It was hard to tell if they are a good and so are we or if we're both not great. I lean towards the former. Depth off the bench and being able to ride the hot hands won us the game. Went to a charged up arena, got a few scratches, but no scars. 2-0
IMO both teams are still in the process of finding an identity, and as a result aren't great teams at the moment, but I expect both to get better as the year goes on. This game wasn't helped by the refs calling it very tight early on which, now that I have thought about it, might have influenced what we did on offense as we might have been trying to exploit the foul trouble by taking it inside but I don't think that's the right move.
I don't think right now this team is very good. Not a lot of cohesion as there were several times where it looked like we had two guys cutting to the same spot, making it easier for State to defend. If Howard is going to play with the ball at the key we have to get better movement from our guards. Too much standing around while one person went to cut off of it, and not enough action off ball.
In general, I'm confused by why we go to a two PG look just to have them work so much off ball, meaning both of them off ball. I feel like if we're going to go small to start games it should be with Sturdy or Smith, and then Coleman, Kelly, and Terry alongside Howard instead of of both Sturdy and Smith. I would also exclusively have Moore in there with Franklin when Franklin is at the 5. But truth be told, I don't like Franklin at the 5 and would hope one of Howard or Meka is in there at all times once Meka is healthy.
Also, we need to prioritize getting three point shots. Coleman with just 2 3pa and Kelly with 3 is just not going to cut it. I like that it looks like we do have options of being able to try and do other things if the shots aren't falling, but we have to have the ability to generate good three point shots with this team. The drives and cuts should be used to exploit openings generated by the threes where we seemed to force the issue tonight and that's just not what this team is built for (except for Moore and Smith).
Anyways, imo this team has a lot of potential but needs to develop a lot this year. Overall, I'm okay with that as everyone on this team except Franklin could come back this year so there is some playing for the long term at play. But that's a lot easier to deal with if we can still get wins in these games we struggle through.