A Charitable Donation to Hartford Athletics

A pitiful performance in Hartford(Record)

At least I didn’t make the trip down. Four dollars and ninety five cents I’ll never get back. It’s painful to look at that positive post yesterday, because that feeling is gone. The coach of the year favorite? Pass that honor over to Mr. Gallagher, Will.

It’s hard to know where to start when you’re about to spontaneously combust into rant. Even the minor comeback at the seven minute mark proved to be another twist of the knife. Let’s start with the open looks from three.  Again and again Hartford had open looks from three, but after a blazing start, the Hawks settled into making about one for every three. Fortunately for Hartford, the Danes were content to let them play “shoot-around” and continually grab boards until they made it. In the first half, Hartford took more threes (24) than total shots by the Danes.

This is probably as good at time as any to thank Joe Zeglinski, The Human Momentum Killer. This game wouldn’t have been anywhere near as close (huh?) if not for super senior Joe Z. If there are any die-hard Hartford fans, their risk of heart attack double every season Joe Z stays. The most obvious example is the three wide open threes he clanged in one possession. The man is not gun shy. But even worse was with seven minutes with Albany making a run, down only ten, senior leader Joe Z decided the Great Danes deserved a shot at a comeback and drove early in the shot clock and air-balled a runner in the lane (not his only airball of the night). The Danes returned the favor by travelling or getting a shot clock violation (I forget which) and pissing away a shot to cut the lead down under ten.

But worse than the plethora of open looks for Hartford was the inability of Albany to do anything on offense. The extended zone defense by Hartford absolutely baffled the Danes. Hartford had three defenders outside the three point line, which severely disrupted UAlbany’s pass it around the perimeter offense. The defender in the middle kept pushing the Danes further and further back. The coaching staff has to take some blame for the inability to adjust- there was so much empty space inside the three point line, but Albany couldn’t find any mid-range looks. There were so many gaps in that defense (to be fair, it was well run, especially by Burton) but the Great Danes couldn’t find any of them.

Will Brown is going to be a busy man, here are a few things that must be addressed:

Tim Ambrose needs to be put into better position when he gets the ball in his hands. Tim is so after running around screens charging to the rim and more often than not, especially when he’s forcing it, he picks up charge calls (even if they’re often imagined) because AE teams know that the best way to slow down Ambrose is to flop. Moving Ambrose around within a zone offense and letting him get the ball inside the arc makes it harder for him to pick up charges and makes him only a jumper away from his beautiful bank off the glass. He’s the strongest man on the floor, let him bully some guards inside without running them over.

Black Hole: I remember this headline when Black went down and the team struggled… but lately he’s been pulling a disappearing act while he’s still on the floor. This game was the most painful since American and Black, our floor leader, did nothing to stem the tide. Will has often said Black is the best point guard in the league… but he hasn’t lived up to that billing. He’s not creating shots for others (1 assist, 3 TO in 35 minutes) or himself (only 6 FGA today and 7 for himself). He’s shooting a nice percentage, but he needs to do more. The best drive and kick of the day was by non other than Ralph Watts- he found a big for a mid-range jumper which missed. But that’s the idea, Ralph.

This team is not hungry: This team isn’t as lackadaisical as last year’s, but they team does not get after it on the glass. Despite his flaws and recent cold shooting, Tim Ambrose pursues the basketball. The rebounding numbers for this game were close, but the Hawks got every board early and every board that mattered.

Luke Devlin scoring threat: The big three aren’t going to be on every game so Luke Devlin needs to put himself into scoring position more often. He cannot just bank on his three point burst. I’d like to see him flash and try to show some mid-range game as well. Basically, he should be prepared to do what Genesis Maciel did to us (a nice player who killed us with 12 points in only 20 minutes with an assortment of mid-range and deep shots).

All in all, this could easily be forgiven with an impressive home-stand against two of the best teams in the league: Maine and Boston University. We were supposed to lose this game and still go 8-8 (kenpom) so the season is far from lost. Logan Aronhalt is playing like one of the best in the league again. This could turn out all right! (this little pep talk has future heart break written all over it…)

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~ by TheMidRangeGame on January 10, 2011.

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