This one hurt like that Alex Len tip-off a couple of years ago. It was also very much like the Wofford game in multiple respects. (including experience being a factor)
Here is what I saw. Gott’s hand has been forced to play freshman in more time, they are generally playing very well (future is bright, blah blah), but they are still freshman and making mistakes in fouling and some decision-making. I knew that we were in trouble as soon as Abu got his fourth foul, he’s been doing his best Richard Howell ‘foul situation’ impression. I would not have been Abu in for the final play, I said aloud ‘save him for overtime’. While I think that Cat was effective off the bench, but I feel like the ball is not touching the right hands in critical situations, and the players should be aware of this; instead, its controlled chaos.., which leads to my next point.
Like I have seen in previous hard fought losses, we lose our advantage when we settle for jump shots. In my opinion, each time we score off ball movement, we have had a successful possession. We get away from this too easy. We are not so good at jump shooting that we should really consider this as a first option. (No need to panic just because there is 10 on the shot clock, run the offense!) So sometimes I feel like a made jumpshot is the wrong type of reinforcement. Its just not a high percentage play for us, and takes pressure off the defense and foul situation. We reached the Bonus much later than ND because of our abandoning of playing in the paint. I’m sure earlier in the season Gott told Turner and Lacey they need to carry the offensive load, but we will continue to stagnate if our first option is a forced shot by these two instead of good ball movement and a slashing Martin/Abu/Washington.