MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee looks to build on its recent success by winning a pair of games on the road this weekend, as the Blue Raiders take on Marshall in an important Conference USA east division matchup.
While MT played about 20 mins total of decent offense, it was defense that was horrific. When MT slowed down to play deliberate offense with good passing, MT was able able to control the flow of the game. Unfortunately, MT did not have the discipline or toughness to maintain that flow of the game. MT then allowed Marshall to set the tempo of the game and speed them up to the tune of 100+ points of scoring. MT played right into Marshall's hands. That and the overall lack of defense.
Strength and conditioning appears to continue to be a big problem.
While it appears that MT is starting to make some general progress on offense, they were outcoached with deplorable defense and allowing Marshall to dictate their will and tempo for a majority of the game. The team continues to lack discipline and toughness. CNM was slow to make needed adjustments.
Why did CNM wait so long to play King while other players appeared tired and to be struggling? That young man demonstrated in the last game that he should have been given the opportunity at some good mins, and frankly it appeared some of the other guys could have used the break.
For game 2, MT must be disciplined to slow it down on offense. Imposing your will and dictating game speed or tempo is crucial for MT to have a chance to win. Forcing Marshall to defend along with slowing the game down would be the start of good defense as it would force Marshall out of their style of game. MT then might have a better chance of playing some tighter defense. Also, start forcing Marshall to make some (extra) passes.
As is true for most any decent league, MT must exert toughness and discipline while on the road in order to grind out a victory. Running up and down the court quickly launching 3s only plays right into the way Marshall wants to play and are designed to play especially at their home.
I'm not real optimistic that CNM will be able to instill that kind of sustained toughness and discipline for the length of the game (30+ mins) in order to grind out the win. Although, that is exactly what is needed to get the win in game 2.
Watching last evening I quit counting the number of uncontested lay-ups, from the perimeter, given up against set defense. Where the heck was the help defense, what are the principles of our defensive rotation, etc.? Why can't our players keep the opposing players in front of them, even it it means fouling or giving up a made jump shot? Unacceptable!!!
And a note to McDevitt: It's not a good look to be sitting on the bench after the game is decided if you are standing most of the time when the game is still in doubt. Body language shows disinterest and that you've given up. Don't you think the players read into your lack of involvement? As a fan I surely do! Coach to the end, d--nit!!!
You could make millions live-betting against MT. I have never seen a team play so predictably well to start a half and then completely collapse down the stretch. Almost makes you wonder if we do it on purpose. It's that predictable. I've watched CBB for over 20 years now and never seen anything like it. Jalen Jordan literally can't miss and we still go into the half trailing.
Only other time i've seen something similar was in the NBA, Dallas Mavericks had a similar issue a year or two ago where they could come out on fire then completely collapse in the 4th quarter. Can't tell you how much money I made betting first quarters and first halfs with them, then live betting it the other way down the stretch.
We have some good players on this team. But then also some massive liabilities that usually hurt us more than help us. Eli Lawrence with some awful shot attempts and terrible, out of control defense down the stretch.
We are going to lose this game simply because of too many easy baskets. I've lost count of how many freebies Marshall has finished at the rim. Too many defensive breakdowns, kids standing around, giving away free buckets.
Can't recall a single "gimme" bucket that Marshall served up for us.......
You will never win a basketball game letting your opponent shoot 60% +
Another week, more evidence CNM is a decent to good recruiter. Also more evidence CNM is not getting it done in coaching discipline or toughness. 80 points should be plenty to win, but horrid defense just isn't getting it done.
On defense, it looked like the Washington Generals playing the Harlem Globetrotters!
I did not get to see a ton of the action this weekend. From what I have seen in the last three games I’m thinking our offensive flow may actually be a little better without Shuler. We miss him big time on defense though.