Champions! A second rate writing effort for a 2nd rate tournament
Yes! Suck it UMass, Florida, and every other mediocre team that entered this redheaded stepchild of a tournament!
I started to blog the game but kept throwing my notebook so the notes end early. At the beginning I had so many questions like, Will this be over by the time The Office reruns begin? Will the game score higher ratings than the LA Galaxy's Beckem-fest on later tonight? Can they be anymore pro-UMass in their announcing? The answer to all 3 is "no."
This game was important to Koufos as his last chance to impress scouts. He started with a turnover, a missed shot, a foul, and then giving up a basket. Isaah Thomas was salivating.
On the flip side, Terwilliger hit a 3. Sideshow Matt played so well that Thad thought it best to reward him with pretty much no playing time in his final half of basketball EVER (though I've heard a league in Antarctica has been scouting him).
After the first few opening runs by both teams it was obvious that physically our team was going to dominate. They were running and gunning on us, but missing quite a few perimeter shots. That's the thing I enjoyed about this game, UMass kinda sucked. It's weird watching a big game against us where the other team isn't shooting our lights out. Didn't Florida go like 33-35 on 3's last year? UMass made some here and there but overall they couldn't get many good shots off on us in the set half court situations. I praise Thad for using the zones and traps for slowing the game down. I knew we weren't going to make any huge runs because the fast pace favored UMass, but we built up just enough of a lead to hang on.
3 stats stick out in this game though they contradict each other. We had the better inside presence and blocked 12 of their shots. Howevah...we gave up 24 offensive boards! 2 dozen. That'll happen in a zone but still, it would have cost us provided UMass could actually shoot.
Both teams made 32 field goals during the game. We shot 57, UMass fired off 87. Diebler would have been perfect for their offense. Any team that gives up over 90 to us simply cannot play defense.
Overall I'm happy. They did as well as they possibly could in the situation. Our young guys got more experience and Butler got a little more of a spotlight. We'll probably lose Koufos, but other than that and a lack of point guard (Remember those Carlos Davis years?) next year should be promising. It'll be like that girl you haven't seen in awhile, and you heard she lost weight and got hotter while staying at her aunt's in Kentucky all summer.
Scroll down a few entries and see who I predicted to win this tournament...when is the banner ceremony?
(So at the top of the hour with a minute left in the game I flip over to check on The Office...my NBC affiliate has decided to not show it, but instead put on a 30 minute promo for The Jersey Boys coming to town.)