Okay, it is the day after. We got beat by one of the worst Wisconsin teams in the worst decade.
It was almost unwatchable basketball at times. Our boys barely broke 50 points. So what the hell is wrong? I am not a basketball genius, but I think I know a little bit about it. From what I have seen, our motion offense is stagnant, movement without the ball is almost non existent and we are not cutting hard off of ball screens.
And one more thing.
We are shooting terribly.
I dug into the stats of it all, admittedly, I am not a huge statistical guy or analytical guy, but damn, these stats are hard to cover up. So, what I did is look at the past 6 games from the main 8 players that we rotate during the basketball game and found out their shooting percentage essentially, and quite frankly, it just isn’t good. Here are the numbers, I will break down them by player as well, to maybe debunk what is wrong here.
P.J. Thompson - FG 5/21, 23.8%, 3FG 5/20, 25%, 24 Total Points, 4 PPG
P.J., where have you gone? a 25% three point percentage over the past 6 games is really inexcusable, considering the open looks that he has taken. Not only that, in my uneducated opinion, when he has been on the floor our offense has appeared more stagnant. The defense knows that he will only take three point shots, he is not a real threat off the dribble right now, with only one shot coming from inside the three point line, the defense just has to get a good close out on him and he is not a threat. Last night, he appeared to be absolutely lost, little to no energy was exerted.
Dakota Mathias - FG 17/44, 39%, 3FG 14/31, 45%, 52 Total Points, 8.6 PPG
Dakota is a mysterious case in my opinion. He is still shooting 45% from three according to numbers, but it seems like he has not been in rhythm for this stretch of games. Teams are defending him much better off of screens and are not letting him get hot. The Midwestern Cowboy is struggling more so inside the three point line, where he is 3 of 13 in the past six games. His defense has taken a step back recently as well.
Carsen Edwards - FG 32/78, 41%, 3FG 13/35, 37%, 104 Total Points, 17.3 PPG
Last night, this was one of two players who seemed like they wanted to be on the court, he was till going one hundred miles an hour with 4 seniors looking lethargic around him. Carsen has impressed me all season, while his % is a little low, someone has to be the bull dog on this team and Carsen is that man. While people get frustrated with some of his shots, the alternative is he not pushing it and slowing the tempo - something we do not want or need. Carsen needs to keep doing what he is doing.
Vincent Edwards - FG 26/68, 38%, 3FG 3/23, 13%, 74 Total Points, 12.3 PPG
Man, has Vincent struggled from three this last stretch. I know, he had the flu that affected him for a few games, but still, 3 of 13 is just not good. He is close to 50% from the field when shooting inside the arc. Some of his looks at three have been questionable as well. The once candidate for B1G Player of the Year has fallen off and I think he can recover and have a solid tournament, but that is up to him.
Isaac Haas - FG 43/76, 56.5%, 108 Total Points, 18 PPG
Oh Isaac, you beautiful man child. You have been very good over this stretch. We have had to force feed you, due to our lack of ability to hit open jump shots. People have attacked you on Twitter, but there is nothing you can do. He has just went with the game plans, I think CMP knows they aren’t hitting their shots and so he has force fed the big man. Isaac has hidden a lot of mistakes over our last 3-3 stretch, without him, we may be closer to a 1-5 stretch.
Matt Haarms - FG 9/13, 69%(Nice), 21 Total Points, 3.5 PPG
At this point in his Boilermaker career, he is not expected to score a bunch, he is in for defense. But the problem is, he has been a hacking machine over this stretch, not giving us much rim protection. When he has shot the ball he has been effective - he just doesn’t get a ton of opportunities with senior laden team.
Ryan Cline - FG 3/11, 27%, 3FG 1/6, 16.6%, 7 Total Points, 1.1 PPG
Where the hell are you at my man? Ineffective at both ends of the court, basically all year, the numbers are cringe worthy. 16% from three and 27% overall, ouch. 1 PPG, ouch. Cline was supposed to be a guy to give us a boost off the bench, but he hasn’t done that. The junior - a year generally CMP players make their biggest jump, has regressed. It is a scary thought right now that this will be our senior leader next season.
Nojel Eastern - FG 6/13, 46%, 3FG 1/2, 50%, 17 Total Points, 2.8 PPG
Nojel, another defensive specialist - maybe the most talented defensive freshman since Chris Kramer did his part last night. He was a spark plug in a close game. He had a couple of steals, and ones & hit his free throws. You can truly tell that he has improved this year. When he is on the court, he is all effort and we appreciate that as fans, especially when 6 of the 8 rotation guys didn’t seem like they wanted to play last night. I am all in on Nojel getting more minutes at the point guard spot.
So there you have the numbers, but those aren’t always the reason.
Do we have tired legs? Who knows, we have been playing since June, but a writer brought up a good point, 2012 Kansas did this same thing and made the elite 8. A team that was once deemed a final 4 lock and a 1 seed is disappearing on both ends of the court.
Numbers don’t lie. The eye test is one thing, but when you show the numbers it is even worse. How do we fix this? Hell if I know, ask the guy getting paid darn near 3 million dollars per year.
According to CMP on his radio show, “We don’t need to fix anything, we need to get better at what we are doing”.
But, after barely breaking 50 against a Wisconsin team that has gotten blown out all year, one has to think that something does need fixed.
Did we peak too early? Or is it okay to take a couple lumps right now. I think that we did peak early, but a couple lumps in February isn’t the end of the world. This team has all the ability in the world to fix the issues occurring right now.
Someone has to step up, be the leader and fix this team. They are too damn special to not make this a magical season.