Learning From UCLA
Posted: November 17, 2012
HARRISONBURG — The James Madison basketball team isn’t setting dynamite to the game film from its first half against UCLA on Thursday – as tempting as that might be. Coach Matt Brady wants to show his players where his team had cracks, even if hot Bruins’ shooting was equally responsible for the 100-70 blowout.
“We will reference this game,” Brady said Friday evening after the team’s return flight. “We need to learn from it.”
JMU fell behind 63-29 at halftime, before the Dukes actually outscored the Bruins 41-37 in an inconsequential second half.
UCLA coach Ben Howland told Brady after the game that the first 20 minutes, when his team made 22 of 33 shots, was the best No. 13 UCLA (3-0) had played all year.
Still, Brady said, the Dukes had their share of faults.
“I don’t think that we had enough quality possessions in the game offensively, and that affected us defensively,” Brady said. “We didn’t make them work hard enough defensively, and that led to a bunch of run-outs.”
The 100 points allowed was the most in Brady’s five-year tenure. JMU hadn’t allowed an opponent to hit the century mark in regulation of a game since the 1996 opener against Bowling Green (the Dukes last allowed 100 points in a 112-110 overtime loss to Seton Hall in 2007, but the Pirates had 99 points in regulation of that contest).
Senior forward Rayshawn Goins, playing in his first game after sitting out all of last season with a shoulder injury, scored 24 points – one off a career high. While Goins was the Dukes’ most productive offensive force, he struggled defensively against UCLA’s mammoth front line. Big forwards David Wear, Travis Wear, Joshua Smith and Tony Parker combined to make 16 of 22 shots from the field.
“We got our butts kicked,” Goins said after the game in Los Angeles. “We want to throw the first blow, but they beat us to the punch. They outworked us and at the end of the day they just wanted it more.”
Next up for the Dukes is Duquesne, part of a three-game tournament Monday through Wednesday at the Pittsburgh school. Led by former LIU Brooklyn coach Jim Ferry, Duquesne also runs an up-tempo attack, but not one as prolific as UCLA.
Duquesne, picked to finish last in the 16-team Atlantic 10, is 0-2, with competitive losses at Albany and Georgetown.
Madison hopes to have versatile forward Andrey Semenov available for the three games. The oft-injured senior missed practice for about a week leading up to the UCLA game because of a groin strain. Brady inserted him from the bench early in Thursday’s game, and Semenov drilled a 3-point shot, but he felt uncomfortable and left the game for good after two minutes.
“He’s really fighting this now,” Brady said. “Could be another day or two, could be another week or two.”