Here are observations from the atrocity that was last night's game:
- Turnovers are one thing, but I have never seen a point guard make the kind of lazy passes that Tray Woodall does. Cross-court passes that simply shouldn't be made. His calculated, almost methodical style of running the point, helps him make those nifty backdoor passes and quick dump-offs on the break. But, my goodness, some of these attempted passes looks like he doesn't care. I take that back. The kid wants to win, but you have to be smarter and more self-aware that EVERY team in the Big East has players that defend the passing lanes well. Here's a quote from Tray after the game:
- In the second half, John Johnson made, quite possibly, the worst bounce pass I have ever seen as he got near the paint. We all know he has a good shot, but he scares me in an Ashton Gibbs-type of way - meaning he'll never develop true comfort around the basket. Just a gross pass.
- J.J. Moore shot better last night. We all know he can elevate around the rim, but if he can step out 15 to 20 feet, he'll keep defenders honest and open up the driving lanes.
They were denying every pass. We didn't do a good enough job getting open. They were taking advantage of some of our short cuts, getting out on the passing lanes, and had a bunch of steals.
I simply don't buy it that West Virginia was playing exceptional defense last night. Was anyone else just absolutely disgusted with these careless passes?
More thoughts after the jump.
- There are certain post-moves of Kilicli's that are impossible to defend. Even when Zanna and Taylor had pretty good position, they couldn't stop the towering hook shots at their 6-9 size.
- However, there was defensive possession in the second half where you had to seriously question Dante Taylor's basketball IQ. Everyone in the arena knows, probably even the cheerleaders, that Kilicli likes to go left. So, when you see Kilicli post up on the left block you absolutely have to force the guy middle. But no, Taylor defended him on his left side, allowing him to get the ball exactly where he wanted and convert on the 'and one' dunk. Kilicli's facial expression post-dunk frightened me. Now, It's one thing to get beat physically, but when you lack that type of court awareness, it raises serious questions about Dante's mental game and the coaching he's getting from Dixon's staff.
- Bob Knight made a comment late in the second half that seemed really stupid at the time, but rings so true today, "I would tell my players, don't pass to the wrong color." Are you listening Tray?
- Cameron Wright's horrendous travel with Kilicli defending him might be the ultimate antithesis to Kemba vs. McGhee last season. Dixon just doesn't find guys that can beat their man off the dribble. It was Kilicli, too. Come on, man.
- Have you ever seen us come up short on so many shots? Tray, Ashton and Nas could not get the ball to the rim.
- Tray Woodall's ESPN bio picture makes him look really high and sleepy, even more so than Dante Taylor.
- When the ESPN telecast came on last night, Bob Knight looked absolutely miserable. I mean, at his age, who would want to be calling a game with such mediocre teams? How long does ESPN hang on to the Knights, Vitales and Munsburgers of the world. Raftery is the ultimate exception. He gets younger as we grow older.
- The student section chant "Here We Go Panthers, Here We Go," does not work. This should only be reserved for the Steelers. Something about it doesn't sound right. There's not enough yinzer in it. Maybe because the Heinz Field one sounds like, "Heeeeerrrrre Weeees Gowwwwww Stilllllerrsss, Heeeeerrrre Weeee Gowwwwwwwww."
- Forget this year. Next year could be worse.