It's called plan "B," herve.
I noted elsewhere that DEA was doing a huge happy dance that this game proved something or other. I will say that what it proves is that we are a very decent second tier team that can give defensive fits to a team with weaker ball handling. We also know that the team is very dependent on a solid Tony Taylor offensive performance to take a game against a team that is above .500.
We are a good regular season team. This isn't a winning tourney team yet. Shut down Taylor for even a half like Temple did and there are some issues. I would compare 10/11 GW with the Washington Capitals last year. Regular season wonders. If you get into the post season--with everything on the line--let's see what happens as you get a steady diet of better teams that have the talent to overcome the GW press and also take away Taylor.
I would look at the Dayton game as a dress rehearsal. Play it like it is post-season--in a sense, it is.
Dayton will do everything to impose their will on GW in the paint. They will try to prove to GW that they are the big boys and we are just pretenders. Frankly, the past two games have been a little weak. Katuka has to play with his head. He also has to contribute to get to the next level. Against Rhody, GW got just enough scoring from the rest of the team to seize the day. Mikic and Smith have to find more points to take the pressure off Taylor.
With as much at stake as Dayton has, they will come into the Smith Center to do some damage. In turn, GW has to give Dayton a lot more to worry about than just Taylor. Will Bynes have a good day? Will Smith and Mikic score points consistently and also score from the line? Will GW have a string of empty possessions as they did against Temple?
So, the guy I keep watching is Marshall. Most folks talk about his impact on recruiting. What I want to see is if he is helping the in-game mental state of the team. From the bench, there seems to be a concensus that we could win any game, just as long as they stop halftimes. Good teams adjust us to death. We are going eight deep and our team can easily work too hard for back-to-back games with full effort. The question is, can we win the next three? I say that there is about a 10% chance that we pull that off. If we do, I would be very impressed. Of course, there are a number of teams that can do the dirty work for us.
So, who will show up for GW? Will it be that much better team that can play with anyone or that team that did the second half fold against Temple? Certainly, winning 5 on the road is a good thing. What it also means is that there are teams that we can't beat and that has also been proven repeatedly. If we even make it to OC, those teams are going to be waiting for us. Richmond, in my opinion is the closest to a possible win "in the minds of the players."
Sadly, as Notta and I have discussed, Temple owns us. What's more, the won us in our minds.Temple can easily turn the game into a game of fundamentals. As we know, they will win a 40 minute game with GW. They expose our unbridled desire to get easy slams and also put to much on a drive rather than to pull up for a 10 footer. They don't fall asleep on boards. They move their feet when we don't. Xavier has a higher "beta" and are more likely to just wipe us out, and yet, they are also more likely to get into a tussle with us as they too try to play run and gun when they have no business playing up tempo with a lead. Xavier also seems to be a bit more fragile than Temple on a mental basis. Duquesne is somewhat of a "one trick pony" like GW, but everyone admits that they have better athletes for their trick. Their pony riders can score where ours may struggle. That's a mental thing, as well. Does Hobbs and company have a solution? I don't know... Finally, there is Richmond. They are probably the best basketball team in the A10 on any give day, but they also do not attempt a knock out blow, in most cases. They just string W's and, indeed, that's what it takes to stand a good chance at the gold ring. However, GW has done OK with Richmond recently in the "moral victory" column. We have been sniffing their dead body several times, only for them to come back from the brink.
If you were looking for the 2 to 5% SOLUTION on magic at OC, does it include us stepping over the dead corpse of Richmond?
I hope so! I want another shot at Duke.