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Craft played his heart out on D, but on the offensive end down the stretch, he made several key mistakes. A bad turnover, several bad shots, did not give the ball up to Thomas on the break, refused to pass to anyone at the end of the game, got his shot blocked, still drove in against two players, should have had a flagrant 1. Very frustrating to watch. Clearly he was exhausted, and that probably contributed to those decisions, but both Ross and Thomas were wide open at the end at the three point line. PASS THE BALL!!!!
Dude had a layup and got fouled the refs failed to call it! I will take a shot in the lane over a 19' jumper,please learn something about basketball before you post!
Ross was the most covered open player in the history of college basketball.
First, Craft always plays his heart out and per usual played terrific defense. Second, he does tend to make critical errors at the end of close games and part of this I believe is fatigue. Matta needs to give him more rest during games. Scott played well in the first half on the offensive end. He was a bad match up on Hardaway but if fans are being objective a good case can be made that we are more efficient offensively with Scott at the point. Ross was really big tonight. Amir...where did that come from? Outstanding! I was not high on this team but after tonight there's hope if we can continue to build on this effort. scUM hits 14 three's but needs an extra session to get the win. If I might add something about Craft. The fans love him...he plays with such intensity, passion, heart, desire, etc. He gets all red in the face and throws himself all over the floor. However, their unconditional love for his style of play blinds them to how limited he is on offense. No way he should have the ball in his hands on a play called from the bench at the end of a game. He can get us into the set but then he needs to get out of the way. We've discussed his shooting woes ad nauseum and it's well documented. What I find more harmful on offense is that he 1) has a tendency to slow it down when we may have something going in transistion and 2) when he goes to the rim he almost always has his head down and takes it to the rim. He rarely drives and draws the defense for the easy look for a teammate. He is just not a naturally good offensive player. And I believe Craft knows this as much as anyone and that's why he gives such supreme effort on the defensive end of the floor. Having said all this....I'm now looking forward with much more enthusiams to the remainder of the year.
This post was edited by shep777 14 months ago
He has to have his hands on the ball because no one else can bring it up the floor. How about some of those players follow craft down the lane instead of stopping at the wing for a three. He saw a lane and went for it. He was being mugged the entire way down the lane. Craft may be limited on offense but he can make a layup
There is no way craft would of been able to get Thomas the ball without turning it over on that drive.
It was a very tough loss, gut wrenching, I hope they recover to beat Indiana sunday ...
JOHN 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
Craft is a great defender, but does not have a shooters touch. I hate seeing him take shots late in the game, whether it be a jump shot or layup.
Aaron Craft is NOT Isiah Thomas. He had no business being a ball hog at that critical stretch in the game. He needed to pass it off to one of the two players that were open. Taller players. A little defender with no offensive game shouldn't be trying to gun the ball up the court. It will be blocked every time.
When Craft was blocked from behind by Burke on the 10' jumper, Burke made a great play to recover. 2ndly, that play is designed for Craft to get free into the lane and when the help defense collapses on him, for him to pass to someone going towards the bucket. No one collapsed and he was forced to shoot.
On the last play of the game, if you watch a replay, you will see there is no other option for Craft but to head to the bucket. Thomas and Ross are not open. Both of them were behind Craft up past elbow extended behind the arc. They did not put themselves in position to get the ball in the first place.
Talking about critical errors because of fatigue I think Matta should sleep the first 98% of the game so he is well rested at the end in order to make important decisions. I have and still do see Matta as a very good coach and a pretty good recruiter, but question his end-of-game coaching. Too often I have seen no time out call with plenty of time left and the ball in the wrong hands for the final shot. It has happened just way too often for it to be forgotten. Go ahead homers tell me to learn something about basketball before posting. I know plenty about bb!
If Scott had played an additional 15 minutes in this game, with Craft resting for at least 5 of those minutes, we would have won this game. Thomas also needed to rest 5-10 minutes, and there was no reason not to do so with LaQuinton and Thompson both finding some firepower.
