Monday, November 28, 2011

This Week in Wrenball: My Eyes!

Team G:TB had a rare opportunity to take in live Wren action over the Thanksgiving holiday, heading inside the Beltway to catch the Tribe at Howard. With students on break, the Burr Gymnasium crowd was considerably less than capacity, and the W&M faithful outnumbered their Howard counterparts.  Unfortunately, that's about the best thing we can say about the Tribe's performance in the 67-58 loss.

W&M's perimeter players struggled from the outset with Howard's defensive pressure in halfcourt sets, with several lazy passes becoming turnovers and easy buckets. With two sophomores (Brandon Britt and Julian Boatner) and a freshman (Marcus Thornton) carrying a big part of the ball-handling load, a certain amount of inefficiency is expected, but W&M's passivity on offense wasn't.

Thornton's got a ton of athletic ability (he almost hit his head on the rim on a late, ill-advised drive to the basket that resulted in a charging call), and he's more capable of getting his own shot than any William & Mary player in recent memory. Right now, though, his individual talent hasn't meshed with Tony Shaver's disciplined system, which results in a lot of one-on-one play that leaves a bunch of teammates standing around.  We'd like to see Thornton playing off the ball more, using his athleticism to free himself up for easy looks - the offense stagnates when he's at the point.

It's fashionable these days to downplay the importance of team chemistry, especially since we can't measure it. While I'm as hip to the value of tempo-free stats as the next guy, this Tribe team sure seems to be suffering from an identity crisis that's hard to understand with numbers alone. Case in point: Tribe star Quinn McDowell's performance against Howard, which was one of the most bizarre disappearing acts we've seen. Entering the game with a team-leading 13.5 ppg, McDowell didn't take a shot until less than four minutes remained in the contest, finishing with a single point, four rebounds, and three turnovers in 33 oddly silent minutes. We've praised McDowell's unselfishness in the past, but if any game warranted a "give me the ball and get the fuck out of my way" moment from the Tribe's best player, it was this one - and he'd done just that in leading the Tribe to a win over Liberty in their most recent game. McDowell's play combined with the backcourt's 8-for-31 marksmanship testified to an uncertainty and lack of offensive purpose we haven't seen in the past three seasons.

On the bright side, and there certainly was one, Tim Rusthoven returned to the court for the first time this season and was the best player on the court in his 21 minutes. Beasthoven scored an efficient 13 points (4-5 from the field, 5-6 from the line), grabbed a team-leading 6 boards, blocked a shot and recorded a pair of steals. He also hit the floor at least three times in pursuit of loose balls, providing the only spark W&M delivered all afternoon.

As the great MGL noted in response to my tweeted frustration about the Tribe's 1-6 start, "It would be more frustrating in January". And so we continue to believe our motto, "In Shaver We Trust", and expect the Tribe to figure out what ails them.  Getting JohnMark Ludwick back to extend the opposition's post defense would be a nice start, though he looked fairly uncomfortable in his walking boot on Saturday.

W&M takes on Richmond on Wednesday, a prospect that seems daunting from where we sit today, before opening CAA play on the road against improving Georgia State.

47 comments:

Almighty Yojo said...

my whole basketball career has been one long "give me the ball and get the fuck out of my way" moment.

rob said...

fact

Igor said...

G:TB mini-summit in NJ this weekend. Almighty Yojo, Mr. Truck, Dave, Whitney, Zman, and I will be drinking beers. Story to follow.

rob said...

occasion?

Dennis said...

So, someone talk me off a ledge here. If ESPN had knowledge of potential child sex abuse and didn't follow it through til someone was arrested, killed, or both; then shouldn't their entire leadership chain be brought down? I mean, I'm talking the head of ESPN, the head of ABC, the head of fucking Disney. And why not dig up Steve Jobs' bones and throw him under the bus too for a good corpse trampling - he was the majority share holder of Disney in case you're wondering if I've completely lost my mind.

Somehow ESPN is going to heroically become a dedicated journalistic entity that helped bring a sexual predator to justice...and then I'm moving to Canada. I can hardly stand their self pandering anymore.

T.J. said...

HOLY SHIT YOU USED LABELS!

T.J. said...

Dennis, I enjoy the sentiment...but then I remember this is the same channel that brought us "Bonds on Bonds".

rob said...

dennis - my take on the story is that espn investigated several years ago and couldn't corroborate the accuser's story. only after the sandusky stuff happened and a second (and then third) fine accuser came out did espn have enough to run with. am i missing something? 'cause i hate to defend espn without reason.

Marls said...

ESPN had the tape for 8 years and did not much with it. Looks like they dropped the ball by not turning it over to the police. Seems like that was the very least they could do.

rob said...

ah - missed the part about them having the tape. yeah, that's pretty fucking egregious.

