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Monday, March 1, 2010

Congrats to Jake...and other things basketball.

With 31 points against Wooster, Jacob Bolyard became the 11th member of the Orrville 1,000 point club, joining his father Tom Bolyard (5th all-time with 1277 points).

I'll talk more about this, list the other 10 members of the club (and update the status of the soon-to-be 12th member) and some concerns (based in statistics) that I have as we head towards tourney play.

Pic: 'Lakers vs. Celtics' computer game...circa 1989.  Classic PC Sports game.

Update on 1000
Jake now has 1,019 career points, and his very next point this season will be his 400th on the year.  He's scored 25+ points an impressive 7 times this year, and has score in double figures in all but 1 of the 19 games he's played in this year.

Here's the entire updated list of the 1,000 point club.  (Note: Points scored during 'Slink Ball' do not count, obviously)

1.  Marcel Denson - 1722
2.  Kevin Summers - 1681
3.  Renauld Ray - 1360
4.  Ron Wachtel - 1279
5.  Tom Bolyard - 1277
6.  Bob Knight - 1104
7.  Chris Royer - 1091
8.  Rufus Johnson - 1076
9.  Ralph Winters - 1055
10.  Anthony Durden - 1046
11.  Jacob Bolyard (active) - 1019

I think Jake could legitimately reach 1,100, but that would take at least 3 more games at 27 ppg....but honestly, right should be about wins, and not personal scoring goals. 

Here's my take starting today, Jake got his 1,000....Zach will get his (currently at 968)'s not about that anymore.  IT'S TIME TO WIN BASKETBALL GAMES.  I hope the focus on points (which I've been partly responsible for) hasn't been a distraction.

Good news, bad news
The good.  We're the #1 seed, fresh off a 15-win season and 10 wins in the OCC, and have the best 1-2 punch in the area. 

The bad.  We're not playing very well right now.  It almost seems like we're back to some old habits.  Things like giving back double digit leads (Madison game, twice) and not finishing games (led Wooster by 4 and Triway by 5 in the 4th quarter...lost both).  And we really struggled offensively in the Clear Fork & Wadsworth games due to foul trouble and gimmick defenses.

Also, some concerns on the defensive end.  Through the first 10 games, we were allowing an average of 52.6 ppg.  Through the last 10 games....59.2 ppg, an increase of almost 7 points per game.  If the addage is that "Defense wins Championships," then a big focus of our play in the tourney should be on stopping the other team.  If Jake or Zach have cold nights or get in foul trouble...everyone can still play tough defense, and lately, it seems that when we need points, our defense (specifically our press) is what gets the job done.

So, is the sky falling?  Hardly.  But it's cause for concern as tournament play begins.  With the news that junior Dan Groves is out for maybe the rest of the season, more pressure should fall to the supporting cast, but it seems to be falling to Bolyard and Wasson.

Case in point, through the first 14 games of the season (not counting game 1 since Jake didn't play), Jake and Zach accounted for 56% of our offense, but in the last 5 games, they've accounted for just over 70% of our offense.  It peaked against Clear Fork when they accounted for 49 of our 58 points (84%).

Like I said earlier, score 30 or score 2...I really don't care, just win.  And I'm not trying to imply that these 2 are taking more than their fair share....they are options 1 and 2, without question.  This is more of a call to the supporting cast to step up.  Teams are going to double Jake and Zach, which means open looks and opportunities for everyone else.  Take advantage. 

I'd rather a game be remembered for Besancon, Miller or Pirman having a career night and helping us to a win, than I would reading about Jake and Zach scoring 50 combined, but us losing.

Exit question
Are you more or less comfortable/confident with this team than you were a month ago?  It felt like we really had something after dismantling Wooster, but not so much now.  I still think we've got all the talent to get to regionals....but I fear one off night or a night of foul trouble may seal our fate.  The margin shouldn't be that thin.

Are you seeing something that I'm not?

Someone make the case for this team.  Maybe we're saving something for the tournament?  The press, when we've seen it this year, has really paid dividends.  Maybe we don't wait until we're down 6 with 2 minutes to go to use it.  Let's see it in the 2nd quarter and use our (supposed) athletic advantage to help us stretch a lead.

I don't believe any less in this team and it's ability....but I wouldn't be doing my job if I sugar-coated it.  There should be a sense of urgency to win, maybe more urgency than any team of recent memory.  Top that off with a 1-seed and there's plenty of pressure to go around....and I'm probably not helping.


Anonymous said...

I really think that Orrville is still the team to beat in the district. However, the Red Riders are very vulnerable right now. Wooster let Jacob get his and told everybody to beat them, and it didn't happen.

Jacob is probably the best scorer I have seen since in the area in a long time, along with Kornowski and Brennan Mckean, however Brennan averages 5 assists a game. I think Jacob needs to use his abilities to get other people open shots, as well as scoring. The role players need to hit those shots if Orrville is going to win.

I think the press can be very affective the next few games, but not so affective against Smithville or Triway, if one of them makes it to the district finals.

Groves going down really hurts.

Anonymous said...

Ron Wachtel on the scoring list not Randy.

Red Rider Sports Blog (Tim Snyder) said...

Agreed. You made my points in a much more succinct manner.

Thanks (i made that mistake last time). Just pure laziness on my part.

Anonymous said...

Nice write up, couldn't agree more with it. If we don't come up with an answer to the box in one or triangle in two it will be an early out for the Riders. Silly turnovers has killed us, if Bolyard is not involved with bringing it up trouble seems to soon follow. Here's hoping we bring it all together very soon.