Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Huskies send Hoyas out early in the second round of the 2011 Big East Tournment 79-62

This game wasn't something I expected, but as always I couldn't wait to see my Hoyas in action.  It's something I always look forward to no matter what the deal is.  I'm still hearing some folks and the announcers saying the Hoyas are really missing Chris Wright, and they may be right, but only to a certain degree. “We miss Chris, absolutely, 100 percent, both ends of the court, in every way,” Thompson said. “The group that’s playing now, that played to today, has to be better.”

 The fact of the matter is that my Hoyas still had to go out and play this game of basketball on the big stage in Madison Square Garden, NYC at the 2011 Big East Tournament. 

The Hoyas (21-10  10-8) came out confident with sophomore Hollis Thompson making a two point basket.  the Hoyas kept the lead until the 15:59 minute.  Immediately after UConn took the lead 8-6.  Both teams kept the score close until the 9:57 minute with the Huskies extending their lead 20-15.  At the end of the 1st half the Hoyas had some momentum going into the locker room only down by 12 points.  The score was 42-30.  I knew if the Hoyas came out playing smart and tough in the 2nd half they would have a chance to trim the score down, but that didn't happen. 

When the second half started Hollis Thompson launched a missed three point shot instead of getting to the basket to get an early second half  two points or perhaps a foul.  The Hoyas were already shooting poorly from three point range (3-11, 27.3%) and had ten turnovers.  I think the lack of not playing smart was one the causes of these turnovers.  This issue could have been solved by going to the basket.  In the first half the Hoyas shot (12-16 46.2% fg), and went (3-4 @ 75% ft's). 

Early in the second half Jason Clark hit a two point shot to tie the game 44-34.  For about three minutes both team struggled to score but the Huskies were still with score at 51-38 with 14 minutes to go in the game.  The Hoyas momentum seemed to pick up at the 3:51 minute with a steal and layup made by Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson making a deadly three pointer o put the score at 71-59.  Immdiately afterwards, UConn's Kemba Walker was fouled by Nate Lubick. 

Walker knocked down both free throws to up the score 73-59. At the 3:08 minute senior Austin Freeman comes down and shoots a three pointer and misses instead of going to the basket to try and chip away at score.  This caused Huskie freshman Jeremy Lamb to grab a crucial rebound and kick it to Kemba Walker while he was in transition for the easy two point layup, score 75-59 with 2:33 to go in the game.  After this the Huskies went on to beat the Hoyas in the second round of the 2001 Big East Tournament 79-62. The Hoyas shot well from the charity strip (13-17 @76.5% FT), (22-52 @42.3% in field goals), but shot poorly from three point range (5-22 @22.7%).  I think the Hoyas could have made better decisions throughout the game to play smarter, harder and tougher. Jason Clark had 23 points and Austin Freeman scored 20 to lead the Hoyas  No matter the case, the Hoyas still feel confident in making a run in the NCAA's.  “We’re still a confident team,” Freeman said. “We just need to get back on track.”

After all, Hoyanation and friends, I'm still confident and very optimistic, about the Hoyas making a post season run at the National Title.  They have plenty of time to prepare and will have fresh legs and fresh minds.  Let's just hope our Hoyas can make better decision during games.  We must remember we cannot make the little mistakes and bad decisions in post season play because it's a one and done affair.  Let's support our Hoyas as our third season begins next week in the NCAA's.  Hoyas, let's"TAKE IT TO THE NEXT PHASE!"


Coach Jimmy Valvano




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