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Username Post: My Final Thoughts
Posts: 193

Reg: 11-21-04
06-04-23 10:47 AM - Post#356630    
    In response to nychoops

My take is somewhat different than your analysis, although generally we are in agreement.. Where we differ is that Steve does a good job of game preparation, witness getting early leads on so many teams that come back to beat us.. The problem is that our recruiting has been substandard-especially failing to recruit big men who both are athletic and have an offensive game- which leaves the staff's recruiting one dimensional players who fit the offensive system as our lifeblood, but leave us exposed to the other teams' adjustments. Jay Wright and Fran Fraschilla both have said on ESPN that Steve is an outstanding offensive coach. That is comforting, but it also is a way of implying that he and the staff are not doing the job defensively. When opposing teams make their runs, Penn's interior defense resorts to fouling instead of blocking out and keeping their big men off the boards, and making the other defensive adjustments necessary to make comebacks difficult. Additionally, on defense, our players are not quick or strong enough to get out on their three point shooters and then get back to help out, so we make their better shooters look like All Americans when they start hitting their shots and then driving to the hoop. When our opponents tighten their defenses and crash the boards (which we have been unable to adjust well to and are not athletic enough to fight off), they grab the momentum, and the game is over. Usually, that happens in the second half when we are tired and have no answers,. Against Pitino's Iona team, it happened seven minutes into the game, and the result was embarrassing when we were completely outclassed in every aspect of the game. Hopefully, the freshmen coming in will yield one or two starters and give us the depth we need to compensate for our existing lack of quickness and overall size with fresh bodies, more size, and quality depth. The loss of JD is huge, but it does open up the opportunity to create offensive and defensive schemes that employ two fairly equal units, and that, by itself, with different personnel moving in and out of the lineup in both halves of each game, may be sufficient to fight off most of these comebacks by keeping everyone fresh and out of foul trouble. and with sufficient game experience that they look comfortable out on the court in crunch time.
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