I'd have posted this last night but the only analysis I couldn't think of an analysis without using the "f" word.
We got outplayed. Plain and simple, the Hoyas were the better team. I initially wanted to place the loss on Thabeet, 2-4 from the field (and a missed dunk, what the fuck was that about?) will not cut it during conference play, but further review leads me to believe that we just aren't a good half-court offense. Georgetown's defense rendered our transition game, a Calhoun trademark, nil and we lack the perimeter shooting to make anything happen in the half court.
A 27% turnover rate didn't exactly help matters. And then there was the 50% shooting by Georgetown in the first half. Oh yeah, and then we surrendered 1.14 PPP (points per possession).
Ugh. The defense. John Thompson must have taken solid notes on the Gonzaga game, because he played Monroe/Summers near the top of the arc, drawing Thabeet away from the basket and thus opening up the E.A.S.Y. backdoor pass. Chris Wright was like Steven Gray all over again, he just got around his man and went right to the bucket for lay-up after lay-up.
The perimeter defense must improve. Period. We haven't been a good 3-FG defending team for four or so years now (fifth best at defending the 3 in 03-04, but we've not been better than eighty-first since then). We're not going to win many games letting opponents shoot 46% from three. It seemed like everything the Hoyas shot during the first half fell.
I'd go a bit deep into the game, but I'm too busy smashing my head into my kitchen counter, hoping the concussive force will either kill me or erase all Georgetown oriented memories.
I didn't intend for this blog to ever focus on basketball, but life is funny like that sometimes. Who hasn't, at some point, done something they never intended to? (I needed the money, I swear. Times were tough and...oh...God.)
You may have heard we're a pretty good team; we have a freshman guard who's okay, a senior guard coming off some surgery of sorts, an "undersized" power forward who led last year's team in scoring and rebounds, and I hear we have a center who's reasonably tall. Our coach is okay, he's won a few games in his day.
With the season opening tomorrow, I figured I'd give you a little preview of Western Kentucky-I mean Western Carolina.
Pirates football started the year, with wins over (vastly over-) ranked Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Led by an efficient, but unspectacular quarterback in Patrick Pinkney and a ferocious pass rush (5 sacks against the aforementioned VT and WVU) they rose in the polls before dropping three straight to NC State, Houston, and UVA. Head Coach Skip Holtz, once mentioned as a candidate for (hypothetical) openings at Penn State and Clemson and a very real opening at Syracuse, has righted his ship; the Pirates have own another three straight against UCF, Marhsall, and Memphis.
You mean we're playing Western Carolina? That was East Carolina? Damn.
Prop Bet of the Day, Western Carolina-style: Thabeet has more blocks than any WCU player has rebounds.
The 42 passes thrown Saturday, by a redshirt frosh making his first start, against two NFL caliber corners, in a blustery wind, keep bugging me.
I though, "why would we chance to pass so oft?"
(iambic pentameter...fuck yeah!)
The questions kept nagging at me so I went back and looked at the box score/drive chart/play-by-play from the game and found an interesting, albeit entirely unsurprising, correlation between sustained drives and passing.
We went three and out 6 times (which isn't very good, by the way. In fact, is pretty bad.) and those six three and outs consisted of 14 pass plays. Half our three and outs went pass-pass-pass and only two of our three and outs are readily justified; one drive began with consecutive false start penalties, and I can reconcile trying to pass out of first and twenty (...sort of), and one began with a three yard loss by Donnie Brown.
Make of it what you will.
I'm just going to say that I wouldn't shed a tear if Donnie was given 50 carries against WVU.
McCoy's excellence continues to be the story of the season; his numbers are gaudy, even by Big 12 standards. I'm shocked whenever I see a ball hit the ground. If this were baseball, we'd say McCoy is "locked-in" or "raking" (mmm...sports cliches). To put this in some context: McCoy is completing 81.8% of his passes, the current single season record stands at 73.4% by Daunte Culpepper. McCoy is currently on pace to complete 322 passes, a clip of (assuming 13 games) 25 completions per game. Lets assume Culpepper was slinging passes at the same rate as McCoy; Culpepper, in this hypothetical scenario, completes 22 passes per game. And I don't think Central Florida played the same caliber of teams that Texas does.
