to a 2-3 zone that completely shut down the Bulls offense.

Once the Big Red started running the zone the Bulls shut down. Through the next six and a half minutes ub would go 1-5 from the floor and turn the ball over an embarrassing seven times. That let Cornell pull pull within two 24-22 tie before UB rattled off a quick 5-2 run at the end the half.

After going 2-9 from beyond the arc and going nearly six minutes without scoring the Bulls were lucky to start the second half with a lead.

They would quickly extend that lead, once again to double digits and once again Cornell would get hot and not the game back up. But each time the Big red closed a big lead they fell cold. With the final surge late in the second half Cornell committed enough fouls to put Buffalo into the double Bonus.

The biggest surprise, and the difference maker in this game, was the quality work done at the charity stripe by the Bulls. UB shot just under 82% from the line. Javon McCrea who had struggled at the line during his freshman season was 5-6, Mitchell Watt was 5-5 and Jarod Oldham was 6-8.

The 20 turnovers, five by McCrea, is something that UB Needs to work on, this is not the kid of performance that will beat some of the better teams on our schedule, speaking of which up next.

There are another nine games on the schedule before the University at Buffalo gets into Mid-American Conference play. Another six weeks or so before the race for an NCAA berth begins in earnest. And those games, those weeks of preparation, figure to do nothing but benefit a UB team that's striving to polish its depth and develop comfort in its rotations.

The Bulls looked fine with their starting five on the floor during their 68-59 victory over Cornell at Alumni Arena on Wednesday night. Low posts Mitchell Watt and Javon McCrea scored 19 points apiece, with Watt dominating early and McCrea taking control late. Sophomore Jarod Oldham produced nine assists, seven rebounds and eight points against just two turnovers in a solid second start at point guard.

With the starters on the floor, the Bulls threatened to blow the Big Red out early and then ultimately put them away late. It was once UB went to its bench that its play turned sketchy. There was sub-standard play off the bench and a lack of continuity between the reserves and the starters who remained on the floor. The Bulls turned the ball over eight times in the final 7 1/2 minutes of the first half, which forced them out of cruise control and left the game tense until the final six minutes.

"We know that we have some talented younger guys that we've got to bring along," coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "... and sometimes they look like they're ready, and sometimes they don't."

New roles abound. Senior forward Titus Robinson now comes off the bench. Junior guard Tony Watson now backs up at the point. Sophomore guards Corey Raley-Ross and Auraum Nuiriankh are battling for playing time. The development of freshman forward Xavier Ford could prove a key factor in how UB's depth stands up on the interior later in the year. So Witherspoon has to parcel out minutes and, as was the case Wednesday, suffer the consequences while cultivating chemistry.

"We have to learn, I think, how to take control of a game and do it with sustained concentration," Witherspoon said. "You can see our immaturity at times. We have guys who are in different roles now than they were last year. It means your whole team is new. So you've got to find a way to keep plugging away at that and keep getting better."

UB overcame its deficiencies by riding the backs of Watt and McCrea. Watt, the 6-foot-10 senior from Goodyear, Ariz., scored four of UB's first six baskets and assisted on the other two, helping the Bulls shoot out to a 24-13 lead. McCrea, the 6-7 sophomore from Newark, stepped to the fore with the score tied at 46 and less than seven minutes remaining. He drew a foul inside and made both free throws, stepped outside to can a 17-footer, produced a layup off a pretty Oldham feed and shook the house with a power slam off a move down the left side of the lane.

"It got kind of close, yeah," McCrea said. "At that moment I just felt we didn't want to lose this game, not at home, not against Cornell. Not against anybody but especially not against Cornell. I just didn't want to lose, so I guess we just finished it."

The Bulls (2-0) were outscored from the field for the second straight game, relying on trips to the free throw line (they're 39 of 55 in two games) to get them by. They committed 20 turnovers against a Cornell team that forced just 10 in a season-opening loss at St. Bonaventure.

