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:: Can You Believe We've Been Doing This Shit for Six Years Now? ::

Monday, November 20, 2006

This isn't working

For the last couple of days, I've been going over in my mind what went wrong on Saturday, why we lost to a team that we should have beaten. It seemed evident that we have players with the skills to get the job done. Inexperience of course plays a part in our loss, but overall, this trend of losing winnable games goes back a few years at least. So what does that say? Perhaps it's not the players, but the coach that's to blame.

Everyone knows that Coach Wolff is one of the most conservative coaches in our conference. It's no secret. And I can't say for sure, but I feel that this is the reason we've lost in the first round of the playoffs the last three years. Wolff's game plan of relying on our defense to win doesn't seem to work in the big games. When a team plays as if they have nothing to lose, they usually come out on top of teams that play a careful game.

Having a strong defense is great, but without more points than the other team, defense is only going to get you so far. We have the tools to get it done. Tyler Morris runs the offense like he isn't a sophomore. Corey Lowe and Sherrod Smith can slice up a defense with the best of them. That's a piece of the puzzle that's been missing for years. We have some pretty sharp shooters in Marques Johnston, Carlos Strong, and Scott Brittain (I'm sorry I bad-mouthed him in my last post). Big O played a pretty good second half, we just need Ibe to get his shit together.

In Saturday's first half, our offense was running smoothly. It seems as though Wolff encouraged them to push the ball and not be afraid to shoot. Once we got a decent lead, though, it then seemed like Wolff wanted to switch to conservative mode, focusing on our defense. That's when our 9 point lead disappeared in a matter of minutes. It happened because we used 35 seconds on each possession and then failed to get off the shot we wanted. It appeared that there was extra pressure on our players to make the shot after killing 35 seconds, and that no one wanted the ball. It looked like they were playing "hot potato" in the closing seconds of the first half and we failed to get a shot off. It happened again in the second half. That should never happen.

Wolff needs to let Morris run the offense and encourage the outside men to shoot if they're open, and not rest on his laurels when he has a 10 point lead. I've always believed that the team that takes more risks will win, and Wolff certainly doesn't like to take risks, especially in the big game. So if our team improves every game this season, and then loses to a team like UMBC in the first round of the tournament, I'll lobby for a new coach. I've always loved Wolff for as long as I've been following BU basketball, and he's put together some winning teams in '02 and '03, but what has he done for us lately?


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