Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Stinkin' Valentine's Day

I'm actually writing this at the 16 minute mark of the Clemson / Georgia Tech basketball game. Actually, let me rephrase that - Clemson's scrimmage against a high school team parading as a college team.

I am not exaggerating - there has not been a single stretch of more than one minute where we have not had reason to be frustrated.

.... can't inbound the ball
.... can't move on offense
.... can't get a defensive rebound
.... can't dribble
.... can't defend
.... can't defend for the ENTIRE shotclock
.... can't find anyone to step up
.... can't find anyone to box out
.... can't find anyone who is playing with confidence
.... every shot challenged
.... every point a chore
.... can't find a ref who knows the concept of "over the back"

Shall I go on?

Clemson plays harder
Clemson plays smarter
Clemson plays more disciplined defense
Clemson moves the ball better on offense

I know that it's just one game on one night, and Coach Hewitt has certainly gotten this group in better shape recently, but...................

....... I hate to write this, but Coach Hewitt, his staff, and this team embarrassed themselves tonight. They layed an egg. And here's the crazy thing. It wasn't like they weren't trying. They just look undisciplined, unsure, uncoached, un-this and un-that. This was a team without a plan and without a counter-plan. This was a team without a leader. This group had no answers tonight, and I'm not even sure they knew what the questions were.

By the way, I also want to give props to Clemson and in particular to Oliver Purnell. Every year that guy has been at Clemson he has made his team better. He has had a plan since day one and he has gotten his kids to buy in to that plan, and he has executed the plan. Having said all that, he has yet to take his team to the NCAA tourney. This year looks to be the first since he's been at Clemson. Coach Hewitt has gotten higher profile recruits, and has had more success than Purnell. Purnell hasn't sniffed the NCAA tourney and Coach Hewitt played for a National Championship. However, Clemson has seen a slow steady climb with Purnell while Tech has been on a roller-coaster ride since day one. You see a progression at Clemson. As a fan, you can buy in that he is building something with the Tigers. I don't see it at Tech. However, I'm not sure which is better. Talk to me when Purnell is getting his team to the dance and winning some games. However, when it's a roller-coaster ride, it's sure hard being a fan.

One last thing - this loss wasn't just "one of those nights". We stunk. We were outplayed in virtually every facet of the game. Great job Clemson. You took it to us............. meanwhile..... back to the drawing board for Paul Hewitt............. of course we need a winning record to even quality for the NIT, so who knows where this season will end up.

So like I said........... happy stinkin' Valentine's Day.