The Valparaiso University Crusaders lost to the Wright State Raiders 64-48 in Horizon League action Saturday night 1/10/09 from the ARC. It really did not take long to see it was going to be a long game, as the Crusaders did something that I had never witnessed before in my entire lifeplaying or coaching basketball. Valpo had only 2 field goals in the first 17 minutes ! YEP, 2... and those were from behind the arch and one was a bank shot trey! Who would have thought, with that kind of performance, they would only be down by nine points (28-19) at half-time.
The second half, Valpo attempted to make an incredible comeback, but to no avail. The Raiders were just too big, too strong, and too athletic for the Crusaders to overcome that kind of hole. It is pretty much the same weaknesses every game with this Crusader Team. NO perimeter shooting+ NO Post play, and with those 2 problems, you are not gonna win very many, if ANY, leaugue games, this year. Without any 3 point threat they boxed down 4 or 5 against Urule Igbavoda and this kid is getting pounded inside! I don't know of any playerthat can play 3 or 4 against one and win that battle! The Crusaders MUST find someone, somehow, someway, to start hitting from behind the ARC or, it is possible, it will be a "goose egg" in wins for this team the rest of the year :(
"You don't play against opponents. You play against the game of basketball." ~Bobby Knight
Wright State was led by Todd Brown who lead all scorers with 19pts followed by teammate John David Gardner who finished with 18. The Raiders played this game without their starand sensational guard Vaughn Duggins! The Raiders finished the game shooting 45% from the field - 41.7% from behind the Arch (10 out of 24) and 60.9% from the Charity Line. The Crusaders were led by Michael Rogers 12pts followed by De'Andre Haskins 10pts. Valpo from 3 point land shooting 7 out of 22 for a miserable 31.8% - they were just as bad shooting from the field at 33.3% AND sadly worse.....9 of 20 (45%) from the free throw line. One side note, Freshman Guard Erik Buggs left the game early in the 2nd half after falling hard and hitting his head on the court. He was attended for well over 5 minutes before heading to the locker room. Early indication is a possible concussion and his status for Thursday's game at UIC is questionable?
So what is next ??? (3) things to work on if the Crusaders are going to play competitive basketball the remainder of the year. 1. FREE THROW SHOOTING, 2. PERIMETER 3 POINT SHOOTING, 3. POST PLAY. Not taking anything away from this team, I need to point out that this Valpo team, just prior to the season start, lost 2 Keys players that decided not to return. One was a solid big post player and another an absolute PURE 3 point shooter. So far, the team have not been able to fill those 2 voids! It is a rebuilding year. I knew that coming in, but still, the basics need to be attained and that is yet to be seen.
"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen." Michael Jordan
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