Where can I honestly begin with this?
As I sit here in the studios of WSOU in South Orange, I am still trying to fathom how bad this abomination was. I listened to the game because I could not find a video feed, and honestly, I am thanking my lucky stars that I didn't see this live. I probably would have put my fist through my computer screen.
So I'm just going to start here and see where this takes me. Here we go...
- The ONE good thing- the defense
The Pirates held the Tigers to under 30 percent shooting, which is the one good thing they did tonight. Unfortunately, they didn't finish off the defense. They sent Clemson to the line 38 times, which is inexcusable considering they did the same thing in the loss to Xavier. The defense is fine, but if you send a team to the line 40 times a game, you aren't going to win many games.
- Keon Lawrence is horrible
Keon isn't helping anymore. He isn't scoring, he's turning the ball over, he can't create. This cannot continue, because if it does, the Pirates will lose every game they play without Hazell. Jamel Jackson cannot do anything but catch and shoot at the moment, and there's no one else stepping up. Keon needs to be benched, but with Hazell's injury, he has to play for the sake of the team. It's put up or get the heck out for Keon. He's going to start getting booed at the Rock if this offensive ineptitude continues.
- WHERE IS HERB POPE???
I would tell you Herb's line for tonight, but I want to save your computers death-by-vomit. Bottom line is that Pope needs to man up. This is a player who has been through hell and back multiple times, and he was INVISIBLE in this tournament. It's astounding to me. This is the defending rebounding leader in the Big East Conference?! It's horrible that the intensity previously displayed on a nightly basis has been essentially stripped from his game.
TWO OF TWENTY-ONE. That's what the Pirates shot from deep. It speaks for itself. That is all.
I honestly don't care if the referee gave Coach Willard a weak technical foul. You can't get a tech in that situation.
On second thought, it was the perfect ending to this weekend from hell. This trip couldn't have honestly gotten any worse. They have lost their best (and apparently only) offensive threat. They have a tough non-conference schedule coming up. And right now, they won't win a single game until Hazell comes back. Not even Longwood or NJIT. If they continue to play this brand of basketball, this putrid offense won't be enough against any team on the schedule. It's almost as bad as Seton Hall's Women's basketball team from last season, where they won ONE game in Big East play and couldn't score to save their grandmother's lives. It's atrocious, it's embarrassing, and it's a disgrace.
Don't even try to sugar-coat this situation, Pirate fans. It can't be done. The only way out of this hole is to claw your way out. Here's what MUST happen.
- Jordan Theodore must take charge. 3 assists and 6 turnovers isn't cutting it.
- Keon Lawrence and Jamel Jackson must do SOMETHING out there.
- Herb Pope and Ferrakohn Hall MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST grow some cojones and crash the boards and be physical inside. Time and again, they have gone up weak for rebounds and baskets, and it serves as the perfect mirror into the psyche of the team.
Only time will tell what this team is truly made of. Right now, they look like they're made of tissue paper. They have been completely exposed as a one-trick pony on offense and that pony has left the Virgin Islands with a broken hoof. If they want to survive over the next few weeks, they have to do the aforementioned things, and maybe even visit the campus chapel and pray for Hazell's wrist to heal.
It's all they can do right now. Well, that and play horrible offensive "basketball."
I would write more, but I think I just vomited on my keyboaaaa;erendfsd.