There is a scene in the greatest sitcom of all time, Scrubs, in which Dr. Cox is so revolted that he simultaneously gags and throws up in his mouth. He calls it “ga-vomiting” and one can only assume that he would have a similar reaction to whatever it was Xavier was doing tonight. If the Musketeers had a gameplan, it wasn’t evident. Only the fact their opponent was DePaul saved them. Delete that tape and move on.
A complete and comprehensive list of everyone Zach Freemantle can defend:
Right then. Moving on.
There are no easy games in the Big East
Yes, this is DePaul, and yes, Xavier did eventually finish with more points, but come on. The effort was lacking for the first ten minutes. The substitution pattern in the second half buggered belief. The decision making from everyone not named Tom Eiser (he always does well) was indefensible. DePaul is a cupcake masquerading as a high major, but coming out and playing like the game has already been awarded is just awful.
Seriously though, Zach Freemantle can’t defend a soul
At one point in the second half DePaul ran the same high weave screen with Freemantle’s man four straight times. Freemantle (7/10/1) read it wrong every single time. Even by accident you should do better than that. Freemantle also got humiliated by Nick Ongenda with a playground move, fell asleep on the backside of the zone, and was in general a one man defensive anchor. In 39 years of watching, coaching, playing, and officiating basketball I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player have a worse defensive outing. Only grabbing nine defensive rebounds mildly redeemed Freemantle’s game.*
A monitor on the bench might help
As there wasn’t a great deal of evidence that the coaching staff was watching the game in front of them, perhaps those little tablet things the NFL has would be a worthwhile investment. Jerome Hunter (5/3/1) wasn’t great but at least he only played 14 minutes. The aformentioned Freemantle played the entire second half. Adam Kunkel (8/2/0 and obviously feeling himself) led the team in scoring in the first half, closed a 12 point lead almost singlehandedly, and then made one two minute cameo in the second half. Nate Johnson (2/0/0) got all of Kunkel’s minutes and in those 26 put up an offensive rating of 27. Travis Steele has been very good this year (and even outcoached Greg McDermott last time out), but this game was not a display of that.
Dwon Odom is struggling
DePaul committed to sitting waaaaaay off Odom. So far off, in fact, that even his driving ability was limited. In his last four games Dwon has a line of 5/7/7 and five turnovers. He’s 1-6 from the floor in that time. Tonight he was a complete non-factor. His struggles have meant Paul Scruggs (8/5/7) has had to run the offense alone.
Thank God for Jack Nunge
Nunge (23/6/1) carried Xavier in the second half and seemed determined to win the game on his own. Thankfully, he did. He was 5-7 inside the arc, 2-3 from beyond it, and 7-8 from the line. That’s a stellar line. It was his effort alone that kept this from being an incredibly embarrassing loss.
The officiating was bad again
It wasn’t so much the fouls as it was obvious out of bounds calls and violations that this crew missed. Bryan posited on Twitter that perhaps knowing that no matter how awful they were they wouldn’t face punishment has led the refs to get bored. Whatever the case, they missed Paul Scruggs slapping Jalen Terry across both arms as he attempted what would have been a game winning three pointer. Swings and roundabouts, I guess.
Tony Stubblefield covered up sexual assault
He also paid a recruit. This all somehow slipped the attention of the announcers, but it should be mentioned.
*If you’re reading this Zach, know this comes from a place of love and we are all pulling for you.