Saturday, January 9, 2010

A tale of two halves

In the words of Les Grossman, a nutless monkey could do my current position. The "Man" tells me I'm an IC Specialist. The eye tells me I pick up boxes and files and move them from point A to point B. Needless to say, I have tons of free time and have used it to listen to countless books on my mp3/iPod.

As Kris tackles the greatest films of all time, I've started to tackle some of the literary classics. Recently I listened to Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" with the famous first chapter that has been paraphrased by countless people since...

Needless to say, Saturday's #12 Georgetown vs. #13 Connecticut was a tale of two halves and I saw it as such thanks to the magic that is the Digital Video Recorder.

After letting the youngest watch three hours of educational TV, or whatever kept her from making the most noise and running me up a wall, I took over the tube for the 12 noon start for an early jump on the Big East title.

I've seen as much of the Hoyas this year as possible and it's clear to me that Greg Monroe will be a quality NBA pro. He won't be a superstar, but I can see him doing what another recent G'Town big is doing. Last year, Jeff Green averaged 16 ppg, 6 rbns and 2 assists. His numbers are down this year, but that's about where I see Monroe.

The problem the Hoyas have is Chris Wright is a junior leader, yet plays like a stupid freshman for at least 5 minutes of every game. Even when he's scoring 30 against Harvard or putting up 20+ to take down a scrappy St. John's team, he makes too many dumb plays to be a positive difference maker. Early on against the Huskies, he took a couple of stupid shots and made a silly pass and UConn will make you pay.

Watching UConn for the first time reminds me of a typical well-recruited but young team. Jim Calhoun has a ton of talent that wants to play a structured street ball game. They want to press, run after every change of possession and attack the glass. They're a poor shooting team, whether it's from behind the arc or from the stripe. Nevertheless, if you get caught up trying to run with them you'll fall behind quickly.

That's what happened to the Hoyas. There are no seniors on this team, so no one to explain that while we can run with teams, to run with the Huskies falls into their game plan. I was waiting for my wife to finish getting dressed and saw my boys fall down by 15 at the break. I then set it to record and left to go shopping and eat a lot of meat at Golden Corral.

I returned to listen to Dick Vitale stop slurping UConn and start marveling the breakout performance of Austin Freeman. The 6-4 junior guard supposedly slimmed down this year and it's helped his shooting. On this afternoon, he was left open on Town's basic screen hand-off at the wing. It's a shot that's always there in this modified Princeton offense and for some reason, UConn never closed out on the shooter.

Maybe they got comfortable with such a big lead (They led by as many as 19 in the first half). Maybe they didn't think Freeman would hit the shot (which is silly after he had nailed the first two). Maybe, despite the fact they block a lot of shots, UConn is just not a great defensive team (that's my opinion). Either way, Freeman got hot and for a long portion of the second half was outscoring the entire Husky squad.

With the Hoyas hanging onto a 1-point lead, the final 40 seconds should just be it's own highlight. Probably cut it down to the final 20 cuz UConn had a couple of chances but couldn't hit either open look. End result was a quality win, the Hoyas' third victory over a Top 20 team this year and likely enough to stay in the Top 15 when the polls come out on Monday.


zoltan said...

Remember the time in English class I accidentally referred to "A Tale of Two Cities" as "A Tale of Two Titties"?


One of the great moments in Teaneck High School history