The Downside - Buffalo | Syracusefan.com

The Downside - Buffalo

SWC75

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- It went about the way you would have imagined if you watched Saturday’s game. We came out strong, playing very hard, took the lead and kept it until midway through the second half. We could never put any real distance between the Orange and the Bulls and when they took the lead, they took over control of the game. We tried - we really did: but that’s the point: we weren’t good enough to win.

- We lost for the same reason: we got badly out-rebounded, (35-48) and had too many turnovers, (16-16). If there was a stat for loose balls, they would have won that, too. When the other team is dominating possession of the ball, you’ve got to shoot the lights out to beat them. For much of the game our shooting percentage was well above 50% but when that came down to earth, so did we.

- Our free throw shooting went from inadequate to abysmal. We missed 8 of 13 free throws. But it was worse than that because three of the misses were the front end of one and ones. The height of it was when Oshae Brissett went 0 for 2 with 2:23 left and SU down by Buffalo then went down and hit a three that ended any doubt as to the outcome of the contest. Oshae made 78.7% of his free throws last season. This year he’s hitting only 65.6%. Last year in this game he was 16 for 16 from the line. Tonight he was 0 for 3.

- Jim Satalin noted that we often seem to hit the first of two free throws and then miss the second. I checked the last two games and we’ve done that five times. Usually if you make the first the second is just muscle memory. We have now missed 20 of 47 free throws in the last two games – and lost those games by a total of 17 points.

- But the big thing is that our so called offense once again bogged down to futile one-man drives to the basket, ineffective one on one moves and desperation three pointers. We scored 29 points in the second half against Old Dominion and 23 in this one. That’s not going to win anything. We have no inside scorer. We don’t use an intermediate passer. We don’t drive to set up passes. We have too many guys the other team doesn’t have to guard. Any decent defensive team can shut out offense down when they put their mind to it.

- Tyus Battle was AWOL much of the game. In the first half he hit a 19 footer at 17:22, a crowd-pleasing dunk at 9:29. In the second half he hit a tying trey at 8:07, his first points in 17 minutes and 36 seconds. He made a couple of free throws at 4:25 and a lay-up at 1:07. Other than that he was 0 for 6. He also had 2 rebounds, an assists, a block and three turnovers. This is our leader.

- Paschal Chukwu did marginally better with 2 points, 3 rebounds and a block in 19 minutes. Bourama Sidibe added 3/4/2 in 18 minutes. Satalin observed of Chukwu that “he just can’t get off the ground”. I suspect that injuries have more to do with this team’s problems than we realize. It’s not the whole problem. But between Frank and the centers, it’s like we’re being held back by an invisible string.

- Marek Dolezaj didn’t miss a shot. He didn’t take one, even when he had an open three in the first half and passed off. We wound up with a turnover leading to a Buffalo score on the other end.

- We won the Georgetown game for our fifth game in a row and Jim said we still need to get better and the week off would help us get better. Instead we’re clearly worse. The ACC schedule is a meat grinder and we are likely to wind up being hamburger by the end of it. The local sports guy on channel five said the realization is settling in that this is another bubble team. We would have to improve to be a bubble team. Even if we win the last two non-conference games to go 9-4, a .500 ACC record would make us 18-13. But this does not look like a team likely to go 9-9 in the ACC. I think our streak of 48 consecutive winning seasons is in serious jeopardy. I often site that not only because it’s a great historical accomplishments but also because it’s a minimal accomplishment in each season. it the first thing we can do of extending the record, winning the regular season, winning the conference tournament, making the NCAAs and advancing in the NCAAs. We need to get to 17 wins to extend the record. If we don’t get to 17 wins, we won’t have a winning record and won’t be in a national tournament at all. If we don’t start getting better, I don’t see it happening.
 
i had an uneasy sense at halftime when i saw the bulls were 4-18 deep and yet only trailed by 4.
 
Battle's inability to pass the ball to set up teammates is really detrimental to the squad. James Harden is averaging 41 points and 9 assists the last bunch of games. Heard that and it astounded me. Harden shares the ball more than Tyus Battle, or so it would seem. I understand Harden has the ball in his hands far more often. I just don't understand why these guys all feel they have to be the "man" without understanding that the man on the next level also shares the ball with his teammates way more than we do. All the greats have pretty decent assist numbers. If you ultimately want to get to that level, why not mirror that style of play.
 
that said battle got ample playing time at the point earlier this year. should have some feel there.
 
Battle's inability to pass the ball to set up teammates is really detrimental to the squad. James Harden is averaging 41 points and 9 assists the last bunch of games. Heard that and it astounded me. Harden shares the ball more than Tyus Battle, or so it would seem. I understand Harden has the ball in his hands far more often. I just don't understand why these guys all feel they have to be the "man" without understanding that the man on the next level also shares the ball with his teammates way more than we do. All the greats have pretty decent assist numbers. If you ultimately want to get to that level, why not mirror that style of play.

Harden has always passed the ball. 6 APG for his career. People don’t realize how good of an all around offensive player he truly is.
 

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