Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cox Collapse

Not an
Turnout last night at Cox Arena, was it?  Less than 10K.

Interruption of the Aztecs' offense
Turns the game from good to bad in the last 15 minutes.

Nowhere to go now, 
It's over for SDSU's NCAA dreams unless they win the MWC

Last night's pratfall, collapse, giveaway, choke job, whatever you want to call it, SDSU's 69-59 loss to BYU is a damning statement against the Aztecs and their chances to fulfill their senior dreams and make the Big Dance.  With four seniors on their home floor, the Aztecs built a 14-point lead over the Cougars, had them completely shut down, and then got blasted out of their own gym 38-14 over the last 15 minutes.  Dave Rose's good-but-not-great BYU team leaves the mini-elimination game with a road victory, just the 4th such win against a top-6 Mountain West Conference team all season.  

How did it happen?  Well, it was simple, really.  When the Cougars tried to run with SDSU, they were in trouble.  But when they packed into their 2-3 zone, which they did throughout the second half, the Aztecs' old, persistent problems were exposed.

No reliable outside shooters.  

No classic post scorer.

Poor decision making and ballhandling.

Offensive set after offensive set saw SDSU get bogged down in the corner, trapped on the wing, forced to hoist up a bad shot, the ball in the hands of a player outside his scoring zone with the clock winding down, like Ammo outside the arc or Wade in traffic.  Nine second half turnovers followed, as the Aztecs started pressing and their decision-making worsened.  A senior-laden team, yes, but these old dogs are still up to their old tricks.  

Revisiting yesterday's keys to the game: 

1) SDSU was excellent defending Lee Cummard, who was 3-12 shooting and stuck on 9 points and 5 rebounds, just one offensive rebound, which is why they should have won the game. 
2) the defense was just OK on defending the secondary break, and while BYU was 7-20 from 3-point range, they also missed some open looks.  
3) DJ Gay and Amoroso combined for an All-Ammo total of 10 points, while Fredette's 28 points, 20 in the 2nd half, won the game for BYU (Miles added 2 for a total of 30).  Gay adds another awful 0-5, zero point performance to a string of futility, while Fredette tears the Aztecs apart from outside and driving to the hoop.  
4) Who stepped up?  The question is as much, who stepped down?  Shelton jumped into the fray for 13 points, but Richie sputtered to a 2-point, foul-out performance and the bench was 1-7, 2 points for the game.  

Where does this leave the Aztecs of 2009?  Well, unless this group of seniors can deliver three straight days of sound performance, unless they can win back-to-back games where they aren't the favorite in Las Vegas, unless they can beat UNLV on their home court AGAIN with everything on the line...well, go back to the top of the column again and take a second look.  You'll know where it leaves the Aztecs.  It's

Not all that pretty and
It's not the
Tournament this team wanted to play in this season.

1 comment:

  1. It's time for Fisher to step down. This team will never be any more than it currently is--an NIT also ran--under Fisher's leadership. If he can't get it done with all the senior starters and underclass experience he had returning on this team this year, then he'll NEVER get it done. Let me repeat: He'll NEVER get it done!!!

    This team had no answer for the 2-3 zone that BYU threw at them--and really, why would anybody play anything BUT a zone against this team? In 10 years under Fisher's tutelage, the Aztecs have NEVER had an answer for a zone defense, let alone played one themselves. Too many defensive breakdowns, too many sloppy, careless mistakes, and another colossal collapse in another big game.

    Same 'ol, same 'ol......And the Toreros are STILL one up on us in the NCAA Tourney win category, and will be for another year.