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State of the Hoyas: Second-Guessing JTIII

Casual wiseman sleepyhoya takes a look at some curious coaching decisions in the Cincinnati game:


For the record, I have never coached a basketball game at any level. I never played a competitive basketball game after high school. (I don't really count Yates intramural games) There is absolutely no reason why anyone would want to listen to my view on how to coach or game strategy.

What I am an expert in is second guessing. For a time a few years back, I stood at a podium every day and listened to the biggest second guessers in the world, the national media. Everyday somebody stood up telling me what we were doing wrong with some half-baked plan to make it better. Day after day I smiled at these "helpful" suggestions barely able to conceal my contempt for the questioner or the process.

More after The Jump:

So being an expert in second guessing and channeling the frustration of Hoya fans everywhere, I'm hoping to get the chance to sit down soon with Coach Thompson and hear what he has to say. I'll stipulate he's a former national coach of the year and I'm an aging political hack. I'll further stipulate that he's won two Big East Championships and I've lost four Presidential elections.

But as Ron Paul would say, if we have liberty we have the right to second guess. So here are my top five questions. I hope others have some to which I'll be glad to include at my summit meeting with the coach. I also hope my meeting with Coach Thompson is both good for me and good for the team.

1) How can we have an offense that limits our best shooter, a streak shooter on a hot run, to just a handful of shots in a game. The good news from last night is Hollis Thompson hit every shot he took in the first half. The bad news - he only took four including an acrobatic double clutch to beat the buzzer. So after gathering the brain trust at half time to make adjustments what happens? He takes cuts his shots in half to two. Why, when trying to beat the zone were we constantly working the ball to Nate Lubick's side of the court? Nate is not a threat from the corner - Hollis is. And how could Hollis being standing in the corner for the entire last critical possession leaving it to a freshman to drive to the out of bounds line...I mean basket.

I'm sure there is a good answer to this. I'd suggest maybe a beer at the Tombs -just me and the coach one on one.

2) We got lit up by two players on Monday night, both of whom were quicker than anyone we could put out on the floor. Why did we stay in man-to-man for most of the game and rely on Hollis and Markel Starks to guard two of the Cincinnati guards? If it was about staying in man-to-man because playing zone makes us feel like morons from upstate NY, why then didn't we try Jabril Trawick to muscle one of them or at least deny the ball and make them work harder. Jabril barely played and was only in while we were in a zone defense.

Maybe the Tombs is a little too public for our beer - not exactly safe right now. Maybe Coach would like to meet me at the Four Seasons for that drink.

3) Timeouts are better used to draw up really cool plays, not design elaborate turnovers. At two critical junctions Monday night our designed play led to a basket...for the OTHER team. I think we should make an in game adjustment here and go for our basket.

No need to talk about this at the bar coach - this one is pretty simple.

4) Inbound plays under the basket... see advice from number 3.

5) Dion Dixon is a punk. When he pulled that punk ass dribbling exhibition just before halftime a message needed to be sent. Now I know the Hollis shot was a positive message. But I'm thinking more along the lines of a more direct message - upside his head the next time he drives to the basket. This was in our house and he disrespected our house.

This one might need multiple drinks to fully explain my important theory of MAN to MAN defense.

Let's have that beer, you choose the place, under one condition - you don't listen to a damned word this second guessing, know nothing blowhard has to say. You are a respected coach at a nationally ranked powerhouse. You don't need to prove anything to anyone. You had a bad night, admit it to yourself and the team and then shake it off.

Next stop St. Johns.