26 = Loss

1/31/2010 6:59:47 PM 26 Turnovers. 26. That's a lot.

Yet, we were winning with 4 minutes to go. So how do we look at this game?

Did we give this game away? Yes. No doubt. I mean, 26 turnovers. Vasquez had 9 of them. 9 turnovers. I think 8 of em were legit, since I'll argue the elbow to the face late in the game. That was a bad call and he would have scored on the play, giving us a better chance to tie things up. Now before some of you start to think I'm trying to blame Vasquez for this loss, calm down Gerry! He was a part of it, but everyone has to deal with blame except Jordan Williams who busted his ass and played his heart out. 13 points and 13 boards while dealing with a very good front line. He was a warrior.

Now to the culprits:
Landon Milbourne - Classic 'bad matchup' game for Landon. He could not get open for those short jumpers and could not drive to the basket. His one nice drive, he tried to lay in a reverse and missed. Gotta dunk those. Anyway, he battled, but just seems to have bad games against teams like Clemson.

Eric Hayes - Did not have his shot going, and was too slow on defense. He also made some uncharacteristic turnovers trying to force the issue. For most of the game, the entire team was playing a bit too crazy. Obviously not doing the things they did the past couple of weeks.

Sean Mosley - Did well on defense for the most part, but was 3-8 from the field including some misses close in. He always plays hard, so I can't be too tough on him, but we could have used more offense.

The Bench - they shot 3-13 on the night. Not good. Gregory struggled. After a couple of good baskets, he regressed to the 'scared-looking player' he's been at times. I'm not saying he is scared, but sometimes when he gets the ball, he seems to panic or at least look panicked. Bowie and Tucker did very little. Bowie should know by now he is not going to get a call driving into the trees, so stop doing it unless you have a plan!!

Greivis Vasquez - I blame Vasquez big time for this because he took himself out of the game in the first half. Sure, he started off a little wild, but we would have been in much better shape had he been in there during the first half. After an offensive foul that he just cannot take (especially on the road, where you don't get the benefit of the doubt), but he tries to contest a shot with 17 minutes left in the half. That's 37 minutes left in the game. Can't do that if you are a senior leader. You saw in the second half what he was able to do to help lead us back, so taking himself out of the game in the first was huge. You can argue shot selection late, but those curls around the screen and hitting off the glass is his bread and butter. If anything, you could argue he should have taken more shots instead of trying to pass inside. It's far better to miss and have your guys ready for rebounds then force them a pass with those big guys waiting.

Okay, now that the blame has been doled out. Here is the good news. WE WERE WINNING THIS GAME WITH 4 MINUTES LEFT. That's amazing to me. You can say that Clemson missed a lot of shots, but our guys had something to do with that. We battled and scratched and clawed our way to the lead, then just forgot what got us the lead in the first place. But in past years, if we play like this and commit 26 turnovers we lose by 20+. That's why this team is different. That's why I still have optimism.

However, you can't continue to live on these kinds of losses. Eventually, these games have to be wins if you intend on doing something special with your season. There are no more moral victories. We've had two of them already. That's it. We must go to Florida State and get the job done. They'll have all week to digest this one and learn.

We can beat any team in this league. Now it's time to prove that.
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