Meech played out of his mind last night. If he can continue to develop a respectable shot to the point where people actually need to guard him, it's going to free up both him and the offense a little more, and things will move a little more fluidly. That being said, the fact that Meech was our best shooter and offensive threat last night says a lot about how poorly we executed. The biggest problem in my mind is strictly fundamentals. We got a lot of high percentage looks last night that we just could not get to fall. Two or three shots on the same trip more often than not still ended up with nothing.
And then there is Harris.
I want to give the guy the benefit of the doubt and say he is still injured, but I just don't know. He seems to be settling for the three far too often, committing too many turnovers, and just seeming out of sync both offensively and defensively. The explosiveness is just not there (leading me to think he's still injured) andI can't say how many times i've seen him get stuck behind a defender out top, and instead of fighting over the screen and getting a hand up he just allows his man to shoot. I think he still has the raw talent and ability to beat anyone on the floor, but it just seems that the fire we saw last year isn't there. The bottom line is that without Harris playing at as high of a level as he did last year, we are just an average team.
Lastly, there's that elbow rule.
I can understand implementing a rule to prevent major injuries, nobody likes to see someone get hurt. Concussions especially are getting extra attention for the lasting damage they cause. But this isn't the NFL, guys aren't getting concussed every game, guys aren't getting destroyed off their blindside, guys aren't getting more than the occasional cut or bruise. That being said, if the NCAA really wanted to prevent elbows from being thrown and people from getting injured, it seems like the best policy would be to tell officials to get more stringent with the reach in calls. Don't let guys hang all over each other's arms in a poor attempt to play defense and you won't run into nearly as many injuries. Coaches hate it when players linger back and foul a guy 90 feet from the basket, yet it still happens far too much.
But that's just the problem. I don't feel like the rule was made because of an escalating degree of maliciousness amongst players, it was made because of the ineptitude of officiating crews to make the right calls. Swinging arms are almost always preceded by a reach in. If they are allowed to review the play, shouldn't they be able to see that a foul was being committed? Shouldn't they be able to overrule the rule when they realize the elbows were being swung to remove the ball from a defender, not to drop the Peoples Elbow onto his jaw?
That being said, I don't believe the refs lost us that game, we lost us that game. GU is better than most teams in the WCC exponentially, and we can't let it get to the point where the refs have an opportunity to decide the game. Make our free throws, get back to fundamentals, and we'll get back on track.