Thursday, December 23, 2004

Hoops Fix

The Jackets win in another romp last night against a much lesser opponent - crushing Charleston Southern Bucaneers 90-48. Honestly, I'm not sure it's worth breaking down the game. I listened on the internet since it was not a TV game. However, I will make a few points:

1. Free Throws. Ok, the team finally put together a good night at the line, shooting 77% (23-30), led by Isma'il of all people who went 6-7. Now let's do it when it counts. The only guys last night who struggled were the freshman Dickey and Fredrick, who combined for 5-10. However, the real story is that those freshman combined got to the line 10 times. Which leads to.....

2. Minutes. Nobody got more than 25 minutes in this game. Also, other than Keith Jones at clean-up time, nobody got less than 14 minutes (Tarver). In fact, the 3 freshman - Morrow, Dickey and Fredrick all had season highs for playing time. Tarver has just not elevated his game yet and it appears Ra'Sean Dickey is asserting himself in the post. The big storyline - why did BJ Elder sit out the 2nd half? Here's what Coach Hewitt had to say:

"He didn't do anything wrong. I just made a decision," said Hewitt, who apparently was upset with Elder's effort.

"He has a lot more to give," he said. "I've run out of time to get it out of him. He's our best all-around talent. I don't know what to do. Hug him, yell at him. I just want to see B.J. be the best all the time."

Wow, pretty strong words. But you know what - for years we all struggled with the roller-coaster that was Marvin Lewis. Not that he made lots of mistakes, but that he would go entire game as the invisible man. So Lewis is gone, but BJ has evidently not stepped up to his potential, and Coach is doing something about it. Tough decision for sure, but the mark of a leader.

Here's what coach said about playing the freshman:

"You're going to see those guys play a little more because the one thing they can do is score," Hewitt said. "I've just got to find a way to get them in the lineup."

Hhhhhmmmm. BJ Elder is supposed to be our #1 scorer, but a statement is being made. That leads us to the......

3. Freshman. The three freshman combined last night for 26 points (9-17), 10 boards, 2 assists, 3 to's, 2 blocks, 2 steals. A nice night's work from the youngsters. Ra'Sean Dickey is making it clear that he wants to be THE man in the post. Dickey played 17 minutes, scored 9 points (3-5), grabbed 6 boards and had a block. Anthony Morrow continued his lack of guilt from the perimeter, ending the night with a career high 11 points (4-7, 2-5 from 3pt). He also had a monster block in the game, which might lead you to believe that his defense is coming on strong................. You know, you watch what is happening and you can see the competitive environment that Coach has created. The players are a tight unit, but they are all full of pride. For a few games Buck saw
his minutes grow and Morrow all but disappeared. Then Morrow started hitting some bombs in the few minutes he was getting, and now he's seeing his time grow. BJ Elder was sent a clear message last night - EVERYONE has to earn their minutes.

4. Quote of the night. From Charleston Southern head coach Jim Platt:

"It's pretty much like a freight train hitting you and you are kind of standing on the tracks waiting for it to come because I think that's pretty much the way it feels," Buccaneers coach Jim Platt said.

5. Other than the Elder, the core group of Jack/Schenscher/Muhammad had a good night. Isma'il scores 16 (5-7), grabs 5 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 to's. Jack ends with 13 pts( 4-7), 4 boards, 5 assists, 1 to, 4 steals. Luke scores 14 (6-8), grabs 7 boards, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 3 to's. In fact, the team shot 60.8% from the floor, the highest of a Paul Hewitt team. Again, let's do this against some real competition.

6. The defense played strong again, holding the Bucs to 31.7% FG% and 22.7% from 3pt range. The Jackets forced 19 turnovers and converted them into 34 points - pretty darn efficient. Of the 19 turnovers, 12 were from steals, which is impressive. Listening to the game on radio, it was not clear how open the Buc's shots were.

Here are some stories from the game:




Good article here with some different quotes. Jack on Elder:

"We all know B.J. can get it going at any given time," point guard Jarrett Jack said. "I know he'll be ready to play when we step on the court against Lafayette (next Tuesday)."

Anthony Morrow on hitting some shots:

In all, five Yellow Jackets scored in double figures, including freshman Anthony Morrow, who scored a career-high 11 points.

"It's giving me some confidence," said Morrow, who played a season-high 18 minutes Wednesday after playing just three in a loss to Gonzaga on Saturday. "It takes a whole team. We're all going to have to be ready to compete in the ACC."