Agree with most of this post, but not the part about athleticism being overrated. Wright is a unicorn, like Brad Stevens and Tony Bennett. Some guys can win with inferior athletes. Wright has won big in the last decade with two very skilled, but athletically challenged PGs in Gillespie and Archidiacano (sp?). Steele just coached a poor 2nd half, and the players didn't execute.AirJordan wrote: ↑Sun Dec 26, 2021 5:54 pmWhat ailed X wasn't lack of athleticism or even less athleticism relative to Nova. Collin Gillespie is slow and less athletic than almost anybody on our roster. But, he's also their best player.
Athleticism is over-rated. I recall years ago, watching the 1987-1988 Illini playing here in Cincinnati in the first round of March Madness. That team included Steve Bardo, Nick Anderson, Kendall Gill....easily one of the most athletic teams I've ever seen. They played the game above the rim. Beat the crap out of UTSA in game one and in game two had a big halftime lead over Nova. Massimino started fouling and while the Illini were way more talented than Nova (who was not only less athletic but also shorter and slower) Illinois couldn't make free throws. Nova was bringing walk-ons in off the bench to foul and every time one of Illinois superior athletes went to the line, they chocked. And, the lead dwindled. In the end, Nova won by three and, based on athleticism alone, they should have been blown out. Nova, which had, as i recall, the top seed in the Midwest, went home, bounced out of the the tournament by a far inferior team.
Nova (nor really any other B.E. team) has no advantage over X due to athleticism. X lost that game, not due to talent, but due to what was in their heads. it happens. Its gut wrenching. X doesn't need better athletes. They need mental toughness to endure close games like what we see in the Big East. I cannot wait to see how they respond against UCONN; that response will tell us a lot, I think. Hope the game doesn't get cancelled.
Talk XU Men's basketball here...
- Posts: 6152
- Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:53 pm
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests