- Our offense is not the problem. Yes it could be better, but defense is and always has been the problem under Ed. You don’t allow Maine to score 74 points, you just don’t.
With that in mind - stop clamoring for a big man to provide points. Again, it would help against future opponents - but it’s not our issue in the 4 losses this season and in all likelihood it’s not going to be the reason we lose big10 games either. A factor, sure - but not the main issue. We score enough points to be a .500 team in the big 10, it’s the fact that we don’t stop the other teams from scoring well enough that will be our demise most nights.
The defense may be better off switching to a zone the rest of the way. For one, to protect better against silly fouls. Two, because we over-help on defense and that’s where so many wide open perimeter shots come from. This is unselfish play, but it’s costing us serious points. And three, because we just aren’t quick enough to line up against most of the big10 3’s and 4’s and expect to stop them. A well-run, long zone can be very effective at the highest levels of basketball and we are much better equipped for that right now given our short bench and slow moving feet (outside of talor and tim). It may sound counter-intuitive to switch to a zone when you’re getting killed from 3, but we can really only improve by doing so right now given the way we play this half-deny, very spread out man to man. Wisconsin will eat us up with their patience on offense given what we do defensively right now, I’m really hoping Ed recognizes this - I think it could make a huge difference in our defensive fg% numbers.
- My second thing is that this team is not lacking in the talent the way many of the “newcomers” want to claim it is. What was overrated in guys like Billy and Buie’s abilities thus far is underrated and overlooked in guys like Tim and DJ - who are very smart players that quietly make nice plays on both ends of the court.
Where everyone got the idea that it takes a team full of superstars to win games from, I don’t really know. A look at Wisconsin again will prove that’s just a bunch of crap. They have a lot of players like Frazier and Jackson that just go out there and get the job done. We could use about 4 more guys like those two on the team.
- Which brings me to my last point - this team isn’t as bad as everyone wants to paint them either. They have not looked like the same group of guys since that Maryland game - I think a lot of ego was torn down that evening, and there may have been some serious finger-pointing going on as well afterwards. But I have not seen the same chemistry, camaraderie, or even enjoyment being shown by the vast majority of guys on this team since that evening.
I don’t know if they can pull themselves out of this now - and they could wind up having a really awful record to show for themselves when it’s all said and done if they don’t. But this team is better than they have showed the last 3 weeks, and I also will not be shocked to see them shut some of the haters up in some of their upcoming weeks. It’s going to take some sorting out off the court though, if you ask me. I really think there’s some problems between players (and maybe coaches) based on the body language I see out there the last 4 games. If Ed can’t bring them back together, that will be his biggest failure with this group imo. And ultimately it may be (and should be) his last chance with this program if that’s the case.