Well, I am back from Wolfe County and what a weekend it was. I did not enjoy the usual deer meat and fried taters instead it was enough bacon to give ten men instant heart attacks. To my disappointment my expert marksmen skills did not bring in the record book buck. However, I did have a great time getting away from home and spending time with some down home country folk! (Even if I didn’t understand a word they were saying.)
My thoughts on the games
Virginia Military Institute. Not Virginia Commonwealth University or the University of Virginia, Virginia Military Institute! I know a loss is a loss but this is a bad bad bad loss. There isn’t any way in the world we should have ever lost to this team. Come NCAA Tournament time the selection committee will look back at this game as a “bad loss.” And that is something this team can not afford. We are going to need every win we can muster together to make it to the big dance and dropping cupcakes like VMI is going to hurt us in the long run.
Now, what is the solution, how do you turn this ship around? First, I believe attitude and execution reflect leadership. And leadership starts with the captain of the vessel, Billy Gillispie. Frankly, I did not see passion or a sense of urgency at all in the first half of the VMI game. Not only did I not see it on the players face but I didn’t see on any of the coach’s faces. How many times a night do we see that little smirk on Coach G’s face? You can play mind games and reverse psychology up to a certain point but when we are down 20 points in the first half and again in the second it’s time to wipe the smirk of your face and coach these guys. The biggest thing we needed in both of these games was direction. We let VMI and UNC dictate our every step. Granted Coach G doesn’t have a solid point guard this year but that is his own fault. He had a point Guard in Derrick Jasper. Why did Derrick leave? No one really knows except Derrick but I guarantee with my sack of marbles he didn’t leave because he was homesick. I can’t say we would have beat VMI with Derrick because we loss to a far inferior team in Gardner-Webb last year with Derrick, Ramel and Joe in the back court. I can say however, he is sho’nuff a better point guard than Porter or Liggins at this point in the season.
I could go on for days stating things that went wrong in these games, but the one thing that stood out to me is the fact that Patrick Patterson didn’t touch the ball enough. Let’s compare last year’s team with this year’s team. Ramel and Joe were both scores and not just scorers but scorers who could create something for their teammates. This took a tremendous amount of pressure off of Patterson. VMI and more so UNC did a great job with help defense, preventing the ball from even been thrown into the post to Patrick. With Joe and Ramel teams had to respect their outside shot which limited the amount of double teams that could be placed on Patrick. This year’s team doesn’t have that luxury. The only true scorer we have is Jodie to relieve any pressure. But one thing Jodie lacks is the ability to get his teammates involved. Jodie stat line was 39 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 5 turnovers against VMI. Jodie can score 39 points every game but it doesn’t do any good unless he dishes it out some.
I am going to leave it alone with this. For us to be successful this year, Patrick Patterson has to touch the ball a lot more that what he has. You ask how does this happen? Well, Coach G is the coach who is getting paid the millions to figure that out.
Funny read below. And by the way listen in to the Univsity of Kentucky Pre and Post game show on 1300 AM.