Thursday, January 31, 2008

Boomer Loses It


Enthusiasm: Curbed

It seems like it wasn't all that long ago that one Lyle Lanley was preaching this newfound optimism that some were beginning to develop towards one TCU basketball program. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, like all things Dougherty, it looks like he's once again turning wine back into water (Neil Dougherty: the Anti-Christ)... it just took a little longer this season as compared to previous ones.

After last night's tough loss to UNLV (and I say tough because we were actually within single digits a good portion of the second half), TCU falls into a 3 way tie for 3rd place in the MWC... which, in realistic terms, is good enough for 6th place in the conference and our annual #1 seed in the Feces Madness Tournament. We are also just a Ryan Wall buzzer beater and an AWFUL CSU team away from maintaining our normal pole position at the bottom of the conference standings. Oh yeah, and Henry Salter left the game last night early in the first half and hobbled away from the DMC on crutches. He's our best player, in case you aren't in the know. Now it's up to Brent Hackett and his 40 contested 3-point attempt per game to push this team along. Keion Mitchem took over minutes for Salter and actually put up 9 points, all 3s... but, as I've written in previous diatribes, the guy is 5'2" and 125 pounds. I've seem lawn gnomes that have a more dominating presence than this kid. If there's to be a miracle run in the second half of conference play, there's going to have to be some Deities and VooDoo curses involved (and no, Langford's 17 game double digit scoring streak isn't going to be a difference maker without Salter).

Yes, you might argue that UNLV was a very good team last year and went deep in the NCAAs... but they lost anyone of substance from that squad. You might say that if we'd had Salter's 10-15 points things would've been different. In both instances, you'd be wrong. OH so wrong. It seems like since the beginning of the season, Neil has politely asked the team to stop playing any sort of perimeter defense (in the past two games, both losses, we've given up something like 25-30 3 pointers. This is not a fabrication). I'm not sure if his strategy is for us to outscore our opponents by 1 point as we did in the Tubbs era... but scoring in the 50s and 60s isn't going to do that.
Some might still like to argue that Neil finally has the pieces in place to make this thing happen... but I'm telling you that Neil has just taught this team how to collapse later in the year rather than our usual non conference castration.