Here are my thoughts from the game:
- State seems to have the ability to "infect" the opposing team with their "suck." No matter the opposing squad, they seem to get pulled down to our level in terms of pace and poor ballhandling. Duke looked just as inept as we typically do in the first half.
- Another game, another late-game swoon. Somehow, we need to figure out a way to close out games. 30 minutes of good basketball doesn't earn you squat in the W/L ledger.
- I thought we played pretty solid defense, for the most part, aside from some lapses here and there. For the entirety of the first half and, again, about the first 10-minutes of the second half, we played with intensity--if not savvy--on the defensive end. It paid off on the scoreboard. We've got to find a way to stretch that kind of play out for 40 full minutes.
- I'm done with the Javi Gonzalez experiment. Done. Finished. That's it. Farnold Degand and Julius Mays played well enough between the two of them to keep Javi off the court, and yet he kept getting minutes and kept making mistakes. Turnovers, blown defensive assignments leading to wide-open threes...there's no reason in my mind that Mays and Degand shouldn't be the only two options at the point. That's 100% on Sidney.
- State has no answer for a player like Gerald Henderson.
He's as tall as a power forwardHe's apparently only 6'4", but plays much taller than that, and he's as athletic as a two-guard. Johnny Thomas is the only man on the team that could match his athleticism, but Henderson continually found ways to get separation for easy shots. Henderson was the catalyst that started Duke's decisive run in the second half.
Up next: Boston College. If State can bottle up some of what it brought tonight and play that way in Chesnut Hill, then I think State can get a key road win.