Thursday, February 5, 2009

yes, yes, same-same

I TiVoed the game yesterday. I always do this when it's on TV, first, so I can make highlights out of it and post it if we win. Second, though, the obvious usual benefit to TiVo is that you don't have to start watching the game when the game actually starts.

So last night, I figured I'd take whatever time I needed to write yesterday's post, then go turn on the game and watch from the beginning. When I finished writing, I checked the game online. Halftime, it said. Great - plenty of time to catch up on what I missed. Then I saw the score.

I took a dump instead. Symbolic, I figured.

I mean, are you serious? Boston College shot like 70% in the first half? And we shot 20%? Given that, it's frankly a miracle we were only down 20. I turned the game on for the second half but didn't bother catching up on the first. Not too long into it, the announcers mentioned how flat UVA looked in the first half and how they had no energy, and they really seem to be playing with more fire in the second half. Yeah, they do that. I could tell by the score.

Give credit to Dave Leitao, though. His no-substitutions policy in the second half shows he's getting the notion that something has to be done besides just the same ol' stuff. It's a desperation move, to be sure. Hell, Solomon Tat doubled his minutes all season. It's a wonder he wasn't totally winded by the end - although he was the only one to foul out. But coaching the same old way, the same old conventional, afraid-to-make-a-mistake methods (the kind you see in the NFL every Sunday) and expecting your players to play differently, that's a common mistake made by coaches of losing teams. If sending Solomon Tat in for an entire half - Solomon Tat, who's otherwise played 25 minutes the entire season long - doesn't light a fire under a few butts, then not only will we not win a game the rest of the season, but I'd expect to see a transfer or two in the offseason ... the sort that's "encouraged" by the coaches. Because those guys who sat and watched ought to be embarrassed, and if they're not, they ought to be playing for Savannah State and working on a business degree.

The guys who did play in the second half played most impressively. Had the team got it through their thick skulls to come out with that kind of game in both halves, this would have been a rout of epic proportions and BC would be going home muttering about how tough it is to win on the road in the ACC. They attacked the basket on offense, attacked the ball on defense, and attacked the glass on both ends, and it was intensely frustrating to watch because where the hell has that been during the first half of all these games? Rrrrgghh.

I wish I could get optimistic about the next game, and I would if it weren't Carolina, at Carolina. C'est la vie. The ACC is no place for the faint of heart. The FSU game on Tuesday - I realize it's on the road, and I realize FSU curb-stomped us not too long ago, but if that were Saturday's game, I'd feel like it's a now-or-never game that we absolutely could win if the guys took the right lesson away from last night's game. As it is I'll just sigh resolutely and accept the beating that awaits.

That, by the way, will have to suffice for a game preview. I'm taking a ski weekend this weekend. Back on Sunday with a surprise.

By the way, disclaimer: I bear no responsibility if you smash your screen using the above stress kit. In fact, if you do, send me pictures of your ruined monitor so I can post it and we can all laugh.

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