After leaving their season-opening Liberty Tax Classic tournament 1-2 this weekend, the Old Dominion Monarchs return to campus with a few questions to answer.
Head coach Blaine Taylor saw his team fall at the hands of the Holy Cross Crusaders 45-46, then take care of business against Morgan State 72-61 and then lose again to UTSA 79-70.
The Monarchs battled hard but did come up short more times than not this weekend. Their 1-2 record is largely due to three questionable problem areas that need to fixed.
First, the Monarchs are shooting the ball horrendously. While knocking down shots from the field at 40 percent is respectable, the rate they’re connecting on three pointers and free throws is pitiful. As a team, ODU is shooting 21.7 percent from beyond the arc, including 0-13 in their contest against Holy Cross. The Monarchs are also shooting a measly 62.5 percent at the charity stripe. When you’re giving up around 62 points a game to your opponents, you need to score the ball a decent amount to win ball games.
Next, Old Dominion has also struggled slowing down opponent’s guards. Most notably, the Monarchs allowed UTSA’s Michael Hale III and Kannon Burrage to put drop 29 and 20 points respectively last night. Further, they allowed Morgan State’s Justin Black to pour in 16 points off the bench along with Anthony Hubbard’s 13 points from the starting lineup. Justin Burrell also scored 15 against ODU in the team’s loss to Holy Cross. The Monarchs must stop opposing guards from scoring at will.
Further, Taylor should probably start working on some rebounding drills in practice this week, particularly on the defensive end. The Monarchs are yielding 10.3 offensive rebounds a game thus far in 2012-2013, and I can only speculate that number will go up once against some of the more high-profile opponents they will encounter, including Murray State and many Colonial Athletic Association conference foes.
If Old Dominion can correct these errors they should be ok, as they do boast a very balanced scoring attack. However, improvements must be made if this club would like to appear in the top half of the CAA standings come March.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @fischsportsline.