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A look back at the start of the second half against Utah

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by NBDefektor, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. NBDefektor

    NBDefektor Well-Known Member

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    So let's set the scene...

    We were in control in the first half of a game that--if we win--puts us pretty much into the field of the NCAA Tourney. Utah came back at the end of the 1st half though to tie it up at 30. No doubt the players and coaches know how we come out in the 2nd half could determine our post-season plans. This is a very winnable PAC-12 road game. And the second half begins...


    --UU misses a layup.

    --XJ with a terrible offensive foul. OK, I guess we wanted to be more aggressive and assertive, but that was just silly.

    --UU hits a shot; UU is up 2.

    --Askia with a TO.

    --UU with another bucket. They're up 4 now.

    --Dustin, XJ and Ski all miss shots.

    --UU hits another shot and are up 6. Two minutes and 30 seconds have gone off the clock in the second half and we have 0 points. Boyle calls a timeout as things are starting to look iffy.

    --Immediately out of the timeout, Ski travels. He drove down the middle of the floor and simply took one step too many. Mental mistake.

    --Next possession down, Dustin Thomas again turns the ball over. In perhaps the silliest play of the game, not only does he turn it over, but runs down the court, nudges the UU player enough to call an easy foul and still let him make the layup. Just what was talked about in that timeout just a few seconds ago? UU now up 9, 39-30...CU still with no points in this half.

    --JOSH SCOTT HITS A BUNNY. We have our first two points of the half with 16:22 left. Surely we'll go back to Josh in the post and keep chipping away at the lead, right?

    --No. What follows are misses from XJ and then Ski, an Xavier Talton turnover, an XJ turnover, ANOTHER XJ turnover (this time another offensive foul), a Dustin Thomas turnover, and a Ski turnover.

    --JOSH SCOTT TAKES ANOTHER SHOT, GETS FOULED...AND MAKES IT! ...With 12:40 left in the game, pulling us back to within 10. Time to ride the J-train all the way back, right?

    --No. Tad Boyle thinks it's Ben Thrills time. Josh is breathing a little heavier, and apparently now is the right time to sub him out for Mr. Mills, who has already shown us today that he has brought his "A" game...

    --Ben Mills immediately fouls a man about 25 feet away from the hoop.

    --Ski misses another layup.

    --Dustin Thomas makes 1 of 2 FTs.

    --Boyle thinks Scott has regained his strength and finally takes Mills out of the game. We're still down 13 with 11:02 in the game.

    --We've scored a total of 6 points in over 9 minutes. With so much riding on the line, we have more turnovers (9) than points (6).


    So yes, you can figure that all out on ESPN.com or whatever (if you haven't already mentally repressed it), but I figured this needs to be talked about. What the hell happened here? The team (both players and coaches) were unaware we needed to throw the ball to Scott? We put Ben Mills back in the game when we're perilously close to having the bottom fall out? There are just so many questions that we'll never have the answers to. I don't think I've seen a more laughable ten minutes of gametime than what we just witnessed in the second half of this Utah game. We had so much riding on the line, and it's like I was watching a bad high school JV game.

    Obviously, the players were mentally rattled for whatever reason. But I think this blame goes half on our guys on the court and half on Boyle. Josh Scott can be such a calming influence on our team's offense, yet if we don't recognize that as a team and feed him the ball, what's the point? And taking him out to give him a spell and inserting Ben Mills? I can't believe Ben Mills is making me think about Harris-Tunks in such a nostalgic way.

    Anyway, I think we all know Boyle's a great head coach, but I think more and more of us are (hopefully) beginning to see that he still has a ways to go in his in-game strategies. And as for the players, well, if we don't come out mad as hell next week against the NorCal teams, well, that will show you where we are at mentally as a team.

    Nothing would make me happier than to just destroy Stanford in Palo Alto. But the way our team has been playing the last month or two, I have my doubts as to what we can achieve. Here's hoping for a much better next two games than the last two we've played...
     
  2. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Do we come out mad for a full 40 minutes or just 16? If a debacle like Arizona can't bring the fire, I'm concerned what exactly will.
     
  3. cubuffs85

    cubuffs85 Active Member

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    I'm not one to use hyperbole but that had to be one of the worst ~15 minutes of basketball this year, anywhere among major college programs atleast.
     
  4. NBDefektor

    NBDefektor Well-Known Member

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    You're exactly right. And we did come out today with some decent effort. However, for some reason, we decided that 16 minutes was enough. I don't understand how a team like ours thinks they can coast for another 24 minutes without the slightest sense of urgency when so much is riding on the outcome of this game...
     
