Got an email from a friend Doug Workman. Thought I’d share.
Given that I had allocated yesterday to watching UVA basketball, I tried to figure out what to do with myself when I got home from work. Fortunately I still had on my DVR the recordings of the last 3 games from last year’s Big Dance. So last night I watched the first of those 3 games, which was the Purdue game. Even though I was obviously aware of the outcome, with almost one year having lapsed since the game, the only play that was still vividly in my mind was the tap-out play to force the overtime; in other words THE PLAY. So I was able to watch the rest of the game with a mostly fresh set of eyes.
And the following are my observations: Memory had me thinking that it was the Big 3 and other than THE PLAY, Clark and Diakite serving as mostly supplementary players. That was not necessarily the case. Mamadi was a major contributor from the outset. He had 4 blocks and was UVA’s 3rd leading scorer with 14 points. Moreover, Chris Webber spoke in real time before THE PLAY of Clark being the heart and soul of the team, which was an interesting observation given that Clark was held scoreless until he was fouled with something like 1.6 seconds left in the OT. Clark only had 3 other assists, other than the one that will etch him forever in UVA lore. TB used a very short rotation. Braxton played 2 minutes off the bench and Jack was the only other non-starter with major minutes. Part of TB’s using Jack was to negate the 7’3” Haarms, and he did an excellent job of doing so. Hunter did not have one of his best games that night although he was excellent in the OT. Virtually all of the offense was provided by Ty and Guy. Guy was cold in the 1st half and then heated up in the 2nd .
The comments of Barkley and the Jet after the game were particularly insightful. Edwards had 42 points and Purdue’s next highest scorer had only 7. Edwards shot 56% from the field and 52% from beyond the arc. The rest of the Purdue team shot 43% from the field and 30% from beyond the arc. Barkley pointed out that a team cannot let one guy do that to them. I know that TB switched up Clark, Hunter and Guy all on Edwards, but there was almost no doubling on Edwards. I wonder whether he could have done some within the framework of the pack line defense. It appeared to me that Barkley’s criticism was mostly valid. The Jet pointed out that tap-out plays are typically done at the end of practice when the players are tired and have their minds on being somewhere else. To have the tenacity to work on those plays reflects a character which both Smith and we as Wahoo fans can commend. I still have two games left to watch and I intend to savor them like fine wine. Wahoo-wah. Hope you and your family are safe and healthy.