The FFA 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 commentary of the Cardinal's guards following their contests versus UC Davis and Oklahoma State this week at Maples Pavilion.

So here is an idea for y'all: take those uniforms and put out on sticks in the sunshine as a means of creating alternative energy and cut down on green house gases.  Who needs to cut down trees in the rain forest when we can just give those poor Indians in Brazil and Indonesia that wear gourds on their hoozlers those uniform jerseys that can replace fire as a means of cooking and heating  T. Boone Pickens has to have had an epiphany on this and we will soon see half of North Texas covered by a huge painfully bright radiating orange tarp, with a wire taped to it.  Gawd awl mighty those were some ugly uniforms.  And you thought I was talking about our Wazzou greys that we rolled out?  Speaking of which, there goes the complaints about black stripes on the uniforms, eh what?

So what do you say about the farmers?  Davisograd - not much.  I know we played them, but they really sucked and we were coming off Finals and so why bother critiquing that at all.  But wait, at least we did beat them good.  I still have nightmares about trapsing to Davisograd years ago to watch us lose to a team that didn't have a player that could make our roster.  So... 

Now, Slackwater, or Neckwater, or Bilgewater or whatever it is-those guys don't get in fights with the football team like they do at Kansas, now do they?  They'd kick the football team's butts.  Good looking bunch of farmers.  Hell, even their token honky was all notched up.  Even their freshmen are all cut up.  How do you get freshman basketball players that cut up that fast? 

Anyone else with me, hideous colors aside, that is a team that is fun to watch play?  They get after it.  That is the type of team we should always schedule to get ready for the Pac-10; not quite as good as a Louisville usually, but they bring balls-to-the-walls intensity and physicality at you for 40 minutes and they want to beat you down.

Jarrett Mann had a rough first half for the first time in a while.  It's understandable.  Travis Ford had a game plan focused on disrupting Jarrett Mann with intense pressure and double teaming.  Great plan and it worked.  Great experience for Jarrett and something that was missing from the pre-season portfolio.  Venoy Overton isn't going to look quite so scary now, but watch for UW to have seen a lot of this game film.  Second half Jarrett adjusted, and he actually did late in the first, too, and got his dribble lower, got his crow bar elbow out, and we started to hit Penn with some hard screens.  My favorite moment in the game was when Zim ear-holed Penn.  Mann learned on the fly in that game how to better set up those nasty mid-court screens by his bigs.  Of course, necessity is a mother, now isn't it?  His free throwing is horrendous, but he really attacked off the bounce in the second half, using screens and spins and good old fashioned hey little fella here is my big old butt and shoulder bumping Mark Jackson style to penetrate and draw fouls and create shots for others.  Not his best game, but he had to hunker down and compete and he did!  Sure that is what he should do, but that doesn't change the fact that he actually did it and helped lead his team back to having a shot at winning the game.  I love watching a guy get better over the course of knock down drag out.

Speaking of getting better during a knock down drag out, Jeremy Green is getting down right good looking, ain't he?  Aggressive, locking and loading, great footwork, let's get to work on that handle.  The "Pokes" really got up into him with quality athletes and he responded with 19 points and six rebounds.  And he probably learned a lot about defense from his opponents and from having to guard some damn good players in this game.  Keiton Page, Obi Muonelo, and Roger Franklin can play.  The one or two dribble pull up jimmy game of Mounelo was clearly a learning experience for Jeremy. Still, he played Obi (most appropriate name for a Poke award after Travis) to a straight up standstill.

Drew Shiller came in and played his little butt off.  He threw his body around, handled the ball pretty well, came up with three rebounds in a game full of stud athletes, made some nice passes and took the open shots.  They just didn't go down.  Quality opponent.  They had Drew scouted to a T.  Yes, I know some folks wish Drew could do this or do that, but there is a reason that Landry constantly had some room on Drew's side to drive to the hole, Drew's guy wasn't leaving home to go help.  Same thing with Green's side.  They wanted to give up two's to Landry and not three's to Drew or Jeremy.  I really like Drew's effort and collateral production in this game.

Hey, was that a Gabe Harris sighting?  Looking a bit better, starting to get his legs underneath him and get his intensity up.  What you want off the bench in limited minutes is no glaring clusterfixxles and effort.  Gabe got on the floor and saved a possession, he went in and got on the glass and played defense.  Good three minutes, pardner.  And good minutes against the farmers earlier in the week, too.

Final thoughts:  Didn't like the final in-bounds play at all and then we didn't execute it.  Great inbounding execution all game long, by my count we scored 15 points on inbounds plays in that game which is fantastic.  But in that situation, that play is tough to execute. Still, Zim had a chance and I am not sure that we actually deserved to be that close.  Very good game from Zim, another guy who just kept getting better in the game as he got more comfortable playing against that effort level.  That was the story of the whole game, getting used to that effort level and then executing.  Two phases and this team proved again that it is far more resilient than expected.  Tough, tough loss, but doesn't this game make you think we can win some conference games?  That's rhetorical y'all.  Hope y'all get some new tractors and overalls for Christmas, and we get some wins.

Don't forget to listen Me First and the Gimme Gimme's punk cover holiday tunes album to get yourselves in the right mood for the Holidays!  Nothing says "Fear The Tree" at Christmas like a Have a Holly Jolly Christmas to an 8-12 beat with guitar feedback.

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