Saturday, January 3, 2009

Close only counts in ...

UNCG 55 - Princeton 65

News & Record
UNCG Athletics
Princeton Athletics

UNCG spotted Princeton a 15 point first half lead and then spent the rest of the game trying to erase it. The Spartan got to within 3 with a little over a minute to play. But Mike Dement's dumbass foul strategy backfired when Princeton hit 11 of 12 free throws to pull away.

The Good:
- DeAngelo Jackson - 4 points and 9 rebounds (6 offensive) in 24 minutes. Not great stats, but solid enough. Elhanan Bone didn't play. So, Jackson needed to step up to try to replace some of his stats and he did an adequate job. His offensive skills are still raw and not that great, but he helped provide a spark.
- Attitude - UNCG has kept fighting back in almost all of their games, regardless of deficit or talent differences. It almost paid off this time. Hopefully, UNCG will be able to come all the way back next time.

The Bad:
-Shooting - 29.6%. In a game with a team that limits the number of possessions, you have to make a higher percentage of your shots.
- Rebounds - UNCG was outrebounded by a poor rebounding team. Not only that, they couldn't get one in the last couple of minutes when they absolutely needed one. Some of that can be attributed to the lack of Bone's presence. However, you've got to find a way to hold on to the ball when the game's on the line.

The Ugly:
- Mike Dement's ridiculous strategy. He elected to start fouling in a 3 point game with over a minute remaining. Not only that, UNCG fouled a 86% free throw shooter. I don't get it. Yes, Princeton would've ran 30+ seconds off the shot clock. But if they miss (and UNCG was playing very good defense at the time) the Spartans get the ball back with a chance to tie. It made absolutely no sense to me.

A few other things:
- At least twice, I heard the public address announcer call UNCG "North Carolina-Charlotte". I guess we're all the same. Maybe next year when Princeton comes to Greensboro we can call them "Harvard". Heck, all you Ivy league schools are basically the same, right?
- The ESPN-U announcers were gushing over Princeton's Jadwin Gym, going as far as calling it, "One of the five best arena's on the east coast". I don't get it. On TV, that place looked odd, empty and unattractive. Guess you had to be there.

Anyways, let's move on to SoCon play and hope things get better.