So couple things in response to last nights game....
1. Y'all remember a while back when I made a post on another thread, saying how I wish we would find ways to get Lawal/Fermin more minutes in regular season in the event that we need one or both of them to play in the postseason.... well last night was a PRIME EXAMPLE OF WHY. Both Deloach & Johns got into foul trouble in the first half (tho Johns not til late)... and then got in foul trouble early on again the 2nd half.
Now I know, we also have Shriver who subs in for Johns or Deloach a lot.... but I feel like if Lawal & Fermin had more meaningful minutes in the regular season.... we could've utilized them more last night, especially against a bigger line up. We've seen flashes from Lawal, but he hasn't been given much playing time to really settle in and find his groove & make a noticeable impact. And Fermin even less so.
Also Banks..... where was he? Maybe if we used him, and ran a play to get him open for 3 & he makes it.... we can spread the defense which gives us better opportunity at the rim... but no, didn't happen.
2. As far as the Ace injury "costing us" (paraphrazing) the game.... give that excuse a rest. The team wasn't playing well when he was in the game. And yes when he got hurt and went out for a bit.... we were shocked/stunned... whatever you wanna call it. And it was all downhill from there. Kinda like 2019, A10 Tourney against Rhode Island..... Evans goes down.... and guess what, so did the rest of our team (despite the fact we were leading at half time of that game).
We rely too heavily on 1 or 2 players to "carry" the team. Now sure we have other players who can score.... we've had what.... 7 different leading scorers this year in a game. But when Johns or Baldwin were hurt, in foul trouble, off the court for long periods of time.... we were a noticeably different team ALL SEASON.... Same thing went Evans went down against Rhody in 2019.... totally different team.
And I'm sorry, that's a problem to me. Injuries happen, can happen at anytime, anywhere... and we certainly are no stranger to the injury bug hitting us (Weber, Evans, Watkins, McCallister, Billups.... just to name a few). When someone goes down, that next person needs to be ready to step up. And simply put... they're not.