Had to watch the game on tape delay and just read the game thread. Comments:
1. To those bashing Gott for the team blowing the big lead… in the first half, State shot 62% and ND shot 37%, or something like that. When I saw those halftime numbers, I fully expected State to shoot worse and ND to shoot better and expected it to become a close game. That’s not on Gott.
2. However, like BJD, I was puzzled by the lack of minutes for Cat against the top offense in the nation, which is a completely perimeter-based offense. Like BJD, I was saying at halftime that Cat should start and play the majority of the second half to try to proactively prevent the expected ND second half run. IMO that was a coaching mistake on Gott.
3. I am one who typically tries to resist complaining about officiating, but I thought it was pretty poor tonight. Phantom foul calls on our bigs definitely hurt. I was furious about two plays in particular. First, the play where Martin was called for a perimeter foul and they awarded the shooter 3 free throws. His foot was on the line! And he made the third free throw, so that was an extra point they should not have had. Second, the call where the ND defender went over Martin’s back right in front of the ref, who called the ball out off Martin. Martin was mauled on it and Gott went ballistic.
4. As someone else posted, I couldn’t figure out why we didn’t sub in a big after the turnover on the long pass with 16 seconds left. On the next possession, ND played volleyball until they got the basket. Again, I think that was a bad decision by Gott.
5. Despite his flaws, I like Gott. Despite its flaws, I like this team. They don’t quit. And IMO they are on the verge of putting it all together. They have proven they can play with the best in the country — they played well enough to be in position to win against Duke, UVA, UNC, and ND… sure, they only won one of them, but the point is that this team can play with the best. I believe wins are coming in more of these games.
6. I think we will make the NCAA tournament this year. And I think next year, losing only Des and Turner, but gaining Henderson, we are going to be a really good team, a team that can challenge for top 4 in conference.