The Post-Finals Lull Edition

The bar is decidedly higher now that the Cardinal has some rising young talent in 2010-11, but we have to keep things in perspective when it comes to the continuing inconsistency of the team's performances. Our Men's Basketball columnist "roscoemaynard" gives his always entertaining takes on the recent games that hopefully have served as a warm-up for the upcoming, sure-to-be telling road trip.

The Post-Finals Lull Edition

Finals were over and all through the gym, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...where empty seats where front running old people used to sit, back in the day when they gave a spit.  

Did this year's team forget to put on deodorant? Did the ticket office lie when they said the entire lower bowl of seats were sold to season ticket-holders that ponied up huge jack to sit down there? You call this a "re-seating plan"?  Sure looks like the high-rollers and fossils have abandoned the team so they can sit home on Sunday, December 12, 2010 and Wednesday, December 15, 2010, pass gas, and watch Mariah Carey and Taylor Swift Christmas specials like leering, lascivious lechers.

Anyway, enough about ticket-holders sucking egg nog, let's talk about something moderately more pleasant. Jeremy Green, because he is the man now. 37 minutes against UC Rivertucky, and if he hadn't gone all three-whacking in the second half for 22, we lose by 15 to a team we could beat by 40.  Jeremy turned around against the Telephone Company and had a professional 18 points, three assists and I thought came out at the start of this one intent on having a good first half.  He dragged everyone else with him.  No rust, but some great focused effort, and solid shot-selection. Take it to Indiana and whup Kelvin Mack's ass please.

Anthony Brown, backup shooting guard, long drink of water, and apparently a shoot-around spastic, missed the Rivertucky Highlanders game because he slipped and fell on his scrawny ass during shoot-around. Anyway, Brown was back for AT&T and he was terrific. Only 1 of 4 from the floor, but 5 rebounds, solid shots, solid handle, and terrific defense. Terrific defense. This kid may be our best decision-maker, when he isn't hurting himself at shoot-around.

Jarrett Mann had one of those great stat-stuffer, Paul Pressey-, Lester Connor-, Michael Ray Richardson-type games against the Stuffed Bears in Kilts. Lots of sevens, sixes, fives and fours in his column. It's the four first-half turnovers, coming out of finals week that just can't happen from your junior point guard.  OK, he did and we won, but it's a good thing the season ticket-holders weren't there to see it.  Mann has to shoot open 18-footers with some confidence. The Kilted Cubs backed way off of him most the game, sitting on top of the post guys, denying us entry opportunities to Josh Owens, who killed them when he got the ball. Against AT&T, the handle was solid, 5 assists with no turnovers, great defense, moved the ball around the offense with better vision and precision, but his decisions on fast breaks need to improve.

To be honest, Aaron Bright stunk against Tartan Bears.  Over-penetrated, missed open guys, the ball stopped too much with him in the offense.  He was clearly suffering from his first Stanford post-finals let down.  But, the little bugger bounced back with a great game against AT&T.  Making threes really helps, but his energy was much better, he pushed the ball, he moved the ball, he "got after it".  8 points in 11 minutes with 2 assists = a great bounce back game.

Gabe Harris has clearly become sort of the steady oar in the boat. Defense, solid decision-making, solid handle, great effort and the occasional "hold-the-ball-and-just-look-at-everyone-and-quietly-focus-them move. Two crucial free throws very late against Scotch Fozzies showed his mettle. Those had to make the jock strap feel a bit tight.  A very solid 5 points on 2 of 4 against AT&T.

Hey, Robbie Lemons gets some column time. You wanna know what a "gunner" looks like, don't always look at Jeremy Green, take a look at Robbie Lemons warm up before a game.  Quick, fluid release, no monkeying around, great foot work, excellent butt coil, attention to detail on every warm-up shot. Clearly a guy who loves his craft and knows his warm-up shots may be all he gets, so give the chicks some twine-tickling to ogle.

Post-finals lull? Not!  Coach Dawkins pops Lemons in the Rivertucky game with 5:58 left in the first half (because both teams were playing so freaking ugly and gawd-awful that no one had scored in 4 minutes, score 16-11; no wonder no one showed up for the game, they must have know it was going to be a spastic brick-fest) after letting the game come to him for over a minute, he strokes a three from in front of the empty bandstand.  And it was in before it left his hand, it was that good. Lock and load, son!

Final Thoughts:  Our first half defense at the 3 ball line has to improve for us to win on the road.  I was reminded during the Riverside game (tip of the hat here to the late Country Dick Montana and the Beat Farmers, who have brilliant song called Riverside that makes a lot of fun of Riverside) of the line I heard early in my playing days on the Farm, maybe right after Finals, "Time to stop thinkin' and start drinkin'!"  Might have been Kent Seymour that said that, but I think it might actually have been Doug Wall.  I was a good freshman, I took that one to heart.

Final Final:  The upperclassmen got us through Riverside on grit and the glass.  Three days later we were twice as good against AT&T. Our best game yet for ball movement and focus on offense.  Great game by "Zim" off the bench.  Powell showcased a terrific "Todd Lichti" move on a fast-break when it seemed he was going to plow over the defender and suddenly slid by the guy with an easy lateral stride for a finger roll. So sweet, so actually freaking hard to do! And Josh Owens brought the hammer to both games, with some massive dunking and missed dunks too. The guy certainly adds some suspense to his dunks, I'll give him that.

Final Final Final:  The little kids that played ball at half-time - the best looking group we have had in a long time out there. Good passing.  No.15 was damned good.

Let's flog some Bulldog on Saturday!

Please note that the writer, infused with Christmas spirit and spirits, is taking the high road regarding the Weenies recent self-reporting of NCAA violations within their men's basketball program...for the time
being.

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