Brad: That was incredible. In that second half, Xavier just bullied Nova out of the game. Just a 20 minute head kicking to the unquestioned leader of the conference.
Bryan: This might have been the first time all season both Naji and Scruggs both had it going for an entire half, and goodness me was it beautiful. Nova wanted no part of Jones in the lane and could not buy a three, Eli hit a couple of big momentum shots, Q was facilitating almost perfectly, and Hankins showed he is more than just a dude who looks like a wrestling heel. Surprisingly, the crowd who wanted rid of Coach Steele two weeks ago have slinked back into the darkness.
Brad: Right? Really looking forward to the tweets and comments telling us he’s awful. You know it will be now? Clueless people will say the talent has been there all year but Steele wasted it.
Anyway, I think Harden showed today that he’s a vital part of this team. His energy is infectious, and he jarred out two huge shots. He’s a player.
Bryan: I am not going to guess at what his detractors may say, but he has ground Creighton and Nova, two of the best shooting teams in the league, to a halt with his schemes to bookend a run where he also stayed out of Ed Cooley’s way while he self destructed, and forced Seton Hall to have a dude not named Myles Powell take the game winning shot. I know the players deserve a lot of credit for executing this stuff, but I think it is clear now that Coach Steele is not out of his depth at this level by any stretch of the imagination.
Mary: Hate to rain on a parade that should be sunny, but anyone have any issues with some of the decision making still in this game? I still scratch my head at some of the possessions down the stretch when we had a lead. Most notable, Q chucking up a 3 very early in a shot clock when we should have been focused on slowing the game down. Also, Q trying to make a Sports Center top 10 dunk when he should have, again, slowed it down and used the clock. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Joel: I cringe anytime Q looks at the rim from deep, but I for one was a fan of that dunk attempt. It seemed like the time to go for a statement, even if laying it off to Eli was probably the better basketball play. We can still improve by leaps and bounds against a press, and I wouldn’t have minded better execution from the line, but on the whole, that was an incredible performance.
Mary: I agree. Today was fun and the energy at Cintas was as good as it has been in a long, long time. But we will not beat good teams making these mistakes over and over. Villanova has a historically bad shooting day today... we won’t always be so lucky. Good basketball is going to win out.
Brad: You make good points, but I am pretty happy to take that win and live with the bad decision moments. I had the same thought about that three, but I was with Joel on the dunk. If you can yam on Nova to cap a monster win, you go for it. Or maybe I just also love bad decisions at times. What I have now that I maybe didn’t have a month ago is some faith that Coach Steele can smooth out a few edges.
Mary: I am feeling more optimistic, I’ll give you that. Momentum is so key right now.