I gotta get to bed pretty quick for a big day tomorrow, but I wanted to real quick go over tonight's close victory in Norman.
First off, I think it was a good thing for this team to experience a very close game like that. We have been absolutely dominating teams recently and as fun and stress-free those games are, in the Tournament outside of maybe the first round there are no freebies. Second off, Brandon Rush sucked tonight. He played like absolute crap. Absolute crap. He missed some open shots, couldn't hold onto the ball and couldn't hit a free throw. I think that Self overrates him, telling Fran and Ron last Monday against Kansas State that "If Rush doesn't have a good game, we don't win" or something along those lines. Well, he had something FAR from a good game tonight and while it was closer than we usually keep it, it still is a W. Rush needs to show up for the games in the Tournament for us to make a run, but it is clear that he isn't the leader of the team, that would probably be Mario Chalmers.
Speaking of Super Mario, him and Julian Wright both had fantastic games. They both played very well, expecially Super whose free throw shooting kept us in the lead once they got on that 3 point barrage late in the game.
OK, this is already longer than I expected it to be. Real quick, let's go through how each player played:
Played Like Crap:
Amid all of Fran Fraschilla's random things that aren't exactly coherent, he did say at least one thing that was very true. He basically said that this was the first time he "saw Sherron Collins with the 'Deer in Headlights' look on his face" and I have to agree 100%. This was the first game, at least since conference play started, that Sherron didn't look like he had been there before and was ready to take over the game. He didn't score (neither did Darrell Arthur) and made a couple of dumb freshman mistakes. The one thing he did show is that he can bring the ball up against the press, something Russell showed he was very vulnerable against tonight. I hope he is still at least partially affected by his turf toe because he didn't bring the ball up well at all in the 2nd half with the press on, of course neither did Brandon.
More analysis to come tomorrow, only one more regular season game!