Sunday, November 19, 2006

Missouri breakdown

Here are some grades from the Davidson-Missouri game.

Davidson Frontcourt: B-
These guys had really been anchoring the Cats' strong play so far this season, but they were unable to be effective against the Missouri defensive schemes. Sander did not score in the first half and he, Boris and Andrew combined for only 24 points against 10 turnovers. The Wildcats also gave up 30 points in the paint, and the big men became thorns in our side against the press. On the bright side, Boris did not get into any foul trouble and the Wildcats were able to outrebound the Tigers 40-29. I think that from here on out, either Boris or Thomas is going to have to have a big game for the Cats to win. It's kind of like the Ian Johnson effect, except with two people.

Davidson Backcourt: C+
The theme for this group continues to be turnovers and inconsistency. Despite the 17 points put up by freshman newcomer Will Archambault, this group was unable to make sure that Davidson broke the press on a consistent basis. They weren't distributing the ball as well as they could have (11:18 assist/turnover ratio for the guards) and Jason Richards' foul trouble plagued the team's flow in the second half. This team really needs a natural backup point guard as only Curry and Gosselin are backing up Richards. Look for some future opponents to be taking advantage of this weakness.

Intangibles: B+
It's easy to look for moral victories when you're playing against big schools, but I would say that the Wildcats really did not deserve to win this game. They were not playing their best basketball and they don't have the experience and talent to win close games on the road yet. Coach McKillop is famous for saying that he'd always rather win a game, but I think that this loss will continue to be an important motivator throughout the season. It meant that you were good enough to play close despite mistakes, but that you're going to have to eliminate those mistakes in the games that really matter.

Final Thoughts:
This team really has a depth problem right now. It is kind of a new idea for someone like me, who's only watched for the past two years, where you always had a guy like Eric Blancett to come off the bench, but there really isn't anyone like that right now. We are playing 7 guys and that is it. This team could get into some major foul trouble against more physical teams and that can really hurt you down the stretch. Coach McKillop is going to need to develop players like Rossiter, Barr and Civi into playable backups. He also might think about giving Falconi some minutes.

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