Monday, November 23, 2015

Monmouth Postgame

Final:  Monmouth 82, Drexel 74
Player of the Game:  Kazembe Abif
Key to the game:  Perimeter Shooting
Next Game:  Thursday November 26 vs UNC Asheville (Great Alaska Shootout)

 “Every time we needed to come down and execute a play, somebody went to the wrong place. I told them, if we keep doing that, we’re going to frustrate ourselves.”  ~B. Flint 11/15/15

“My team never scores 70-some points, offense isn’t our problem,” he said. “Our problem is, we play really stupid sometimes. We play really bad basketball. We play good defense for a while, play good offense for a while, but then we just shut it off and play bad defense, play bad offense. Now what happens, we play it team who’s good enough to beat you if you play that way. We’ve played three teams that way.“It’s been frustrating. I told the guys, last year I knew we were going to have our problems.  This year, I don’t get it.”   ~B. Flint 11/21/15


At the DAC, on the CAAZone, and on my phone, it appears that Bruiser got one thing right in the quotes above: if they keep doing this they are going to frustrate themselves, and the couple hundred people that follow this team closely as well.  On Saturday "this" meant throwing inbounds passes away (twice), players not where they were supposed to be in offensive sets, not getting back on defense off a missed shot, and another poor showing on the foul line.  These are execution issues, lack of discipline issues, issues that one expects from freshman, not a team that is only playing one freshman. The optimist says that these are issues that are so easy to clean up that with just a bit of work, the talent of this team will shine through and the wins will come pouring in.  That optimist isn't wrong, that vision is entirely possible and the outcome all Drexel fans hope for.

The startling reality for Dragons fans is that this isn't the first year that they've heard these quotes.  Do a web search for the keywords and the quotes all still preserved out there, 15 years and three contract extensions into Bru's Drexel career.  Fans and staff alike are so used to this that they almost - almost - drove right on by the line that "my team never scores 70-some points" as if it isn't news.  But think about that quote critically, because the mind bogglingness of it is mind boggling.  First, he mentions not scoring 70 ever like that's an OK benchmark.  Then, Coach Flint says that this years team is scoring in the 70's, so he's not worried about the offense.  Letting the numbers speak for themselves here:

As a Drexel fan or administrator, which part of the quote scares you more?  That Coach Flint understands his offense is always poor, or that he thinks that this years has been good?

This team has talent, but there has been a lack of discipline and enough boneheaded plays to sink the ship, Bru is right about that.  But be sure to read the new rules listed above.  Because Bruiser has tried to call a live ball timeout in all of the games this year and picked up an unrelated technical as well, in the first half of the first game of the season.  It's easy to agree with Coach Flint that it's not lack of talent, but rather lack of discipline and mental lapses that has been killing this team.  But his quote makes it seem that he doesn't understand that he, just likes the players he tutors, is making those mistakes.

I apologize if you were looking for a gamestory about the Monmouth game, something that spoke to how well Kazembe Abif, Rodney Williams and Rashann London played, because they did play well and they deserve that praise.  There is talent on this team, and I urge fans to be patient, because these mistakes - from player and coach alike - can be cleaned up.  Ahmad Fields will come back.  This season isn't over after just three games.  I promise.  Remember this season that was "lost" after three games?  These guys will grow, mistakes will be cleaned up, the rhythm of the season will set in, and hey maybe someone will teach Bru basic math (don't blame Bru, it's the Saint Joe's education at fault).  

For now, we're on to Alaska.

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