Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another weekend of MSU basketball

There are just two Minnesota State basketball games remaining before the holiday break, and it's been quite a cold slap in the face to watch the men's team.

After losing all those seniors from last season, there was a pretty good chance the Mavericks would struggle this season, especially early. But the play has been ever harder to watch than expected.

There are only three players with any experience. Stephen Kirschbaum is a spot-up shooter, and he's been trying too hard to drive to the basket. He needs to shoot 3s when he's opene because he generally makes at least half of them.

Connor O'Brien is the only player to have improved his game, and he's been good for about a double-double each night. But he can't be the go-to scorer. If he's your second or third option, you have a pretty good team. If he's the fifth option, as he was last season, you have a great team.

Point guard Jimmy Whitehead missed a lot of offseason work with a broken jaw, and he's been slow to recover. He leads the team in minutes played, yet his performance hasn't dictated that. Offensively, he doesn't look confident. He's not a great shooter, and when he goes to the basket, he often is called for charging.

The other players, most of whom are in their first season at Minnesota State, have been inconsistent. There are times when you see a bright future, followed by a harsh reminder of the sloppy future.

Will it get better this season? Tough to tell. This weekend's games should be a good test. Upper Iowa is a veteran team known for scrappy play, exactly the kind of team that could take advantage of the inexperienced Mavericks.

Winona State is one of the elite teams in the Northern Sun, and that game could be a blow out. Few teams wold like to bury the Mavericks on their home court more than Winona State.

You can only imagine that coach Matt Margenthaler, who has been pretty patient to this point, will be scouring the transfers this spring to find more college-ready players who can make an immediate impact next season. He doesn't like to lose.

Follow Friday's game at my live chat right here. I'll be on vacation Saturday through the end of December.

1 comment:

  1. The Basketball is really a good sport which gives us some physical exercise. It really nice to see the teams play sportively.
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