The Mocs were frustrated offensively against Butler in a 22 point loss that was closer than that for most of the night.
In fact, for much of the first half the Mocs were in the lead. The Mocs truly controlled the action for much of the first half despite the massive foul trouble the team experienced. In the end, the Mocs cold shooting, all the foul trouble and the difficulty protecting the ball was just too much to overcome.
Tre McLean fouled out, Casey Jones has three fouls and sat much of the first half. Justin Tuoyo had four fouls. Greg Pryor and Rico White each had three fouls, and even Eric Robertson had four. They got called for 26 fouls, but the Bulldogs wound up with just sixteen. That was the biggest difference in the basketball game. Butler made 21 of 34 from the free throw line, while the Mocs made 10 of 16.
The Mocs were hurt by not being able to get into an offensive flow because of the foul problems. Of their five starters, only two played more than half the game. Tuoyo played 37 minutes and McLean played 25. Chuck Ester only played 18, Jones played 17 and Pryor only played 19. Eric Robertson played 26 minutes and knocked down four threes. Rico White played 28 minutes.
It's hard to imagine the Mocs want to consistently have that kind of minute distribution. Yes, those guys, along with Duke Ethridge and Lance Stokes are expected to play double digit minutes, but I would think the minutes would be distributed a little differently.
Regardless, the Mocs were winning for so much of the first half, but let Butler take the lead on a three in the final fifteen seconds of the half. That was a major momentum swing and could have changed the course of the game.
The Mocs were outrebounded by Butler. The Bulldogs outrebounded them by seven. The Mocs, who hope to get a lot of offensive rebounds this year and pride themselves on being able to do that, collected just three against Wisconsin and six against Butler. That's not good rebounding for this club. That's something that has to get fixed soon for the Mocs to start winning.
The Mocs were much better against Butler, but right now, they have nine offensive rebounds in two games to go along with 92 points. Those numbers could be achieved in one game by a good offensive team. I think the Mocs are going to get there eventually, but they clearly are not there yet. I figured these were the two toughest games to win on the Mocs schedule prior to the season starting. Now they are over.
Let's move on to Tennessee Tech and hope we can leave the offensive struggles behind.