Margin Of Error

March 27, 2008 at 9:13 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel, Lates Links | 4 Comments
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The waiting is almost over. Washington State is going to try to get us out of gear, test us with their defense, make us play differently, put on the breaks, use the shot clock, play deliberately, and will test our tempo. It is almost enough to make you think both teams will be playing different sports this evening. I’m pretty sure that the game will be basketball and the the key won’t be tempo, but rather who scores more points. This is my understanding of the game and the kind of hard hitting analysis you can only find here at JMP.

The Cougars are going to do some things tonight that we can’t control, but I believe their margin for error is extremely low. Roschete, Low, and Weaver need to make a lot of threes. The Cougars probably can’t win if two of those players have a tough shooting night. They need the officiating to be loose allowing Cowgil and Baynes to stay out of foul trouble. Washington State absolutely can’t turn the ball over much this evening. The good news for them is that they are capable of doing all that. The have the shooters, the refs do seem to let more go in March, and they take care of the ball very well. The bad news for the Cougars is that even if they do all of that they’ll also need Carolina to be off of their game. If we can avoid those 5 minute droughts and get the ball inside to Tyler when things are not going well, we can beat them. Obviously we’d like to get a few turnovers and easy baskets and just destroy them in the first ten minutes, but even if that does not happen, we have the ability to hurt them inside. John Gasaway thinks it will be a great game:

Forget tempo. Please. Yes, Washington State is slow and North Carolina is fast. Just remember, Carolina can win at a slower than accustomed pace. (They did it at Boston College, for one.) As for those desultory Cougars, they actually weren’t all that great on defense during the conference season this year, certainly not compared to last year. They do, however, appear to have turned things up a notch on D in the tournament. In two games,WSU has allowed Winthrop and Notre Dame a total of 81 points in 117 combined possessions. Do the math–that’s unreal. The Cougars have done it by making opponents miss their twos, by giving them only one shot and by never fouling. That makes Tony Bennett’s defense the stylistic ideal to play the Tar Heels, a team that scores its points in no small measure by dominating the offensive glass, getting to the free throw line and largely eschewing threes. So why do I feel being the stylistic ideal won’t be enough for Washington State? Probably because both teams have outstanding coaches but only one has outstanding athleticism.

Andy Staples looks as what makes the Cougars successful. Luke Winn talks to an anonymous coach about how to beat North Carolina. Derrick Lowe remembers Roy. Tar Heel Fan thinks Danny and Wayne will be key. ACC Now has tons from Charlotte. Cougar fans are confident. A smart Tar Heel Fan commenter takes Ken Pomeroy to task:

Surprisingly, Pomeroy believes that Washington State is better than Stanford. I know that styles make match-ups and all that, but Stanford has beaten them 3 times, the last 2 convincingly, and finished two games ahead of them in conference and also went farther in the Pac Ten tournament, so once again, this year, Pomeroy’s ratings make very little sense. One wonders exactly what Stanford would have to do to be ranked ahead ofWSU by Pomeroy if beating them 3 times and finishing two games ahead of them in a conference where everyone plays each other twice, is not enough!

Maybe there is something wrong and maybe there isn’t. 12 of Pomeroy’s top 16teams are still playing. Does your bracket look that good? West Virginia and Davidson were also in his top 30, so only Western Kentucky has crashed his party. It does seem silly that WSU is ahead of Stanford, but sometimes numbers show us things we can’t see. I sure hope William is correct about tonight.

Nats win again in Europe?

GO HEELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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  1. Gooch! OMG why did the Hagpies get rid of you?

  2. I’m sorry, I see no mention of the proper tempo for f*cking as your tags suggest.

  3. Ric, this is a family friendly blog.

    besides….everyone knows that tempo doesn’t matter…you’ve just got to put the ball in the basket.

    (I’m so so sorry)

  4. At least you didn’t say anything about dribbling or penetration. Oh, crap.

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