Basket Half Empty

The basket refused to comply with another Ambrose Game-Winner (TU)

Oof. Tim Ambrose‘s game winner was halfway down. And then it wasn’t. If that drops, we have nothing but praise for the composure and the heroics of Ambrose to beat one of the best teams in the league. But the basket refused to allow entrance and here were are, staring at a loss after we had the ball in our hands, game tied, 40 ticks left on the clock. And we can’t help but worry that we’re…

At Start of a Snowball? This team knows what its like to lose and this slide is making fans antsy. You can’t help but peek around the corner and wonder if there is anything but losses ahead when the culture of losing starts to seep in.

Who Says They Have To Play The Games: Kenpom predicted we’d lose 64-62 and perhaps it would’ve been easier on the hearts of Great Dane fans if we let the computers decide the outcome. The actual loss, 66-64, was crushing.

The Ball Might Still Drop: The Maine loss is over, but there were a lot of positives to take from this game. Going toe to toe with Maine is proof that this team can beat anyone in the leagues. There is plenty of times for the Danes to grow from this loss and reverse the outcome for the second half of the schedule. Chin up- let’s keep in mind some positives:

+ Offensive Rating: Up until the regular season, the strength of this team was the offense. Of course, that disappeared in Hartford (a painful 70 ORtg) and Vermont (91 ORtg)

+Mike Black: We’ve been on Mike Black here for not being aggressive enough (as was Will). 4-6, 10 points and an assist is a pleasant and effecient statline, but there is not chance this team can win if Black does not play like a go to guy. Lo and behold, he took 14 shots, had a team high 18 points, and got to the foul line – all while keeping his offensive rating at a sterling 127 (he’s only at 98 for the season). This proves that Black is capable of being the go-to player and he must do it. There aren’t enough other options.

+Get The Bigs The Ball Around the Basket: Albany is making a concerted effort to get Devlin and Puk touches inside. This is valuable even if they aren’t cashing in huge amount of points. Another very solid effort by Luke Devlin, by the way, even though he was over-matched by Troy Barnies (who is suddenly an AE All Conference player, if season ended today revised All-Conf List: Barnies, Holland, Voelkel, Fjeld and Jabbi). Barnies got his numbers, but he was kept to a 98 ORtg, which is actually a testament to the Danes being able to keep a star player in check (I’ve stumbled upon another plus!). Also, seeing a bit of a pick and roll offense from the Danes, even if the execution was still sloppy, shows that we are looking to get our non-big three involved.

+The Bench Lives!!!: Watts, Allen and Metcalf chipped in for thirteen points! That’s colossal compared to what we’ve been getting.

+Something About Watts: There’s something going on with Ralph Watts. I don’t know if he’s recovering his full health or gaining confidence (I suspect it’s a combination of both), but he’s makes progress out there. He’s starting to affect the game with his D and it appears he’s on the brink of being a factor on offense. He’s shown the ability to get into the lane and if he figures out how to exploit that, it would open up a lot of our offense.

There will be much hand-wringing likely through the BU game- but it’s the games after that that UAlbany must steal their wins. Let’s hope this loss keeps them hungry and lets them know they’re on the brink of breaking into the top half of the league.

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~ by TheMidRangeGame on January 13, 2011.

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