Fatigue is a huge factor in a game like this, with both teams playing intense defense and battling on every possession. Matta needs to recognize this.
Fatigue is all on Matta and the coaching staff, not Craft. I simply think it is ridiculous to criticize Craft for his performance. He played an absolutely phenomenal game and without him, we obviously aren't within 10 points of Michigan. Did he miss some shots and have a few trunovers...of course...but my goodness, the positives he brought outweighed any mistakes ten times over.
Other positives from this game include the emergence of LaQuinton Ross, he played his best game by far and that was a huge truning point. Amir also showed up really strong. That's the game many of us have been waiting for. Sam Thompson also looked more confident on offense. A tough loss, yes, but much good can come out of it.
Since we are now 8 deep, we've seen what Scott can do, and it appears now that Williams, Ross, and Thompson can all score, there is absolutely no reason for Craft of Thomas to be playing more than 32 or 33 minutes per game. With a little gas in the tank at the end, this could be a Final Four Team.
I agree Jag about Matta and the staff not getting players rest. Thomas played great versus Wisconsin but has had back to back subpar games for him. Players need rest. Great competitors like Craft and Thomas never want to come out of games. You have to take them out. We go 8 deep now. There's no reason why Thomas and Craft cannot get a 3 or 4 minute blow in each half. Especially around the 12 minute mark before the TV timeout to get them some extra rest duing the timeout. With regards to Craft, he is what he is and I would not trade him for the world. We have to recognize however that what he is is a great defender at the college level and a supreme effort player but he is limited offensively. We aren't within 10 points of Michigan without Ross's effort or Amir's or any other player last night. They all played hard and well. The problem I have is that people tend to overlook Craft's weaknesses for the simple fact that they love the kid. And he does have holes in his game on the offensive end. You could also say we would have won by 10 if he was more efficient on the offensive end. I love the kid but it's not unconditional love like some fans give him.
Are you talking about the play in regulation where he got the steal on Burke and then took it to the rim? On that play I respectfully disagree....the pass was there in my humble opinion. Late in OT I agree that there was nobody open for him to pass it to at the end.
I would like to have known what play was called when there was 20 seconds left on the clock. I wonder if the guys weren't in position and Craft had to take the open shot or someone since someone was out of position. Again, Craft played a great game and fatigue was a huge factor of some of his decisions down the stretch in the game at the end. Smith needs to take some blame as well with some of his boneheaded decisions in the game.
Matta is a very good coach but he needs to use Scott more in games and give Craft rests while defending better opposing point guards. It was a bad matchup and a horrible decision to put Scott a 6'1" defender on Hardaway, a 6' 4" perimeter oriented guard. Ohio State played a great game versus Michigan and there were alot of plays that should have been called by the refs. Michigan had to shoot the game of their life to beat Ohio State. P.S. Craft was fouled twice on both plays and the refs should do their job and call a foul as a foul. Again, it boils down to the coaching staff practicing end of game scenarios when the games are close.
The one in ot . Thomas had a guy on both sides of him at the end of reg. may of been able to squeeze it in but who knows?
This rest stuff is so overrated. You get rest every 4 minutes for TV timeouts. You get rest at halftime. You get rest during reviews and foul shots. You get rest during team timeouts. 40 minutes for a well conditioned 20 year old is nothing. When I play, I hate coming out and I can go all game along. The only playing time question in my mind is Matta choosing Thompson over Ross to start OT. We need Ross out there for offense and our offense stalled in OT. Ross needs to play more and I have been saying it since preseason.
We needed a transition 3 for the win rather than a desperation play in traffic. The refs will swallow their whistles 99.9% of the time and you have to know that already. Ravenel sucks and I can't wait until he leaves.
We may have a team on our hands if Ross and Williams continue to develop heading into March. Now, we need Smith to play at a higher level than he did last night. Too many turnovers and bad mistakes. Thompson needs to be more aggressive and shoot more. Scott needs to learn how to shoot and how to finish...make a layup. Thomas had no shots in OT and you can't have that. A simple post up should have been the play with the score 75-74. Bad execution and coaching down the stretch.
