Tuesday, December 30, 2008
As I mentioned yesterday, last night I trekked out to the Pavilion to take in the Temple-Villanova game and was pretty excited about it. I cannot get enough of live college basketball, especially when it's a Big 5 match-up. I thoroughly enjoy soaking every moment in.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to quite do that last night. You see, the original start time for the game was 7:30. It even says so on the tickets. But the start time was moved up to 7, and someone, let's just say his name starts with silver and ends with fox, somehow had no idea of this. So as I got to the Pavilion at 6:30 and called the man who scored the tickets, he was still a good 40 or so minutes away. As a result, when we finally walked in the building, Temple was leading 11-5 almost 6 minutes in. What I'm trying to say is that silver fox is an idiot. But a gracious idiot at that. He did invite me to the game after all.
Anyway, the first half of that game was awful. Just truly awful. Neither team ran any semblance of an offense, and really, not a single player stood out. The game was tight the whole time with Temple leading by 2 to 5 points most of the way. Come halftime, it was 25-22 Temple. Enthralling stuff I tell you.
Now, I'll get to the second half in a moment, but I'd like to officially go on record as saying I don't like the Pavilion. Not one bit. I've been there about a million times in my life to see Nova and high school basketball games, and each time I go back, I hate it just a little bit more. It's ugly, odd-shaped, and typically filled with snobby rich folk. I'm just not a fan of that place.
Also, maybe it's because I went to a big school with a large emphasis on entertainment during football games that has made my expectations high, but Nova's little contests and routines between timeouts and at half are horrendous. There was a girl twirling a baton who basically did nothing. Bobbie Jo Solomon she was not.
Also, Nova had about 5 or 6 absolutely huge cheerleaders. I mean, these broads were tanks. It was pretty pathetic if you ask me. And the dancers wore entirely too much clothing. This is college people, step up your game. I know it's a Catholic university, but as we all know, Catholic girls are whores.
Anyway, on to the second half. What can I say? Things started out well for the Owls, who built a 32-24 lead, but it was all downhill from there. Villanova went on a 23-2 run, busting the game wide open, and never looked back. It started with a Scottie Reynolds three, but was propelled and finished by a complete takeover by Corey Fisher.
Fisher was absolutely remarkable in the 2nd half. He went 6-for-6 from the field, 4-for-5 from the free throw line and completely dominated every phase of the game. The 6'1" guard from the Bronx was getting rebounds, defending players in the post twice his size and doing anything he wanted on offense. The guy just exploded, scoring a game-high 23 points on 7-of-8 from the field, 4-for-4 from three and 5-of-7 from the line. Fisher was hands down the best player on the floor last night, and Temple had no answer for him.
As for the Owls, that was one of the most horrendous offensive displays of basketball I've ever seen. In the 62-45 loss, they ran maybe, maybe two offensive plays all game. The rest of the time, it was just Luis Guzman, Ryan Brooks or Semaj Inge dribbling around for a while until Dionte could fire up a shot. No one was moving without the ball, Dionte included, making it easy for an aggressive Villanova defense to defend. It was hideous.
Christmas had the worst game I've ever seen him play. The Owls ran no screens for him, Villanova routinely doubled or trapped him, and Dionte got flustered. He was forcing horrible shots and completely off his game. He finished with just 13 points on a horrific 4-of-19 shooting display. It was ugly.
And let me go on record as saying that Luis Guzman sucks. He's just horrible. The guy never, ever looks to shoot, so no one needs to guard him. He doesn't run any sets, if Temple even has any, and he doesn't even attempt to penetrate. Really, he's a worthless basketball player.
Certainly, Nova's defense had a lot to do with the offensive struggles for Temple, but for a team coached by Fran Dunphy, a man who was brilliant at Penn, this team looks inept and, dare I say, stupid on offense. No one is decisive, they run no discernible plays, and they often took entirely too long to swing the basketball or make a pass. It was pathetic.
That really wasn't a great game aesthetically to say the least. If it wasn't for Fisher, it could have potentially been the worst played offensive game in the history of basketball. Thankfully, even though I was rooting for Temple, Fisher showed up and put on a clinic. Otherwise, it would have almost been better to stay home. But I'm glad I didn't.