Protect This House…(Please!)

Why can’t we just lose convincingly to a better team? If Maine or BU had beaten us by keeping a steady 5-10 point lead all game, similar to what Vermont did, we move on easier. But instead, on the heels of letting the Maine game rimming out, Albany wasted their best single half performance of the year. A sixteen point lead at half built on an incredible half by Puk, some continued great strides by Watts as a distributer and scorer (you heard it first as PAGN), Ambrose started the game hot. It slipped away to yes, the best player in the league, John Holland, but also to a team that hadn’t won on the road this year.

I’m not quite sure how this happened. Maybe a lack of confidence by Will in his team if he told them to slow it down and extend the game. Against UConn, yes. Against a one man show versus BU… there might be better options. They didn’t throw this game away, there was no horrendous turnovers, there was just … slippage. From the start of the first half, the Terriers slowly picked up more and more ground and it seemed as if no one on Albany could do anything about it. To be fair, we know this team cannot protect a lead. Central Connecticut and Siena required miraculous comebacks after a lead had vaporized. Today we just didn’t have the miraculous comeback.

But it’s hard to be super upset at the players. It was a great team effort offensively despite the poor second half, with a solid 1.1 points per possessions (~110 ORtg). Going down the line, we had a true point guard game from Mike Black, 8 assists, one turnover 137 ORtg. Tim Ambrose bounced back, 128 offensive rating, 5 assists to 1 turnover and he a couple of close baskets at the end that he just cannot will to go in. They keep banking off the backboard and spinning around and bouncing out. Puk was a huge offensive positive (151 ORtg), something we have not seen, and when it was in combination with Devlin, (137 ORtg) our offensive was churning out points. That first half was beautiful. The strange thing though, was in the second half, I wanted Watts on the floor, but the question is who to take out. It has to be one of the big three. Last night, it should’ve been Logan (a chucker’s 72 ORtg), but as I was thinking this, he hit one of his big threes down the stretch. It’s hard to take such a potent shooter out of the game, because you never know when you’ll get hot. But the team needed more of a creator than a gunner, and Watts (118 ORtg) was that guy last night, and he may be going forward.

At the end of the day though, all my anger was channeled at Erik Elkin, who I listened to in addition to watching the feed. As the lead was slipping away (to be fair, he was by himself) a) he hardly ever gave the score , but most importantly b) he was excited for BU baskets as much as Albany ones- and never takes care to frame the point of view – I don’t care how Boston University can get back in the game. I care about what Albany need to do to prevent it. Be biased there, Erik. It’s a UAlbany radio program, not NPR. Show some emotion. I’ll cut my rant short there.

All in all, we’ve lost three games we should have lost. This will not be acceptable against the upcoming (weaker) portion of our schedule. Hopefully these early heart attack games lead to a solution, not future heart attack games.

~ by TheMidRangeGame on January 16, 2011.

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