A couple of times a year, the Hoyas play a game that just pisses me off. Two years ago, sadly, that game was a Final Four game against Ohio State. Last year, it was the game at Syracuse. Games in which it felt as if the team didn't play the way it always plays -- coherent, disciplined and determined.
Last night's loss to West Virginia was such a game, and truly I don't have much to say about it.
People talk about a lack of depth on this team, and they mean that it doesn't get much from its bench. But (a) that's improving and (b) maybe there are depth problems within the first five.
WVU locked down on Greg Monroe, double-teaming him and basing their defense on denying him the ball. Dajuan Summers couldn't get anything going, scoring-wise, and...that was it. Nobody else knew what to do with those guys out of the offense. Austin Freeman made a couple of first-half plays, but for the most part they got out of sync and stayed out. By the time there were eight minutes left in the second half, all they were doing was jacking up bad threes that they couldn't hit, and that tight, disciplined offense for which the JTIII teams have become known was already on the bus (hopefully) for Sunday's game at Seton Hall.
It wasn't a "bad loss" in that it didn't come at the hands of one of the bottom seven teams in the conference. (To this point, the only top-nine loss to a bottom-seven remains Notre Dame's Jan. 3 loss at St. John's.) But it was a game the Hoyas should have won, at home against an unranked team, and when it comes time to seed this year's conference tournament, it could be a game that haunts them.
Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes
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