I was less disconcerted by this blow out loss than our other losses because there were some bright spots. Trips Right has a great postgame here.
1) Dogus Balbay - Doge must have spent the weekend slumpbusting the Sooner Band Chick. I think Rick Barnes had the handcuffs on Dogus all year, and now we can see why. He is a serial overpenetrator (that sounds dirty) that jumps in the air when he runs into a brick wall of defenders. All of that is bad. The good part is that he is effective doing it. He had several assists out of his penetration, and he PRESSURES THE DEFENSE, which our other guards are not doing. If he figures out how to kick it out to Connor, AJ, or Damion for three instead of slinging high velocity low distance passes at Dexter's head, then we have a legit drive and kick point guard. He even closed two wide open bunnies and an inexplicable 17 footer, which is an amazing improvement.
2) Blake Griffin was scared of Dexter Pittman. If we don't turn the ball over every other possesion in the first half, we probably get one foul on Blake Griffin, and have a real chance of coming back in the second half, as opposed to no chance. Griffin is a second or third banana in the NBA, which may make him a great pick for the OKC Thunder.
3) We ran some counters for the AJ overplay early, like AJ screening the ball, and OU backed off of the AJ overplay a bit. Of course this only led to a couple dozen bad shots by AJ. AJ needs to quit that shit cause Trips Right beats his kids on every AJ heat check. Do it for the kids AJ!
4) As further evidenced by Damian's furious 8 minutes of action to open the second half where he was a force inside, playing DJ at the four for a third of his minutes would be a good idea. I also would have given him a shot at Blake Griffin when Dexter sat down with number four. We already new that Gary Johnson couldn't do it. Why not give him a shot?
5) They put Damian on Austin Johnson early in the game so that he could double off of him on the Good Griffin. It looked like Damian's main problem was that he would get caught between a double and a close out and do neither. We probably should not be asking him to make too many decisions on the basketball court.
6) Dexter Pittman got some experience playing with fouls.
7) Someone has stolen Justin Mason's Mojo. Until he starts penetrating again, Balbay is our best point guard.
8) Harrison Smith, welcome to the Texas basketball program. It is nice to see a kid get more minutes in one night than he has gotten all year. I don't see why he doesn't get some minutes. We need the depth, and Varez is turning the ball over and overpenetrating way too much. He had great defensive effort when he was out there.
9) I think Connor Atchley's minutes need to start matching his production.
10) Matt Hill had some good trips defensively against Blake Griffin.
11) We do not foul hard enough. This used to be a trademark of Rick Barnes teams. No layups were easy. We needed to get more physical against Blake Griffin because . . .
12) BG spent the night whining to the refs, shaking his head every time down the court like he was jobbed on some call, and AJ got into his chest on a layup in transition. All of these things point to the fact that we can get into this kid's head and beat him.
13) Barnes dared Austin Johnson to beat us, and he did. I don't think this will happen in Austin.
14) Who knew that Peg Bundy was Blake Griffin's mom?
15) Do you think that Blake Griffin's parents would get the McCoy family treatment if they weren't a mixed race couple? I felt like the director instantly regretted his decision every time they put them on, and the announcers were uncomfortable doing the family values tidbits that they drop so often about other kids.
16) Sideline (or courtside, or whatever) reporters are awful, but fugly chunky ones are really, really reprehensible.