WNMU is still looking for the first win of the season after coming close on 3 occasions. Quite honestly, if the Stangs don’t get a win in the rematch against Benedictine University tomorrow night, they may be looking for a long time to come. The RMAC schedule starts after that game and it’s going to be against some better competition than what we’ve seen so far.
This edition of WNMU’s team is still looking for it’s identity. Part of the problem is that there is not a floor leader or two, a player who wants to take the 14-15 shots a game and can make most of them. A player who can take the team on his shoulders and keep them in a game or carry them to victory. I’m not necessarily talking about a dominant player but someone who sets the tone and other guys find their roles in the scheme and do what they need for the team to win. There are a couple of freshman on the squad who could fill that role in the future but they aren’t in position to take it on right now.
On the defensive side, WNMU has got to have a more consistent effort. Shooting comes and goes for everyone (Steph Curry not withstanding) but hustle and smarts should be consistent; defense is based purely on hustle and smarts. It seems like this team lets its success on the offensive end dictate how hard they try on the defensive end. If guys are shooting well on offense, the defensive intensity is notched up; if the ball’s not falling for us, the defense is lacking in intensity.
Defense can keep a team in every game. The potential is there with Makhtar, Carter, and Daniel inside. They can and have disrupted the inside game and our rebounding has been more competitive early this year than it has been in past years; we’ve out rebounded our opponent in more games than not so far. We also have some shot blocking ability that we haven’t had in the past.
Emery is averaging almost a double/double. Steven has to pick up his scoring game as do Tanter and Adam, who are both shooting horribly. One of the tough things about a passing based game plan on offense, is guys tend to stand around too much. They’ve got to move better on offense. We’ve seen what happens when there is good movement, guys get open and get some easier shot opportunities.
Talking to the coaches, BenU was able to come back last week and get the win, because they were a step or two ahead of us going after loose balls, getting to rebounds, or playing defense; that allowed them to come from behind in the 2nd half and pull out the win.
BenU has had 3 games since we played them, all were losses but were competitive games. They lost to San Diego Christian by 10, Trinity International by 14 and Vanguard University by 6. All three opponents have winning records; two are undefeated. BenU continues to go deep into their bench and rotates a lot of guys in and out of the game. They are still getting double digit scoring from 2-3 guys a game and the 2-3 that provide it is rotating depending upon the hot hand. Tough to defend against.