I really don't have the inclination to hash the game out for those didn't watch it.
At this point the team isn't worth a lot of effort.
Anyway, just open up a boxscore and you'll get the picture. We shot the ball poorly. From everywhere. Especially the foul line, where we were an embarrassing 10-27. Say that out loud. Ten for fucking 27. Some teams go three or four games before they miss 17 foul shots. Damion James, the poor kid, was a monuMENTALLY horrible 4-13 from the line, and his struggles, I'm growing less hesitant to say, are a symptom of the larger issue.
This team has absolutely zero fun playing basketball. They aren't having fun when they're trying to put back an offensive rebound. They're not having fun in pregame warmups. And they're certainly not having fun when they go to the foul line. On defense, I think they're working hard, mostly, but they don't have that slap the floor get down and dirty defensive energy that top teams have. Hell they don't have the same energy they displayed in November and December.
You can make your own determination as to the cause of the bigger issue, but the fact remains that we have a collection of headcases on this team. Perhaps the most troubling part about it is that these kids haven't been headcases historically. The year 2010 unfortunately has been the year of the inner demon. Every kid on the club has one at this point. Name a player that doesn't. I mean what can we say about this club that hasn't already been said. Start this player, bench this player, this player needs this, this player needs that, play this guy with that guy, so on and so forth. What difference does it make who's on the floor if you can't hit a two foot put back, hit 60% of your foul shots, or move the ball enough to find good shots? What difference does it make if our kids aren't enjoying basketball?
It makes no difference.
In this game the only bright spot was the press which seemed to get our kids out of their own heads and just back to playing basketball, instinctively and in rhythm. We still looked like hell overall, but at least some of the players seemed to play looser. Dare I say, some even looked like they were having fun.
As far as the game went, I thought Texas totally ignored the obvious scouting report on OU which is stop penetration and stay on shooters. Sure TMG went nuts, but I actually don't have a problem with that because the shots he was hitting were tough shots. What I do have problem with is leaving Cade Davis and company for open looks off of TMG penetration. It's inexcusable because you want TMG to try to make plays at the rim. The kids arms are so short that he has to bend down to buckle his belt. Bailing him out with easy kickouts is a recipe for disaster.
On offense, we knew we'd have an advantage in the frontcourt going in, but we failed to establish an interior game early and it cost us because it allowed OU to get out to a large lead. So much so that we totally had to abandon the interior game rendering our advantage on the glass and in the paint worthless. Quite frankly that's on the coaches for not playing the correct personnel and coaching our kids to establish things in the paint. I'm not talking about Jordan Hamilton either. We can run a pretty devastating post attack against Cade Davis and Ryan Wright, with Balbay, Brown, and Bradley, a pinch of patience and some X and O work. There isn't one player on OU's squad that can handle James or Pittman one on one on the block. Not one. That's a fact that was evidently lost on our staff, or ignored for whatever reason.
Perhaps we need to try the Bull Durham Shower scene. Todd Wright can count to ten like Robert Wuhl.
Now it's on to face Kansas where it won't get any easier. Kansas has a club that can turn inner demons into outright psychoses. If Kansas goes into Austin and rolls us by 20, and the boo birds show up, Barnes can lose this young team. Time for a drink. I'll try to preview the 'Hawks after fighting off a hangover manana.