Take McCrea and Watt (a combined 14 of 23) out of the equation and the Bulls shot 9 of 27 from the field.

There's time to get it all down before the MAC schedule starts Jan. 7. The process continues Saturday at Princeton before UB returns home Tuesday to face Canisius.

UB-Cornell Game Analysis

Buffalo News

UB 68, Cornell 59

How Bulls Won: Mitchell Watt got them going early. Javon McCrea took over late. Big Red had no answers for UB's post players at key junctures of game. Big assist goes to point guard Jarod Oldham. He might not add much in the scoring column this year, and that could be an issue at times, but nine assists against two turnovers is solid work. But team's offensive continuity suffered when Bulls went to bench. It'll take some time to get rotations and chemistry in place.

Turning Point: Game was tied at 46 when McCrea basically said, "Enough of this." He scored 15 of his 19 in the second half, and six of UB's eight after the deadlock at 46.

Player of the Game: Split it between McCrea (19, 10 boards, two assists, three blocks) and Watt (19 points, nine boards, two assists, two blocks).

Stat of the Game I: Bulls went 18 of 22 from the free throw line.

Stat of the Game II: SOTG I enabled UB to overcome a ghastly 20 turnovers.

What It Means: Bulls improved to 2-0, Cornell dropped to 1-2.

News Flash: Tony Watson played 15 minutes in his season debut. He missed opener against St. Peter's after undergoing a knee scope.

Quotable: "I'm keeping the same mindset and just going and playing hard and continue to keep the momentum going or get the momentum started." Titus Robinson on his new role coming in off the bench.

Next Up: UB remains on the Ivy Trail when it visits Princeton Saturday afternoon.

AMHERST — Reggie Witherspoon had an emotional outburst early on in the Buffalo men's basketball team's 68-59 win Wednesday over Cornell. When senior forward Dave Barnett dove over a fallen Big Red ballplayer to not only save a loose ball but bounce it off the interstate opponent and earn the Bulls an extra possession, Witherspoon sprang from the bench and gave Barnett's backside the Jim Harbaugh handshake. An equally excited Javon McCrea sprinted over to show Witherspoon some love in the same fashion.
Throughout the rest of the evening, neither McCrea's running sledghammer dunks, crossovers and finger rolls, Mitchell Watt's double-pump slams, hanging and-one buckets and soaring blocks, Zach Filzen's deep 3-pointers, nor Jarod Oldham's dimes, moved Witherspoon to more than a muted "Good!."
This group of Buffalo Bulls sure can play an entertaining brand of basketball, fitting for the new theatre lighting at Alumni Arena, but not so much for the sensibilities of their coach.
Walking the halls with Watt after the game, Witherspoon singled out another simple senior moment, when the center surpressed his alley-oop impulses and softly laid in a lob pass from Oldham that put UB up by 7 with a little over a minute to play.
"A younger Mitchell Watt would've tried to dunk that," Witherspoon said. "And maybe he would've dunked it, or maybe he would've missed it. But a more experienced Mitchell Watt catches the ball and realizes we just need two points here. We just need to execute the play."
The Bulls are off to a 2-0 start, with both victories following the same script. The starting unit puts on a talent show against a man-to-man defense, builds a double digit lead in a hurry, gets flummoxed for a while by a zone, then imposes its will in crunch time. It's the best of both worlds for Witherspoon, the satisfaction of victory with just enough struggle to make it a learning experience.
"It's hard," Witherspoon said. "They're adrenaline is running through their ears, especially when they get ahead. We're trying to get them to take what the defense gives us. There's going to be times when they make some really entertaining plays, but if we set out to do that ... I remember hearing this a lot playing — they are highlights because they only happen a few times."
Wednesday's game started a few minutes late and under dim lighting because the new game lights were shut off instead of shuttered during introductions. By the time the bright bulbs warmed up and the crowd of 1,731 settled in, Watt had already scored eight points in a variety of ways and the Bulls led by 12. Before long, Cornell closed the lead to two, but Watt scored the final five points to put UB up 29-24 at the half.
The Bulls built another 12-point lead in the second half, only to let Cornell tie the game with just under seven minutes to go. McCrea took over from there, scoring 10 points down the stretch, often on assists from Oldham.
McCrea and Watt both finished with 19 points. The starting frontcourt combined for 19 rebounds and five blocked shots, but also eight of the Bulls' 20 turnovers. "When they went zone, we kind of lost our assertiveness," Watt said.
Sophomore point guard Jarod Oldham, called out after the opener for trying too hard to entertain, had a veteran stat line with seven rebounds and eight points (mostly on late free throws) added to his career-high assist total. Witherspoon said Oldham had no idea he was approaching triple-double territory until he saw the stat sheet after the game.
"He's doing what he's doing on his gifts and talents," Witherspoon said. "We want to get him to graduate to the point where he just says we're going to get the shot we want on this possession, no matter what the defense gives us."
UB shot 46 percent from the floor and held Cornell to 37.5 percent shooting. It dominated the glass on both ends and made 18 of 22 free throws while Cornell made only 4 of 8. Filzen scored 11 points and Titus Robinson had six of the Bulls' nine bench points, but also three more turnovers from the forward position. Eitan Chermerinski led Cornell (1-2) with 14 points.
•••
UB announced the signing of Jarryn Skeete, a 6-foot-3 point guard from Brompton, Ontario, prior to Wednesday's game. Skeete averaged 18 points and 5.5 assists at Wasatch Academy in Utah last season and is now playing at Bridgton Academy in Maine. ESPN.com currently ranks him among the top 40 point guards in his class. ... Tony Watson returned to action after missing the opener while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. He missed his only two shots and turned the ball over twice in 15 minutes. ... UB plays at Princeton on Saturday.