  5. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    CVille nailed it. XJ needs to man up. And Booker nerds to play smarter.
     
  6. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Utah was packing into a zone and double and triple teaming Josh every time he touched the ball. It wasn't as simple as just giving him the ball every possession and watching him score at will. That's where the guards need to step up to take the heat off of him and, without Spencer, our guard play is near the bottom of the conference.
     
  7. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Yep. As talented as he is, I just don't enjoy watching XJ float around the 3 point line begging for the ball for 40 minutes. He was at his best last year when he did most of his work inside, then would step outside for the occasional uncontested 3.
     
  8. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    He also shoots with zero arc. Ugly flat shot. Very frustrating given his potential.
     
  9. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Which is strange considering he gets decent lift on his shots. It's not the set shot we've seen from a few others.
     
  10. NBDefektor

    NBDefektor Well-Known Member

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    Sure, Utah concentrated on him, but if that's the case, you still run your offense through him. Even if that means dumping it into him, waiting for a double team, then kicking it out or finding the open guy. Josh is really good at finding the right pass out of the post, yet he was ignored consistently by our own team. There were many times I saw him calling for the ball with Utah's tall white guy on him (with no help), yet for whatever reason, we reversed the ball back to the top of the key.
     
  11. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    Talton would kill me when he would pass to Scott. Scott would get doubled, kick it back to Talton and he would dribble right to the double team Scott kicked it out from. I guess it was better than Booker driving and turning the ball over.
     
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  12. 89BUFF89

    89BUFF89 Well-Known Member

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    Kicking it out only works if someone has the balls to shoot it and even when we didn't hit any...
     
  13. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    Scott was nearly being double teamed before he got the ball, the double was so quick and so tight on him that he could't pass out of it, he had to dribble out of it to create space to move. The focus of the offense was to run it through him in the 2nd half, but when the defense is focused is on him and the offense gets stagnent with little movement Scott can't be effective, no big would be able to have much success. To Mattrob's point w/out spencer CU has below average pac12 guard play, but to be fair the pac guard play is as good if not better than any other conference.
     
  14. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Yes, definitely a lot of talented guards in the P12, but outside of Ski, I really don't think we have another healthy guard right now who should be paying more than 10-15 mpg on a tournament team. That was fine when Spencer and Ski were both playing 30+ minutes a night, but now, not so much.
     
  15. cu2x

    cu2x Club Member Club Member

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    How could they possibly have come out flat in the 2nd half? You know Tad must have been on them about the importance of playing aggressive/with high energy.

    I got the same feeling I had earlier this year - the players are hearing the coaches but not paying attention/responding.

    among others, Gordon was lousy much of the game. He can't shoot it from 7'?
     
  16. cu2x

    cu2x Club Member Club Member

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    also, other than on a break, did we have anyone drive to the rim?
     
  17. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    With Utah packing the lane, there was no room to drive. We needed to get out in transition or shoot them out of the zone to be successful and neither happened.
     
  18. NBDefektor

    NBDefektor Well-Known Member

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    We obviously aren't good shooters. If simply playing a zone is all it takes for us to defeat us, we're ****ed. A zone does not equate to us just simply shooting out of it. The ball moves faster than any defender, so it's as simple as getting Josh up toward the free throw line (or even XJ) and having the zone collapse, followed by guys cutting toward the hoop. But, then again, if we can't figure out how to do that, our only answer will be just simply jacking up some 3-pointers in hopes that one of our guys will catch fire (highly unlikely, given our shooting percentages).
     
  19. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    It's obviously more than just hoisting up 3's, but we don't attack zone defenses effectively. Our ball movement is slow, we're not playing with the confidence to take open looks, we're sloppy with the ball, and our leaders are trying to force too much.

    As an example of that, there was one second half possession that really stood out to me. XJ had the ball at the 3 point line, with a defender in his face and an open Ski calling for the ball to his right. Instead of moving the ball, XJ took a couple jab-steps, stalled the offense, then made a lazy no-look pass to Ski. By that time, Wright had time to get out and intercept the pass, leading to a lob and easy two in transition for Utah.

    To your point, Scott attempted to get to the high post several times, but had multiple defenders on him and struggled to do anything. And when we did attempt a few interior passes, they were broken up in all the interior traffic.
     
  20. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    How many transition baskets did we have last night. Obviously the 2nd half was terrible since they didn't miss very many shots but don't remember much in the first half.
     
  21. NBDefektor

    NBDefektor Well-Known Member

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    Agree with what you say. I guess if we don't have a way to effectively counter the zone defense, we're ****ed. And it looks like we just don't know how to counter it.
     

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