Thursday, February 7, 2008

Post Game Points: Texas v. Oklahoma

1. WHEN AJ IS ON... No one in the country can shut him down. Last night, Abrams showed how important he is to the Texas offense, as he almost single-handedly brought Texas back from a 10 point halftime deficit. He hit off the catch, off the dribble and (for the first time I've seen) off the jab step. AJ has to be one of the smartest screen users in the country as well. He has the ability to know exactly how to use the screen. His go-to is usually the curl around the screen, but when OU was over playing that last night, he was able to fake the curl and fade off the screen for an open three. He made the correct decision all last night and was able to hit huge threes for Texas.

2. THE MOST EFFECTIVE OFFENSE... Has been when Justin Mason runs point while AJ and DJ Augustin run off base line screens. I love the offense for two reasons: First, AJ's previously discussed productivity off the screen. Secondly, I like when DJ catches the ball in the triple-threat, before he has used his dribble. I feel the DJ is much more affective this way. He has the ability to shoot off the catch. But his added ability to drive or pass from the triple threat makes him more effective with the ball. It utilizes his quick first step, all the while leaving the pass and shoot options open.

3. INTERIOR DEFENSE... Is still a problem. The Sooners, and especially the Griffin brothers, were able to get good post position and easy inside shots all game. While Connor Atchley is a decent defender, he lets his man get position way to close to the basket. Several times OU was able to feed their post, who was essentially standing under the rim. When Blake Griffin caught the ball at the free throw line, he was always able to take it strong to the rim. Alexis Wangmene and Clint Chapman play hard, but they are just not experienced enough on the defensive end to always be in position. The same can be said for Gary Johnson, but with slightly less effort given. Dexter Pittman saw limited action against OU, but played decently and made a nice hustle play, diving out of bounds for a loose ball. He just doesn't have the stamina yet to be effective for long streched of game. Gary, Dex and the young posts must develope fast for Texas to be able to compete for a run in the NCAA's.

4. JEFF CAPEL HAS DEVELOPED... The same angry face as former OU coach, Kelvin Sampson. I thought it was impossible for a coach to be as whiney as Sampson, but Capel looks to be his spitting image, minus the customary blue denim shirt and red tie. I get that referee calls can be frustrating, but a coach that is on the refs too much will lose his credibility and will just come off as a cry baby. The OU fans also seem to follow the lead of their coach, as they booed nearly every call against the Sooners as if it had cost them the game. Its not like many expected much more from the Oklahoma bunch, but that really got old after a while.

5. TEXAS STARTS THE GAME: Worse than any team I've seen in recent memory. Once again the Horns dug themselves a 10 point hole to start the game. OU came out like most Texas opponents, and hit every shot they threw up for the first 8 minutes of the game, while Texas could not find the bucket on any shot. This start essentially cost the horns the game in College Station, as the Aggies were able to play hard and extend their lead. Fortunately, Baylor and OU were not able to do the same with their large, early leads. This is the exact kind of thing that costs teams in the NCAA Tourney. High seeds come out to an energetic lower seed, get down early and never recover. Texas needs to focus, for the rest of the season on good starts. This is also how favored seed win in March. They come out and dominante the underdog from the tip and never let them emotionally in the game. This will be key for Texas down the stretch.

No comments: