Gach was held out due to injury, and Allen was ailing, so we lost. It would have been a Quad 1 win had we pulled it out.
I wasn’t able to watch, but would have been interested in folks’ takes. This is actually an interesting season to watch. If we see kids improving through the year that’s a good sign, and we’ve seen some of that with respect to Jantunen and Jones, although both seemed to have struggled last night.
I’ll give a couple of thoughts:
Allen was like 4-76 from the field and tried to take on the leagues best defensive post presence at the end of the game. Failed. I love Timmy and he’s contributed a lot, but he was lousy last night. (though, he did grab 9 rebounds)
Free throw shooting late was great for USC, terrible for Utah. Really, that was the difference.
USC isn’t really much better than Utah.
Carlson had a nice game and has the potential to be really special.
Jones struggled/s with teams with lots of length and quickness, but he’ll learn. He had 6 turnovers.
Brenchley filled in nicely for Both.
This team is what it is, and next year could be great if Larry can retain. Rinse and repeat.
Allen looked lost but if he was sick that makes sense. If Carlsen hit his free throws late then Utah wins. It was interesting to note that it seemed like a lot of the plays being drawn up in time outs were by Tommy Connor. I usually don’t pay that much attention to that aspect but I happened to notice it last night.
It’s because we kind of suck.
But at least we beat BYU.
The team ran out of gas at the end. Leaving guys on the floor for 40 minutes will do that. Granted we came into the game short-handed, but there wasn’t much switching around going on out there, hence we were gassed leaving nothing in the tank.
I hope we have more players available tomorrow or we might get run out of the gym due to laying it all out on the floor last night.
Watching it on the DVR now. Steve Lavin has now taught me analytical phrases like, “Got the defender in the popcorn popper,” and, “Cheese in the mousetrap.”
And people whine about Bill Walton?
I can’t remember another season where we said “next year could be great if Larry can retain.”
Brenchley did nicely overall, but his two fouls late in the game gave USC 4 free points. They were away from the ball fouls that were completely unnecessary.
Jones and Allen have a hard time with the long defenders.
During the time out, I asked my brother who should take the last shot. Allen? No, he can’t score against their size. Jones? No, he can’t score against their size. Carlson? No, we haven’t fed the post enough to make that reliable. Battin? No, he can’t create a shot…and so on. In the end, I figured it would probably be Timmy. He’s our best offensive player and currently the best chance we have of someone making something out of nothing.
I love this new Carlson. I hope we keep seeing him play like this. He’ll be an all-timer.
In fairness, I actually don’t remember being this optimistic about ‘next year’ since Delon and Yakob. I think I’m slowly coming around to the idea that the turnover hasn’t been all bad, but will probably stand on the notion that we shouldn’t have recruited those guys in the first place. I think it’s possible that Larry, even though he has been in the game for a while, is finally starting to figure out how to identify his kind of players and slow down the merry go round. (Wishful thinking on my part?)
Allen did have a tough night, and at times he was teetering on the edge of being a liability because it was forcing it too much. I will say this, if he can actually solidify his midrange game (currently nearly non-existent) it would really help him. The defensive strategy on him was to just retreat to the basket and wall up. And his response to that defense was to brick or short arm about 15 or so 5’ to 10’ shots. He had a few nice dishes but it’s hard to make that assist if you can’t pull the defense far enough away from the basket to give your bigs room to work.
Jones should be taking the last shot in those situations pretty much always, or at least be the one with ball in his hands with a high ball screen. Timmy 1 on 1 was a super bad call (if it was called) and the result is what we deserved.
In addition, Jantunen got hit on the head in the middle of the 2nd half and did not return.
Jones played 40 minutes. Brenchley 39. Allen 38. That was a tired, shorthanded group on the floor at the end. Given that, I thought the play at the end was to set a pick and let Jones, Brenchley, or Battin shoot a 3 for the win. Maybe PVD was in the building?
Watching that last play, you can see the guy guarding Battin turn to watch Allen. Battin was wide open.
It was a winnable game. Both teams played better D than O. USC plays really dumb. Enfield can recruit, but he’s a poor game coach. Utes lost because they missed free throws, and shot 1/11 from deep in the 2nd half despite many open looks (fatigue?).
Props to the team for battling USC to a draw on the boards. That was not expected.
I wondered about that. Dude led with his elbow. I’ve seen things like that called before. They didn’t even review it, so maybe it wasn’t close.
If it had been me I wouldn’t have called a foul. Just a basketball play that was unfortunate for one guy. Much different than when Mikael got whacked in the head the other night. I do worry he keeps getting whacked in the head, though.