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Zips men's basketball: Great win, but work needed

By George Thomas Published: December 4, 2012

Just a couple of observations from the overtime win over Middle Tennessee State this past weekend:


Overall this was a good win.  No doubt about it.  The Zips played tough, didn’t get flustered and they gutted out their mistakes.  But about those mistakes or, as it were, problems:


  • Their pressure defense forced 21 turnovers in the game, but they also gave up 47 percent shooting in the process.  Normally a number that high isn’t going to get you a win.  They gave up 32 points in the paint – far too many for my liking.  They turned the ball over 16 times themselves.
  • The free throw shooting was atrocious.  At one point I doubted whether they would get out of the 50s percentage wise for the game in this statistical category.  They shot just 62.5 percent from the free throw line on the night and, if we’re being honest, it only would have taken one more to win the game for them instead of having to go into overtime.
  • Their rebounding needs work or at least it did in this game. One Zips player thought that they won the battle of the boards.  That certainly wasn’t the case as the Blue Raiders out rebounded them 34-27. 


The reality is this: the Zips as a program want to think bigger this season.  So far, they’re doing a decent job of playing that way, but they’re not going to be able to survive too many nights when they allow a team to beat them on the boards and hit 47 percent of their shots.


Controlled crowd:  Just a little over 2,700 showed up for Sunday’s game against MTSU.  Those who were there were loud and enthusiastic, but just 2,700?  Really?  Seriously?  Perhaps it was that anticipation of the vaunted Cleveland Browns winning their second consecutive game for the first time in more than a season that kept potential fans at home.  Everyone has their preference in sports, after all.  But fans should have come out for a game against a team that was ranked No. 10 among mid-majors in the country.  Just sayin’. 

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