And now an official word from our sponsors, who shall remain nameless. Kevin Brill sucks and should be sent to the Venezuelan semi-pro league, where they would teach him how to do his job. That dude is a problem and needs a carpet call from his league supervisor. That crew reviewed two other plays in the Nutria game to see whether they were flagrant or not. But they didn't go to the monitor on the Nelson spearing of Huestis? They huddled. It is not mindboggling, its bad officiating and it was knowingly bad officiating. Nice coaching by our staff though, and great job by our players, of staying focused and continuing to play professionally after that incident. That late in the game, on the road playing in a drafty old barn full of rednecks spewing boos and farts, after witnessing banked threes, a shoeless dude ripping threes, the refs stealing the game winner from us based on inconclusive evidence, it would have been easy to get a bit rattled. We didn't. We rose to the occasion, led by a freshman, Chasson Randle.
Chasson was literally all over the map of Oregon this weekend. Pardon the Katy Perry reference, but he was hot and he was cold. Against UO he was wide open a lot and just missed and then blew some critical defensive assignments, which led to his being yanked from the starting lineup. His first conference road game and he clanked. That is hard to handle as a freshman. Wake up call accomplished Coach Dawkins. 44 minutes, 24 points, 22 of them after the half, 13 of them after regulation, and he got better as the game got later. On the road late in triple and quadruple overtime and we put the ball in a freshman's hands (out of necessity) and he rose to the occasion. That is all kinds of kinky! And he should have had 30, missing a few layins he normally makes and only going 4-8 from the line. We'll take it. Great bounceback game for him and whole squad, and a whole lot of confidence gained. Those huevos rancheros are going to need a larger jockstrap.
It is hard to say anything to negative about the way Aaron played in Oregon. He was at the helm of a sloppy defensive effort against the water fowl, but that was a team effort. Owens needed the ball more the second half against the pintails, and that does fall on the point guard when it doesn't get done. But, I thought we ran good offense against the quaks and got a lot of good shots and they didn't go in. Then we ran down the woodchucks late and his last 40 minutes and so on against them was very good on both ends. Folks may remember Ahmad Starks making some fancy shots in the paint, but to me one key reason we were even in that game in the second half was that principally Aaron didn't let Starks take 3's, forced him into the paint, away from what he is good at. Starks finished with one three on the game, and only 5-17 from the floor for the game. That was effective defense. It may have looked like mediocre defense, but that is executing the defensive game plan.
Jarrett Mann, let's forget the grebe game entirely, because although he made a couple of nice plays, who cares. We got smoked on the offensive glass by the flat tailed ferrets, but particularly in the second half Jarrett did a good job defending and taking care of the ball. Cunningham goes and gets fouled a lot, but he was held to 4-16 shooting on the game and Nelson didn't get a second half 3 in the can. I know that beavs scored a 101 points, but Jarrett and his backcourt mates, Aaron and Chasson simply didn't allow second half and overtime shots to go down. We fouled too much, and we had few painful turnovers, but it was a 4 overtime game (only 16 turnovers in 60 minutes is actually damned good), but typically the nutria are going to win with their backcourt making shots, and they didn't. This was an atypical game for them. And two huge layins to get the lid off the rim early in the first overtime on the road-we'll call that leadership.
And I have to mention Anthony Brown. Not a real good game on either end against the grebes. Sloppy on defense and I'll stop there. But, against the Beavs he played with great energy, and was very close to having a great game. Make some layins, finish in traffic, make free throws. He is missing too many good looks and he was the principle victim of Eric Moreland and Devon Collier being shot blocker/changers. Anthony got the edge on his man over and over again, turned the corner to the rim and…. But, three steals and eight rebounds in 40 minutes, and a huge big swinging unit three banger with 17 seconds left in triple overtime. Offensive rebounds and steals after regulation as well. I hope that big swinging three in the third OT is the shot that puts him on a roll of nice ball games now.
Semi-Final: Anyone else notice the worst play in the conference season occurred in the second half of the flat tailed ferret game courtesy of Mr. Youtube Cunningham. Sweet backdoor cut and pass and he goes for the front-side double-McTwisty—and gets his bleep pinned in the wedge by Dwight Powell. That was the most automatic two of the game if he just forgets about the me first and the gimme gimme crap, and keeps his ass facing the right direction. I am not some old-school prude dude. We didn't watch Todd Lichti or Brent Barry or Brandon Roy for their fundamentals, but thank you Dr. Youtube for not understanding the difference between a blowout of Directional State Poly and a conference ballgame. We'll take the W. You enjoy going on the road with your 1-3.
Final Thoughts: Roberto Nelson was hard not to like when he made two threes without a right shoe. But, he sure burned that goodwill….
Final Final: Kudos to Coach Dawkins for rewarding John Gage with the start he has earned against the Beavers. And kudos to Andrew Zimmerman and Jack Trotter for being consummate team players and taking the yanking of their minutes around like we all would hope Stanford players would. Everyone wants to win, everyone wants to play, and it is not that easy to play well when you don't know from game to game what to expect. I got a beer for you Zimmer waiting at the Oasis.
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