Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hall Loses in "Perfect Storm"

Sure, Seton Hall had been perfect all season. But who had we beaten? Saturday's game against Temple would prove our first big test.

With tri-state meteorologists calling for white out conditions, Dave and I put our faith in NJ transit and rode into the Rock. Unfortunately, last night's weather was even worse than predicted.

It really was the perfect storm. With the debut of not one, but both of our prized transfers, Keon and JRob, we fans found ourselves cheering for a different team last night. Like a squall along the Eastern seaboard, it was easy to get disoriented as some of the typical central figures (Garcia, Stix, Theodore) seemed more like third-party electoral candidates, which is to say, not really important.

I had anticipated Keon and JRob would be nervous in their first game back. For the most part, they weren't. Keon flexed his mid-range game nicely and looked very steady in his jersey and out of the white Roger Rabbit suit. JRob forced a little bit offensively, but his athleticism was actually jaw-dropping, playing above the rim on a number of occasions.

No, our transfers weren't nervous. Our other guys, however, were. Theodore in particular played as if he was trying to prove he was still relevant with the new blizzard of talent. Ironically, it had the opposite effect, as he had a truly horrific stat line (0 of 3 from the field, 3 fouls, 2 turnovers, 0 assists). He also took a very bad shot in a critical situation -- down 3 with the ball, and Theodore doing his best Stevie Wonder rendition of "Let's Go Pirates" on the jumbotron, JT pressed A and B on his Xbox controller at the same time to result in an out-of-control 360 banker that was about the emptiest possession you could have.

Listen, I love JT and all our players. I don't want to be negative. But the truth is, one of the greatest aspects of our play to date has been our unselfishness and making the extra pass. Last night, there was none of that. JT has a 3-on-1 and gets called for an offensive foul? You gotta give that up, my man! Guys were trying to create by themselves (ineffectively) and generally looked threatened by the emergence of our two new snowcaps.

Now, is Temple good? Hard to say. I fear this loss will look worse in March than it does now. But by March, the snow will have melted and NJ transit will have no excuse to run 75 minutes behind schedule.

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