Disappointment in Small Doses

So, I called this game, but who wants to predict a blowout. UAlbany game out and took a big punch in the form of a barrage of three pointers, but then bounced back. It’s a shame no one had a tape recorder inside of UAlbany’s first media time out- whatever it was, it must have been heroic. They fired back with two steals and made three straight jump shots. I started to believe in our student section optimism…. but for too long.

Three Point Lull: It was hard to tell from the radio call, but the plan must have been to make them shoot threes, but we just did a horrible job closing out on them. After their hot start though, reality set in and UA had a chance to claw back because XU fell in love with the three a bit too much. It took until the second half for Xavier to really make a conscious push towards getting looks to the bigs inside- not a coincidence that was also when they ran away with the game.

Derrek Tartt! Tartt was one of the first of the off bench to give Black and Ambrose a breather, and even saw some time at the point. Against such an athletic team, giving the taller, more athletic Tartt burn over Iati makes so much sense. Also, have to give Ralph Watts his due for scoring off penetration during a stretch where we kept settling for threes.

Shooters Gotta Shoot: But Logan’s got to shoot better. He got into a groove in the second half and almost pulled the lead under ten, but he was 4-10 going into that point and finish 6-15. Logan’s shooting load is immensely important to this team’s offense- it allows Tim Ambrose to play as efficiently as he does, but he has to find a way to put up better numbers. I think Will needs to cut down his minutes. He played 39 minutes again after missing most of the Colgate game and not practicing over Christmas break and, in the long view, he’s played the 86th most minutes in the country and he admits this is the first season he’s in shape. I know Logan’s three point explosion in the second half against Niagara the day after double OT or his second half spurt yesterday don’t necessary support my “tired legs” theory, but I think if Logan’s minutes drift closer to 30, even 33, it would give Tartt/Watts valuable minutes and, perhaps, correlate with a rise in Logan’s FG %.

Metcalf and his fear of Bunnies: Why can the big fella not make a lay up?!? Give Brent Wilson a blocking pad (instruct him not to flop) and have drill Metcalf as he attempts to make lay ups.  Something needs to be done.

Mark Lyons was flowing Tuesday night…

Devlin disappeared: Luke Devlin got off to a solid start, grabbing a few boards, and hitting a three and a put back, but then his named wasn’t called until late in the second half. He is a low usage player and a freshman, but this team will be much stronger if he finds more ways to get involved as the season progresses. In a related incident, UAlbany was awful on the defensive glass. Yes, McLean is a beast and Frease is a big fellow, but they did a good job of exploiting a weakness.

Pay It Forward: UAlbany, we brought Lyons to Ohio (did anyone find out more about the words that he and Will Brown exchanged after Lyons drilled a three?) and it would be incredible if Xavier returned the favor and played a home game at the lovely SEFCU Arena,

The Silver-est Lining: This game wasn’t all bad, but one number stuck out above the rest- a season low NINE turnovers! Single digit turnovers! I never thought I’d see the day, especially against a team that is so much more talented than Albany. Keep that up, Great Danes, and this will be an enjoyable season.

On to Wagner!

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~ by TheMidRangeGame on December 29, 2010.

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