Slow Turning

Like the song says, you can learn to live with love or without it

Gonzaga vs Duke, MSG, December 19, 2009

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My very first thought of the day was that Duke was going to wipe the floor with Gonzaga.

This game spun me into new levels of disappointment. To say that both teams started out slow is an understatement; play was so bad that we started cheering for any basket that was made. Ultimately it was Duke, though, that was able to regroup and put together a decent performance to get the win.

As for the performances from Gonzaga, both coaches and players alike, I’m not really sure what was going on. I have no idea what the set plays were, but shot selection looked horrible. Andy Katz described Gonzaga best in just one word: lost. No one from Gonzaga should look at this game and find bright spots.

I will give Matt Bouldin a pass for his performance. I have no idea what the symptoms or lingering effects of having a concussion are. I think that with each concussion it becomes harder to heal and get back to normal. I’m not sure how many Bouldin has had, but read that this wasn’t his first one. He played decent, but it wasn’t the level of play that has been expected of him this year. If anything, it reminded me of a brutal performance he would give in previous years when there were other players who could step in and carry the team. He has no such luxury this year.

Steven Gray could very well take the most heat for this game. I think a lot of fans view Gray as a team leader, especially when Bouldin is not on the floor. It’s a logical line of thinking: he’s a junior and an extremely talented player on both sides of the ball. There’s something on the court that’s not clicking for him, though. It could be that he still needs to adjust to being a starter and playing for most, if not all, 40 minutes of a game. Once his game becomes more consistent, I think team play will even out.

My impression of this year’s Gonzaga team is that it lacks team chemistry.  For what it’s worth, I read that Coach Few’s offense is complicated because it’s predicated on timing and precision (I’m paraphrasing from a foggy memory). With more time, practices, and games, I hope to see the kinks ironed out and more of a flow to the games.

As a fan and alum, I must remember that these young men are that exactly that: young. They are college students who are balancing their personal, academic, and athletic lives. They do not deserve to come under the scrutiny of fans like me who can hide behind the anonymity of the internet (via blogs, twitter, myspace, facebook, espn, message boards, etc) and launch brutal criticism from afar. If I do not hold my own self to such unrealistic expectations of perfection, I should not hold these young players to such loftiness.

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Written by rachel

December 20, 2009 at 8:28 pm

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