PantherU

Let’s try this again

vs.

Milwaukee (0-1) vs. Florida Atlantic (1-0)

Chiles Center, Portland, Oregon: 6:30 p.m. CST

At one point during yesterday’s schellacking by the Portland Pilots, I wondered to myself: are we good, just not good enough?

Well, if we go by the game, they just weren’t good at all.

You can sugar-coat it by saying the team pl5ayed well in the second half; Kyle Kelm and Lonnie Boga played decent.  But facts are facts: as good as Portland is, and they may not fall off after last year’s #79 RPI finish, Milwaukee played an awful game and lost by twenty points.

Luke Sikma destroyed Anthony Hill in the post, pulling down 12 rebounds and scoring 14 points.  The Pilots shot 47.6% from three for the game, including 6 of 11 in the second half while Milwaukee was trying to claw back.

All in all, the most telling statistic to me is this: 6-22.  That’s the Milwaukee three-point shooting, just 27.3%.  But my problem isn’t the percentage so much as the attempts.  Jeter and his crew found last season that the team plays better when you kick it in down low; shooting over twenty threes in a game means that you’re abandoning your inside game.  Indeed, the 22 threes were almost a third of the overall shots.

It could be that Anthony Hill had a particularly rough time playing Luke Sikma.  But that’s not an excuse anymore; if Hill isn’t getting the job done in the post, move Kelm down low, Haggerty or Carter into the lineup.  The depth allows us options when the five on the floor aren’t getting it done.

Kaylon Williams turned over the ball four times.  Tone Boyle shot 4 of 13 from the field, including 2 of 8 from three.  The team shot 10 of 18 from the charity stripe.

There’s something to be said for timing, and that’s that the team hasn’t meshed completely with the new point guard.  Williams had one turnover that would have been an easy bucket for Boyle had the guard left his spot a split-second later.

Today doesn’t get much easier.  Florida Atlantic (1-0) beat UC Davis yesterday, 71-63  and will be looking for their first 2-0 start in 20 years.  The Owls got 19 points from Dennis Mavin, a freshman shooting guard playing his first collegiate game.

The Owls are a very young team; only one starter, Brett Royster (senior), is an upperclassman, and they only played one other upperclassman last night (Shavar Richardson, junior).  Richardson came in the game yesterday to play out starter’s minutes when Greg Gantt was ejected from the game in the first half.

They don’t seem to be a very deep team, with four players playing over thirty minutes against UC Davis.  The team leader seems to be Alex Tucker, a 5’10” guard who scored 14 and pulled down six rebounds yesterday.

The Panthers hope to come out of the gate much the way Portland did, but to do that they’ll have to shoot much better, find a way to mesh well, and commit to an inside presence.

If you’re hoping the rotation pares down a bit, don’t.  At least not today; with only five players playing more than 20 minutes, and four over 30, the Owls can be run down.  Kick the ball down low to try and get Brett Royster and Kore White into foul trouble; do that, and the Owls are depending on end of the bench guys to beat the Panthers.

Go Panthers!

Horizon Update: Milwaukee was the only Horizon League team to lose last night.  Youngstown State took down Samford at home, Cleveland State beat Bryant, Valparaiso beat IU-Northwest and Loyola rolled against Eastern Kentucky.

0 Comments

  1. Yoda

    November 13, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Sure hope we can bounce back. That was awful yesterday.

  2. PANTHERfan

    November 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t think Carter will be the answer in the post… at least not right now. Yesterday he was slow, getting beat on almost every possession.

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