After doing some serious soul-searching, analyzing of game film, talking to players and coaches, and sulking in my beer -- only one of these statements is actually true -- I have come up with the following reasons on why the Titans lost this past Saturday to Sacramento State. They are in order of importance:
Sacramento State Dictated the Flow of the Game
Not sure what happened here but we needed to be much more aggressive against such a weak press. Most people didn't even call it a press. If we played our style, got the ball up the floor much quicker, we win this game by 10. What was with all the passing? Zakee Smith and Bobby Brown could have cut through that press before the Hornet players even realized what happened to them. Way too much credit was giving to them.
Not playing to our style is what caused us to turn the ball over 18 times. When you do something so different that what you have been practicing it's not surprising why we lost this game.
Like just about every game last year, we let a poor shooting team beat us from the outside. Not sure how we can fix this but I still don't understand what is so difficult about getting a hand in someone's face. Playing a zone certainly didn't help but if we go man, Zakee Smith gets beat every time. (Side-thought: Why can't Zakee play defense? He's quick. Is it lack of hustle? I honestly can not figure this out)
Play Bobby Brown More
Sorry Zakee, but we needed an outside threat in this game and the only one hitting was Bobby Brown. 10 more minutes of him and we probably win going away. He also would have helped on the defensive end. Look guys, we need to win a game and if that means benching a senior for a freshman, than so be it.
Get Pape the Damn Ball
Again, a huge mistake early in the game. I don't think he touched the ball for the first 10 minutes. He's a force and I want him to have 20 shots a game against a team such as this, especially when we are throwing up bricks all night.
No Fans in the Stands
Holiday or not, we need to get students to the game. I was at University Village before and after the game and at least half of the students were in their rooms. Where are the promotions? Here's a thought: Pape Sow is one of the best players in the nation and even if you don't agree he is still very good. We should be promoting the hell out of him while we have the chance. We will not be getting players like him ever again. Throwing out a frickin' ice creame bar in his honor just ain't cuttin' it! (They are good though, so keep it)
Excuse-makers will point out his knack for sticky fingers but those are just excuses. We need posters of this guy all around campus and in dorms, we need buttons, balloons, T-shirts, etc made. Make him a cult hero and give students a reason to come to the games ... or, perhaps, we can at least let them know when there is a game.
This is so obvious I really don't need to elaborate. Only regret is not putting this up higher up on this list.