- March 20th, 2023, 9:11 am
I had to take a few days off to get over that one. There are a lot of reasons we can point to as to why we lost that game. For one, lay-ups have been an issue for us all year. We seem to miss really easy buckets and it comes back to bite us in close games like this. Shiloh had one that he missed on a breakaway and then JV at the end. Both of those guys played really hard though. JV is fun to watch on D because he's ALL over the place and plays like he's 6" taller. Preston started the year strong. He didn't finish it as strong though and at times he was a liability. I've seen quotes on here about his FG% being high and all of these advanced metrics... guys what's his FT% from the stripe? It's not good... so let's not pretend he's some sort of great shooter. I will say - he was the closest thing we have to a big and he did improve this year. Also, I'm not going to call him terrible - that's idiotic... no kid on this team deserves that sort of treatment from the fanbase so shape up people.
The refs were frustrating again. I just don't see consistency in the calls. Our guys had to get elbowed in the face to get calls down in the paint. Their bigs were forcing contact and bumping every play and as soon as we stand our ground they blew the whistle. And the final play of the game... Darius was bumped midair. Saw a few fouls go against us earlier in the game when we had similar contests against their PG Hepburn (who was their best player imo).
Ultimately, I'm proud of the effort and the fact that we controlled our own destiny in that game. We played a legit B1G team that started the year hot and just had some bad luck in the mid-season. We need some more length for next year, but what we really need is someone that can stretch a defense and create opportunities. Porter is great and super smart, but I don't know that he can do that all on his own. When #2 wasn't on the floor most of this season, we seemed hesitant. I'm glad HCRM is in charge of this program though. That guy represents everything we should be striving for as a university.