Thursday, February 28, 2008

Nebraska & Tech Recap

1st of all, let me please apologize to you guys for not getting a note out to you after Saturday’s debacle of a loss to Nebraska . I wish I had a decent excuse for you, but I just could not find an hour to sit down and put something together.

I don’t want to spend much time going back over the Nebraska game, especially in the light of what happened last night, but I do want to point a couple of things out.

The lack of effort and enthusiasm in that game was about as poor as you would have ever seen. Turgeon even admitted so in saying, “We weren’t very good in that game. It was probably our worst game of the year offensively and defensively. I don’t want to take anything away from Nebraska because they made plays, they made shots and they executed, but man we were just not very good,”

The best thing to come out of Saturday’s loss was the emergence of an angry Derrick Roland. D-Ro had one of the best games of his young career when he came off the bench to play 24 very productive minutes. Roland led the Aggies by scoring 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting which included making 3-of-5 from downtown.

OK – That’s enough about the Nebraska game, just know that Nebraska is awful and there is no excuse to have lost that game.

Alright – Let’s talk briefly about the Tech game last night. The 98-54 win was a great dose of needed medicine for everyone in and around the Aggie Basketball program.

I don’t think anyone in their wildest dreams would have thought that the Aggies would post their largest margin of victory ever over Tech and their largest margin of victory in a Big 12 game. They also matched their largest margin of victory in any conference game ever dating back to a 44 point win over Texas in 1959.

Coach Turgeon had an idea things would be better in saying, “I had a feeling we were going to play well today. We had our best practice of the year on Monday. It was fantastic. I knew we were going to play well but I didn’t expect this. We were really good.”

I agree coach, you guys were really good.

Dominique Kirk led the way for the 14 Aggies who saw action last night with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting with all 5 field goals coming from downtown. Big Freshman DeAndre Jordan returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday night and responded by grabbing 10 rebounds and adding 8 points.

Joseph Jones had 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the field.

It is also worth pointing out that oft-used freshman guard Derrick Lewis ( Tulsa , OK - Union HS) made a rare appearance at the 13:53 mark of the first half. Lewis had only played 11 total minutes over 6 games on the entire season. Turgeon mentioned that Lewis had a great week of practice and decided to reward him with 17 meaningful minutes last night.

OK – There are a couple of things I want to point out to you guys with regards to Coach Turgeon.

First of all, Turgeon’s energy and enthusiasm was off the charts last night. I have only seen him that animated and that into the game one other time this season and that was in the Aggies’ 80-63 blowout win over Texas back on January 30th.

Turgeon’s energy carried over to not only the guys on the court but also the guys on the bench and the fans in the arena.

"I don't know how many times the refs had to tell our players to sit down," Turgeon said. "The refs said 'I'm going to give them a tech,' and I said 'give them one then,' so the players were having fun."

It was great to watch Turge run around for 40 minutes. I was glad to see him come out with that kind of passion and fire.

The second thing I want to point out to you guys is this statement from Turgeon after the game last night.

“I’ve been a wimp all year; I’ll be quite honest with you. I usually average about three or four or five technicals a year and I haven’t even been close to one. I can’t explain it. I felt like on Saturday I didn’t do my job. I felt very inadequate.”

Turgeon continued, “I just want the guys to know that I’m there. I don’t know if we know the real Mark Turgeon yet here. Hopefully I can do my job down the stretch. But I have to do better than what I was doing. I really got after the guys. I said some things that I didn’t want to say on Sunday night, things I don’t like to say. Evidently, they took it well. But if you’re going to say those things you’d better be ready to go with them.”

Turgeon has always talked from his heart, nearly to a fault at times, but I was glad to finally hear him talk last night about how he has not been himself. It was refreshing to hear him talk about how some of this was his fault. Something about step-1 being “admitting that you have a problem”? Either way, it was good to hear Coach step up and take some blame and admit that he too needed to change the way he has been going about handling this group of guys.

Well, I do not know who pushed the panic button after the Nebraska game, but I am glad that they did.

You have to take it one game at a time from here on out. Now that you put the Tech game behind you it is time to move on to Oklahoma on Saturday when the Aggies make their annual trip to Norman to take on the Sooners.

The loss to Nebraska put the Aggies' NCAA tournament hopes in serious jeopardy, but getting the ship pointed back in the right direction against Tech was a great first step.

In closing, I would like to leave you guys with this gem from Tech Coach Pat Knight,

“We didn’t compete from the tip till the end. I don’t even count the second half. The game was over at halftime. They just blew us out of the water…They scored 56 points at halftime. It was like watching an NBA game.”

That is funny stuff.

Hang in there guys, stay with this group of guys, maybe they will surprise us all.

Sorry for being a homer, it’s just who I am……

Carry on.


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