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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tough Night at Rocky

We lost 51-48 to Rock Island tonight. It is frustrating because it is the second game in a row in which an opponent has been able to dictate how the game is going to be played. We were only able to manage 22 points in the first half, and 30 points after the third quarter.

I think all of us- players, fans, and coaches- assumed after Morton dominated on Monday we would come out with great passion. It was not to be tonight. Sadly, of the four media people who interviewed me, three of them started with a form of the following, "It seemed like your team did not come out with great passion tonight, did you feel that way?" Most coaches would say it is harder to press on the road than at home because the press relies on "rattling" the opponent and they are harder to rattle when they are in the comfort of home. Whether it was indeed a lack of passion or RI's comfort at home, our press was largely ineffective until late in the game.

Early in the game, we were not very sharp. We had hoped to offensively run some things to "punish" their aggressiveness but we did not execute the plan. We had a high first half turnover total. In fact in the first half we had a deadly combination of high turnovers and high fouls.

We finished the game with only 6 of 45 from the arc. As some coaches say, shooting makes up for a multitude of sins, perhaps if we had shot better I would not be as concerned with our offensive execution and defensive pressure as I am now.

We are three games into what I had labelled as a tough six game stretch. We are 1-2 with a win vs. Normal West but low scoring losses to Morton and Rock Island. My comment was that during this six game stretch we needed to be tough mentally and physically in each game to succeed, and then we had to be tough in how we responded to the outcomes. This group is very committed so I had anticipated an edge or toughness after Mondays' disappointment. While the outcome tonight is very disappointing, we have to learn from it, be tough handling it, and turn the page. With games vs. U-High and Centennial on Saturday, we don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves.

Obviously we are not playing well right now. We are coming off our two lowest scoring games of the year. I am confident this group will bounce back.

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