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Archive for November 30th, 2007

GAME THREAD: No. 6 WSU (6-0) at Baylor (5-0)

Posted by Jeff Nusser on November 30, 2007

Ferrell Center (Waco, Texas), 6 p.m. PT
TV: ESPNU

Well, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: The Cougs, on TV (if you have ESPNU or happen to be in a bar that does), against a quality opponent. Baylor has been impressive in its 5-0 start, and this actually looks to be a better tournament resume builder than was initially thought.

The Bears are coached by Scott Drew, son of Homer and brother of Bryce, all of Valpo fame. He’s been there for five years, and Drew and the Bears are looking at this as a kind of a get-over-the-hump year. Lots of juniors who have taken their lumps and are desperate to finally put their mark on this program.

Sound familiar?

The good news for the Cougs is that this is a similar team to themselves. Guard oriented, no dominant big man. The bad news, is that this is a very good 3-point shooting team. (And if you read my post below, you know why that’s a problem.) Led by dynamic guard Curtis Jerrells, the Bears have three players who have shot more than 20 3-pointers who are shooting at a better than 40 percent clip from beyond the arc. Jerrells is at 48.3 percent.

That likely will be the difference in the game — shut down the Bears on the perimeter, win the game, because they don’t take care of the basketball: 155th in the country in turnover percentage. Without 3s to bail them out, that offensive efficiency will drop through the floor.

If you’re looking for a hometown read on the Bears, here’s one from the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Otherwise, leave your thoughts on the game below as we head to tipoff and as the game unfolds. I won’t be able to comment as it goes along, since I’ll have to find a bar.

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Posted in Game Threads | 16 Comments »

How well are the Cougs really playing? Well, about that defense …

Posted by Jeff Nusser on November 30, 2007

Welcome to our first real breakdown of the Cougs, something we’ll do from time to time as opportunity allows. The timing seems right to do one now, but bear with me — it’s a little long, but I think it’s worth your time to read it to the end.

Six games into the most anticipated season in the history of WSU basketball — and with the two toughest games of the non-conference schedule looming, starting tonight — I can’t possibly be the only Coug fan who felt a little uneasy about the lack of wide scoring margins against the mediocre competition. I mean, aren’t top 10 teams supposed to obliterate the Montanas of the college hoops world?

After three relatively close games against Boise State, Montana and Air Force, a lot of people around the country were asking themselves how good the Cougars really are. I think that’s the wrong question, given the lack of stiff competition. There’s just no way to accurately answer that question yet.

The right question is this: How well are the Cougs really playing?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Breakdowns | 3 Comments »