Brad: A ton to talk about from that game. The frontcourt was AWFUL, we couldn’t buy a bucket, there was a ton of fight shown, and Baylor Whatever needs punched.
But I want to start by saying I love Des going for it against Kalkbrenner. We’ve begged him to be aggressive and get to the rim and with the game in the balance, he went full send. I love it. Another day he goes to the line or blows the roof off with a massive dunk. Love the balls to do it.
Joel: This team is going to go as far as Des, Quincy, and Dayvion drag it. The team can be good when Abou plays well, but that’s just not something that can be counted on, especially against higher level competition. He was recruited to be a 15-20 minute guy off the bench, and that’s what he has looked like. Hard to fault him for being who he is, though obviously I wish he had filled the vacuum left by the injuries.
You just can’t let the other team’s starting frontcourt shoot 15-17 and expect to win (as the old mantra goes). There just aren’t solutions on this roster. Our starting guards went for 61/16/13 with 4 TO on 23-49/6-13/9-11 shooting and it wasn’t enough. Two points on 1-10 shooting and not even an FTA from our big men. I can’t think of anything to say about that without sounding like I’m piling on a college kid, which is a bad look at my age.
Braydan: Abou’s first, and only, make felt like it could help shape the game. If he could knock down a couple of middies and make Kalkbrenner guard somewhere that wasn’t the rim, I felt that we had a good chance. Instead, the offense stagnated with Quincy getting hassled and denied, and Kalkbrenner dunked approximately 1000 times.
Miller pointed out post-game that a high-quality pick and roll is tough to guard, especially when the roller is 7 feet tall and can time his roll/cut to perfection. Any help our main 3 could have gotten may have overcome that, but it just wasn’t there.
I’d also just throw out that it was awesome to see JP carrying his daughter out when he got inducted. He even got a little choked up, and seeing him out there hugging Trevon’s family was a really cool moment.
Brad: I actually gained some respect for Kalkbrenner today. He didn’t act like a wank, when he got called for a foul he just grimaced, and he absolutely dominated the game inside. The way he plays defense is awesome. He just walls up.
That was in stark contrast to our post defense, whose plan seemed to be to see if perhaps Kalkbrenner would injure a forearm dunking too hard. It was a risky strategy, and it didn’t pay off.
Bryan: This loss narrows the window for building a resume but doesn’t close it completely. If they can beat The Hall, all that needs to happen down the stretch is to take the freebies and go 2-2 in the Providence, Butler, and Marquette ×2 games to be in a pretty good spot going in to MSG. Not straightforward by any means, but not unthinkable.
It appears that Djokovic has come in from the cold a bit. After playing double digit minutes twice in the last 3 weeks of January, has has now done so twice in February already. No one over 6’7” has posted an ORTG over 100 over the course of conference play so while his production is still not overwhelming, he’s shooting 15% from the floor in the Big East, it seems like the coaches are hoping something clicks there.
Brad: It’s getting late now. X has consistently spit the bit in the chances to get a big win. They are a mediocre team that can flash brilliant. That’s not supposed to sound negative, it’s just what they are. The good news is that if they hit a great game at the right time, they have the chances to make that seal the resume.
I liked Djokovic yesterday. I think Abou might be a pretend tough guy. Lazar got on the floor and immediately just “no easy buckets” fouled Kalkbrenner in a way that at least let him know he wasn’t going to just be skipping around dunking it anymore.
Joel: For above: the game plan hasn’t really changed for making our way to the tournament. We lost an opportunity to win a home game, so now we’ve gotta go get one on the road. Knock off the Hall this Wednesday and we’re back on par. Might as well get @ Butler, too, because I don’t feel great about Marquette after watching what Creighton did with the pick and roll. It’s a steep climb, but there’s no point in losing faith.
Brad: Alright, it’s not our wheelhouse, but who do you guys have for the Super Bowl?
Braydan: I don’t watch football. 49ers win 35-21, I guess.
Bryan: I’m going Niners 38-34. This is not a well informed pick, so please don’t alter your betting strategy under the mistaken impression that I know what I’m talking about.
Joel: Super Bowl pick: Chiefs romp 37-23. I don’t have much of a vested interest, so I’m just cheering for a safety because I think they’re hilarious.
Brad: Chiefs 34-20. I like Isiah Pacheco because he was on my fantasy team, and I want an on-field interview with Taylor Swift after to just drive people more nuts. Actually, have her replace Tony Romo as the color guy. Let’s lean into it.