Well, hello again.
Great to be bidding farewell to another season after the first weekend. This is great. I love everything.
Let’s just jump into it...
It’s OK to be upset as fans. For the third straight year this team failed to reach the second weekend – twice with teams that had the make to win the entire thing. You’re not a “hater” for being disappointed this season totally flopped in front of roughly 20,000 Spartan fans that packed Little Caesars Arena.
If you can look at the end result of this game – this season – and not be upset, wow, I seriously envy you. I wish I could see this team end their season in a de facto home game against an awful team and realize that it’s just a stupid game and the world keeps spinning. But I (and probably you too) spend too much time and energy on this ridiculous fandom. Being letdown is just having emotions, which is also just being human.
That game is half on the players, half on coaching. The players because the shooting was abysmal. If they made just one or two more of their open 3-point looks, we are already talking about a Duke matchup (that probably would have ended in another loss, to be honest). The defense couldn’t hold the rope when they had a chance for a stop to help grow the five-point lead and continually let Syracuse back into it.
Tom Izzo will be taken to task and absolutely should be taken to task. To be fair, he’s done more with less plenty of times in his career (2005 Final Four as a five seed, 2015 Final Four as a seven seed, heck, even getting last year’s team into the tournament). This is one season he’s done remarkably less with more.
This roster was loaded with two potential top ten picks and big man depth and star players in the back court. They played against a 11 seed in East Breslin Center. How the hell do you squander that?
Syracuse has been running zone before these players were even born. How do they look so lost for the better part of 40 minutes?
How is Jaren Jackson playing just 15 minutes? Don’t tell me because he was in foul trouble in the first half or wasn’t breaking the zone properly. Izzo, you’re a Hall of Fame coach with a top three pick. Make it work. Drop him down low with Miles Bridges on the free throw line.
Why is Ben Carter logging 23 minutes – the same amount of minutes he played in the last 12 games before the tournament combined? Let’s be fair – he did fine. But just fine. He passed the ball and got people open looks, but also passed up a few chances for a 10-12 foot jumper that should be automatic. Or, if Jaren or Miles are playing in that roll, drive in for an easy dunk or layup. When the going got tough and you can’t buy a bucket, make a change.
How do you not make a single adjustment to make sure the offense doesn’t do the whole pass right, pass back, pass left, pass back, pass left again, pass back, panic, bomb a shot with an expiring shot clock seemingly every other possession? Was that seriously the game plan we were comfortable with?
Just to reiterate — this team with two lottery picks ended its season in front of a home crowd in the first weekend of the tournament. I can’t get over that.
I know this next comment will go over just as great as the game’s final score but...I’m done calling Izzo “Mr. March” for now. Until he can get to another Final Four, he is now Mr. Used To Be March to me. I’m not saying fire the man, but blowing it completely with two title-bound teams in a three year span erases all March magic hype nicknames.
At least Izzo doesn’t have to lose again to Coach K. That’s cool.
166 days until football season. Woohoo.
That’s enough from me. I just have one question for you guys...
Would you consider this season a failure?
This poll is closed