Expert Analysis: The Wow That Hurt Edition

The Bootleg's "Expert Analyst - Guards," former lights-out shooting guard "roscoemaynard" (1984-89) offers up to the Stanford Hoops faithful his review and pointed comments on the Cardinal guards in their loss at the Oregon Ducks last Saturday evening. "Roscoe" also presents his thoughts on the rest of the schedule this team faces as it tries to finish out 2008-09 on a positive note.

Let's face it fellow Booties, we Stanford folk don't get a lot of compassion or sympathy from the rest of our conference. No one thinks Stanford and "those poor sobs." The whole conference, with the exception of some Bruin fans, was really hoping that we would stink for once, and that Zona would also stink. Zona isn't cooperating like we are, but then again they have Hill and Budinger and we don't. Conference domination did that to your reputation. And what we saw in Oregon this weekend wasn't really conference domination was it. More like a freight train to hell. While a lot of folks may want to chuck this thing in and start worrying about whether Toby Gerhart is going to hit .350 this baseball season, we have some games left to play, and they are important games. Why? Because every freaking game is important, damn it! You only get to play so many in a career, and we have to get better, and conference games are as good a place as any to do that.

Okay, none of us got to see the Varmint game on Thursday. Thank goodness. And it's hard to throw anyone in particular under the bus when you didn't see what they did to deserve such a thing. But the Bufflehead (look it up) game on Saturday in the Arm Pit, now that is entirely another matter. One bus may not be enough tires, we may need several buses for this one. But first, let's throw the Merganser's dork section under the bus, or better yet, let's use the 12 gauge on them. Get Angstrom's black lab, UGA XVII, to go get them out of the marsh. You finally win a game against a really mediocre team, meaning you won't go without a conference win like your arch-rival Varmints did last year, which means you don't suck as bad as those losers, and you rush the floor. Seriously?!? You rushed the floor now that you are 1-A lot? Off the schnide and you wanna act like that is a big deal? What's more pathetic than losing to the Goldeneyes, who are much worse than last year's Varmints by the way? The dorks that rushed the floor when they beat a team with four conference wins? Grebe fans (and I am channeling David Allen Greer here, did they cancel "The Chocolate News"?, I hope not), "Have you lost your damn minds!?" Somewhere, Dick Harter and Ron Lee and Anthony Taylor and Luke Ridnour and the Stoudamire family and Stan Love and Terrell Brandon and Luke Jackson and Greg Ballard and Ernie Kent (nevermind, scratch that) just barfed a lung! For the love of Christ you Cormorants, have some self-respect!

Speaking of self-respect, let's talk guard play for just a minute. Jeremy Green, congratulations on your first college start, one of many to be sure. They will get better. Credit the bath toys for figuring out that if they just focus on stopping our shooting guard, we can't score enough points. They thought it would be Goods at the "2," and they got a lot of Goods at the "2," but they also really worked at keeping Green from getting shots. He defended well, he went to the glass, but in 20 minutes you gotta scratch the scoreboard, even if the refs won't give you a call. By the way, two hands gets you to the free throw line again. Jeremy will learn a lot from this, there were a lot of harsh lessons to be learned here. Starters have to produce, doesn't matter who you are, but you have to consistently produce and that means getting into the game before the tip, and imposing your will on your opponent.

Anthony Goods responded pretty well to being benched. He put his head down and drove the hole and found a way to get 16 points when the shots weren't there from deep. Maybe he was told he didn't do that against the Nutria, but it seemed an emphasis for him from the minute he stepped on the floor. He also got on the glass with vigor, something that he hasn't always done. He showed character here, getting benched this late in your career with maybe only five or six games left, that should piss your off. He responded the right way, which we would expect.

Mitch was a couple of teammates making some shots away from a very solid game. His defense was solid, but overall result was not what was necessary. I saw some frustration in his second half, and rightfully so. What I didn't see, and to be fair, maybe I missed it, was Mitch jumping down his teammates' throats to get their butts in a higher gear. Mitch pretty much played his direct opposition to a standstill until Sim and Brown made big threes down the stretch. But I thought the other team played with desperation, where we acted like we were the better team and that being that would get us over the hump. Good teams play with desperate intensity, but without the desperate anxiety. We lacked the requisite intensity, and when the rock ain't fallin'…

I like what I saw from Jarrett Mann in this game. Seriously. I want him to finish in the paint, and I want him to make that three he took. But, he got after it, he mixed it up, and played unafraid. At this point, he should play like this. We needed someone off the bench to get a shot to drop. Goods doesn't count. Come on guys, someone other than Jack Trotter care to put the biscuit in the basket? The difference in this game, what got the Mallards the win, intensity and Wiley, Brown, and Humphrey made a shot.

Luckily, we get the easy part of the schedule the rest of the way through now. Wazzou sneaks up on UCLA, so the Bruins will limp in to Maples on Thursday night downtrodden, just the way we want them. By the way, don't blame Josh Shipp Bruin fans, blame Darren Collison. How does Rochester go for that many on Darren Collison? Short answer, Collison was on cruise control. And USC is pretty limpy right now, too. It's too late now to talk about "must-wins," that Bufflehead has flown the pond. But, we are capable of winning both games this weekend and we have to come out and play with desperation. It is not about tripe like "sending the seniors out with a win in their last home game." That is and always has been merely sentiment. Sentiment doesn't win games. Playing harder, playing tougher, and playing smarter is what this is about. You only have so many games left to compete together, crap can the rest of it, and play for what really matters anyway your teammates! Oh yeah, and because that is your damn job!

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