Bakersfield is a bad team, currently ranked #344 out of 347 in RPI and maybe the worst team (Div. I) to visit Titan Gym in years. I will not sugarcoat it: We did not play well. And if we continue to play like we are playing, I suspect we will struggle mightily in the not very mighty Big West.
Don't know if I have any solutions but, as always, I am willing to give it a shot.
Jacques Streeter's play is still not up to par. Still love the kid and he did have a good second half but we need that from him the entire game. We also need more leadership. This team plays with no energy, no sense of urgency and I think that is reflective of its' point guard.
I hate it when we are not in a fast break it takes 8 seconds to get the ball past the half-court line and another 5 seconds to get the offense started. The players are literally standing around and waiting to play basketball. And once the offense does finally start, there is no flow. Players are running into each other and many seem confused or lost. 18 turnovers against this quality of opposition and this close to Big West play does not bode well.
Players who played with energy: Eric Williams, Devon Peltier and Papa Guise. Worst offenders: Jer'Vaughn Johnson, Orane Chin and Streeter (until he took over the game). Heard from the stands: "Orane Chin looks almost as board as I feel watching this game." And it's not just Chin, but most of the team.
Johnson had eight boards but there were many times where, if he moved a couple feet or boxed out properly, he could have easily had the rebound. 14 offensive rebounds by Bakersfield and many of these were on him. Not sure what's going on but he doesn't look nearly as good as I remember during his redshirt season. If he could regain that enthusiasm and energy we saw from the bench last year it would go a long way in improving his game this year.
As for Johnson's post play, even when he has a clear path to his left, he goes right. This will need to change as it's clear opposing players know exactly which way he is moving. 1 for 6 that close to the basket, against that level of competition, should never happen.
Sorry to pile on JVJ and Streeter but I just expect more from them, expected them to lead this team and it's clear to everyone the Titans are in disarray.
I hate to say this, and I really, really wanted the experiment to work, but it's time to move Gerard Anderson back to the four. Let the majority of post minutes go to Gerard, JVJ and Bryce Webster. Bring in Ray Miller next, if needed. (Sorry Papa, you are a great kid, but we need better rebounding)
Some positives? Sure. Bryce Webster had a good game. He's not as quick-footed as we all would like but he gets the job done and looks like one of the few who are listening to the coaches. He is also in the right position and if his teammates could get him the ball properly he could be averaging 15 points a game.
I never would have imagined Aaron Thompson being our best outside threat but here we are (and he is). I liked him coming off the bench as he played with a little more fire than he has lately. I also liked the idea of rewarding a player like Peltier as I am guessing he is playing hard in practice.
I also liked the fact the zone was little used.
The Titans play UC Davis on Saturday. A win there could mean new life and some much needed confidence and propel them to an upper-half finish in the Big West. A loss? Let's not even think about that scenario.