NT at WKU Thread

So here is a running thread of some Bowling Green thoughts:

  1. The drive from STL goes through rural Indiana and rural Kentucky and some rural Illinois.
  2. Owensboro, Ky calls itself the (one of the) best small town(s) in America
  3. Bowling Green is small, and I attempted to eat at this Greek place that looks like the Parthenon was placed on a Church but it was closed until 4pm.
  4. We are staying at the team hotel, which is the WKU hotel, which is the Hyatt Place. It is fine, but unspectacular.
  5. My kids saw Tylor Perry and some of the team and encountered them with indifference. They were too busy practicing having a conference call.

Diddle is old but has some charm. Everyone is very nice and it seemed I could have entered with no tickets at all they were so friendly.

I have a couple more quotes coming that I will post here and elsewhere

They put 24 on you

“Im kinda used to seeing length at this point. I welcome it. I see a lot of different schemes a lot of different things thrown at me over the course of a game. That’s why I work on my game so much because I know I’m going to see multiple different things. My teammates do such a good job finding me and getting me the ball and that’s one reason we came out with a victory”

Martinez, a few dudes hitting shots

“Just work. Right after the FAU the guys were really upset about that and immediately back to the gym and you know hard work pays off and I’m so prod of J Martinez and Kai getting back into his rhythm and that’s just big, a confidence booster heading into Saturday”

Attacking Sharp

“We didn’t want to shy away from him, you know he’s leading the country in blocks and I know a couple people might get scared of him but he’s going to block some either way so its just about attacking him, staying confident, and being aggressive.”

Was any of that being deliberate about getting two feet in the paint and making him commit?

“Yeah absolutely, yeah we know he likes to block shots so getitng him off his feet and getting them into rotation and finding the open guy that’s the main thing and it worked for us tonight”

All business and hit them in the mouth

“We know Western lieks to get out and run early, last couple of games they came out early on teams, and that was one of the big emphasis coming out of the locker room and we just didn’t want to be the one – we wanted to be the aggressors coming out and I think it worked out for us. They made their runs, we knew they were going to but in the end we ended up coming out with a win”

On his game when he has the ball late in the shotclock

“Just finding my spots early. Coach Hodge tells me to learn how to make one move and instead of dancing with the ball so much and trying getting better at that. And trying to find different ways to get the ball in my hands late in the shot clock and just continuing to get to my spots early and I’ll be able to get my shot off”

On some of the ‘extra’ dribbles just being about finding your rhythm.

“Absolutely its just about finding your rhythm, just being able to get into your dribble and your package and you know – get to the bucket”

Did you add anything to your package in the offseason?

“Haha, I think that’s for the fans to decide! You tell me”

ON the lefty floater

"Yeah we worked on it all summer, me and Clay the GA. I know teams are trying to take away my right hand so just being able to finish in the paint different ways "

The start

“That’s what you do in preparation I thought I efficiency and undersatnding of how we were trying to play was – We worked hard, involving a lot of people. We felt like this game we needed provide multiple ball screens with multiple players in order to create confusion and also to wear them down because we knew they had a limited number of players tonight. So it’s how do you keep McKnight involved in ball screens? How do you keep them on their heels? I thought we did a nice job of making the simple play and moving.”

Did you change the offense for Sharp?

“Yeah well ultimately you hae to make him commit, but to make him commit you have to drive hard with a purpose, right? And That’s what we got early. Abou got a layup off it, early. Kai did a great job of driving it and throwing it to him. We got a few other layups but really we provided good spacing to get shots that we watned in the first half.”

“Give them credit because they are a team that sometimes defensively lose some interest, but they started playing harder and to finish the first half I thought they were playing as hard on the ball as I’ve seen. You could tell their fans appreciated it because they got into the game.”

I saw some zone but yeah a lot of effort. That what you saw?

“They just got after it and they did make some lineup changes went smaller when they took Sharp out and started pressing with multiple guys and we got a little fatigued at the end of the first half. We lost a little bit of an edge. That’s what happens on the road sometimes. You try to get into a little flow and try to figure out what to do to combat that. And really, I thought we throttled down instead of trying to attack more. Which is part of playing on the road.”

On Scott and others making big shots

“Those guys worked really hard since we’ve played the last couple of weeks on finding rhythm and those guys have to be more aggressive they are great players and they just got to be more aggressive and they look to pass too much. The more aggressive they are the more it helps our team.”

ABout the shots that aren’t going in?

“We went and back and watched film there’s two things. They missed a lot of shots and they got the best three point shooting team in our league. There was some high-level contesting and defense. There was some elite level competitiveness going on. And then, there is also the component to where the first one doesn’t go in and you start to second-guess it and it gets worse. I thought that’s the one thing our guys are starting to understand is when you get great shots you got to step into them and shoot them. But the other thing is you can turn those down and drive them and that’s where I thought Kai – to start the second half, drove a couple of times to the rim. He had that one layup off the front of the rim. That’s where we got to keep these guys aggressive and get more paint touches when the ball isn’t going in from three you just dont keep firing them, you find a way to get more paint”

On Middle

“The biggest thing is how do you recover? Thankfully its a short trip and we are jumping on the bus tonight. Nobody sleeps after the game anyway. We’ll just knock it out. We’ll hop on the bus, we’ll get there before midnight and get in the hotel and they can wind down on the bus and by the time we get to the hotel you are ready to sleep. They can sleep in, and we can start watching a little film of this after breakfast lunch and when we bring them back at 2pm we’ll devote all our attention to Middle Tennessee”

On Middle for the fans:

“They are one of the most athletic teams in our league. When you watch them play they got some experience, they change defenses, they like to press – especially at home they like to speed the tempo up. And you saw tonight we scored against the press some and we attacked it in transtion and got some layups when we stretched it. But we are going to have to score against the press. Can’t just hold the ball. They are too athletic and can switch too many positions. How do you stay in attack mode but continue to make the simple play. Ultimately its a game where we need to get Abou involved. This one is a tougher one because of Sharp”

I thought he played well

“Yeah other than just a few passes out when they were double teaming us. But we need to anchor ourselves on the road and get those paint touches adn thats one way we can get them and feel like that’s a big part of it. We like to play inside out. We practice shooting kicking the ball out and those are the threes that go in. We got some guys that are buying into the way we want to play.”

BGDN has some good quotes about NT:

“It’s what they do,” Cunningham said. “I don’t want to bring up a bad memory, but we got down 17-0 to them a few years ago down in Frisco in the championship game. So a lot of it, give them credit – it’s what they do. I’ve seen it happen with them a lot. They’re so good at what they do defensively.