Thursday, March 10, 2005

At least they'll play to be the 66th best team in the country

I can't say I'm shocked with today's loss since the team has proven it knows how to lose games it should win. I didn't watch the game, but read a few recaps so I can't say too much about what went on. Blaming it on the loss of Gilchrist isn't the answer since Clemson beat UMD twice already with a full squad. It comes down to these guys not playing as a team instead of individuals. Defense doesn't happen because of one guy, but everyone helping out and playing hard. Losing DJ Strawberry did hurt the team this year b/c of his defense and enthusiasm off the bench, but that's not why this team didn't do well this year. I think the loss of Jamar Smith hurt this team more than people want to recognize. While he never seemed incredibly vocal about leading the team, he put up some strong numbers inside that the team lacks this year.

If the team makes the NCAA tournament, it's hard to see them going further than the second round. However, there's still a part of me that thinks of them when they play "their game" and beat Duke twice and just missed upsetting UNC at MD. Unfortunately this team usually plays to its level of competition, or as in the case of anyone but Duke, the level of competition is somehow too high for them to overcome.

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