Monday, December 04, 2006
My Commentary on the Manhattan Game
Well, let's see I could complain about the Tigers inability to convert free throws or their poor percentage from the 3 point line, but that wouldn't add very much to anyone's analysis of the game. Let's face it, my seven and five year daughters could pick up on that, so nothing more needs to be said.
However, I will make one point that I don't think many people would have noticed. I think it is telling that not only are the poor free throw shooters like Andre Allen and the freshman having a hard time, but even the better shooters like CDR and Antonio Anderson are sub-par. In my opinion, this is stress-induced. Think about it. Cal tells the media that they aren't worried about it (read they are worried about it). We know that the Tigers are spending more official time in practice working on free throws and the players have been "encouraged" to work on it in their free time. So, I think everyone is tightening up when they go to the line to perform. Free throws under pressure are more difficult. These guys are trying too hard (at least those with the ability like CDR and Anderson).
Now that is a great lead into to my next topic - WHY DOES ANDRE ALLEN SHOOT? He is terrible - good assist man, good rebounder for a guard, fast, exciting, but he can't hit the side of a barn from 2 feet or from 23 feet. You don't believe me. Evidence - he was 1 of 6 from the floor versus Manhattan (including missing 2 of 3 LAY-UPS). He is 9 of 31 (29.0%) for the season. I didn't say from 3 point range. That is even WORSE - 3 fo 13 (23.1%). Just in case your wondering 8 or 20 (40%) from the free throw line.
Ok, you say, but he gets fouled a lot on those lay-ups. So what, he can't hit a free throw, so how does that help the team? Now, on occasion, he passes to another player and he gets an assist - I agree, that is beneficial. Conclusion - he should pass more and shoot less.
Ok, let's move on.
As my friend George loves to point out, Memphis does not know how to attack a ZONE defense. I wish I had kept the stats on this one. How many offensive baskets did Memphis score in the half-court offense against the zone. Well, I don't know the official number (I don't think I could watch the game again), but I can back into a pretty good estimate. Memphis scored 28 field goals. 10 were scored on fast-breaks. That means we start with approximately 18 in the half-court offense. There were at least 6 or 7 scored versus the man-to-man. So let's be liberal. We'll say 10 were scored versus the zone. Folks, that isn't going to cut it.
So, many of you will say I'm being overly negative. Yes, I am. I expect more from these guys. I really expect more from Cal to design better plays versus the zone.
Are there things I love - yes. I love this team's defensive energy and intensity. Nolan Richardson and Mike Anderson would be impressed. This is 40 minutes of hell.
Can Memphis win without good outside shooting and poor free throw shooting. Probably, if they lead the country in FG defense. Right now they are holding opponents to 38.8%. Ken Pomeroy ranks the Tigers #14 in total defensive efficiency. But, on the road things will get very hard.
At the moment I'm not feeling so good thinking about traveling to Tennessee (Wednesday) and Arizona (Dec 20).
Ok, for the intangibles. CDR and Anderson scored 20 of 77 (26.0%). Kemp and Allen had 8 assists and only 2 turnovers. Fantastic. See, I'm not always negative.
Jeremy Hunt proved he is human with a sub-par game for him. But Robert Dozier and Joey Dorsey were excellent. Great game for both. Check out Dorsey's line. 4 for 4 FGs, 2 of 4 FTs, 10 points, 12 RBs, 5 blocks and 4 steals. In 26 minutes, Wow!