I was starting to write this, and then I found out that QATAR won the World Cup bid in 2022 over the US. It's not like Qatar bans alcohol, hates women, and is going to be 150 degrees out in the middle of the summer. No, everyone is going to have a grand ol' time when they pass out when they step foot in Doha*. I'm a little bitter.
Did that make me feel any better? No, not really. Anyway's lets get into USF's OT win over VCU last night. First, the three positives.
1. Ron Anderson Jr. and Augustus Gilchrist. Stop me if you've heard this before, but Ron Anderson was awesome for the Bulls last night. Ron was a beast on the glass last night, grabbing 13 rebounds, with NINE of them on the offensive end. Ron also scored 10 points on 4-9 shooting to notch another double-double this season. Anderson also had an extremely impressive 4 blocks. Just another dominant performance by Ron last night.
Gus started to look like he is turning the corner this year, scoring 12 points on 5-10 shooting, including hitting one from three and another that was almost a three. Gus also chipped in 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks on the night. If these two can keep it up, we should compete pretty well in the Big East.
2. Controlling Tempo. As much as Vega wants us to run, the only way we win this season is if we slow the tempo down and feed our posts. There was no doubt that VCU wanted to run, but the team did a great job in controlling pace and not getting into a foot race with the Rams. If they would have, we would have had the doors blown out. We took pretty good care of the ball out of the press, ran down the clock, and got a decent look for a shot every now and then. If it missed, Ron and Gus were there to grab an offensive board, and we started all over.
3. Turnovers. Considering that VCU runs the same press we've seen from Georgia Southern, UCF, and others, the Bulls finally looked ok in beating the press. 13 turnovers is a pretty good performance by itself, but doing it against a high-pressure team like the Rams is a great performance, and Stan said as much last night when talking to Greg Auman,
"Thirteen in any game's a good job. Thirteen against this team is almost like having five in a regular game. We did a phenomenal job taking care of the ball."
Now let's hope we keep it up against FAU.
Now the three negatives:
1. Anthony Crater. I don't want to pick on him, but he had an atrocious night on the offensive end. His A/T ratio was an abysmal 1.25. Crater only scored 2 points on 1-5 shooting.(although they came in OT after he picked Joey Rodriguez' pocket). His entry passes to our posts were off time and time again. In the 2nd half in particular, Crater would get the ball with 15 on the shot clock, drain it down to 2 or 3 seconds, and then hand it off to someone not in position to make a decent shot. I can't count how many times he did this in the 2nd half, but I remember him handing the ball off to Jarrid Famous at the top of the key with a second left. Famous had to throw up a prayer which had no chance once it left his hands. Just not a good night for AC.
2. Lack of Free Throws. 9 in a game isn't enough, although we were very consistent going 2-3 in each half and in overtime. I at least hope there are double digit FT attempts Saturday in Boca.
3. VCU Getting Back in Game. VCU is a very good opponent, they have beaten some quality name teams like UCLA and Wake Forest, but if you're up by almost 20 no matter what part of the game, you shouldn't have to make a miracle shot to get the lead back with 15 seconds to go. It's already cost us two losses this year to Southern Miss and BYU, and I wouldn't be surprised if it happens a couple more times this season.
*The Dutch and Irish are going to riot when they find out there's no alcohol in Qatar and raze the whole emirate. Fantastic decision FIFA. I'm still bitter.