Sunday, December 09, 2012

A team's identity...

So, we're fresh off the football season, where we were all gnashing out teeth at how poorly we were playing on offense and then Coach Clawson was like, "hey, you can win games like this" and we finished 8-4 and it seemed like he had it pretty much right.  It became, as he says, our "identity."

So, my question would be whether we are seeing an identity emerge for the men's basketball team.

We're 5-4 (4-4 D1) which is probably better than it might have looked before the season started.  The RPI flipping hates us and our schedule (both in the 300s), but we're 192 in (schedule 291) and Sagarin has us 226 against the #285 schedule.

Anyway, all those rankings are no better than solidly in the bottom half of D1 and with a schedule in the lower 25% of the division.

My point is that until we do the things we do well against better teams then we can't really tell what we have.

Having said that, I just offer the idea that maybe we are trying to play very slow paced games as a strategic concession to a lack of playmakers on offense.  This strategy--which can be a winning strategy--requires outstanding defensive basketball.  Obviously, high tempo or low you have to be able to get more points per possession than your opponent, there's no cure for that.  On the other hand, in a slow paced game, if you go periods here you don't score, it is harder for your opponent to run up a lead you can't surmount.

You keep the game in play.

To date, we are playing at 63 possessions per game, which is in the top 10% of the slowest teams in Division I.

Now, that's either an artifact of who we have played or a conscious decision on our part to go slow.  I will say certainly seemed to me like there were a number of possessions against Samford where BG was content to dribble off 25 seconds and work for one shot and take the consequences if it wasn't a good one.

Again, that's either strategy or bad offense.

Just a thought.  The MSU game won't be very revealing either, but I just wonder if this is something we're doing to try and maximize our chance to win in last than perfect circumstances with the option to shift it up if consistent offensive players emerge.

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