Friday, March 27, 2009

And another year bites the dust...

Well, it was a tough one to take, not even because it was a game that was seemingly sitting there waiting for us to take it in the first half, but because it's just another reminder that we're still one of the better programs, but certainly not one of the best right now. I just wish Scheyer, Henderson, and Singler had knocked down more of their open looks in the first half so we could've held the lead and put a little more game pressure on Villanova. The maddening part is it's not like Villanova made their spurt to start the second half because they got hot from outside -- they simply drove to the basket and locked down our offense. Perhaps it was summed up by Paulus' sequence in the second half where he dribbled the ball away and then hacked the Nova player, and when Scheyer at the end of the first half when stood and dribbled 30 feet from the basket, and then with 3 seconds left decided to pass to Zoubek, who fumbled it away. Scheyer's not a point guard, so he does the best he can, but all we could seem to do is pass around the perimeter. And still lose the ball. I watched the press conference after the game, and usually when we lose, K is at his snippy best about how he's proud of his guys, not disappointed, great season, etc. Last night he sounded more disappointed, admitted we didn't play well and that for some reason we were putting too much pressure on ourselves on offense. You would think a coach could draw up some plays to help with that. We had the talent to compete last night, and Villanova didn't have any inside presence, so it's a little hard to take.

The way I see it, the problem now looking ahead to next year is we get a few big men (Kelly and the other Plumlee), so maybe that'll help, but there's still no point guard unless Nolan grows into the role. Scheyer's a great scorer, and does his best, but you can tell it's not his spot. I read somewhere that we were trying hard to recruit one late in the process. That doesn't usually lead to a blue-chipper, but as we've learned, being highly recruited is no guarantee of success. Henderson said after the game he hadn't thought about next year or what he's going to do. Since he's projected in the top 10, I still suspect he's gone, but last night certainly didn't help the cause. I'm guessing Singler may be back. For a supposedly one-and-done guy, it's a bonus and I've really grown to like the guy -- he plays hard, plays smart, and really wants to win.

I guess if at least Singler comes back, we'll still be top 10 next year, and maybe top 5 since some of the powers like UNC, UConn, etc. lose a ton of talent. But unless the incoming freshmen fill holes, we'll still have the same deficiencies come tournament time, and after we lose, we'll still hear the Vitales of the world say like they did last night that we overachieved.

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