Buffalo 68, Cornell 59Javon McCrea can't lead Buffalo to victories by himself. Not every night, at least. If his help arrives in the form of Mitchell Watt ... look out. This team could manifest as a dark horse given those forwards.

They acted like clones against their Ivy League opponent: both had 19 points, 2 assists, a steal, and three blocks. Watt and nine rebounds and McCrea finished with 10. There's your one raw stat difference. But Watt had a better game, though, getting his points on fewer shots and making all his free throws. The Bulls defense held the Big Red to just 38 percent shooting (the guards especially, who were under 30 percent) and maintained the lead for pretty much the entire game. Impressive all around.

They're now 2-0 in this short season.

After two games of the 2011-12 season, the men's basketball team is just beginning to learn what it's capable of doing on the court.

Head coach Reggie Witherspoon thinks that despite two victories, his young players are still figuring out how to play "assertive" basketball.

The Bulls (2-0) beat Cornell (1-2), 68-59 on Wednesday night, despite 20 turnovers and an inability to control the game down the stretch, according to Witherspoon.

"We have to learn – I think – how to take control of a game and do it with sustained concentration," Witherspoon said. "You can see our immaturity at times."

Buffalo trailed only once in the opening minutes, but the Big Red was within striking distance throughout the second half.

With just under seven minutes remaining, Cornell tied the game at 46 after an offensive putback by forward Eitan Chemerinski. The Cornell big man finished with a team-high 14 points and was the only Cornell player in double digits.

Sophomore forward Javon McCrea – not to be outdone – scored eight of the Bulls' next nine points to help secure the victory.

"It got kind of close [in the second half] and at that moment I felt we didn't want to lose this game, not at home and not against Cornell – not against anybody, but especially not against Cornell," McCrea said. "I just didn't want to lose so I guess we just took initiative and got the win."

McCrea scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, and grabbed 10 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season.

The Cornell zone defense seemed to stifle McCrea in the first half, but the sensational sophomore thought it was more about what he was doing wrong than what the Big Red was doing right.

