Quick Cornell thoughts | Syracusefan.com

Quick Cornell thoughts

billsin01

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Weird game. Feel like both teams left the dome thinking this game could have played out much differently (I know Red said as much). I mean, Cornell has to be miserable about how poorly they shot on wide open threes in the first half. Not sure they would have won but they could have had a double-digit lead deep into the first half in this one. Conversely, SU had two or three chances to really put space in there and had an awful stretch to go into the half only up three. Judah's foul trouble led to some more struggles in the second. Gotta feel they're going to watch that film and be completely confused about not winning by 20 (yes, we won by 11 but really should have dribbled it out, up 7).

Anyway, thoughts:
  • Copeland is a confounding player for me. A lot of folks here think he's just plain awful, and i get that. The turnovers are a major problem. That said -- kid had a three that I'm still unsure how it didn't go in. He is the best rebounder outside of maybe Brown, and he may be better than Brown. He hustles like crazy and even the turnovers come because he wants to make things happen. He had a couple nice passes for assists and a couple more that led to good looks, grabbed six boards, can handle the ball a bit. I don't know what to think to be honest, but I lean towards give him some minutes and see if he can even out his mistakes a bit while still bringing a lot to the table. I'm sure people will hate that.

  • Great game for Taylor. Really liked how he played. Can he be more of that type of player against better competition? That will be the question I guess.

  • Still like Cuffe's defense even though his offense was brutal in this one. Not sure there is a huge role for him right now but I do like the way he plays defense.

  • McLeod to me is pretty much unplayable, at least in this defense. I know we'll 'need' him against bigger teams, but I wish we had a different type of profile in that spot. It's not that he's a bad kid or has no talent, but he cannot move enough to play in this style of defense.

  • Red talked a lot about pushing tempo, pressuring, etc. Watching Cornell press, even after misses, beat us down the court repeatedly, hound us in the half-court, get physical ... I think that's what Red wants, but we don't play that way. We don't push the ball on offense consistently and defensively we pretty much play a straight man that often struggles with simple ball screens. We are atrocious off any look that involves a double-screen. This defense needs to get more sophisticated or well-coached teams with good talent are going to do with us what UVA did to us last weekend all season.

  • Judah's game can be frustrating but he's our only offense to speak of. At least consistently. He's a pretty relentless offensive player.

  • Bell made shots so that's good. He's improved defensively and has shown some ability to score aside from just shooting threes. But if we dream of an offense with player movement, we have to get him doing something other than standing on the wing and occasionally drifting to the corner. It's not really a criticism so much as a reality that Red has to get that whole crew moving more offensively. It's just sooo much dribbling. Thought the ball movement was actually solid last night but when you watch Cornell on the other end you realize that even nights when we're doing OK moving the ball, we're still exceptionally dribble-heavy.

Strange team. Could improve a lot. Maybe Chance helps. Or still sometimes feel like it's just going to be a long season. Like Red but feel like we're very much watching a first-year coach right now. From the roster setup to the systems in place to some of the in-game coaching. To be fair to him, however, this is not the ideal roster for the system he's looking to install. it would make sense if that took some time.
 

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