Friday, February 08, 2008

GET A WIN


Happy Weekend, Cougar Nation!

So, after what was thought to be a super, dream season, we now find ourselves squarely on the brink.

Lose tomorrow, and i think that you will watch these kids do a Husky-esque nose dive reminiscent of last year's Husky Floppers.

Win tomorrow and I think you will see our boys regroup en route to what should be both a very interesting AND very successful season.

Despite what the last two games have demonstrated record wise, I actually think that this team has shown a bit of a rebound--at least defensively. Last night, they generally stayed home, made UCLA play over the top, and battled like only our boys can--HARD. They played Bennett ball but simply were just outclassed by a true title contender.

Our current problem rests in three basic sources: a pretty stagnant offensive scheme, the MASSIVE disappearance of our main man Baynes, and an even bigger loss of confidence. Although I know that the days of 12-0 are a distant memory for most of us, but Baynes early on was a HUGE key to our success and ascension as was our moxy that we WOULD win any close game. Now, it appears as if we are fearful of the end of games.

In spite of scheme troubles (why we didn't backdoor their overplay Thursday night was unbelievable to me), I think that this group generally seems poised to make a run. The question is, can they get a stinkin win before its too late?

Win against SC, you get back over .500 and put yourself in a position to make a nice little run toward a 11-7 type finish--which would get us a nice 6-7 seed in the tourney.

Lose tomorrow, and you then face a real stinkin' struggle--with little relief in sight (all of the Oregon schools look like tough games, from this view. Then again, win today, get the confidence back to win close games and we could very easily be 20-5 heading into the Arizona schools).

I am real torn about which way this team is going to go. On one hand, I think that we are about to explode and really take one out on SC tomorrow.

On the other hand, I fear that any close game is not going to go our way.

In the end, I think that tomorrow Weaver slows down Mayo--I think Taylor plays well, and I think Baynes does too against a team that has no real answer for him.

We win this one 68-61 in a game that will be a lot like last year--we won by 7 but were in "total control" the whole time.

The rebound (and can we get some of those too?) starts against SC, folks.

And it better.

It better.

10 comments:

kaddy said...

When does Wish play next? You guys coming to PDX anytime, soon?

longball said...

BH, your picks continue to be downright spoooooky.

Sedihawk said...

That was as impressive a top-to-bottom win that I've seen in the Tony Bennett era. Excellent defense that stayed at home, good ball movement on offense, especially the 2nd half, and things just clicked.

And let me say this - Kyle Weaver, WOW. That's as good a job as you can do on OJ Mayo, period, end of story. You could see the frustration building. And to top it off, the little cross-over Weaver did on Mayo late in the 2nd half and then finished with a runner off glass was BRILLIANT, a real punctuation to that win. TREMENDOUS game today by Weaver! That's exactly what we needed, for him to come out and play like the all-conference player that he is.

Sedihawk said...

One more thing - how good is this conference?? Coming into today, Pac-10 teams are just 24-23 at home in conference play. Now that is amazing. The depth just blows your mind.

I failed to mention that I heard Bennett on the Everett radio station last night, and he was very calm and collected as usual despite the losing skid. But he said "last year, we dodged some bullets. This year we've been shot." And he's right. Last year we pulled several games out of the fire, so maybe it was just our turn to have this slump. Things just have a way of evening out, don't they?

He also mentioned the difference in feel this year in conference play, and that they have a serious target on their backs. That's something that he said you can't preach to the kids in practice or in the team hotel or whatever, you just have to learn that being that you've had that taste of success, you are now the hunted. It's a completely different feel and something you can't understand unless you go through it.

Let's just hope that this is the end of their skid, and we can finish strong. USC isn't exactly garbage, I mean they were winners of 7 of their last 8 including UCLA and they ran UW out of the gym on Thursday, so this is a huge, huge win. But Brinkhater is right again, even though we've lost 3 of our last 4 now, this team isn't exactly stinking up the joint even in these losses. A few made free throws, or a key stop or two, and these last couple of games could have been a totally different deal. And just as we saw Cal and Stanford beat us in Pullman, who's to say we can't just go down there and take of business in their house? It's that kind of year.

kaddy said...

Nice complete game - it's always interesting when the condoms visit Pullman - last year I thought the coaches might come to blows. If Weaver isn't 1st team Pac-10, I don't know what they are looking for - he is a complete player.

kaddy said...

And by the way - AtlantaCoug, you missed a hell of a game. That's what you get for living where they don't have dental plans.

Poux said...

I still think cowgill is a huge ?. We was flat out awful against UCLA, and you could see he was gun-shy today. I haven't seen a 6-10 white guy with the inability to finish like that since the Paine-Corkrum days of the early 90's.

Part of that, I think, is that the team as a whole gets no love from the refs. I thought Love got every questionable call--in his favor. Cougs get no respect at home even!

While I'm ranting about, have you ever noticed Robbie has no left hand? Speaking of which, have you noticed Taylor has no right?? Of course you have. I felt that cost us the Vandy game last year. He had a chance to put the game away, and got his left-handed shit sent from the right side. How about the last shot against Stanford? Take that to the other side and Lopez has no chance without goal tending. I think Weaver was calling him out today when they had the 2-on-1 and he didn't finsih--from the right side. don't get me wrong he played great today, but when every point counts, it shows a lot more.

Overall, the Cougs needed this. I think they will bounce back and finish with 10-12 league wins, and make it to the finals of the pac tourney, and end up with a 4-5 seed.

longball said...

WHOA, hey now poux, i'm not going to waste any ink defending Brian "House of" Paine, but nobody, i mean NOBODY disses Rob Corkrum in front of me and gets away with it!!! I mean couldnt you have gone with Ken Mathia, or Joey Warmenhoven, or David Vik, or Tod Anderson, or, well, whatever.

Anonymous said...

Cowgill is no Brian Paine. I watched Paine take 8 steps to the basket w/o dribbling against Idaho on a wide open fast break for him because he couldn't dribble the darn ball!
Cowgill has really struggled with his shot this year. He used the backboard on 1 shot, which the last couple of seasons he utilized regularly. I think Caleb has played the Cowgill role hitting those long 2s from the top of the key. Cowgill has played better these last few games.

Anonymous said...

Cowgill is no Brian Paine. I watched Paine take 8 steps to the basket w/o dribbling against Idaho on a wide open fast break for him because he couldn't dribble the darn ball!
Cowgill has really struggled with his shot this year. He used the backboard on 1 shot, which the last couple of seasons he utilized regularly. I think Caleb has played the Cowgill role hitting those long 2s from the top of the key. Cowgill has played better these last few games (I should add the word "however" to that last sentence).
Ptowncoug