Saturday, November 15, 2008

If at first you don't succeed ... try, try, try, try, try, try again

Charlotte 77- UNCG 59

- News & Record
- Charlotte Observer
- Charlotte

Early in the second half, a Charlotte player missed a point blank shot. However, in what was a microcosm for the entire game, 49ers players proceeded to rebound and shoot the ball 6 more times before finally converting. The Spartans got Charlotte to play the kind of ugly game that it needed to have a chance. They just couldn't grab the ball, figuratively and literally.

It was a disappointing, yet not unexpected result. UNCG had lost too much to simply go down to Charlotte and knock off a good team. But it wasn't all bad. Landon had 13 points and Mikko had 12. The guys did quite a few nice things. And let's not forget, this is a Charlotte team that should go to the NCAA tournament. Lamont Mack (18 pts, 10 rebs) is a big time player. However, some of this game was them not playing well either, but I'll get to that ...<>

The Good
- Landon Clement - The Blue-White game was not an aberration. He stepped up and took his shots with confidence and made quite a few of them (3-6 from deep). After a bad shot that resulted in an air ball, he was harassed by the student section badly for the rest of the game. But still made a few more shots. It was obvious the crowd was getting to him, though.
- Montel Smith - He looked the part of the starting PG that UNCG desperately needs. His stat line wasn't all that special (2 pts, 2 rebs, 1 ast) but it was the fact that he got the ball down the court and got the team in an offense. No one else that ran the point looked nearly as good.
- Defense - UNCG held Charlotte to 41% shooting and 4-18 from 3 point range. The match up zone (not sure if it was 2-3 or 1-3-1) that the Spartans used for much of the game was pretty effective. All-in-all it was a good defensive effort. However, Charlotte missed a ton of wide-open shots. I've not seen a team miss that many shots with no one around them. So, I don't think you can attribute all of Charlotte's offensive problems to UNCG defense.
- Rebounding - I know, UNCG got beat on the boards 37-28. Let me point out again that Charlotte got 6 of those on one trip down the floor. Other than that, I thought Ben Stywall did a respectable job. As the first post-Hines game, it wasn't too bad.

The Bad
- Post play - Except for a few nice second half plays from Bone, the UNCG big men looked massively overwhelmed. And it seemed like anyone that checked into the game in the 4 or 5 spots got whistled for a foul immediately. That's got to get better quick.
- PG play - 7 assists/23 turnovers.
- The Score - UNCG lost by 18. It felt like 30 watching from home. Other than a 5 minute run in the second half, this game wasn't really competitive.

The Ugly
- Intentional foul - That was a bad and dangerous play made by Eargle. He's got to let that play go and not compound one mistake with another one. I agreed with his frustration. Something should have been called on that play. But UNCG needed him on the court.
- Shot selection - Landon and Mikko are going to score 9-15 points every game. They let their shots come within the offense. Everyone else forced too many shots. UNCG shot themselves out of their run by taking two bad 3 pointers.

All-in-all I think that this game will provide some film that the guys will use to get better on Monday.

Go Spartans !!!