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Archive for February 13th, 2008

Ongoing debate: Offense or defense?

Posted by Jeff Nusser on February 13, 2008

We’ve had a nice debate over at the WSU football blog that I’d like to continue here about what the Cougs’ biggest problem during the losing streak was — offense or defense? Where to lay the blame?

Those shouting on behalf of the offense pointed to the missed opportunities — specifically free throws — in the losses to Cal and Stanford, and the inefficiency of the offense, with specific reference to turnovers, against UCLA.

Those shouting on behalf of the defense (mostly just me) feel like we wouldn’t even be talking about our missed offensive opportunities if our defense had even remotely resembled last year’s edition. Since this is the blog I write for, I can make my case here with some extended points.

First of all, it’s undeniable that a few more free throws or a Derrick Low 3 would have likely won both the Cal and Stanford games. It’s debatable to me whether turning the ball over a bit less and keeping the Bruins out of transition would have made that much of a difference in that game, but it certainly didn’t help the effort. So I’ll admit that the offense certainly contributed to the losses.

But I won’t back down from the assessment that our issues in our five losses have largely stemmed from defense. Here’s the analogy I used. It’s a little long in the narrative, but I think it makes the point:

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Ever wonder how he did it in Pullman?

Posted by Jeff Nusser on February 13, 2008

Ever wonder how Kelvin Sampson convinced talented guys like Mark Hendrickson, Isaac Fontaine, Tavares Mack, Donminic Ellison, Shamon Antrum and Carlos Daniel to come to WSU at a time when UW was dominating the state?

Ever wonder why he was able to be successful when so many others had failed?

Me too.

Let’s just all be thankful they didn’t look too deeply when he was in Pullman.

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