Yes, it’s taken me this long to get over the loss to Missouri State. Once again the Shox came out flat in the first half and their shining moments came too little, too late. I can’t figure it out. Was their lackadaisical first-half attitude throughout the season a result of being picked to win the MVC title at the beginning?Did this lead them to believe they would easily win over each MVC opponent? Surely not. More than half of our rotating ten have faced MVC opponents before. They are familiar with the buzzer beater woes of Creighton, the smothering defense of UNI and SIU. So why was it so tough to put two halves together?
I still think it’s because we played most of the season without a true point guard. Torre Murray is not a point guard. I know I’m not alone in this thinking. Forcing him to the point guard position has ruined him as a player. He now lacks confidence, an outside shot and he makes desperate decisions. This is not the same kid we could rely to win a game, to carry the burden of his team beyond the three-point line and knowingly take the final shot. He looks confused, almost terrified. And I can’t blame him. He is not a point guard and should never have been forced to play the position until Demetric got his act together or Joe blossomed. Joe probably would’ve blossomed a lot sooner had he been given the full responsibility of leading his team on the court. My heart breaks for Torre. He tries so hard, he wants so much to redeem himself on that court. My hope is he finds a way during this tournament.
But what do I know, I’m no coach. Just a fan. A fan impatiently waiting for Friday evening at 6:05 and tip-off of our first game in the MVC tournament.
Some say we are right where we want to be. After all, the only way to get two MVC teams in the Big Dance was for one to win the conference title and another to win the tournament. We worked this out with MSU. You get to win at home for the title, we get to win on the road in St. Louis for the tournament title and automatic bid. A win-win.
Right where we want’em.
I hope they’re right.
Posted for good luck: me, Old Wu, and Dad in D.C. for the Sweet Sixteen.