Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Running The Forty - Texas A-M

40:00 - Ron Franklin and Fran Frachilla have the call, which actually could be tolerable. The Erwin center seems to be buzzing with excitement, and we're underway. Solid air ball to start off the game, that's a good sign. Kevin Durant plays defense for the first this season to become an underrated defender according to Fran

35:17 - Texas is pushing the pace well not allowing A-M to set up in their defense. It also helps that Durant and Augustin are getting a lot of touches and have come out shooting well. Defensively Texas is struggling to handle A-M inside as Joseph Jones as 2 offensive rebounds. But with Kavaliaskas picking up 2 quick fouls, there's only one guy inside that we won't be able to stop. But don't worry Connor Atchely is here to save the day. Oh, that didn't work. Acie Law just matched up on Durant the last time down the floor, that's an interesting match up, we'll have to see if Durant can take advantage of it.

31:03 - Craig Winder appearance: 0-1 with a foul on a 3 pointer. It seems like Craig was tonight's player to steal a few minutes, can't say it worked out too well. A-M has slowed down Texas' transition and their half court defense has been impressive. Durant hitting a 3 over Pompey has been about the only offense we're getting against the Aggies' half court set. Speaking of Pompey, can we let him touch the ball more? I think he's the only reason we're staying with A-M right now. He is a great reason why A-M was able to go 0-16 in conference a few years ago. Texas has looked a little confused on defense, but they're playing aggressively. A-M has absolutely dominated the boards though.

27:52 - The game is continuing at a fast pace as Texas is trying to buy some minutes for Abrams, Durant, and Augustin, which always makes things interesting. Fortunately, A-M will have to face some foul trouble issues as Josh Carter picked up his second foul. Texas has switched to the zone to stay out of foul trouble and rest a bit. Though it has effectively led to more offensive rebounds for A-M. Marlon Pompey hasn't done anything lately. I think they revoked his touching the basketball privileges. This Gillespie guy is a smart one. What do you think Acie Law's left arm is an essay of? The Magna Carta?

22:42 - Great minutes by Dexter Pittman. A blocked shot and drawing two fouls on Joseph Jones. If only he could hit a free throw. But who cares? He's like a big teddy bear out there. With Jones and Kavailaskas in foul trouble A-M has lost their inside presence, and the zone has stagnated A-M's perimeter players, allowing Texas to go on a bit of a run. It also helps to be 6-9 from 3-point range. Texas is shooting lights out, but Texas A-M having 9 more shot attempts has kept A-M right in this game. Davis picks up his second foul as Texas continues to go at A-M. With only 7 players averaging over 10 minutes a game for the Aggies, we're about to meet some new friends. Does Chris Walker have any eligibility left? What is he doing these days? Dairy Queen? Scottie Reynolds and Damian James both originally signed with Oklahoma. Man, poor Jeff Capel, oh wait, he went to Duke, karma is a bitch.

20:25 - Texas is facing some foul trouble with Abrams, Atchely, and Pittman with 2 fouls a piece. But Texas has taken its largest lead of the game, and it seems like A-M is just trying to make it into halftime without too much damage done. Durant missed an open 3 that would've sent the place into bedlam.

43-36 at the half - Texas shot the lights out in the first half and Texas A-M will surely make adjustments defensively to affect that in the second half. Texas will need to continue to attack and try and keep the Aggies in foul trouble. If they can keep Kavaliaskas and Jones in foul trouble they will make A-M one-dimensional. They will need to continue to hound Acie Law because he can take over a game. The biggest adjustment Texas needs to make is on the glass, as Texas A-M got too many offensive rebounds in the first half. Also, if Texas can get more the Aggies to give Marlon Pompey more offensive touches, that definitely will play into our hands.

15:36 - Texas comes out of the gates shooting well and continuing to attack. Pompey has picked up his second and Jones has picked up his 3rd foul, and a huge offensive foul called on Kavaliauskas for his 3rd foul. Texas needs them both in foul trouble because A-M has continued to go inside effectively. An interesting series of plays as A-M goes on a small run. Texas missed some layups and got a little out of control. Things still look very good with A-M's front line picking up their 3rd fouls quickly.

11:21 - A-M is on a 7-0 run as Kavaliauskas is continuing to get whatever shot he wants. Texas has gone ice cold, as they can't seem to make a shot, layup, or free throw. A-M has gone to a triangle and two to try and take Abrams and Durant out of the game. Offensively, Acie Law is starting to take over and get hot. The defense has worked well as Texas is relying on Atchely and James offensively. Carter and Law are starting to heat up as they are finding open looks in the zone. The Aggies on a big run to erase an 11-point deficit and turn it into a 2-point lead and seized control of the tempo of the game.

