This Confucian bit of hoops wisdom is at the core of our basketball philosophy. The basic idea is that you can't count on always shooting well, but you can always defend well and rebound well. Its a good philosophy, especially on teams where you don't usually have a deep set of pure shooters.
I doubt, however, that the philosophy extends to last night's game, however. Bowling Green was in a game long shooting funk, shooting 30% in the first half and 38% in the second half for a 34% game average, and that's a loss. From Todd Walker's radio call, it wasn't all Illinois State defense....in fact, we apparently missed a ton of shots from right around the basket.
Illinois State is a good team, and we were battling them hard. The game was tied with 5 left in the first half. The tie was at 20...in other words, we weren't scoring, but neither were they. The wrong half of that equation changed, as ISU scored 32 points in the next twelve minutes and BG scored 7, and at that point, its blow out city. We didn't quit, and eventually had a shot to get it to single digits, but that's as close as it got as ISU breezed to the win.
When I did my season preview, I said that my biggest concern was who was going to score the ball. And, this game is where we see the problem. Nate Miller had 15, and he is a pretty consistent scorer. Joe Jakubowski had 14, and he can score in little bursts, too. However, Brian Moten (1-11) and Daryl Clements (3-8) did not get production like they have in our stronger games. Not a criticsm, just a look at what happened, and that this team--while deep--sometimes lacks a critical mass of consistent scorers.
And, ISU shot 60% from the field in the second half, so that's not really in the formula, either.
A few other notes:
- We made only 7 turnovers.
- We made 69% of our free throws.
- Otis Polk had eight boards and four blocks in 19 minutes. (As a team we blocked 11 shots, but I'm not convinced how tightly that stat relates to winning).
- Chris Knight logged 1 minute.
- Freshmen Scott Thomas is not afraid to shoot, taking seven shots. That bodes well once he gets his legs and starts to hit them.
We've got a week off for finals, and then a nice little string of four pretty winnable games coming up, and I'll be looking to see us show the lessons learned in this rough patch.