What a nice way to begin the week for the Pirates, a Big East victory. The added bonus was that it was against in-state rival Rutgers. The Pirates controlled the game from start to finish, never trailing. Anytime Rutgers threatened the Pirates countered. This is a very positive sign to see this type of play at this time of the year. Jamar Nutter's play in the last month has really enabled the Pirates to play at a higher level and create easier opportunities for Kelly Whitney. I also like how Orr has shortened his bench to Palmer and Gause. The team seems to be playing more in sync with a shorter rotation.
The Pirates right now are 2-0 in their last ten games of the season, criteria the selection committee weighs very heavily upon. The Pirates can't afford to take South Florida lightly on the road. This team is a tough scrappy team. This type of game scares me because the team may be overlooking South Florida and focusing on UConn. This team has to take the approach one game at a time, and play every game like it's your last one.
My only area of concern is something I saw in the Syracuse game. The Pirates struggled against the Press. When the Pirates got trapped off the inbound pass, they seemed to loose their poise a bit. Hopefully that experience will have them ready in the future.
I feel the coaching staff has done an excellent job in game preparation and game execution. This staff seems to have the kids focused on their opponent, playing hard, playing together and having fun.
The biggest game of the season is February 8 at South Florida, a slip up kills the momentum, a victory keeps things rolling.
The Orbes "Observations and Analysis"
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