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WVU game thoughts and musings

  • NotOstertag
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1 week 5 days ago #24836 by NotOstertag
I admit, halfway through the 2nd half, I was convinced we were going to lose. Thrilled that we got out of there with a W. If WVU had ANY offense at all, we'd have been done.

Huge kudos to HCBS for what was a masterful coaching job. With Dok and D-Mack both in foul trouble, going with 5 guards and a zone bought us some minutes. Managing Dok's fouls was masterful. Changing the plan to force the guys to get into the paint on every possession in the 2nd half was the right call. Bottom line, Self earned his paycheck last night.

As bad as our offense was, our defense was great, especially down the stretch. Seems our biggest flaw as a team is reliable 3 point shooting, and I'm not confident it will be fixed this season.

We expected an ugly game and we sure got one. Pre-game I told my wife that the winner would be the first team to 60 points, and we didn't even get that far.

Now the ball is back in our court. Baylor has to beat WVU on Saturday and I don't think Scot Drew would have won last night's game. Home court will help, but they still have to play in Morgantown. We just saw how tough it is to sweep WVU. OU isn't a pushover, but we have them in AFH, and OU is currently 1-4 on the road in conference.

After that, we have a quick turnaround to play ISU in AFH on Monday and then almost the full week to prep for our trip to Baylor. After WVU, Baylor plays @OU before they host us. Again, we have the easier road.

Speaking of road, both KU and Baylor are 6-0 on the road and only Tech and Texas have 2 wins. So 6 of 10 teams have one or zero road wins this year. The result: KSU, OSU, and ISU are now mathmatically elminated from winning the conference (9 games back, 7 to play for KSU and OU, ISU is 8 back with 7 left). TCU and Texas are next, both having 7 games left to make up a 7 game deficit. So it's entirely possible that half the conference will be "playing for pride" starting Sunday.

While Tech (4 back), WVU and OU (5 back) are still officially "in the race" at this point it's a Baylor/KU race and just a matter of who might play spoiler.

Final semi-unrelated note: just before game time, I saw an ESPN newsflash that included the words "Garrett" and "suspension" and nearly had a heart attack as we certainly need our Garrett in the lineup. Turns out it was Myles Garrett from the Cleveland Browns who's suspension was ended. Nearly had a heart attack.

14 championships, 13 home losses since 2003
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1 week 5 days ago #24837 by newtonhawk
I enjoyed all your musings and agree with your assessment of HCBS's masterful coaching job.

I really liked the smaller lineup in a zone. I thought the guys were great with their quickness in recovery and trying to fill open spots. I hope we see a little more of that in certain situations moving forward.

Speaking of defense, I have specifically watched Moss on defense for the past several games and he is doing a standup job, trying to get into position, front his man, and utilizing pretty quick hands for deflections. Having him out there for his scoring was important in the 2nd half, but his D wasn't all that shabby, either.
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1 week 5 days ago #24838 by KMT
Definitely a great job by HCBS and the Defense.

I noticed that WVU's bigs got somewhat gassed in the 2nd half and nowhere near as effective, or energetic, in the 2nd half.

Moss might be starting soon. Christian is solid, but Moss' experience, and threat, will come in handy as the road progresses.
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1 week 5 days ago #24841 by NotOstertag
Yep, Moss is upping his game, which we need to keep him on the floor more so we can utilize his shooting (where we're hurting).

The small lineup and zone combo was effective because WVU wasn't really ready for it. A lot of times, a team will go zone and the opponents offense will struggle for a few possessions to figure it out, and it sometimes forces the offense's coach to call a time out to re-align the team's thinking.

To me, the combo of a lineup and defense that were almost certainly not on the scouting report baffled WVU for a few minutes. Had we kept that group out for longer, no doubt Huggy would have come up with a solution, communicated it to the team, and they would have beaten it. As it stood, we only needed to "steal" a couple minutes and a few possessions, so the "confusion tactic" worked perfectly.

Not sure if WVU's bigs got gassed (totally possible) or if Dok, unencumbered by foul trouble, upped his energy level. No doubt he wouldn't have had that huge finger shaking rejection late in the game if he had 4 fouls on him. Getting to the half with only 2 fouls and then their big picking up his 3rd early in the 2nd half was a pretty big deal.

The small/zone lineup reminded me of one of the best trick plays I've ever seen: the infamous barking dog trick play.

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1 week 5 days ago #24842 by KMT
LMAO!

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