The Mocs were without Z Mason in this one, and that meant that there was no inside presence for the Mocs on the offensive end, and no way to control the Norse on the defensive end. Mason being out was the worst possible thing that could happen to the Mocs.
Let's start with that. Mason is day to day at this point. Personally, I would probably sit him until the Grand Canyon game on December 28th. Let's not worry about UAB on Wednesday. Hold him out, get him completely healthy, and let's see if he can stay healthy for the SoCon portion of the schedule.
The Norse shot unbelievably well from the floor, again exposing the Mocs lack of defensive prowess. They shot 58.3% from three point range and 66.7% from the floor. It's tough to win games when you allow teams to shoot that well. The Mocs defensive effort is there, but the execution is not. They simply can not guard in the half court right now. Coach Wade called off the full court pressure several times during the game trying to allow the Mocs to get set defensively and perform that way. It didn't work.
The Mocs could not cover the inside, which is not surprising. Lance Stokes, TJ Williams, Martynas Bareika are good players, but are not equipped to guard the biggest players on an opposing roster.
Of course, Bareika deserves a lot of credit. He scored 29 points on Sunday afternoon. It was truly a great performance. Casey Jones scored 10 with seven rebounds.
Jones is playing hard, as are all the Mocs. They are truly giving it all they have. They are working hard, but just can't seem to put it all together right now.
Gee McGhee is obviously good at driving the ball, but is struggling with his outside shot. Until he learns to shoot the ball better, he will have his offensive limitations. He was not shooting well on Sunday afternoon, and that limits him offensively. I am hopeful that McGhee will start making some shots at some point and gain his confidence and start scoring again.
The Mocs made 28 of 29 from the free throw line, an excellent 97%. It's pretty impressive to shoot 97% from the free throw line. That could really help them in the coming SoCon schedule.
There's real problems on this team. Hopefully, the Mocs can start to overcome some of them and win some games as the SoCon season comes racing towards us.