9:24 - Texas A-M continues to mix up their defenses and keep the ball out of Durant's hand as they extend their lead. Carter and Law continue to get open looks forcing Texas out of the zone defense. On an unrelated note, in the studio, does Linda Cohn know where she is? Is she having trouble reading the tele-prompter? Can she just stick to her new found job as ESPN hockey analyst?

7:44 - Texas finally hit an open three and they have a much better chance sticking with A-M in the man to man. Justin Mason continues to be non-existent as he has a layup rejected by Jones. Kavaliauskas hurt his elbow going up for a rebound, but it appears he just hit it hard and lost some of the feeling in his hand. We'll have to see if it's serious, though it's getting to Acie Law time. I think it's on the fourth line of the essay on his left arm, that reads, "Late in the game I will get open looks in the lane".

3:41 - Texas just ran a play to get Durant involved and he knocked it down. He needs to take over down the stretch. A-M just ran the picket fence for Acie Law. Somewhere Gene Hackman is smiling. Huge offensive rebound by Connor Atchely results in a 3 by Abrams. This game is going to come down to the big players for each team, as Acie Law and Durant just exchanged baskets. It is becoming obvious that it will not come from Justin Mason.

1:48 - Acie Law hits a big three and A-M does an excellent job keeping the ball out of Durant's hands. An interesting decision to have Durant cover Acie Law. A huge play by Law to get the hole and get fouled. A-M by three.

1:23 - After two big Durant free throws, a great play by Augustin getting to the hole again. Of course, I think we're fortunate that Law missed an open jumper. He doesn't seem to do that too much. Texas by 1.

50.7 - A great defensive stop by Texas. Damien James continues to have his best game of the season. More importantly was A-M having an offensive possession out of Acie Law's hands.

12.0 - Huge 3 pointer by Kevin Durant puts Texas up by four. Even bigger answer from Dominick Kirk to put the game back to 1. Texas in-bounding the ball. You have to get it to Durant or Augustin.

9.4 - Augustin with two free throws. Carter has fouled out. Not like anyone other than Law will be taking any shots the rest of the way. Texas has a foul to give, which could be very interesting. Why does no one foul if you're up 3? I mean, it's kind of cheap, but I bet you'd win. First free throw good, second free throw good. 3 timeouts taken in a row with no time going off the clock. A-M is out of timeouts. Texas still has 2, let's see if we can use both of those before the Aggies in-bound the ball. That'd be some sort of record, right?

5.5 - Acie Law fouled by Mason after running the ball across half court. Texas uses it's second to last timeout. Good, I didn't want this game to end in the next half hour. Once again, up 3, why not foul? I mean, make sure they're not shooting a 3, but it kind of seems like this could work.

1.4 - Acie Law hits a three pointer in the corner, fading away with Kevin Durant in his face. Did that shot touch the ceiling? What an amazing shot. Acie Law is so good. Which really pains me to say.

0.0 - Hail mary, incomplete, overtime here we come. Great, I wanted to write this thing for another half hour.

I guess it's time to unveil a theory that I formed my freshman year of college. In the five years since then, I've only seen this theory be wrong a few times since then. It has been right many more. It makes no sense, and basketball minds I have shared this with say it makes no sense, but they are shocked when it works time after time. The team that hits the first three will win, unless it goes to a second overtime. Why, I don't know, it just happens that way. If it goes to an extra overtime, whoever hits the first three in that overtime period will win. You get the point. We shall see.

4:37 - Joseph Jones fouls out as Texas had Damion James dribble around long enough for them to trip over each other's legs. Turnover by A-M. Why are they letting anyone other than Acie Law touch the basketball. I don't think Gillespie will make that mistake twice.

3:45 - Gillespie didn't make that mistake twice as Law dribbled out of bounds for a turnover this time. Damion James, about a 60% free throw shooter, and questionable in the clutch is putting on a free throw clinic as he has hit 4 straight now.

3:09 - Acie Law picks up a foul on Justin Mason and will go to the line. I'm okay with that, just don't let the kid shoot another three. Big shot by Augustin, fighting off the defensive pressure of Sloan to hit a jumper in the lane. Acie Law barely misses the three, everyone thought it was money.