Craft does need to push the ball more rather than walk it up time after time. Less turnovers and we need better defense off of pick and rolls. Williams needs to stay home sometimes rather than trying to block every shot leaving his man wide open for easy put backs. I thought Craft, Thompson, Scott, and Smith were not fighting hard enough to get through screens. Our pick and roll defense got exposed. We need to do a better job understanding who is a shooter and who needs to put the ball on the floor. Once you know that, it's easy to play defense. You go under screens against guys who can't shoot. You go over screens against guys who can shoot and penetration/dribbling is their weakness. Our guys were going straight into the screen and you definitely don't do that.
You bring up some good points. I didn't think going Thompson was all that bad but you have to feed Thomas the ball in the post early. I thought what really cost them was their first 3 poss in the ot.
Po lease!!! Lmfao. This is what gets you a down vote on this site? Just my 2 cents.
Just like the ref's didnt call the flagrant foul on craft..listen you can get butthurt when your fav. player gets unfairly dumped on, but if your gonna try to defend Craft's play at the end of the game then maybe YOU ARE THE ONE WHO NEED TO LEARN BASKETBALL because folks that played the game stated right after that he was doing too much ie; hero ball..If the truth hurts then you will be in pain, and from your post i guess your in pain...As always Go Bucks...
Rest is not over-rated. In the NBA, where defensive effort is only at the level it was last night in the 4th quarter, most coaches rest the starters until there are less than 10 minutes left. You have got to have your guys at their best when the game is on the line, and you can't have tire legs at that point. It will absolutely adversely affect jump shooting. Mental fatigue is different, and I agree that a young guy like Craft doesn't want to come out and probably doesn't need to do so from a mental standpoint.
But you or I playing pick-up, CYO, or high school ball doesn't compare anywhere close to the amount of energy that Craft is expending on defense. I don't know what game you guys are watching, but this is absolutely amazing output this kid is giving, I don't know that I have ever seen anything like it. Craft is giving extraordinary effort on the defensive end and even the most highly conditioned athlete in the world is going to suffer somewhat on the other end of the floor as a result. This isn't giving him "a pass" on the offensive end because I like him. I'm trying to be objective. I realize Craft's outside shooting needs improvement, and I truly believe a few more minutes on the pine would help in this regard. He has a competent back-up in Scott, who could also help Craft conserve energy by running point. Anyway, I don't think there was a more valuable Buckeye than Craft on the floor last night and yes, there is something to be said for playing with heart and passion.
Second, saying Ravenel sucks and you can't wait until he's gone reveals your low basketball IQ and frankly, makes you a lousy and unappreciative fan. I agree he didn't play well last night, but he does't suck. He's logged many quality minutes for us and has given the team some much needed senior leadership.
I will agree with your post on the issue that we need to do a better job defending the high screen. But Burke can shoot and penetrate (and pass) and Hardeway was on-fire, hitting shots when well-defended. McGary was effective rolling to the basket and Williams was a step slow. DT's defense has improved, but he wasn't very good on help last night and he was obviously out of gas by the end of the game.
When Scott was in against Hardaway, I'm sure the idea was to deny the ball and be in the passing lane. I'll have to re-watch and see who was on Hardaway for the six 3-pointers.
Half of them would not have mattered who was guarding him he was in a zone for a bit and hit shots he normally bricks, you cannot defend that you only get in position if a guy knocks down contested jumpers,got to the other end and try and score.
I love Craft.......he cannot and should not be expected to create on offense by breaking down defenders.
The offense is more slow and methodic when he is in and when Shannon is in it is much more fluid and HE can actually break down defenders. Shannon should have played more in the second half, especially when scUM started doubling Craft way out top. Shannon would have been able to split those defenders and we would have had open shots all night.
No one else can bring it up the flor? What are u smoking? Were a much better offense when scott brings the ball up and thats a fact!!
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