Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hoops - Jackets Muzzle Huskies

The Jackets win in what I can only describe as a game with a strange auro about it. Maybe it was the Ga Dome atmosphere. Maybe it was the lazy Sunday afternoon, after church kind of malaise I was feeling. Maybe it was the unexpected poor play of UConn. Whatever the reason, it was just a game that felt like it was over early in the 2nd half and yet I found myself saying - there are still 14 minutes left in this thing?

The key stat of all was the score - Jackets 65, UConn 52. The Jackets went up mid-way through the 2nd half and just never lost the lead after that. They even pushed the lead to 20+ points in the 2nd half, and then just seemed to coast across the finish line.

Unfortunately I don't have the game stats as Gametracker stopped and I've got to leave in about 10 minutes, but I'll offer my thoughts.

The Jackets were again active today, with hands up, and created about 8 steals and forced a lot of turnovers from UConn. Uconn shot 31% from the field, and honestly they just don't look like a good shooting team. However, I would have to give the thumbs up for a good effort today.

UConn in the best rebounding team in the Big East and 2nd in the nation - and yet the Jackets held their own on the glass., outrebounding them 35-34. Of course UConn missed a lot more shots, but you could see the effort.

Solid effort by the team. Solid ball movement. However, this was another team that didn't put heavy pressure on the guards out front. When they don't do that, it seems to open up our team movement. Also have to give kudo's to D-Bell. He stepped up when we were struggling and hit a couple of really good shots. Scoring was spread around pretty well today. Young had about 15 and JC about 13.

The bench played a key role again, with all but Faye getting double digit minutes and accounting for a bunch of points. Bell was key, Aminu was key, Rio was key. Peacock was key. Nice going by the bench, and it certainly gives Coach Hewitt options. While we had some guys in foul trouble today, it's not a big concern when your bench is that deep.....

No matter how we won, this victory will be critical to our NCAA chances. An out-of-conference, "neutral" floor, win against a high-profile opponent. UConn may not be what they once were, but this victory comes against a team with a similar record and position in their conference. That can help come bubble time. Today's win was a must for an NCAA bid ...................... period.

I'll say it again.............. today only matters if you do something with it. Build on it like we've done 3 games in a row. Now we need that true road win. It's a must, and it's going to have to come against an FSU team playing much better ball than the last time we played at home.