20 turnovers. Do I really need to say more than that? When your point guard, who just had an army behind him complaining about how he should’ve made the top 60 pg list, has 3 turnovers in the first minute and a half (each resulting in a transition basket) is there really anything to be happy about? Or what about St. Johns getting an ass whooping 34 points off turnovers?
This was bad. This was taking a game where we were favored (albeit by a small margin) and literally throwing it out the window. More after the jump.
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers
It’s hard to win a game when you have 20 turnovers, 14 of which comes from your star three guards in Council, Coleman, and Cotton. Add to that a little over a third of the total 91 points St. Johns put up was from those turnovers and you knew very early that this game was trouble. We started off 2-0, and that was the last time we ever saw the lead. In the post game Ed Cooley commented that the game was over at 12-2 due to the performance he was seeing.
Where’s the beef?!
We played weak tonight. Very weak. Actually, the polar opposite of an Ed Cooley team. I’ve seen middle school games with more heart and toughness than what was displayed tonight, and that’s honestly not a low ball shot because we’ve seen this team be tough. We know that people like Coleman and Council and Henton grit their teeth and spit right back in the face of adversity when it comes on the basketball court. They take no shit, and rightfully so – you earn respect in this conference, it’s not handed out because you wear a jersey. That’s partly why tonight was so frustrating because we know that there’s better performances out of this team, but I guess that’s what happens some nights – you come in unprepared mentally. You think that a 7 game win streak means something? What about game 8? What about game 9, 10, 11, 12? Unfortunately, basketball is a game of ups and downs, like life, and you can’t ever let your guard down because things are going well yesterday.
Keno Davis defense is back!
FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!! No, not really, there is no more Keno Davis defense, it doesn’t exist (get it?). Truthfully, this goes back to the previous point about playing hard, we just didn’t have it. It showed on defense where we looked like swiss cheese but really that’s a compliment cause swiss cheese isn’t one gaping hole, and we kind of were at points. In reality, we didn’t play like we cared on defense, allowing the Johnnies to make us look like the laughing stock of the Big East once again with play after play. It became discouraging to watch because at least on offense we kind of stuck to the gameplan in that we slowed the pace down and tried to take care of the ball (piss poorly, but still tried, I guess?) so now we’re not only allowing ourselves to create a bigger deficit with each blown opportunity but we’re not pushing the tempo enough to even get back in the ball game. That’s fine if it’s, say a 3 point gap, or a 7 point gap, but when you’re down damn near 20 it’s time to push that ball like a pregnant lady bearing a child with an oversized head.
Ed Cooley gets it
In the post game press conference, Ed Cooley had his usual spot on quotes. This one caught my attention though:
That was the worst defensive game I ever coached. That will be emphatically addressed tomorrow morning at 6am…
Here’s a pop quiz – want to know what our former coach did after a loss this bad? Pick up games. Something, anything, to boost morale. Ed Cooley doesn’t give a shit about feelings or morale like that, he wants to win and if you play for him you should want to win just as badly, if not more. 6 AM is a statement. Empathetically addressed probably pertains to running with cinder blocks in what I imagine will be freezing cold Providence weather. You know why coaches do these things? It’s not punishment, it’s a goddamn opportunity. It’s a chance to show him how badly you want to win. It’s a chance to grow and become more disiplined, to not sleep until noon and then think sorrowfully about the prior night’s failures. It’s a chance to get ready for that next game. That’s a big problem with younger people, not this team but in general, who think that life is full of gumdrops and handouts. That when you fail someone will pat you on the back and tell you you’re still special and still worth a lick. In reality when life bites you, you punch life in the face and take it’s teeth as a trophy to warn anything else that might try to bite you. Ed Cooley gets that, Ed Cooley lives by that code. That’s why I look up to him, why I strive to be an emulation of his mentality, and why these kids playing for him are so damn lucky. 6 AM sucks, but think about how much more prepared they’ll be for the next time they take the court. Make no mistake, this loss blew hard, but as long as Ed has his way we’ll come out even better because of how he handled it with his players. Word is born.