1. Last night is the perfect example as to why I fully expect Andre Roberson to be wearing an NBA jersey somewhere down the line. He has a unique ability to guard literally every position on the floor at the college level (that'll get reduced to 1-4 at the NBA level) is very rare. When he got switched onto their PG late in the game and swatted that dribble drive into the 5th row... man, it's hard to get me more hyped than that moment in a basketball game. When he is AGGRESSIVE he's a very potent player, especially defensively. He had only 5 rebounds but that can be attributed to our defensive alignment in the 2nd half. 2. CSUB really struggled with our bigs trapping them into the sidelines in the 2nd half that was a great defensive adjustment that I hope to see more of, even Dufault was fairly effective in making life miserable for their guards. That defensive adjustment more or less eliminated their three point threat in the 2nd half, which was an issue early in the game. They got some prayers to go down late, but for the most part, that was the main reason we came back and took control for most of the 2nd half. 3. Sabatino Chen was fantastic last night, he won't ever put up eye popping numbers, but his energy gave us a huge boost last night. That charge call against him to end the first half was absolutely pathetic, as a ref it's your job to reward hustle and smart aggression, you can not call a charge on that, especially given the defender clearly wasn't set or in position to make a defensive play on the drive. I do feel as though he's overrated defensively, similar to Booker he is TOO amped at times and is prone to allow a dribble drive through the paint, which he needs to reduce. 4. Spencer Dinwiddie is an absolute stud, and that's interestingly what frustrates me the most about him. Despite him being a freshman, he is FULLy capable of taking over games at any moment, but for stretches, he's very passive. He needs to realize that when this team is struggling offensively, he has to take over, he's athletic enough to create for himself (and others) off the dribble, to step back and knock down the mid range and long range jumper, and to take it to the rim if he finds a lane. Similar to my comments on Booker, he has to be more focuses defensively, he's got the athletic ability, but he isn't consistent, both on and off the ball, and allows way too many open dribble drives, which makes it easy for the other team to create scoring opportunities. As a freshman, you can expect some of these things, I realize that, but I'll still continue to expect more out of him. 5. My relationship with Askia Booker continues to be love/hate. He really is special to watch, he makes the game fun, but he's also extremely frustrating. He needs to be able to pick his spots better offensively... he shoots way too many jumpers for a kid that is really a poor shooter at this stage in his career, and with his size, he can't continue to attack the rim when it's not available. He's very effective off the dribble with his floater, and when he finds a crease, he finishes very well, he's gotta be smarter on the attack. He is not yet capable of running point against the press, as evidenced by last night's back to back turnovers late in the game before we even crossed half court. This is a kid that with four years in the program is going to be a force if he can control his energy, he'll get there, and he's a freshman. By the way, that dunk last night was ferocious... kid can FLY. 6. Welcome to the Buffs Carlon Brown. THERE WE GO KID! Bout damn time... he was very aggressive last night, and even displayed an ability to create for others last night, which was HUGE. 8 assists and 15 points... that's what we need from him. He really is an effective player when he stays focus and involved in the offense, he's a capable shooter when he sets his feet, and we finally used him in the post last night which was a wrinkle I enjoyed. Most kids at the 2/3 don't share his size and athleticism, we need to get him and Dinwiddie posted up more. 7. Our starting rotation. This is gonna be a long one... bear with me. I understand people don't like Tomlinson but hear me out. First of all, he's struggled lately, no doubt about that. But why can't people also take notice that when he struggles, we struggle. Arguably his worst two games of the year were our last two games, also arguably our worst two games of the year. He is our floor general and he creates spacing on the offensive end, he finds the right player on the floor and keeps the ball in motion, something that makes our offense more fluid and efficient. He didn't start last night and we struggled mightily to get going, there is a reason for that. Sabatino Chen and Askia Booker are energy players, they are most effective coming off the bench, and