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Date Posted: Thursday, December 23, 07:28:36am
Author: Abdul Rahman
Subject: Where they are

Well the team has reached the 1/3 point of the season and the record or 5-5, even to the most pessamistic of fans, is bit disappointing.

To their credit they have beaten the gallatically bad / bad teams ( Bluefield, B. Green, UMBC ) on the schedule. Against the average to above average ( RMU, PSU, GB, WVU, UIPUI, GM )they have managed a 2-4 record with very limited contributions from the "Minutemen" ( Jones, Peggau, Marhold, Theis )and uneven, in most cases, contributions from the more "Erratic" players on the team ( Johnson, Montiero, Talley, Wright ). Against the one really good team on the schedule ( Pitt ) they were beaten soundly.

So going forward what does this season hold ??

1) If there is truly a run to be made it probably will be made in the middle third of the season. If not, I suspect the team will be a slightly above .500 team when the season ends.

2) It is a over simplification to say "We would have won this game or that game had we shot our free throws better / or rebounded better". The team, I suspect, is "What it is" in those two areas.

3) I suspect we will get a bit of a boost when EE returns. I expect his play to be "Uneven". He will mix the good with the bad ( much like BJ M ).

4) If there is a bit of hope it is that Joel W. seems to be coming on a bit. I question his use / non use sometimes, but not being privy to all that is occuring I'll defer to the coach to allocate his minutes. All, I'll say is on a nite ( G. Mason ) when there was not a lot of rebounding or offensive juice Joel got 20 minutes and Mike T. got 38. I realize they play different postions, but with the flexibility in players being able to play multiple positions I would have liked more JW and less Mike T ( 1 rebound, 2 assists, and not a lot of scoring ). As for "D" impact on the game I'll allow that Joel W misses an assignment occasionally but I'm willing to sacrifice that for what else he brings to the table.

5) TJM has played better than I thought he would initially ( mea culpa ). Even with that the team is only 5-5. How will his play translate as the road toughens. Here is hoping that he continues to improve and this is reflected in the W-L column.

I ask myself what would cause me to raise my expectations going forward and how likely are they to occur.

To materially alter the season :

1) Damian S has to play materially better, at least statistically.
2) BJM must play better for longer stretches of time.
3) Rod. P must find some sort of game.
4) EE must play better than I anticipate he will.
5) The one true "Wildcard" ( Joel W ) takes a quantum leap forward.

In summary, while there are MANY ( maybe too many )things that have to go right over the remainder of the season for the pre season expectations to be met, I resolve to try and "Enjoy the journey".

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