The 84-80 defeat to IPFW at the BSA tonight was what you would call a bad loss. The Bison dumped an 18-point lead in the first half (what is it about 18-point leads at the BSA, the Bison women did the sameÂ el foldoÂ against Oral Roberts last week) and as the game went down the stretch, rare was the clutch play by the home team.
The BisonÂ went 2 of 6 from the free throw line in the final five minutes and 3 of 8 in the final 5:39. Shot selection wasn’t a real highlight either, particularly theÂ desperation-looking 3-point attempt with 30 seconds left by Nate Zastrow and his team trailing by three.
This team just doesn’t seem to be flowing right now with the rotation. Maybe the bench needs to be shortened. The point guard spot has been inconsistent, veteran forward Eric Carlson has a bad ankle and is struggling to hit a jumper and teams are starting to play his spin drive to the hoop.
Freshman guard Taylor Braun has a similar style. He was fantastic at times to the hoop tonight, but if he doesn’t start hitting the jumper once in awhile, teams will play him the same way as Carlson.
Maybe this team is just too young to be considered a top three team in the first place. Braun, Mike Felt, TrayVonn Wright and Marshall Bjorklund are freshmen. Bjorklund will be a very good mid-major center as he continues to grow. Felt needs to find open looks and shoot. The decision not to redshirt Wright can be second guessed.
It wasn’t a good sign tonight whenÂ senior guard Freddy Coleman was benched after missing two free throws late in the game. It doesn’t look promising with top dog Oakland coming to town Saturday, either. Then again, the real deal is the Summit tourney in March in Sioux Falls, so this team has a month and a half to straighten a few things out.
At 3-5 in the league and loss that left the fans mumbling as they left the BSA, and after dropping a winnable game at Western Illinois last Saturday, it’s just not happening right now. These are all good kids, very good, but as Erv Inniger once said, you can lose with good kids, too.