It has been less than a month since we won at UCLA, but it seems like it was a decade ago. On that evening at Pauley Pavilion we did so many things well. But since that time we have struggled to put forth the same effort.
In short, we have not been able sustain for a full forty minutes.
At UCLA we took care of the basketball, made our free throws and out-rebounded the Bruins, 49 to 33. In the three weeks following, we have shown glimpses of that effort, but they haven't been as frequent as we have needed.
Beating UCLA vaulted us to No. 10 in CollegeInsider.com's Mid-Major Top 25 and despite our recent struggles we have remained among the ranked. However, right now I am not sure if we deserve to be ranked No. 19 in America.
In a recent loss to Brigham Young, we had eight turnovers from the point guard position and we gave up eight points on free-throw put backs. These types of statistics are only going to translate to one result -- a loss.
And these are the types of things that have been evident in our last three contests.
Through the first three games, we did a very good job of executing and playing smart basketball. And we did that for a full forty minutes. But that was lacking, in our next three outings.
Sure we have some freshmen playing a lot of minutes, we have played on the road and we had to deal with the exam period, but these are the same things that everyone in America has to deal with.
Excuses do not correct problems. Playing forty minutes of basketball does.
Right now we are trying to find some consistency at the point guard position, play with a little more intensity and play smart.
West Coast Conference league play is not that far away so we have to get some things in order, if we are going to have success.
Gonzaga and Pepperdine have both been playing some excellent basketball, but they are not the only formidable opponents in this league. From top to bottom, the WCC appears to be as tough and competitive as ever.
We want to be one of the teams that challenge Gonzaga and Pepperdine for the league title, but we have to re-discover that effort we had at Pauley Pavilion, back in November.