TR said...

YP/MP, I don't understand all this industry jargon. All I know is we want those tapes.

T.J. said...

Marls, last night you half-defended Boeheim on the tweet machine...

Dennis said...

Hold on...isn't it up to the police to decide whether information is substantial enough to warrant an investigation? I love how a sports entertainment company now considers themselves the authority on legal procedures.

I can't believe two things at this point - 1) Other news outlets aren't absolutely slamming ESPN and 2) That ESPN is intentionally releasing this information - arrogance and stupidity at its finest.

TR said...

We cannot get a record contract
unless I take these tapes. And granted, the tapes themselves are yours. You own them, OK? But the magic that is on the tapes, that fuckin' heart and soul we put into those tapes, that is ours,
and you don't own that.

zman said...

Feel my heat.

Dave said...

event is catherine's 40th-- rob, i sent an evite to a couple of your e-mails . . .

i can't wait until mr. truck meets almighty yojo-- those two are going to get along smashingly. lecky is also going to try to bring that matt guy.

T.J. said...

So, my time spent on I-287 NJ these past 72 hours gets me no invite?

F U Almighty Greasetruck.

F

U

rob said...

ah, yes - my apologies for the lack of response. my weekend is a clusterfuck that includes 3 performances of 'scrooge' by one daughter and a pair of 'nutcracker' performances by the other. the former is katy's stage debut. t-minus 5 years until my planned retirement on her hollywood earnings.

Marls said...

Teej - I still half defend Jimmy B, notwithstanding the fact that I think he is a gigantic douchenozzle for non-kiddie molestation related reasons.

If he was unware of the tape and all he knew was that that the police and cuse' had closed their investigations I don't think he had any reason to go further. In that case, I only take umbrage with his statement last week where he called the accusers liars. At the very least, it makes him a tonedeaf douche as I pointed out last night.

However, if it comes out that he had additional infomation that he did not turn over to the police, he and Joe Pa should be playing pinochle together at Del Boca Vista by January.

Danimal said...

I will be performing in Chicago for the next two nights if anyone interested.

Marls said...

Is the 9:30 show totally different from the 7:30 show?

T.J. said...

Try the dead baby cow

Marls said...

I love my dead gay baby cow

T.J. said...

Marls, as the lone Cuse guy in this mix, I feel like I'm fighting you, but Jimmy should have never said a word to start. Then this wouldn't even be an issue.

zman said...

Alas, I won't be joining you guys for beers on Saturday. I forgot that zwoman made dinner plans for us. Pour some out for me.

Igor said...

Igor is playing in NYC Friday night for any takers. Marls is probable and TR is questionable to probable.

Zman sucks.

rob said...

igor's great in nyc.

zman said...

I'm in, business cahzhul style.

T.J. said...

Gormley loves "TR is questionable to probable". He claims they have a great mix of old skool soul and farts.

He claims "zman sucks" is same old, same old. Classic Zack de la Rocha faux bitterness mixed with Afrika Bambaataa beats.

zman said...

Teedge is watching The Sing-Off.

T.J. said...

Teehj is dropping the knowledge

T.J. said...

Also, Drew Brees might be a tiny man, but he throws some TDs
/gruden'd

TR said...

My odds of participating in a Friday happy hour increase exponentially the earlier the event starts. So if you will be on a stool at 4:01 PM, I'll likely find you for some brown liquor before I drunkenly sit on my train home, doing a crossword and quietly loathing all around me.

Shlara said...

I know this is off topic, but I'm looking forward to the Dale Hunter era. If he can't get those diva russians focused, then no one can. Looking forward to the first time Hunter throws down with Ovie...doubt there will need to be a second time.

zman said...

I'm putting a new band together: Urban Meyer Hawthorne. Vintage/neo soul with a streetier edge.

Igor said...

Urban Meyer Hawthorne has nothing on Les Miles Davis, my band of Christian jazz crossover cool.

rob said...

danimal, pour some out for jack del rio

Danimal said...

yeeehawwww

Danimal said...

hannah strom is wearing a camouglage dress...
hannah desert storm

who's going to get the jags gig?

Danimal said...

camouglage is a new word, not to be confused with camouflage

Squeaky said...

A little late but TJ, I resemble those remarks.

Dale Hunter will last either 30 games or 3 years. It will all depend on whether or not he actually makes himself a player/coach, ala Reggie Dunlop.

T.J. said...

danimal, lil gerbil adam schefter says Jags are moving

TR said...

Lemmiwinks?

T.J. said...

Mr. Slave?

Danimal said...

We shall see.....word has it Wayne weaver has zero interest in leaving but couldn't blame him if he did....

T.J. said...

New post up.

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