Bucknell Game observations

97spiderfan

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First of all, this team is playing much better ball now. I equate Bucknell to our first game against Central in terms of quality of opponent. Central took us to the wire in November, while we simply toyed around with Bucknell and handily beat them by 30. So, yes, I think we are clearly a better team, with guys understanding their roles better. A couple observations.

1. Grant: He is playing at such a high level right now. Passing, scoring, and by god he is playing passable defense. He is never going to be Rudy Goeddert out there but I just wanted him to play defense hard and offer some resistance. He is doing that this year. He got whatever he wanted yesterday on offense.
2. Burton: 15-7 seemed pretty effortless for him. His shots right now are just so pretty, high arching, soft, nothing but net. He is unguardable when he shoots like this. His effort and energy on the court, so good. Best player and also one of our hardest effort guys too. LEADER.
3. Sherod: OK, Sherod was straight up embarrassing himself the first 30 minutes of the game. Dude couldn't hit the broad side of a barn out there. If I'm Mooney, I'm pulling him. But credit to the Moondog, knowing a shooter can be streaky and damn if Sherod didn't put a clinic over the next 5 minutes. If Mooney pulls him when I wanted him pulled, Sherod's confidence going into break is shot, but instead he goes into break thinking he can make them with his eyes closed.
4. Bench: I personally thought there were some really weird line-up yesterday as Mooney experimented with an inferior opponent. Thought Grace played well, Dji and Connor, got jobbed on minutes again, Sal played too many minutes. Our depth is a luxury though and has to be tough to keep all of those mouths fed.

If someone would have told you that a Mooney starting backcourt would score a grand total of 2 points in game, a year or two ago, you would have thought they were crazy. But that is Gilly and Wilson delivered yesterday. Clearly, we need more from them on that end, but it also tells you that the strength of our team (on offense) is not our guards but rather our bigs/forwards. This is not a typically constructed Mooney team, does that portend a different outcome than our guard reliant teams of years past, I don't know but certainly something to keep an eye on.
 

SFspidur

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I didn't mind Sal getting a bit of run...he's been riding the pine, and he was pretty solid outside of dribbling the ball on the baseline once if I recall correctly. Had a really nice offensive rebound and follow, dished a couple of assists. He needed that for his confidence.

Do agree I'd still like to see Dji and Connor get more minutes, but only so many to go around. We didn't really put things away until fairly late in the game, so we couldn't go wholesale spread-the-minutes. Even so, Cayo only played 15, and Goose, Grace, Dji, Sal, and Connor were all in the 8–11 range, so that's pretty good balance trying to get everybody involved. Ideally, Gilly rests some more to free up a few more minutes for others, but so hard to take him out when he passing and being a pest like that, even when his shot still isn't falling.
 

spider fan

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A 5 steal game by Gilly is still great fun not only to see the happy expression on his face, but very disruptive to the opponent, and doesn't hurt at all that he continues to add to his all time Division 1 basketball steals record! He plays with such determination and drive that it boosts the team's effectiveness. Whether he is on the receiving end or the assisting end with Golden on scoring it is a sweet play!
 
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Eight Legger

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May 27, 2003
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What was the other game this year when we had a30-point lead, pulled the starters and proceeded to give up like a 17-2 run to end the game? Georgia State maybe? It's really important to our NET at this point that when we have giant leads like this, we maintain them. We see what it did for us yesterday.

Love or hate the NET, blowing out anyone on our schedule is going to improve our position there, and NET ranking is a critical element of the selection process. So if leaving the starters in a little longer keeps a 30-point win in place instead of turning it into a 12-point win, I'm ok with it. We have a lot of ground to make up.
 

spider fan

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Besides that the incredible patience that Mooney showed with Sherod off to an 0-8 shooting night before his 5-5 "binge" we know that Gilly does not want to be off the floor because he has so much love for the game. So what is the over/under on CM deferring to Gilly's desire to remain on the court?
 

CarolinaSpider

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Hey I was shocked when Sal came in when he did, but the tough thing for CM is giving enough time to players to keep their confidence up. Sal after riding the pine two games, needed a booster. Nick may have gained some mojo. His shooting exhibition in the second half was a lot of fun and proves how much the 3 point shot can change a game for the score differential exploded in just a short time.

We have not had many situations where we were in serious foul trouble or an injury, but Dji, Connor and Goose will be needed at some point. Frankly I like it when we go big guard and press some.
 

SFspidur

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Yeah, we were up 29 with just under 10 minutes to go against Georgia State, and they gradually closed it to 16 as the final margin. Wonder how that would have affected our NET if we'd held that 29-point lead. It's clear margin of victory has a very significant impact via the efficiency metric, which is unfortunate for getting guys playing time.
 

plydogg

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Loving these posts after each game 97, hope you keep doing them!

1) Sal - when he came in I thought “oh no”. There was a lineup out there that didn’t seem to be working but the nice offensive board and two assists were a pleasant surprise. Still not sure how I feel about him seeing even 3-5 minutes though.

2) Grace - the guy just keeps gaining confidence. I remember years of clenching everytime he got the ball or was on his man on defense. Didn’t do anything special in the box score but going 2-2 for the line is something I will always applaud for a guy off the bench. The block and steal were a nice touch too.

3) Nick - I was getting worried when he couldn’t hit anything. But earlier in the year I advocated for playing him less and he promptly put me in my place with some good performances. He’s gained my full support and trust and I never got frustrated by his misses, but part of that is that the rest of the team was so poor from deep too.

4) Grant - can you imagine a world where him and TJ play 4 years together? 22 points on 12 shots is just absurd! Add in 10 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists, and a block too because why not!

5) Gilly - how can you not love watching him play? 2 points but who needs points when you can pick up 11 assists, 5 steals, and 5 rebounds with no turnovers. That no look pass to Grant after the bad inbounds pass was a thing of beauty. When that happened all I could think was “Imagine that play happening during the tournament with all eyes on us”. He’s made for the spotlight.

6) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Mooney you sly dog you’ve done it again and got me in your corner
 

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