First Gottlieb. If you listen to one basketball pundit on ESPN, listen to this guy.
He gets it. Point guards are among the smartest human beings walking the planet. The pecking order goes something like this: nuclear physicists, doctors, point guards, Supreme Court Justices, Barking Carnival Bloggers.
In this litte vignette, Gottlieb hints about the fact we have a ton of issues as a basketball team and he's right. Doug's larger point about needing the interior presence of Dexter Pittman is well taken though. A good back to the basket game is almost like leaning on a power rushing game in football.
You may not get two or three dunks in the early going, but at some point the power post game will pay dividends if you stick with it. Of course you have to scheme a post up game much like a rushing game, good god we're in sports hell as Longhorn fans sometimes, but once you establish the post, everything else opens up. Much like sticking with a running game that averages 3 yards per carry in football, sticking with a struggling post-up game is the hard part.
You have to be dedicated to getting the ball inside and you have to be willing to live with some mistakes and turnovers. By you, I mean Rick Barnes.
Barnes needs to come to grips with the fact that Dex is going to pick up fouls in bunches, but we have to keep feeding the beast to get into an interior rhythm. If Dex fouls out playing 20 minutes or he plays 20 minutes with 3 fouls, what's the difference?
Go to Pittman early with nicely spcaded floor, run offense through him, and make the opponent defend the big man in the first five minutes. If they defend Dex, so be it. If Dex picks up 3 fouls in 5 minutes so be it.
It's not like this team can do much worse than the 58 point outburst against the Ags. A game in which Dex played 13 minutes.
As for Joe Lunardi's Bracketology, he has Texas as an 8 seed in the West opening up with Cal. One seed Duke would be the next game, and then there is a potential rematch with UCONN in the round of 16 if we got past Duke, which, I know, ain't gonna happen.
But I'm blogging here, not writing a prescriptions for HenryJames' purpledrank cocktail or splitting the atom.
Let's assume Texas beats Cal and then faces Duke. Of all the potential one seeds, Duke would be the best matchup from an athletic standpoint for the Longhorns. We have two guards that can stay in front of Smith and Scheyer, and we have a four man, Damion James, who is athletic enough to float around the perimeter with Singler and big enough to defend the post.
What would ultimately do us in would be Duke's motion game which is sort of like Texas Tech's motion attack on steroids. Our helpside defense, especially when Hamilton is in, is so non-existent that Duke would need only two or three passes before a veritable Autobahn to the goal would open up for one of their slashers.
Here's some more info on how Duke is getting it done this year without a Jason Williams or Bobby Hurley type poing guard running the show.
On the other end, the Devils are defending about as well as they have in more than a decade. They've softened their pressure to better accomodate their personnel. You can read about it here.
We'd have a chance athletically to compete and even win the battle on the glass, but much like TAMU, the Blue Devils don't give up anything cheap. We'd have to shoot way over our heads to win.
Or, as Gottlieb proclaimed, get Dexter Pittman involved.