First off, we're hoping the best for Quinnipiac's Ike Azotam, who Tom Moore said after the game was being sent for tests to check for an irregular heartbeat. Usually those things are just from a sickness, but we'll see.

Now, onto less important things, but the reason you're here nonetheless. Let this serve as my public apology to Quinnipiac. I completely underestimated its roster without Rutty. Twyman put on a show in the first half, Johnson led a slew of perimeter players who got to the basket and drew fouls at will and Tevin Baskin emerged as a kid who can help the Bobcats. They let another big lead get away and I'm not ready to give them the NEC quite yet, but those kids played a heck of a game, with energy and execution, and their coach did a masterful job of dragging them to the finish line.

The Blue Devils, meanwhile, continue to struggle in close games. The main culprit today was that they didn't drive the ball enough. That's been the problem in recent losses. Running the weave is fine, but it has to end with a drive once a guard come past the pick. Someone has to turn the corner and get to the hoop. Central has to be more aggressive. That's why it didn't get the foul calls. I don't even have to check the message boards, I can hear the cries about how many more free throws Quinnipiac took. That's because they drove the ball. Referees reward aggression.
The other problem is that Central was allowing that penetration. If you cut the guards off, you don't have to commit as many reaching fouls.

We won't know for another two months, but this could be a loss the Blue Devils look back on with great regret. The chance was there to beat Quinnipiac without Rutty, pass the Bobcats in the standings, get a road win and start the process of making sure they don't have to come back to Hamden.
None of those things were accomplished, and the Bobcats gained a huge sense of confidence. They don't even need Rutty to beat Central, that's what they went home saying. Quinnipiac has shown they can lose to anyone in the league until Rutty returns, so Central could still pass them in the standings, but this was a bad, bad, bad loss.

Let's go man-to-man
Chris Baskerville: The good news is he was spectacular, going for 16 and 14 and giving Central an interior presence. He looks more comfortable by the day, and he gives the Blue Devils a big energy boost. The bad news is that he could have had 20 rebounds had he not tipped so many. Grab the ball! Between the ones he tipped that were caught by a Bobcat and the couple he had ripped away, he easily could have had 20.

Ken Horton: He played every minute and busted his butt. The Blue Devils didn't get him the ball enough, but he needs to stop being so darn nice. There's times when you want to be a team guy and times where you have to say "this guy can't guard me, give me the darn ball."

Shemik Thompson: Struggled with his shot, but distributed well, getting seven assists without a turnover. I'd love to see the aggression towards the hoops start with him, however. He rushed a couple of jump shots.

Devan Bailey: Like I said all year, Devan Bailey is a phenomenal shooter who should be taking all the shots. Ha. Seriously, it was impressive to see him take advantage of the fact that QU left him open all night. Not just because he made the shots, but because he was willing to take them.

Robby Ptacek: He's been so good for so long you have to forgive a bad day but you don't want it to be at Quinnipiac. Tom Moore said his team was trying specifically to take Robby and Horton away, and it worked. Settled for too many jumpers, as evidenced by his failure to take a single free throw.

De'Angelo Speech: Struggled offensively and didn't have a steal. Central only had 3 as a team.

Joe Efese: He does something amazing, then makes a mistake. I almost think Howie Dickenman should let him play through some more mistakes to see if some more time helps him get hot.

Terrell Allen: Saw the floor for a minute for his first taste of the best rivalry in the NEC.

Vince Rosario didn't play, but I wanted to mention again if you missed my last post that he missed the game because of a death in the family. So I wanted to send my best to him, as I know all you Blue Devil fans do.

David Simmons was dressed, but don't get excited. He's still expected to redshirt.


  1. You should check the message board before you decide what is being said there. Nobody really blamed the officials at all and the free throw advantage wasn't even mentioned.

  2. Fair enough, I readily admit I was assuming. Most fans, when there's a free-throw disparity like yesterday, tend to blame the refs.
    I should have known the readers here are better than that!
    My sincere apologies.