30.Jan.2010 UCLA @ OSU

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Sorry JackBeav, but your writeup was so far off that I had to trash it and write my own. Couldn’t publish that in good faith as I didn’t see any argument for your prediction. UCLA has less athleticism? The Beavs will score 72 points on them? How are either true? In order to maintain the focus and integrity of this blog, we have to print the cold, hard facts as they’re likely to happen; the author cannot write what they want to happen, or what they think is possible. Our program is far inferior and that should be pointed out.

UCLA will be, by far, the superior team tonight. They have twice the talent, have won ten in a row against the Beavers, and will be hungry for redemption after the loss to Oregon. The Beavers haven’t gotten out of the 60s as far as points in conference this year, so tonight’s game might go 72-54 as you said, but it will be in UCLA’s favor.

Egg on my face if you’re right, but again, I just can’t print that kind of loony prediction.

What’s most important is that you locals get out to the game–Robinson is great for the program and we need to keep him here. Make noise and try to be the 6th man to keep this baby close, but I don’t see how it will be.  What I’d like to see tonight is a loss by no more than 10, and some development from Joe Burton. The fledgling has been pedestrian in conference play after some glimpses early on. Unfortunately, I don’t see any reason to believe anything good will happen tonight.

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  • angrybeaver says:
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    Hmm, I do like the involvement of the crowd so far. A lot of noise/chanting. Beavs look pumped up. Hopefully they can play a full game. Cunningham looks out of control (pretty typical for him)…need to see growth.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    Pretty much what I figured.

    Burton was a little better than usual. Got a few offense rebounds and scored under the hoop. Cunningham needs to learn composure and body control. Crowd was making noise. Overall not the worst loss…few bright spots. We all know we’re waiting for this group to graduate and the younger guys to bloom, so it’s all moot. Best thing we can hope for is that the team is peeking come the conference tourny and gives a little excitement.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Yeah… would it be possible for Starks to enroll early and Nelson to be cleared?

      Please?

    • JackBeav says:
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      Any point guard would have torn that zone to pieces with drives and dishes.

      It’s just too bad we don’t have one.

  • JackBeav says:
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    If I had estimated our offense to only suck instead of the suck hard they actually performed I would have been close.

    Give me four more FT’s, two more treys and three of the half dozen missed gimmes… and this game is an easy win.

    Then the numbers would have had us with just a lousy offense and still beating a team that shot 63% from the field and 80% from the line.

    Oh well.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      But if I gave you all those things we’d be talking about some other program and not the Beavers.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I know. It’s extremely cynical of me to think this team can be exactly what it is. Trust me… UCLA is a horrible team. They have very little athletic ability, and they were giving us open looks all night long.

      The problem is that they all have great ball skills and awareness. If you watched them, they rarely double clutched a pass. The damn ball moved around the floor without pause. When they did pause they lost the ball.

      The other problem is that apparently wide open looks are too difficult for us to make. We need someone in our face to make any shots… if we take them that is.

      The one nice thing about this game is that we were suddenly moving the ball through the high post. There were maybe three dribble entries to the high post, and there were several pass-throughs.

      It was like UCLA’s defense was parting just for us.

      Then we missed just about every shot we took,.. or so it seemed.

  • beavfan4 says:
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    Layups need to become the focus point of practices from here on out

    • OSBeavs says:
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      And free throws. They are called “free” for a reason.

      Side note, just noticed the required e-mail, when did you add that?

    • JackBeav says:
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      Missed free thriws and lay-ups are why I’m blaming the players and not the coaches. That they get these shots is a testament to the coaches’ abilities. That they can’t make them is a testament to their mindsets.

      Tommy Lasorda used to tell a quick story about Steve Sax regarding this. He said, “Steve… you can do something that only one in a thousand people can do. You can field a major league grounder in the hole.” Then he asked him, “Why is it that you can’t do what every fifth grade boy can do and just throw the ball to first base?”

      The point is that these guys can be so practiced that they make every lay-up, free throw and trey in practice, but they just can’t do anything when they get to the game.

      That’s why we’ve pretty much resigned ourselves to wait for the seniors to leave. Jay John did a number on them, and he should apologize every day of his life for this sin.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    I don’t get all the missed layups. Is it nerves, not understanding angles or just bad basketball? I think Joe Burton has shot four or five airball layups in the games I’ve watched and a lot of other Beavers continue to miss chippies time after time. When I was watching the UCLA game I kept thinking that the team really does not have a single pure shooter. I hope coach has one with his incoming recruits.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Nelson is a pure shooter as is Starks. Those two would bust any zone wide open, and that would leave the lane open for Cunningham to posterize other teams.

      The problem with not having a pure shooter is that the offense feels secure in practice. Since they’re relaxed and focused, the shots go in with a higher frequency. This naturally draws any defense out, and the lane opens up for post play or dribble entries and lay-ups.

      Because they tighten up and miss everything from the outside in games, defenses can sit back and clog the lane. It makes Cunningham look out of control because the opening that’s there in practice isn’t there in the game. It makes Burton unsure of the defenders’ positions because the guy who should be the help defender is there in time to double him. And Calvin Haynes never really was that good at making lay-ups.

      But worst of all is that the art of the mid-range jump shot has all but disappeared from the game. It’s all become treys and circus shots.

      There was a time when players wouldn’t hesitate to pull up from 15′ in transition and just drain it. Byron Scott feasted on that shot during his career. John Lucas made the quick release, two-handed runner down the lane look easy. Bob McAdoo had the sweetest jumper from the baseline. And Alex English had the highest release I’ve ever seen on a shot. If English thought he was open, the ball was going in the hole.

      Now we see players hesitate, look at their feet, maybe take a step back and shoot. What kind of baloney is that? You’re open, and I’m yelling at the TV because you took the time to make sure you were no longer open.

      If you don’t practice the simple shots, why try the harder ones?

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