This week’s Top 5 (11/17-11/24)
1. Black out - I was very happy with the return of the black uniforms on Friday night. I must say the fellas looked good, however, their performance on the court didn't pull the same weight. I hope they continue to occasionally rock the alternative black unis on the road.
2. No Bueno - I must say Temple’s arena, the Liacouras Center, is a pretty cool place to watch a game, but I do have one issue and it’s sort of a big one. Where are the (beer) cup holders in back of the seats? Come on man. But hey I guess you have to expect such slap ass accommodations out of an A-10 school (located in Philly none-the-less).
3. Rant –
A. When the Pirates weren't getting beat in transition, their zone defense was largely ineffective for the final 30 minutes on Friday. Why didn’t we change it up and go maaaan-to-maaaaan (Bill Rafferty voice)? Lets go Willard. You’re not at little Iona anymore, if something’s not working you got to make the proper adjustments.
B: The Pirates have to learn to finish around the basket. On Friday, there were too many blown layups. Cough, Jeff Robinson and Herb Pope, cough.
C: Why would Willard start a freshman, Fuquan Edwin, in the first game of the season against a ranked opponent on the road? If that weren't mind-boggling enough, after failing to contribute in the loss against the Owls, Willard once again started FU at home on Sunday. Has Polynice gone from the pre-season starter at SF to the fourth man off the bench?
D: Jeff Robinson, after making two 3-pointers against Cornell, I'm beginning to get worried that you're going to start giving yourself the green-light every time you touch the ball around the perimeter. Getting in the mindset that you're a 3PT shooter and continuing to take these shots will only hurt the team, as evidenced with your 2-for-14 from the arc last season. In his career, JRob has attempted at least one 3-pointer in 12 games. He's hit bottoms in two of them. If that's not a pretty decent sample size, just wait for the rest of the year, the 3PT attempts will keep coming. Instead, it's increasingly frustrating to see Robinson not sticking to what he is good at; grabbing boards, cleaning up around the basket and bringing his defender out to 12-15 feet before drilling a J. Just STOP stepping out to 21 feet.
4. T-Shirt Time – The "T-shirt toss machine" at the Prudential Center is pretty intense this year. On Sunday, SNY cut to it after a commercial a break and proceeded to comment on the ridiculousness of it. Unfortunately, SHU PA Announcer Tim McLoone, did not yell "It’sssss T-shirrrtt timmeee" before the machines fired the t- shirts into the crowd. Come on, you've got to be better than that! When you have chance to quote "The Jersey Shore" you have to take it. This is New Jersey after all.
5. Haze Smokin’- In my opinion, Jeremy Hazell definitely looks to be a more well rounded player this season. Through the first two games, he’s attacking the basket, deferring to his teammates, buckling down on defense and generally, making smart decisions. As a senior, Jeremy knows that if he wants to improve his draft stock he must prove to NBA scouts that he’s more than just a camp outside the arc, perimeter shooter.