Saturday, February 24, 2007

Effort doesn't show in win column

PHILADELPHIA – There are many reasons and explanations for the troubles the Charlotte 49ers have had this season, but one excuse coach Bobby Lutz will not accept is lack of effort. Time and again after Saturday’s 81-69 loss at Temple, Lutz talked about the team’s problems with execution but would not criticize its effort.
"Our effort was good today, particularly in the second half. We really went after them," Lutz said. "The ball sure seemed to bounce their way today. We just couldn’t get our hands on it. That may seem to be a lack of effort but it’s just bad luck. Our guys knocked the ball out of each other’s hands twice. We’re trying. We went after it, we just couldn’t grab it and hold on to it."
There is good reason for his belief. Despite bad decisions, missed defensive assignments and ill-timed shots, one thing this team has not shown is a willingness to pack it in. For that – considering how tough this season has been – I give them credit.
The only time this season I would say the team came close to that was the Xavier loss, where it seemed like no matter what the 49ers did, they couldn’t stop Drew Lavender. There was an eerie similarity in Saturday’s game and Charlotte’s inability to stop Mark Tyndale. He didn’t have all wide-open shots. He made great shots, just as Lavender did this month.
I have watched my share of practices this season, early-morning shootarounds – lots of basketball when the eyes of the public weren’t watching. This team works just as hard, just as much – if not more – than previous Charlotte teams which have seen a lot more success.
There is little solace in being rewarded for your hard work by loss after loss. Hopefully, the guys who return next season will remember how difficult this has been and instill in the newcomers the desire to ensure its not repeated.
Jim Utter


Anonymous said...

"Despite bad decisions, missed defensive assignments and ill-timed shots"

Jim, why hasn't this been corrected. Worst shooting and defensive team in the conference. I don't understand it.

Anonymous said...

I'll agree, they try hard, but they don't play defense. When the shots don't fall, they lose. Good teams play defense and win despite the shots not falling sometimes.