On to the Mumme Poll
Texas- I really have nothing more to say. This team is an absolute steam roller with razors on the rollers and laser guns in the headlights. Driven by a shark. With a lightsaber.
Bama- Forced Tennessee (...sigh) into five three and outs and allowed only two drives of longer than 31 yards. While Tennessee's offensive ineptitude has as much to do with these numbers as Bama's defensive dominance, we must give credit where credit is due. In spite of the yardage numbers, Bama scored on 6 of 10 possessions and, had Saban felt like it, could have made that 7 of 10. Jim McElwain's offense was, again, excellent. They were their usual ball-controlling selves, with four of their 10 drives going for more than 50 yards. Tennessee had allowed a total of 11 such drives during the previous seven games, with three of those coming against Florida. So yeah...Bama looks pretty good.
Penn State- This team, likely to win out, has zero shot at a National Championship. The Lions likewise lack a National Championship caliber resume. I'm as sentimental as the next fella and I would love to see Joe Paterno punctuate his career with a NC, but this team has done nothing to deserve it. The relative weakness of the schedule is not entirely Penn State's fault (Coastal Carolina. What the fuck?), the Big 10 just so happens to be down across the board. The closest thing Penn State has to a marquee win is the blowout against Oregon State. Who beat USC. ...nope, not really feeling that one. Kudos for the fine season boys, and I'll be rooting for you to beat Oregon State again in the Rose Bowl.
Florida- The Gators have scored 110-ish points in the past two games, against teams whose prior worst defensive efforts yielded 24 points. Lost somewhere in the Demps/James/Harvin quarkback meme is Tim Tebow's re-emergence. His numbers, though still down from those of his Heisman campaign, belie a quarterback bent on ruthless efficiency. Tebow's passing efficiency is 11th nationally and he has thrown all of two picks, and yet he's made nary a blip on the national radar. Oh how callous can be capricious fate! ESPN has exchanged last year's Tebow-mania for piles of Colt McCoy porn, and rightfully so.
Look out for this team, though. They are just beginning to get humming. My preseason expectations for the Gators were astronomically high, think 1995 Nebraska high. And they are just now living up to my expectations.
Georgia- I'm ecstatic that I no longer feel obligated to put USC here. The Trojans get bumped for both a very meh-inspiring win over Arizona and a fantastic win by Georgia. LSU, though they are clearly down from last year, is still a very good team, better than probably 105 other teams, and a win over the Tigers is still a feather worthy of any hat. And that feather becomes even more precious when it comes to the tune of 52 points...in Death Valley. Knowshon gashed the Tigers for 68 yard TD, during which Verne Lundquist exclaimed "[Moreno] doesn't have great speed," and Stafford went for 249 without an interception. Ouch.
The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is once again one of the season's most important games and it may prove to be the defining game of 2008. Florida and Georgia lock horns for the right to play Alabama for the SEC Championship and, likely, a berth in the NC Game. Georgia and Florida come into the game ranked 6 and 8, respectively, by the BCS, but the winner, by virtue of an astoundingly strong win, could easily vault up to number 4.
The Rest of the Top 12
-Tulsa has been bumped in favor of TCU, who has allowed 21 points during the past three games and has held BYU to their lowest point total since WEEK ONE OF 2005. TCU is real, very, very real.
-Ugh. I don't want to rank Oklahoma State at all. Their win over Mizzou has lost a considerable bit of luster and they lack a great win other than that over the Tigers. They deserve credit for playing Texas tough, but then again Tulane deserves some credit for playing Alabama tough. It came down to Okie State, Mizzou, or Ohio State for that last spot. I couldn't rank Mizzou over Okie State if I hold that the Cowboy's win over Mizzou is merely okay and I can't move Ohio State into the poll fresh off a loss.
-I was tempted to rank Florida State, but that 6 turnover game against a suddenly mediocre Wake Forest still stinks to high heaven.