Winning Ugly, Mild Hilarity and the Standard Bearer

I have spent the last ten minutes in front of the laptop, staring on blankly as Butler gets the crap kicked out of them and trying to think of a title to tonight’s post. This is the best I have and admittedly it is not my best. Tonights game, and evening in general was all over the board. We played and beat Cornerstone Charter Academy 71-28. They were awful, and for a half of basketball we were as well. Against a team that measured it’s success by not turning the ball over in the backcourt, we led by only 12 at the half and generally looked like short bus all-stars. There were a couple of reasons for this type of performance, and i do not escape blame.

I knew Cornerstone would be bad. I decided before the game that we would rotate players every four minutes and play man to man, which we have done little of in any game to date. I told the players of my opinion of Cornerstone, our tactics and urged them to take care of business and not make this difficult. My objective was to maintain my honest approach to the team, see if we could play any man to man, and find out if we can set a standard of play for ourselves regardless of opponent.

We came out flat, conceded dribble penetration and fouled senselessly all over the floor. On offense, we held the ball too long, and took off balance shots against smaller players. A shitfest of the first order. I could have changed things throughout the first half with time-outs, defensive change or substitution, but let the players fight through their own struggles.

At the half, matters changed. I reclaimed the ship, and went back to our traditional zone package of defense. Things turned in our favor quickly. We turned a 29-17 halftime lead into a 71-28 blow out. It was as ugly as a 43 point win could be.

We could not guard Cornerstone man to man. We lacked the discipline and alertness to do so. This is problematic as there will come at some point in every season when the bells and whistles are put away, and the team must stand between the ball and the basket and stop them man to man. We are not ready for this time.

Our ball movement and turnovers are an atrocity. We hold it too long, dribble in to traffic, put the ball above our head, and try to dribble loose balls out of trouble instead of passing.

We committed purposeless fouls in the backcourt. Cornerstone was in the double bonus with two minutes left in the third quarter.

Ultimately we failed to play up to a standard worthy of our ability.

The night was not without some fun though. Juan Bernal: 407 Hood Legend was on the Cornerstone bench and KTA was my second in command. KTA apparently staked a considerable wager on the game, and after a nervous first half, was joyous as we covered the 21 point spread. KTA took the fifth amendment when asked how much he won, but was reportedly heard saying that it was “raining gold” as the final horn sounded.

4 thoughts on “Winning Ugly, Mild Hilarity and the Standard Bearer

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