Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Well That Sucked...

It hasn't been 24 hours since the defeat so I have trouble separating my anger as a fan with trying to write something that doesn't make me look like Matt Jones. The Snowman already did a good job with breaking it down. Here are just a few thoughts I had from another defeat snatched from the jaws of victory for the Cards last night...

Edgar, Edgar, Edgar

Edgar Sosa had a good game with 24 pts 8 ast 1 TO, but without sounding like a broken record, it could have been great. Sosa had his lowest plus/minus rating (-2) of any loss the Cards have had all season. Sos' had great success taking the ball violently to the hoop and finishing in the first half, yet his luck (as the whole teams did) ran out in the second half. It looked to me like he was trying to do too much. Can't really blame him though with the rest of the team far from effective. The 8/1 AST/TO ratio has to be his highest in a long, long time. That's the thing with Eddie, even after a game like this he gets heavily criticized - rightfully or not.

Assists...or lack thereof

The senior back-court of Jerry Smith & Sosa had 11 assists. The rest of the team had as many as Chris Brickley & Clarence Holloway combined... ZERO. The main culprit in this stat is Samardo, who has to learn how to pass out of the post. I have flashbacks of Clifford Rozier whenever he gets the ball. He's played great, but it's like throwing the ball into the Grand Canyon - it ain't coming back.

The Quiet Killer : Austin Freeman

I'm not saying this just because he dropped 24 in the second half, almost single-handedly outscoring the whole Cards' team, but Austin Freeman is going to have at least a 10-year career in the NBA. No questions asked. He is Big East top-10 in minutes played, pts per game, field goal & free throw percentage. The sub-par Louisville defense left him open on a couple, but at least 3 of his perfect 6-6 treys in the half came with a defender in his jersey. Freeman is familiar with Freedom Hall - playing one other game with G'Town - but also was a member of the McDonald's AA team taht included Derrick Rose, OJ Mayo, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love & Eric Gordon. Freeman doesn't stick out because of his demeanor, but is definitely one of the nation's best.

A Swop, A Buck, or a TJ?

Jared Swopshire is going to be a great ball-player here one day. However, I have been watching basketball for years and can't put my finger on what separates him from Terrence Jennings & Rakeem Buckles when it comes to playing time. I've quit trying to figure it out and have just accepted that's how it is. I'm sure Pitino has his reasons, but his rotation has been strange all season. Last night Swop's +/- was a whopping -16 and he was constantly getting beat in his defensive responsibilities. On the other hand in less minutes, TJ & Buck combined for a +/- of (+1) and both either matched or outscored Swop. The only thing Swop has done better consistently all season is foul less.

At least we have the first half, right?

"We played a perfect first half". Straight from the mouth of Coach Pitino following the game and seconded by anyone that's followed the Cards this year. Sosa had 13, Delk 11 and the defense was holding the Hoyas to 37% shooting. The Cards didn't have their first turnover until the 3:35 mark and gave up zero second-chance points. For that one half, people actually saw the potential of this team. That all changed in the second half... I don't wanna talk about it....

Loss doesn't sting too bad

NCAA hopes didn't take as big of a bruise as the Cards' ego probably did. It would have been another marquee win to add to the resume, but the loss was not crippling. RPI rating slipped to #39. Strength of Schedule stayed strong at 4th. A lot of the talking-heads on ESPN were doubting the teams ability this morning though. I would be more worried of this team giving up yet another lead in the second half and what further damage it did to their psyche than this loss killing or cramping NCAA hopes. 2 of the next 3 would be golden, one would mean some work would need to be done at MSG, zero and Syracuse might not be the last game at the Hall.

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