The defense was once again smothering, inside and out.
We were sloppy with the basketball and missed way too many point blank finishes. We need to finish those against better competition. I rewatched the Notre Dame game and this was a problem as well.
It looked like we made a concerted effort to have some semblance of a post game. I love the counter off of the ball screen that includes a dive to the post by the screener to take advantage of the hedging defensive big. Big Dex and GJ got dunks out of it. All it requires is a quick reversal and a decent entry pass. Texas can make a living off it.
It was no accident that AJ was a bit more selective in his attempts today, despite what Barnes says to the public. It's also no accident that Damion James had his best offensive game of the year. His bread is buttered roaming the baseline and using his athletic ability to finish. When he's chasing long rebounds he's not nearly as effective offensively. Go figure.
Justin Mason continues to impress. I'm almost ready to buy in to him being a bona fide lead guard full time. He's the best finisher off the bounce, drops dimes, and continues to run the team effectively in half court. He plays the entire 90 feet like it belongs to him. Star.
Varez Ward and Dogus Balbay continue to improve. They look like they belong early on in their careers. That's important.
Big Dex. Come on big daddy, I'm out here on a limb for you. Do you know what it's like being me out here on a limb for you? It's an up at dawn pride swallowing siege that few can comprehend. Cut the ticky tac fouls and keep booming on m'fers.
Chapman. You better start to bring it offensively or Alexis is going to steal your minutes. If he surpasses you on the offensive end, you risk going the way of Matt Hill.
Gary Johnson, when I'm not dreaming of Jessica Alba as a naked Dungeon Master armed with a 12 sided dice, I'm dreaming about you in the high post entering down low, taking fools off the dribble, or hitting that sweet little fifteen footer. Your ability to defend on the perimeter makes you down right scary. Great Game.
Connor. I get it. Tired legs. Way to bring it defensively.
In conclusion, the tournament has been a terrific learning experience for the team. Some one said it on another thread, but perhaps losing to Notre Dame was better for the team than getting their collective heads kicked in by Carolina. Maybe it helped this team get closer to finding it's identity.
We'll find out against UCLA.