1:57 - Durant drives and draws a foul. After making the first, A LANE VIOLATION on the second. A LANE VIOLATION? They still call those? Are you serious? Law drives on the other end and misses the layup in traffic. James somewhat redeems himself for the lane violation with a big rebound.

1:05 - James completely redeems himself as he puts back an Augustin miss to give Texas a seven-point lead. Kavaliauskas hits the first three pointer of the overtime on the other end. This is why I absolutely hate my theory. Please be wrong. Please, please, please be wrong. A-M timeout down four.

35.2 - Up four and running out the clock, Texas decided to remind everyone that they are playing four freshman. Augustin turnover, followed by a near Durant turnover and Mason goes to the line to shoot two. After making one of two, Texas is up 3.

12.0 - Acie Law hits another big three. I'm sick to my stomach. Runner in the lane by Abrams no good, Sloan shoots a desperation three with 3 seconds left on the clock, and off to double overtime we go. Questionable decision by Texas not to use the timeout and get a play drawn up that gets a shot for Durant or Augustin. Though I guess we should just be pleased that we didn't turn it over any of those three times.I hate Acie Law. Unbelievable. I might not make it out of this thing alive.

4:45 - Three pointer by Abrams in the corner. I hope my theory works. It seems like this would be as good a time as any for it to work out. Law fouled on the other end to shoot two.

4:30 - Both free throws good. Abrams hits an off balance floater in the lane as I screamed NO!!!!!! Where was that shot in the first overtime. Law misses a three, obviously there's too much time on the clock for him to be making 3-pointers.

3:20 - Abrams thinks he's feeling it and forces another 3-pointer and up an air ball. Kavaliauskas hits a three to tie the game after Texas played amazing defense for 34 seconds of the shot clock.

2:12 - Augustin misses a layup and James and Connor both miss a put back opportunity. Is Durant even in the game? More interesting that Damion James is covering Acie Law.

1:24 - Kavailauskas misses a three and Abrams pulls down the rebound. Barnes reads my mind and gets Durant the ball and Kirk fouls him. Durant shooting two…

1:15 - Durant makes both to give Texas a two point lead. Durant's turn to cover Acie Law. Another open three by Kavailiauskas doesn't draw iron, and Pompey gets the offensive rebound but slips on a wet spot and Texas gets the ball.

40.0 - Damion James throws a lob that Kevin Durant doesn't know is coming and turns the ball over. A-M calls a timeout because Acie Law was not in the game. So many questions. Why are we having Damion James in-bound the ball? That I think might rank up there with having Derrick Johnson be the sole football captain for the Arkansas game where we kicked off in both halves. But you can't say Barnes is being out-coached, because why the heck would you take Law out of the game? He's not in foul trouble, he's your best defender and obviously, you're in double overtime, anything can happen. Is he tired? Because I think everyone is. You're in double overtime. I think I may shoot myself if we don't win this game. Just don't let Law hit a shot, tackle him before he can shoot it.

11.9 - HUGE BLOCK by Damion James. Then in the confusion of Acie Law not hitting a shot for once in the clutch, let about 10 seconds run off the clock before they foul Durant. Missed free throw by Durant. Of course, why would we want to go up by 4. Why would we do that. Second free throw good, three point Texas lead. Law has to miss one of these right? I wouldn't even take that chance. I'd foul before he can get a shot off. Seriously, don't tempt fate. Even Fran Frachilla agrees with me. Which is good to see he's alive after he called the entire James/Law block sequence in monotone. Apparently ignoring the fact that there were 11 seconds left in overtime.

5.3 - A-M takes the quick two and on the ensuing in-bounds pass, James throws ANOTHER high lob to Durant. Let's thank the referee for calling a foul before we could turn it over. We owe a huge thank you to whatever Texas booster paid off that ref. Now we need to hit both free throws, so we can't lose to a miracle Law shot. First is good by Durant. Second is good.

1.4 - YES!!!! Augustin fouls Law before he can get a shot off. Thank goodness the referees didn't call an intentional foul since it definitely was an intentional foul. Home refs. Thank you home refs. But isn't fouling up three a smart move? I feel so much better now. Law hits the first free throw. Intentionally misses the second and the put back doesn't go.

Texas wins 98-96 in 2OT. What a game. I'm going to go lay down now. Oh by the way, who hit the first three pointer in 2OT? Oh that would be Texas. I tell you, it makes no sense, but the theory is never wrong.

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