Well… I think I got my answer to my last question. If we are down by one with ten seconds left, Reggie Bullock is coming off three screens to get a look!
It’s great to see that Coach Williams and the staff have weathered the slow start and gotten the heels on track even with a few rocky patches against Maryland. Though Maryland won’t be our toughest opponent in the ACC, it was a great stepping stone to the next challenge. With NC State and Duke looming on the horizon, we still have our work cut out for us, but we are coming together and playing well as a team.
In my first article I mentioned that Bullock was one of the guys helping lead this team in the right direction. In the second article I gave a lot of praise to PJ Hairston… Though we have been improving, it’s still unclear who will individually deliver EVERY game. The good thing here is that someone has stepped up against FSU and Maryland. Many people are giving Bullock the majority of the credit for our last “W,” when in reality, it was quite the team effort. In the first half we were moving the ball like a cohesive team, and as a direct result we got good looks at the basket. One stat that doesn’t show up the box score is “good shots.” In the first half we took several good shots (at times, the second half was a different story). My friends always give me grief when I say in disgust “COME ON, THAT IS A TERRIBLE SHOT.” (Of course when watching a game in a crowd those shots always seem to go in…).
With a young team full of incredible talent it can be hard to help them understand what Coach Williams considers a “good shot.” When these guys were in high school, every shot they took was a good shot because they were almost always the best player on their respective teams. Now that they have played a few games in the ACC, they quickly realize that the competition (and their teammates) is as tall, fast, athletic and talented as they are. As a result, a contested three with 27 seconds on the shot clock isn’t the shot you want a guard taking at this level. When a big man gets doubled teamed in the post, he probably shouldn’t force up a shot. If you’re double teamed, someone’s open. It’s your job to find them. When a team is willing to make the extra pass and get a better look at the basket, it’s no surprise that more shots will fall!
(For reference, a “bad shot” could be as simple as: Reggie Bullock and Dexter Strickland are both open at the top of the key for three. If Dexter has the ball and takes the shot, it would be a bad shot. Not because he can’t make a three, but because Reggie is a better shooter and will make the shot more often)
Some of the younger guys on this team are still flying under the radar, along with Dexter Strickland and James Michael McAdoo. In my eyes, these two guys along with our slew of freshman still have a lot of potential to help lead/drive this team to bigger and better things. I’m happy that the boys have some confidence in themselves, now we have to buckle down and continue to build on our recent success.