Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hoops - Orange Crush.

Well, the Jackets break their 4-game losing streak as they take down Clemson in a strong showing 80-62................ at home of course.

After a few minutes of back-and-forth, the Jackets went on a big run to take a lead of 28-12. However, James Mays took over towards the end of the half, helping Clemson close the lead to 36-27 at the half. I have to say that CU was aided by some bad calls. I'm not one to typically make an issue of that, but 3 calls at the end of the half were all bad - a block on Jeremis Smith (a clear charge), a traveling on Smith (he was pushed), and a carry by Javaris (it was not a carry). All three of those calls helped the Tigers close the gap.

The 2nd half was a pretty good one for the Jackets as well, as they prevented Clemson from getting any closer than 10 points the rest of the way. They played solid defense and definitely "wanted" this game more than others.

All-in-all, the defensive effort was outstanding, particularly in the 1st half. The help defense continually shutdown penetration lanes. Guys were switching all over the place. There were a few breakdowns, but solid effort. The key on the 1st half run were some key steals and forced bad shots by CU. With all that, Clemson still shot 48% in the 1st half. In the 2nd half, Clemson just went cold, but much of that was a result of the defense.

The steals. Oh the steals. We're talking 17 steals by the Jackets. 7 by Critt............ Hands were up. Passing lanes were small. You just have to like the effort

The Jackets shoot 46% from the field, but only 25% from long range and only 63% from the stripe. However, here's the key - 19 assists on 29 buckets. That's pretty good. There were some decent passing today and a good number of easy buckets - against one of the better defenses in the ACC. The Jackets did turn the ball over 16 times. That's not great, but not horrible either.

Probably the most important factor in this game was rebounding. The Jackets missed 34 shots tonight. They had 22 offensive rebounds. That's quite a ratio. There were many second chance points tonight, as the team swarmed to the basket. Jeremis Smith led the way with 10 (5 off), Peacock had 7, A-Mo 6 and Dickey had 6, but 5 of them offensive. A real team effort on the boards

Well, JC did his job today. He did a much better job of controlling tempo, running the offense and getting people involved. The guy plays with fire, and his ability to control his emotions is a key factor in his success. The fact that the team feeds off him is both good and bad. Good that he has some clear leadership ability, but bad because you'd like to think there are plenty of upperclassman to fill that role. Anyhow, nice effort today.

In fact, Javaris wins the stat-line of the day award, with 26 pts (9-15, 2-4 3pt, 6-8 FT), 5 rebounds (3 off), 6 assists, 7 steals, 6 turnovers - all in 37 minutes. He was a workhorse today

Jeremis Smith gave JC some competition on the stat-line - 9 pts, 10 boards (5 off), 5 assists, 3 steals, 4 to's..............

Well, Alade played 12 minutes today, scored 10 pts (5-6), grabbed 1 board, 1 block, 1 turnover. However, Coach Hewitt was more pleased with his defensive ability and his "active" play, getting back, and running hard. Is Alade making his case? Is he ready to be a serious part of this rotation? Hewitt said that he is seeing real progression in practice. His play in games always SEEMS to be positive, so keep up the good work Alade.

Well, Muha played a grand total of 1 minute today. Why? Don't know if it was injury, or poor practice lately. Just don't know, but I'm sure we'll find out soon.

Well, it only means something if the team pushes forward from here - not stepping back. They have two more "home" games in a row - and must win them - period. They they must go on the road and win............... and win again.......... and win again. The season is not dead - not over, but it is on life support. So take this win today and do something with it. Realize that with superior defense effort and intensity, crashing the boards, team chemistry and ball control - this team can compete with anyone................ defense and rebounding wins games - and today i sa perfect example.

Good win today.