Sunday, February 18, 2007

'Dogs over Bearkats 78-60

Q played great, but the night belonged to E Miller

What went right for the Bulldogs:

-Got off to a good start- No they were not spectacular out of the gate, but there was not a 5 minute scoring drought or a deficit at the first tv timeout.

-Got Eddie Miller going early- In my game preview I spoke about getting Miller looks early so he is not lost in the fold. They found him on the right wing early and that helped set Miller up for a great night.

-Intimidated SHSU early- Most of the 7 blocked shots the Bulldogs had came fairly early in the contest and established dominance. This ealry success in negating the Bearkats inside led to them shooting fade-aways and off balance shots.

-Shared the Basketball- FSU finished with 22 assists Saturday and they moved the ball around well. Everyone got into the assist action and there was not any selfishness. The willingness to make the extra pass was great to see and I hope that trend continues.

-Shot the ball well!- A great shooting night and a continuing area of improvement for the Dogs. Shot 47.3% from the field as a team and 46.7% from the three. They finished at the rim, hit open jumpers and were deadly from three. Made 14 threes as a team.

-Bench production- Alex Blair and Tyson Parker were great sparks off the Bench. Blair was cutting to and getting around the basket and making himself available and he finished. Only bad play he made was missing the highlight dunk. Parker came in and was confident in shooting the three and helped moved the ball around the perimeter also. Both players were good on the defensive end, Blair 8 boards and Parker 3 blocks? Sean Taylor was nowhere to be found but that was a matchup issue mostly.

-Defensive intensity- Forced the Bearkats into difficult shots at times, stopped penetration and did not allow the guards to get to the rim much. Intimidated SHSU around the rim early. A lapse late in the first half and early in the second half led to open looks from three. Both NMSU and SHSU shot bad from the field for sure, but Id like to give credit to the defensive play and not just bad shooting.

What went wrong:

-McGuire in foul trouble- Two games in a row he gets two fouls in the first half and Cleveland sets him late in the first half to prevent the uneccessary 3rd. Two quick fouls to open the second half has McGuire watching for extended minutes from the bench. When he comes back he is out of sync, cold, and not effective on the offensive end. Needs to watch this in the upcoming games, 1 quick foul can snowball.

-Left Jeremy Thomas open- Thomas was the one Bearkat player that shot it well. He only played 16 minutes but scored 13 on 4-6 shooting from three. The Bulldogs cannot fall asleep and get crossed up on ball screens and baseline screens. Lack of communication led to open looks for Thomas. Every team will get looks, its just a matter of getting a hand and not leaving shooters uncontested.

-Free throw shooting- Finished 12-21 from the stripe. The 4-10 effort in the first half was the problem, it should have been a double digit lead if they had shot 70% in that half. This has cost the Bulldogs in close games and will thwart them down the stretch in coming games.

-Yielded too many offensive boards- Gave up 20 offensive boards to the Bearkats. Now the numbers were most likely going to be around 8-10 because of the low shooting percentage of the Bearkats but 20 is unacceptable. Part of this is due to the fact that McGuire sat with foul trouble, if he plays his normal minutes he gets 18 rebounds.

-Turnovers- Too may turnovers against a team that did not pressure the Bulldogs. I could live with 10 due to the fact that a handful were off of an extra pass that players did not handle. A little less carelessness goes a long way. Five more possessions in a game can make the difference.


-Eddie Miller- Lights out. He gets a career high 27 points. 7 of 10 from three is quite an accomplishment. He got it going early and often and his shooting stroke dictated the game from the onset. Also got out in transition and got a couple of dunks, cut backdoor and had a nice left handed reverse layup. Chipped in 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

-Quinton Hosley- Been playing great. Looks extra explosive and healthy. Favorite player to watch because of effort and toughness. Extremely efficient from the field again going 2-2 from the field and 2-3 from three. 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and one ridiculous block where he came from nowhere to pin the shot with both hands on the backboard on a Beartkat guard layup attempt.

-Dominic McGuire- Rebounded well as usual, finishing with 11 total in 24 minutes. Limited due to foul issues for the second straight game. Cannot pick up uneccessary fouls early in games. They dont seem like much at the time but before you know it the officials call a cheap and egregious over the back and an offensive foul when a defender flopped and McGuire has four. Did a nice job handling the ball in transition and finding shooters, he had his head up at all times which many guys his size dont do when they are handling it.

-Hector Hernandez- Did a better job on the boards. Showed a little fire and intensity on the defensive end and also had a steal. It was an improvement from the nothing efforts he had been giving. Hopefully this game was a stepping stone to more improved intensified play. Still shooting terribly he finished 2-12 from the field. If he does not pick it up defensively he will continue to see playing time decline because he is a negative on offense. With his inability to make shots, its better that he defers and lets Hosley and Miller get more attempts. Does it make sense that Hernandez shoots 12 shots in 22 minutes and Hosley shoots five shots in 28 minutes?

-Alex Blair- Another great effort by Blair. 8 points and 8 rebounds were critical. Not only the defensive rebounding is important but his post defense is key. Not trying to block as many shots now which is great, he forced SHSU players into tough shots and fade-aways. Holds his ground well in the post and does not get pushed around. Cuts to the basket in transition and gives Bell and others an option at the rim when penetrating. Whereas Hernandez runs to three and stands, Blairs cuts to the rim and shoots layups. Efficient at 4-5 shooting he should have been 5-5 since he missed the easiest of his attempts a highlight dunk(a blocking foul on SHSU nonetheless that went uncalled).

-Tyson Parker- In the preview I wondered if he could have another La Tech type effort. He did. He was a confident shooter and shot 3-4 from three and 3-4 from the line. He was willing to shoot with a hand in his face. He managed to block three shots by surprising shooters and sneaking behind penetrators. Boxed out against bigger players on the defensive end and rebounded well finishing with 5. Also had two steals and did a nice job on the defensive end.

-Kevin Bell- Great job distributing, he lead the team with 8 assists which should have been nine on the McGuire alley-oop. He set the table early with moving the ball and everyone followed with unselfishness. Handled the ball well and dribbled around and through double teams well. Did have 4 turnovers but the way the game was played and the amount of plays he made negated it. Did not shoot the ball well but did not force shots due to the tough shooting night. His selectiveness and willingness to defer were critical. He came in off a career high 18 points and followed it up with 3 which puts him at his season average for two games. Stats do prove true I guess?

Odds and Ends:

SHSU Coach Bob Marlin should have been given a technical foul in the first half. He was all over the officials and even went off on a member of the event staff at FSU. It makes sense to go off like that with your team shooting at a 25% clip in the first half.

The officiating stank but that is the norm at the SMC. Phantom charge calls, over the back when there is no contact and calling a foul on Hosley when Bearkat forward Ryan Bright stuck his face in front of Hosleys elbow. They let the game get out of hand a bit. At least it didnt get ugly although Q had one extremely hard foul as retaliation for a swipe in the face after a defensive board.

Cleveland showed some emotion after the 4th foul on Hosley, the way the lead was I think I would have went off on the officials and got a t if I was in his shoes but he showed that Clevelanesque restrain/nothing will ever phase me thing he has going.

Bearkat leading scorer Ryan Bright pump fakes like an 8th grader every time he gets the ball at three. He has no jab-step, pass fake, or suttle head fake. He looked like a little kid when he got the ball and did that overly fake head/pump fake, no one falls for garbage like that.

Up Next:

The Bulldogs return to action Thursday in Ruston to face the Lousisiana Tech Bulldogs, who have been playing much better of late. Game preview to come Tues/Wed.

Game Recap

Box Score

Notes and Quotes

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