A 16-2 second half run midway through the second half turned a game Syracuse was controlling into a loss. St. John's stormed back behind that run and, despite
The more I think about this one, the more the bench usage bothers me. I know it shouldn’t, and it’s certainly no surprise. But still….there’s no reason to get Taylor and Maliq zero minutes. What’s it going to look like when we start playing really good teams? 7 deep? I know the answer, I’m just constantly baffled by it.--We never had the energy in the second half that we had in the first half or that we had against Richmond. We were exhausted. It showed from the opening moments of the second half. Our zone went from being very active in the first half to sometimes standing around flat footed in the second. St. John's is not the team we want to face a night after an OT war with Richmond. We outrebounded SJU by 1 in the first half and we got outrebounded by 10 in the second half.
--Benny was dominant in the first half and not because he hit shots. His very high energy and length in the zone disrupted St. Johns' offense. He was flying all over the court on D. He did not have the same energy in the second half.
--The last time Benny sat was at about the 8 minute mark in the first half of the Richmond game. He played all 45 tonight, all 25 after halftime vs Richmond, and the last 8 of the first half vs Richmond. 78 minutes of high energy without sitting, on back to back nights.
--Judah completely ran out of gas down the stretch. I commented a few days ago about Donna Ditota writing that Judah wasn't in peak college condition yet, and it showed tonight in a back to back game. St. John's wore him down with constant pressure. He almost always was responsible for bringing the ball upcourt one on one while Joe just tossed it into him and ran downcourt. Hard to believe he played the point for three years and now we don't want him anywhere near bringing the ball upcourt. Judah had 1 turnover in the first half and 5 turnovers in the second half.
--Obviously, it seems we should've used Maliq to give Benny some rest and Sy and Quadir to give Judah and Chris more rest. Quadir could also help Judah bring the ball upcourt if Joe cannot. But playing starters to the point of exhaustion has been how JB has done things for a long time. In many other tournaments we've been blown off the court in the second half by a fresher team after having to play multiple nights in a row. We're never the fresher team wearing out an opponent in a tournament situation. But we've also won our share of games on second, third, and fourth nights. It is what it is. JB's philosophy won't be changing.
--Chris had a performance similar to the first game, with a few more threes that he missed. He missed a couple I thought he would hit down the stretch. He hit three jumpers off the dribble in the first half. I don't think I've ever seen him hit more than one in a game. He just missed having two huge blocks late in the game. Incredibly, he played 69 minutes in NYC and did not get a rebound. Like the blocks, he just missed on a few of those too.
--But all in all it was a very positive trip for Chris. Before NYC, I thought there was a chance this season could go down the tubes quickly for him and he was in danger of having a Benny-like freshman season and maybe he would hit the portal. But I feel like he found himself in NYC. JB unexpectedly gave him full starter's minutes. He has a lot of room to grow and it could happen quickly.
--Hima had 7 blocks in 19 minutes. Frank was a good rebounder and played hard. But he was not a shot blocker or a defensive presence. Our zone requires a shot blocker at center. Mounir is a big improvement over Frank.
--The zone is here to stay. Don't expect to see any man later in the season even though JB said we might use it against certain teams. This team is capable of playing the zone too well for JB to want to switch to our poor man after not having used it for a long time. Our man defense officially died after being down 18-9 to Colgate in the second game of the season. May it rest in peace.
--Jesse had 18 points in only 26 minutes. I thought he should've kept dribbling at Soriano at the end of regulation and try to draw a foul. Instead he passed it to Sy for a last-second tough jumper.
--Nothing to say about Joe that isn't obvious. I don't think he had any clean catch and shoot three attempts. Both nights he dribbled into the paint more than he ever has, with increasingly poor results.
--All in all, I think this team made big strides in NYC. Our effort was excellent both games. I feel like we found three players--Benny, Chris, and Mounir. Benny and Mou had already had some good games, but they both took their aggressiveness and fight on the defensive end to a different level. Chris hadn't given us much of anything before NYC. Now it looks like he could become our second floor spacer and fourth scoring option and maybe average double figures from here on out if he can stay out of JB's doghouse.
Given we played two OT games in two days, not using the bench a little more, at least in the first half and early in the second, was inexcusable. We were completely gassed by the time OT rolled around.The more I think about this one, the more the bench usage bothers me. I know it shouldn’t, and it’s certainly no surprise. But still….there’s no reason to get Taylor and Maliq zero minutes. What’s it going to look like when we start playing really good teams? 7 deep? I know the answer, I’m just constantly baffled by it.
Yea, especially with such a young team going against a veteran team that pressures. Young guys just aren't going to be at the fitness level of veterans. Maliq was good in his minutes against Richmond. I thought for sure he would give Benny some rest last night. JB never seems to have much good to say about Benny but then he doesn't take him off the floor. Go figure.The more I think about this one, the more the bench usage bothers me. I know it shouldn’t, and it’s certainly no surprise. But still….there’s no reason to get Taylor and Maliq zero minutes. What’s it going to look like when we start playing really good teams? 7 deep? I know the answer, I’m just constantly baffled by it.