especially Booker provides an offensive spark for our 2nd unit, he needs the ball in his hands and can push the tempo and control the ball as our 2nd unit lacks scoring power. Nate is most effective as a pass first guard, and when he's surrounded on the court by Chen, Shane, and Jeremy Adams, he has to become a more aggressive scorer, which isn't his game. You can't start Jeremy Adams, he's absolutely abysmal offensively, and not only that, he doesn't create for others. All he does is miss shots and turn the ball over, he REFUSES to pass. Sure, he's a solid defender, but that's not very effective when he provides scoring opportunities in transition by his piss poor offensive play. Sabatino Chen is another terrific energy player who fits in the bench role and can't be successful with starter minutes, we all know he isn't consistent enough for that. You don't take players out of their comfort zone, and Nate doesn't play well off the bench... you can argue that emotionally that's an issue, which it is, but why replace someone who plays better as a starter with one of the three mentioned above, who all have skill sets that translate well to bench players. I just don't get it...Nate has to start. Our starting unit needs someone to find them the ball... Nate can do that better than anyone on this team, and he's also the only player capable of successfully navigating a press break. Someone mentioned he had a few bad passes on the break last night, which is true, but one of those plays was on Booker also. Booker flashed to the hoop with two defenders between him, Nate, and the rim... in that situation you are taught to fade to the corner as to clear driving lanes for the ball handler and to spread the D. Nate anticipated the fade cut and threw the ball to where he thought Booker would (and should) go... he should not have thrown the pass since we had numbers, but Booker went to the wrong spot also. To be honest, he's our best on ball defender as well, which is concerning given his obvious lack of athleticism compared to Booker, Dinwiddie, Adams, and Brown on the perimeter. Just do me a favor and watch the following (admittedly more noticeable when he is active and plays well)... a. Our offensive spacing with him in the game... it's much, much better. When he is off the floor, our ball movement is stagnant as is our offense as a whole, we often take forced shots due to that or the clock winding down. b. Defensively he rarely makes a crucial mistake. He rarely allows a clean dribble drive from his guard, and also does a nice job of avoiding leaving shooters... he's our most consistent defender, although he's not elite by any stretch. While Brown, Adams, and Booker often lock up a guard for a possession, they also gamble and make a lot of mistakes that turn into points for opponents. 8. Shane Harris Tunks is literally incapable of catching a basketball. At this point it's comical. Why is he even on the floor? You can't give it to him on offense, he can't rebound... there is no point to him being out there. So please, make it stop, please, please, please make it stop. The 5 minutes of each 2nd half where I have to Adams and Shane on the floor together is taking YEARS off my life. 9. Free throw rebounding is literally inexcusable, this can't continue to happen, and just shows a lack of focus by our bigs. Box someone out, you've been taught it since 1st grade. 10. FT shooting. WOOT WOOT!!!!!! So much better, hope it continues!!!! 11. No killer instinct, we refuse to put teams away, and that will continue to hurt us... it'll cost us a few more games. 12. Future outlook... despite my prediction of a 6-6 OOC, I'm still pretty disappointed at this point in the year, we will likely go 8-4... but our non-conference schedule turned out to be EXTREMELY weak... Wichita St is the only team with any semblance of a shot to make the NCAAT, and we played (and lost) to some BAD basketball teams. I would be surprised to see our SOS rank any higher than last years, not that it will matter. Luckily for us, the Pac 12 is absolutely horrific, and that will allow us to get some wins just by itself. I had us 7-11 prior to the season, and if we don't get to that, it'll be surprising. We play Arizona St, USC, and Utah 5x in conference play (those are the 3 worst Pac 12 teams)... and despite 3 of those games being on the road, we have to find a way to win 4 of those games. If we can keep home court advantage I could see us going .500 in conference play and getting to 17 wins and an NIT bid. If we played in the Big XII this season, we'd be hard pressed to get 3 conference wins, so it was a good time to get out. Looking into next year, we need Spencer and Andre to continue to prove they can score 15+ PPG because we don't have a lot of proven scoring coming back next year if that doesn't happen.