Saturday, November 10, 2007

Men's Bball vs Northwestern St 11/10/2007

Stanford 97 Northwestern St. 58

It was a rather strange day for the Cardinalmaniacs™ with a Billy Joel concert, the football game going on right till tip off and a date. Albert was watching the football game and got there right at tip off, Alex was at the concert and I was on a date. We were thus unable to claim our usual spot of front row center although I managed to catch the first 10 minutes of the UCSB vs Harvard game from courtside seats. My main motivation was to sweat UCSB and urge them to cover the 16.5 spread (which they did with an 18 point win) but to also see how they looked against the team that we annihilated. The first 10 minutes was pretty ugly with lots of turnovers and missed shots. UCSB didn't really implement their press either - probably saving their energy for tomorrow. From what I saw, we should win if we take care of the ball and play with the same level of intensity as we've shown.

In any case, I couldn't hang around to see the outcome of my wager because I had to go for dinner. I had been set up on one of those Stanford blind dates known as "Screw Your Sib" where your friends set you up with someone. When I realised that it would coincide with the Northwestern State game, I panicked, but fortunately managed to convince my cool date (who was a good sport about everything) and another couple to eschew the traditional dance and do an early dinner followed by the basketball game. Whew!

We raced through dinner and managed to get to Maples about 15 minutes before tip-off. I've been told that the turnout for the Harvard game was actually pretty good, considering that our band wasn't in attendance. I guess I use our exhibition game last year against the University of British Columbia (I believe) on a Sunday which had the whole 6th Man Section rocking as my non-conference schedule benchmark. In any case, tonight's attendance was low and we managed to get some front row center standing area for our dates.

Well, enough about my sports oriented personal life and onto the game. It was amusing to see Robin face up against one of the shorter NW St. players for the tip off and I guess that basically summed up the first half. We had a lot of size and they didn't. We hit shots and they struggled against our defense. We started off well with Mitch really lighting it up. There was one play in the first half where he was semi-open and elected to shoot instead of passing it to Goods who was probably more open. Even though he missed and I'd normally want to see the extra pass, he earned that shot with his earlier performance and it underscored his confidence, which is great to see.

It was a solid performance all around although I feel that we could have done a better job on the boards, especially with our size advantage. We could have also made better decisions with the ball. Not to single him out, but Landry needs to work on defense. During half time, a friend who broadcasts for KZSU invited me to go on air for a minute or so to talk about the blog and our grand plans for senior year. It was pretty cool.

Completely unrelated, but it was great seeing USC lose to Mercer. I didn't see the game but the lack of defense and OJ Mayo's Kobe wannabe look and line of 32 points, 4 assist, 8 TOS & 27 shots gives me hope that the team will self destruct. It was their first game against any sort of opponent (don't know why Floyd didn't schedule an exhibition) and they'll probably be good come tournament time, but I can always dream.

Another game, another blow out. It's good that we're not playing to the level of our opposition as we might have last year and that our bench is getting a lot of minutes. The level of play did go down during the last 10 minutes but you can't really complain about a 39 point win. Bring on the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos!

~ Zhihao

No comments: