Friday, November 27, 2015

Quick Preview - Alaska Anchorage

Much like the Red Sox never throwing at .260 hitters, the blog here doesn't usually have previews for D-II teams.  It's a tournament though, and given the fact that the Dragons are only 3.5 point favorites against this D-II team it appears that Vegas thinks Alaska has a very good chance to win this thing.  And this glorified exhibition game is actually important.

At 0-3 the Dragons could argue that they had played three strong teams, especially after Monmouth knocked off #17 Notre Dame yesterday.  At 0-4 and coming off of a double digit loss to a middle of the pack Big South team - putting the Dragons 0-2 against the Big South this year, that argument seems much less valid.  So now maybe three losses to good teams and then a game they were woefully unprepared for.  But if they lose tonight to put themselves 0-5 with two losses to the Big South and another to Division II, there will no longer be any defense.  Some folks are already there, such as Coach Flint who on last nights postgame sounded defeated already saying to Rob Brooks "We're just bad right now".

A win against Alaska and at least this bad team is on the board, maybe it sees a light or some improvement.  A loss, and it's going to be very hard for the team to show up to work for the near future.  Bruiser's calling card as a coach has been getting players to buy in, which was never more clear than when he brought Chris Fouch back when he could have transferred last year, or bringing back Abif this year.  Those skills will be pushed to the limit if they lose to Alaska.  Guys are already taking plays off - Rob Brooks commented to Bruiser about guys not having their legs out there last night and Bru said what we already knew, those guys should have been rested.  So let me say here what Bru didn't say - guys took plays off.  In this era of "defense" in college hoops, that can't happen.  It can not happen.

The larger concern from yesterday should be a concern for today as well.  Once again the Dragons couldn't beat a zone.  They don't have the shooters, and one expects to see zone all night from Alaska.  With the Seahawks deploying a zone, expect to see 20-30 jumpshots between Mojica, London and Tavon Allen.  The team doesn't get it inside enough, Terrell doesn't seem comfortable from deep.  So against a zone it's on those three until Fields gets back.  Going back to the postgame from the Monmouth contest - Bruiser thinks his offense is OK.

It's a holiday weekend.  Pour me some of what he's having.

Prediction:  Drexel 70, Alaska 67

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