|Pic via AP|
Thirty minutes ago UTSA suffered one of its most heart-breaking losses in school history. And is currently being humiliated in defeat on Sportscenter. I’m almost at a loss for words right now. It stings so much to see your team blow away would should have been a historical moment of glory and an opportunity to play two ESPN-televised games in Madison Square Garden. Instead all we’re left with is a refreshing sense of confidence and the possibility of picking up an extra home game next week. Not a bad consolation if you ask me.
There are so many positive things to take from this game:
1.) Michael Hale is a monster of a point guard, and is improving every game.
After pitching in 11 points against Oral Roberts last night, Hale came back tonight with 26 against the Cowboys, who were missing star Keiton Page. Hale was all the Runners had going for them in the early going as he skated through defenders twice his size for lay ups and floaters, as well as dropping back for some smooth three point shots. Hale was also again terrific controlling the ball and the tempo of the offense. His ability to draw fouls and make free throws is incredibly valuable, especially in a defensive conference like the Southland. One play tonight really stuck out to me– Hale got the ball via an OSU turnover. He proceeded to calmly bring the ball down the floor into a 2 on 2 situation. Recognizing that there was no passing lane to hit the outlet pass across the paint, Hale blazed past his defender on the drop of a dime to score on an easy lay up. That is beautiful, smart basketball.
2.) Kannon Burrage is near unstoppable in the second half.
I don’t know why, but some cats can only find the rim in the second half of basketball games. Whether it’s a comfort thing, tactical adjustments, or his shoes being laced too tight, Burrage has been one of those dudes so far this year. Burrage had 17 points in the second half of this game, and 20 points in the latter half of the Oral Roberts game.
3.) Jermoie Hill is a goddam trooper
Hill played 42 minutes tonight and very rarely showed signs of it. Jeromie had a fantastic outing, racking up 16 points and seven rebounds, including shooting 60% from behind the arc. Towards the end of the game Hill drew his teammates into a huddle and stared into their eyes reassuringly, whispering words of encouragement. While he’s only a sophomore, Hill has a strong sense of ownership in the team he helped take to the NCAA tournament last year. It’s great to see a young leader develop so early in his career.
4.) This team has honey badger tendencies
Down by 15 to a strong team at the half? Roadrunners don’t give a shit. Playing a Big XII team on the road? Roadrunners don’t care.
And the negatives?
– Iggy Nujic wasn’t ready for crunch time. As I watched him drive in for a missed lay up with 30 seconds left in the game, I just knew that the game was going to come down to that play. UTSA could have killed a ton of time on the clock and scored *at least* one point from the line to drastically change the last couple of seconds of this game and invariably come out with a win and a week of hoopin’ in Madison Square Garden.
– Foul trouble. Stephen Franklin (who played an astonishing defensive game) fouled out, Iggy and Vouyoukas flirted with doom with four fouls each, and a slew of other Roadrunners finished the game with three personal fouls. Of course you’re going to rack up fouls when playing a bigger, faster, and stronger team, but you have *got* to make sure you play carefully enough to avoid putting your coach in a bind. I’m sure Brooks would have loved to have been able to play Vouyoukas more than 11 minutes.
-Second chance points: Oklahoma State had 15 to UTSA’s 4.
But you know what pisses me off the most? This ass wipe:
Youngblood smoked us for 29 points and single-handedly won the game as a true freshman. Good stuff son, I see you. And then he told Jeff Eisenberg this after the game:
People said I did a Reggie Miller on them. I just want to say I did the Cezar Guerrero on them
You damn buffoon. You almost lose to a team from one of college basketball’s worst conferences, then have the audacity to place yourself above the greatest shooter of all time? This guy seriously threw the ball up in the air after the buzzer went off and dove into the student section after the game. After almost losing at a 17 point underdog. Oh and how could I forget him flopping to draw a charge (good play there) then jumping up and flexing what little bicep he has. Bro, there is nothing masculine about getting knocked on your ass by a 5’7 point guard. Put them Red Ryders away. Someone is due for a huge dose of reality. I hope Kansas fans read this and use it to heckle this douchebag in a few months.
All saltiness aside, be sure to be checking our Twitter account and Rowdyville to find out when UTSA will play next. We’re waiting to hear back from the NIT folks. By the way, big ups to everyone who joined us for our live chat. It was dead even in participation with our most populated football chat on Coker Chronicles. Y’all are awesome.
Editor extraordinaire, UTSA grad student. Twitter