"I wasn't really frustrated. I just think the things I was doing weren't really working," McCrea said. "I guess when I was dribbling into the paint, they kind of sagged in so [I thought]: ‘If I kick it out maybe they won't do that next time.' I guess it worked."

The Bulls shot a good percentage from the field (46), but it was their 82 percent shooting from the line that really helped put the game away.

Sophomore point guard Jarod Oldham had arguably the best game of his short Bulls career against Cornell. He finished with eight points, nine assists, and seven rebounds and really took over in the final minutes.

Although Oldham put up strong numbers, Witherspoon is patiently waiting for him to stop relying only on his gifts and start looking to stay composed for the entire game.

Witherspoon thinks that both Oldham and McCrea try too hard to entertain at times rather than play within the pace of the game.

"Their adrenaline is running through their ears, especially when we get ahead," Witherspoon said. "So we're trying to get them to take what the defense gives us." Senior forward Mitchell Watt carried the Bulls in the first half and continues to frustrate opposing defenses. In the opening minutes, Cornell didn't have an answer for the 6-foot-10-inch big man, as he entertained the 1,731 in attendance with a couple rim-rattling dunks.

In the first half alone, he scored more than half of the Bulls' points, and grabbed four of his nine rebounds.

The Cornell defense was shaky throughout the game, but it consistently forced turnovers throughout the first half, leading to 13 Bulls turnovers.

The Big Red came out playing man-to-man defense and the Bulls gashed them early with backdoor cuts and excellent team passing.

Senior forward Dave Barnett's contributions may not have shown up on the stat sheet, but his presence was felt in the game. He played stifling defense in his 24 minutes and went flying across the hardwood on two occasions, diving after loose balls.

Witherspoon is happy with the defensive effort overall against Cornell and feels that as his team gels on the court and settles into individual roles, the sky is the limit.

"We have guys that are in different roles than they were last year and [things] are new," Witherspoon said. "So we've got to find a way to keep plugging away at [getting more consistent]."

Buffalo heads out on the road for the first time this season when it takes on Princeton (0-2) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Against St. Bona we saw a bad 2nd half. Against Bing we saw a bad first half. Against Buffalo we saw a bad first and second half by the Big Red. This is the way I saw the game.

The front court, Eitan and Josh played very solid, especially Eitan made the most out of his 21min with 14pt. No major mistakes and good boxing out. Only criticism would be the low rebounding totals of 4 for each. Something wrong when Wrobo has team leading rebounds with 6.

The back court was very inconsistent and sloppy. Shooting % needs to go up. Instead of just running down the court and putting up a three, why not put the ball into the post and then back out; have not seen much of that in the 3 games.

The freshmen, Cancer and Miller; I know everyone is very excited about these two guys especially Miller as am I; but they are not ready yet especially for the min they are getting; 24min and 20min. At this point these guys should be getting 10min max especially against quality teams like Buffalo. Cancer continues to make bad decisions with the ball. He’s aggressive yes but not ready at this level of play. Miller; while he had a great game against a very bad Bing team the other night, looked like a lost puppy on the court against Buffalo. He was very hesitant especially beyond the arc where he went 0-5. I was looking at Millers defense last night, he seem to roam a lot and loose track of his coverage. Without a doubt these guys are hurting the Big Red on defense. I know the coach wants to give them time to build for the future but at what cost? Coach; less min for them this early on in the year; unless you want to sacrifice this year for their D1 basketball education.

Dwight; did he play last night? 1 stl, 1 board, 2pt in 14 min of action; common man, you have to do better then that. MIA on the stat sheet but at least made no mistakes either. Not sure what’s going on with him. His min are going down due to Miller. He showed a lot of promise in the preseason and 1st game but is fading just like his game min.

To sum up; I know it’s still very early but who would have thought that our front court would be so good and our back court bad. Coach and team needs to treat the ball possession with respect. Bad shot selection, sloppy play, turnovers need to be addressed. Put the ball in the hand of experience players.

