WCC Game 7: @ St. Mary's

LOL - I WISH Cam had his size! The damage he would do with that size!

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Just pointing out that every other game has either been neutral, home, or basically an empty arena like Pepperdine/Pacific.

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Not a good night for Bediako so far, would rather see Braun and Tongue and push pace as much as possible, beat Saxon down the floor for quick looks.

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Two games in a row where the first 5 minutes of the second half have been brutal. Hopefully we can hit our stride in the last ten minutes and make it somewhat interesting. Need to at least feel like we could beat them on a neutral court in Vegas.

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Shooting 53 percent from 3 yet down 26. wow.

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Podz dribble into trap I said would be problematic this game and it was. Herbs overly strong faith in his starting five is also problematic - they got us down 20. You
need to sub out and try mixing things up - his players and the guys at the end were exchanging baskets. Bediako seems to have been checked out a couple games now. The officials allowed St Mary’s to do WHATEVER they wanted, and our guys were not allowed to do a thing in return. If we face them in the tourney, our boys need to FOUL and FOUL HARD. They are going to get called for it anyway.

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6 total team assists tonight. That has to be a record!

As Knapper gets a little bigger and stronger, he is going to be a good Point Guard for us someday.

BYU down 12 late at USF.

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Not gonna lie - LOVED Cams dish to Tilly under the basket!

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https://barttorvik.com/box.php?muid=Santa+ClaraSaint+Mary%27s1-21&year=2023

Advanced Stats Box Score from the game tonight.

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First the positive:

  • Stewart tried to keep us in the game with a solid shooting night, our high scorer at 17pts.
  • Kudos to some of the 2nd unit guys (Tilly, Tongue, Knapper and Akametu) who at least brought some energy in the last 5-8mins of the game…the game was decided by that but at least we brought some effort and didn’t go out with a whimper.
  • We needed to go at least 1 - 1 on the week and we did that. And strategically, beating BYU is/was more critical in our competition for 3rd place.

The not so positive…could go on and on but just a few:

  • Very rough night for our centers…Bediako/Holt/Tilly were thoroughly dominated by Saxen and Wessels. Bediako’s line: 22 mins, 0 pts, 1 reb, just 1 shot taken, 0-2 from the free throw line. Tilly did have some good minutes towards the end but the game was decided by then.

  • Again, wish we would have had Stewart match up on Mahaney or at least alternate Podz and Stewart on him. Stewart is quicker and more of a pest. Mahaney’s offense was the difference in the 1st half.

  • Rant Warning - We continue to use Switching as our primary (almost sole) ball screen defensive coverage. Opposing teams are frequently initiating offense with their center setting a ball screen for their guards as SMC did last night. The result? Bediako, Holt and Tilly trying to guard Mahaney or Johnson on the perimeter while Stewart/Podz/Knapper try to wrestle with Saxen/Wessels in the post. Why in the world would we continue to employ a defense that led to that result??? There are 6 or 7 different ways to defend ball screens and pick-n-roll, Switching is just one of them. IMO, we need to vary our coverages and chose the coverage that makes sense given the matchups and not put our players in situations of tremendous mismatches. As example, at the other end of the floor, SMC’s defense rarely switched on our ball screens…they typically Hedged, preserving they’re preferred matchups…big on big, guard on guard. Rant over.

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I was in a sports bar yesterday, and every TV was on the NFL game. I asked the bar manager to put the SCU-SMC game on, he put it on a TV that was a bit out of the way, enough for me to see the score and to see some action, but not enough for me to identify players or specifics… Can some explain to me the adjustments Bennett made after the first media timeout? We were up 7-4 I believe, and then after that, it seemed like something substantively changed.

Very much agree with the ball screen defense comments. We don’t seem to change our coverage really ever. Especially in a game like last night where Mahaney was killing us - why not blitz those screens and get it out of his hands, or hedge and let the guard get back on him.
*I don’t pretend like I know more than the coaches and maybe there are subtle adjustments that we just don’t see, but I do get confused/frustrated with our ball screen defense a bit

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To answer your question:
Herbs not that good a coach especially for the $10+ mil we’ve paid him over the last 7 yrs. Problem is Renee will never let him go and he’ll never leave…

Thanks 'Pen, glad I’m not the only one who sees it.

Related, I did notice a possession in the 1st half and a few possessions the middle of the 2nd half, when the game had gotten away from us, where we may done something on ball screens besides switch. Hard to describe or say what it was as it was poorly executed, ended up with a defender in no mans land and an SMC player running free and they got some wide open looks.
Not sure if it was an intentional adjustment that was poorly executed or if it was miscommunication with guys maybe getting frustrated and going off-script.

Tough loss was made worse by Monotone Mike as the tv “color” analyst. He may be better suited to reading off daily Covid statistics.

Painful game. Those Gaels are good. Statistically, the game didn’t look that far off until you check out points off turnovers in which SMC had a 20-point advantage. The Gaels made Santa Clara pay for every mistake, and the Broncos rarely did the same.

Really bright spots for Tilly and Tongue. Bad night for Jaden and unspectacular one from Podz.

Realistically, though, SMC is a top-25 team playing at home. I don’t mean to cut short anyone’s grief cycle, but Santa Clara came out of this week in an even stronger position for third place. The computers stayed about the same. Santa Clara is still a likely-NIT team for the second year in a row. But basically no hope for an at-large anymore unless they beat everyone by 20 going forward and take one in Spokane.

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If Bediako continues to play like he doesn’t even want to be out there, the door is wide open for the firm of Tilly & Tounge.

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I would have liked Carlos to hound the point guard… Carlos had no steals because he was not in the action enough. However, I am just a noontimer and admit I know nothing about strategy. I do know that when someone is hot we switch and shut them down. My goal was always to have the other team have to switch on me. Small pleasures on the court.

Or take WCC conference tournament

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If SMC wins the conference, I think you could make the case for Aidan Mahaney as WCC Newcomer (over Podz), MVP (over Timme) and Freshman (over anyone) of the year. Not sure if they can give all those awards to one guy, but it wouldn’t be unjustified.

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