The Good, The Bad, and The Weird Edition

Our favorite former combo guard "roscoemaynard" checks in with his thought-provoking takes on the Cardinal's games at Oregon State and Oregon, along with our last home game versus Seattle. Read on to see his thoughts on what was good, bad, and bizarre.

You ever wonder why you wake up and there is some song from 20 years ago (or more for you really old farts) stuck in your head?  Like "Stand and Deliver" by Adam and the Ants or, God help you, "Country Roads" by John Denver.  I woke up the other day and I was singing "La Tigre" by Eddy Grant (the French version, even), not "Electric Avenue" or "Gimme Hope Joanna," his big hits ya'll.  Go figure.  Weird.  Not as weird though as what Coach Dawkins, and us, have seen in the last three games from the point guards.  We have been all over the place, like the boobs on a 1925 Picasso.

Weird.  We went into the Beaver Pond on Thursday, which was frozen outside instead of just typically miserable, and gave up 87 points on 61.5% shooting to a team that was shooting an epic 38.7% from the field in conference and an even more horrendous 25.9% from the barn.  How many cans of orange paint have been used on those Miller Court rims this season?  The Beavers have literally been falling trees instead of shooting this season.  Its like they had little furry paws and flat tails and were two feet tall and had British accents and were afraid of the Ice Queen.  But not against us!  Of course we couldn't see it, not even streaming on the internet, because in Corvallis there is no internet, just streams Will Little dams in them.

Bad.  Did I mention how well the muskrats shot against us?  Apparently they adjusted their shooting motion and stopped bumping their teeth on the ball on the way to their release point.  But that type of defense, which we didn't see of course, has to be coyote ugly bad.  By the way, the fur hats came out of the weekend shooting 40.6% in conference and 28.6% from the reeds.  Whatever they were smoking, they sure appreciated the light.

Also really bad, our point guard play against Seattle on Tuesday night in the friendly confines.  The effort frankly was there, but the mental game was utterly disappointing from all three point guards.  That type of mental game in your last home game of the season, with the weenies on Saturday, was a disaster.  Instead of coming out with a steel grip on your club, intent on riding the wave from the Duck Pond last Saturday where execution was outstanding, you play the kick the can and execution reverts to a November in Anaheim level.  You can't do that.  You just can't do that.  To hell with the shooting and defensive effort, the lack of focus and execution and the intramural turnovers had to have Coach Dawkins flabbergasted.  Where do you go when every point guard you put in is having a senior moment—when there are no seniors?  Eight assists and 12 turnovers, and no offensive execution forcus whatsoever.  I am going to stop myself now.

The Good:  But for the defense against OSU, a great guard trip to the scenic Willamette Valley.  Jarrett Mann had 17 assists against 3 turnovers in those games, and the team scored 168 points, shot lights out, and but for some freshman ball handling problems ran its offense with focus and kept the turnovers under control on the road against the two best teams in the conference at stealing the ball from you.  The scorers got the ball where they needed to get it, particularly Owens against the tub toys.  Offense with purpose and attitude.  Against the Grebes on Saturday was the first time all year that our offense seemed to go for the throat—showed a bit ruthlessness—a bit of the you can't stop this!  On February 5, 2011 we were scoring 62.7 per in conference, and now it is 66.3.  I am tempted to say that is really showing improvement, because it is.  But, our points allowed has actually climbed as our defensive effort has gone from first in the conference at 63.8 to third at 67.5.  But, scoring more points and increased shooting percentages, from 40% to 43% is meaningful.  Its also worth pointing out that other than the debacles in L.A., we split on the roadies this year.  With a very young team lacking in leadership, winning for instance in Pullman and Eugune is huge, because freshmen really can go south on you on the road in strange places like that.

I am not going to rag on individual guards this time around.  I already did that enough.  So I will just make a few quick bullet points:

Aaron Bright is going to become a deadly shooter, and I love that he insists he can throw 50 foot touch passes over the top to the bigs for layins on semi-breaks.  To be honest, I used to think I could do that too, and then I realized finally after about 10 turnovers on those and too many splinters in my butt coil, that each one of those cost me five minutes of precious playing time.  Aaron is going to realize this soon.

Aaron Bright showed marked improvement against pressure against UO.  He was much better about recognizing pressure, not dribbling into it, and getting the ball up the floor before the passing lanes closed down. 

Jeremy Green, a month ago I made the point that as his shooting went, so went the shooting of everyone else.  Dude lit up the Willamette Valley and USeattle, and he is now shooting 40% from the barn in conference, now 8th best in conference, were a couple of weeks ago, he wasn't rating.  Now he is 42-105, and he and Klay Thompson (50-121) are the only guys rating that have over 76 threes taken.

Anthony Brown is really a small forward on this team, but in two years he won't be.  So, is there any question anymore that if Green isn't taking the big shot, Brown should be?  Damned near a one man wrecking crew in the second half against Seattle - 16 points, 6 rebounds.  Brown is at 9.6 points per game in conference, and double figures five of the last six in conference, and got 21 against USeattle.  No one on the team is improving through conference play like he is, and he is doing it on both ends.

Final Thought:  I'd love to point out that the weenies were just caught cheating again and refer to Todd Bozeman, but I won't.  Because although my old ball coach Mike Montgomery just got busted for telephone call violations, the reality is that this is a stupid NCAA paperwork shuffling snaffoo akin to printing your cell phone bills and circling the calls to certain people and logging those names and calls into a ledger or an Excel spreadsheet.  Who really cares about this crap in an era where every coach and player and narcissist has a Twitter account and a Facebook page for chrissake.  Its not like he told recruits and parents that they weren't at a barbeque when the photos are on Myspace or a kid's dad is pimping him out?  Its classic Mike Montgomery, even when he is breaking the rules he's a bit dull.

Final Final:  We beat ‘em once.  We can be beat ‘em again.  They aren't a good defensive team.  Guard Crabbe at the three line, make him hit pull up jumpers, and attack him at the other end relentlessly.  I like this matchup as much as I did the last time.
Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up)!

The Bootleg Top Stories