Come ‘on Red!!!

Anonymous said...

I would welcome Coach Courtney to do exactly as you say and let the experienced players show you exactly what they have, which is the same thing they had last year and the same thing they had during the first three games.

It is very irresponsible to try and lay the blame at the feet of the freshmen who are doing very well. They are not hurting the Big Red defense anymore than those experienced players you speak of.

I would challenge you to check the stats from all three games and then come back and talk about how the freshmen are "hurting" the big red.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, @The Original Anonymous, I think you are way off with what these two freshman (three if you count Tarwater) are providing the team. You seem to imply that they are adding negative value, when it is far from it.

At least Cancer is aggressive and willing to dribble drive. We have zero other people capable of that. And at least Miller is fearless going up strong - you'll never see Figini or Eitan do that (not knocking either for their play, just they aren't as athletic).

Give them time, its game 3. The learning curve from HS to D1 is very steep and they seem to be climbing it just fine so far.

Who do you want in there instead of Cancer or Miller?

They've already done more than half the guys on the bench had all of last season to do. Unless coach is extremely in love with these guys and they are getting playing time out of some sort of friendly nepotism, I'm inclined to believe they are actually earning it in practice. So, if they are the best in practice, why should they ride the pine.

Also, 10 minutes a game? What type of flow do you get into with 10 minutes a game. They'd be producing even less and then you'd hate on them even more.

Be realistic. It's not like there is a POY sitting on the bench losing minutes because of them.

Anonymous said...

Back @Anonymous 2&3: Don’t get me wrong, I think Miller and Cancer will be great players. It’s just frustrating to see sloppy play and bad defense resulting in poor possessions and easy baskets.

I would think that some of the more senior players would take care of the ball more and maximize the possession. You’re correct, looking back at it; some of the more experienced players did not take care of the ball either.

Your point about “if not Miller and Cancer then who” is well made. The only answer I have for you is maybe more action for Scelfo. We need Peck to get healthy ASAP.

I’ll be watching Miller and Cancer on defense over the next several games; maybe my assessment was wrong born out of frustration.

Anonymous said...

It's true that few players can get into a flow and contribute much playing just 5 to 10 minutes a game. Those kind of minutes can be very frustrating.

So, when players do get legitimate minutes that allow them to show what they can truly contribute, supporters of the team should wish them well, whether they are freshmen or seniors.

By the same token, is it really necessary to defend the players who are getting legitimate minutes to show what they can do, by taking anonymous shots at the other guys who aren't getting the same opportunity?

There is often a fine line between players in the game and players on the bench, and that fine line is often just an opportunity to play legit minutes, and a little patience by the coach. (Anyone remember a guy named Jaques?). Nothing is more frustrating than for a player to believe that he can contribute as much, if not more than the guy getting 30+ mins, but not get the same legitimate mins (or the same benefit of the doubt from the coach) to show it.

No one should be surprised that Cancer is getting those early legitimate minutes to show what he can do. The head coach said in a press release that he is one of the top incoming Frosh PGs in the country. That means we can expect his production to quadruple soon. That type of preseason proclamation also doesn't leave much room to play him 5 to 10 mins per game. So, wish him well.

Fair or unfair, coaches tend to favor and show more patience toward the players they recruit versus the players they inherit. (Thats why players don't like coaching changes). But ultimately, production is the standard to keep playing. Above all, the coach is paid to win.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 5..I didn't mean to seem as if I was taking shots at any of the players that are on the bench. I was trying to make the point that we have seen what the experienced players have and are continuing to offer us.

I would also like to clarify that bench players are just as important as players who start the game. Being a bench player allows you to study the game while in progression and understand what is either going wrong or right with the game while in action. With this knowledge, the bench player has an advantage because he knows from a larger perspective where he can contribute and what the talent level of the competition is.

I may have gone about my explanation the wrong way but certainly I respect bench players and I am not saying that the freshmen need to be anything other than bench players at this stage in the year.