Going into the Maui Invitational the biggest question was did the learn anything from last season’s MTE. After 40 minutes in Maui (Asheville) the answer seems to be no. The Indiana Hoosiers absolutely took it to the Friars winning 79-58 this afternoon.
The last time Ed Cooley matched up with Archie Miller was in the first round of the NCAAT as Miller’s 11th seeded beat the 6 seed Friars. In that game most of Friartown blamed it on the fact the game was played in Columbus, which is an hour drive from Dayton’s campus. Lost in that narrative was the fact that Miller out coached Cooley and on Monday Archie seemed to out coach Ed again. After last season’s debacle it’s frustrating that the staff didn’t get the boys ready to come out and compete.
Not all of it can be pinned on coaching, as the players need to shoulder a big part of the blame. David Duke came out pressing once again and early struggles led to a 12 point night on a dismal 3/12 from the floor. Greg Gantt who started for the second time this season looked absolutely lost on defense, as his poor positioning and court awareness led to line drives to the hoop and wide open threes. AJ Reeves continues to try and find his shot as he was 1/5 for three. The frontcourt, which drew praise from Friar fans, got absolutely worked on the glass. The Friars were -7 on the glass and that was after closing the gap in garbage time.
It is easy for me to get very upset about this type of performance but the Friars gotta have a short memory. They will play Davidson tomorrow at 7pm and the Maui is far from lost. The Friars can get two nice wins in these next two games and a loss to IU certainly won’t hinder their at large hopes. If the Friars learned ANYTHING from last season Wooden Legacy it is that they can’t let one bad performance carry over to the next game. Bob McKillop will have his team ready to play tomorrow and I’d hope Cooley follows suit.