That was pretty rough, but was expected. The spreads have been basically accurate these first two games. It's important to remember we aren't as good as we were vs. Carver/Toccoa and we're not as bad as we were against UAB and Creighton. I still think 8-12 wins is the range we're looking at, and probably towards the lower or mid end. This is a year to get on track and prove we can win some games and make some noise late in conference play. Next year the expectations will be much much higher.
AAR stuck with a starting 5 this game, as they got the majority of the minutes. LaRue and Lewis didn't even play in the second half. I still am on the LaRue train, and I'd like to see him play more, but he obviously didn't give coach what he was looking for in the first half in limited minutes or just wasn't a fit for how he wanted to matchup against Creighton. I'm not sure what to make out of all the lineup changing, but I do know there's 4 games left to determine who gets the minutes in conference.
The biggest positive was Alex Peterson. After a really bad game vs. UAB, he bounced back. He looked capable with the ball in his hands down low as long as he doesn't have to do too much.
We've had 6'4" guards lead us in rebounding for two games in a row, and I know that also could come down to minutes distribution, but I'd like to see our bigs pull down more.
Our shots that were falling vs. Toccoa and Carver, did not fall vs. UAB and Creighton. Tighter windows, quicker pulls. 3/20 and 5/23. That's hopefully going to improve as our level of competition lessens and our players gain more experience. We were not able to get many open shots vs. Creighton which often led to forced jumpers/threes. Speaking of...I don't think I want Peterson or Tone to shoot any threes. I'd rather they take a few steps in and drill it in rhythm from 18. Peterson hit 5/16 from three in JUCO, but that was for the old closer three point line. I think LaRue is our only big who is a natural shooter (even though they haven't been falling yet). Nate Springs could possibly fill this role when eligible.
Burden had his roughest game, only because he didn't take care of the basketball.
Spencer Rodgers 1/11 in the past two games from distance. He's better than that, and will turn it around for sure. Are we looking at a 35%, a 40%, or 45% guy? I'm interested to see how he levels out as the season goes on.
Still tons of questions to be answered about this team, and the way things are going, we might have to wait until the Samford game to see how we stack up vs. a D1 team that is more comparable to our conference foes. Like I said to open this post - we're not as good as we were vs. Carver and not as bad as we were Creighton.