In the back of my head I knew this was going to happen. Even with UB leading by six points at the half I could just feel once again, Bowling Green was going to take us down. Sure we swept them last season but outside of that the Falcons have always been one of those teams that UB has trouble with.
Coach Witherspoon can talk about preparing for the Falcons zone defense until he is blue in the face but have we ever seen UB really take care of that defense?
I had hoped that was just the eternal pessimist in me. I am a Buffalo sports fan so heartbreak is a right of passage. Bills (check), Sabres (check), UB Basketball (Check). Those who said UB played way too easy of a non conference schedule to take them seriously as a contender for the east division was right. Because the Bowling Green team that knocked us out in our conference home opener is not an elite team this season.
The MAC is always a dog fight so anything can happen but I would have given UB a 1/7 shot of winning the conference this season before Saturday's game. That number is now significantly lower, I wont even hold out for a first round bye. If Bowling Green can knock us off in Alumni what could Akron or Kent do?
The only reason we were even in the game was Javon McCrea, when he fouled out the game was over. If he can get the fouls under control it might be time to put him in as a starter because he is one of the only guys who consistantly brings it, and I am not the only one to notice:
"15. When I make the jump to coaching and I have a freshman who's one of the ten best offensive rebounders in the nation and makes 67 percent of his twos, I will put him in the starting lineup. Call me a bold innovator. McCrea, however, is yet to make his first college start. True, he's a bit foul-prone but before he DQ'd Saturday night against Bowling Green he recorded 18 points and nine boards in 26 minutes. I trust his minutes will continue to go up. -- "The Nations Top 25 Freshman" BasketballProspectus.com
Foul trouble or not McCrea should have gotten the start over Clifford. Mike Clifford might end up that final piece of the puzzle but we don't know that yet. We do know that McCrea is electric.
Byron Mulkey was awful and I don't just mean his play. The list of words I have heard associated with his demeanor (I listened to the game instead of Watching it) include 'lethargic', 'listless', 'bland'. He does not have to carry this team but he does have to lead it, even when he is having an off day. No matter how cold he might be he still needs to inspire and direct the team, thats what you expect from the leader. Not perfection of play but perfection of purpose.
The team looked eerily similar to those occasions that Rodney Pierce was off last season. Not enough people stepped up to make the difference. Mitchell Watt missed key shots, Zack Filzen insisted on bricking three after three. After the first half Filzen should have been banned from shooting long 3's. It was not his night but the team kept going back to that.
Next up is Miami. Every game remaining on the first swing through the east is a must win let's see if we start it off right.