A Call to “Defend” My Alma Mater’s Basketball Program

This will be the first of my probably several March Madness rants but now that Wake Forest has become the first time in the country eliminated from the Big Dance where the players didn’t literally choke each other out during the game (see New Orleans) I feel like my alma mater needs to honestly evaluate their basketball team. Yes, Wake had a very good season this year that exceeded my expectations as well as most other fans and they continue to play great OFFENSIVE basketball, and you no what else is offensive- the defense they played. Kansas State shot 66% from the floor tonight and scored 95 points.The entire season K-State scored 90 points or more one other time. In fact, the mighty Leathernecks of Western Illinois held them to 82 points. So basically if we played defense as well as the 8th place team in the 9 team Summit League then we would be going to the Round of 64. That’s inexcusable.

You can say the Wildcats got lucky bounces, good calls, etc, but when every team you play has their best offensive game of the season against you it is time to look in the mirror to see what’s going wrong. And most frustratingly, Wake never did that this entire season. They played the same ultra basic man-to-man defense that you teach your 4-6 year olds when they’re first learning to dribble a basketball in every single game. Sure some teams can play great man-to-man defense and never have to change up their looks but when you’re defense is atrocious at least try something. A 2-3 zone, a 1-3-1, a matchup zone, some kind of gimmick, just something to give the opposing a team a different look. Something besides defense fit for an NBA All-Star game. Every team got open shots, open lanes, and open layups the entire season and we never tried to anything about it. Heck– Wake scored over 90 points in Cameron Indoor and still found a way to lose.

They defend as about as well as Obama defended our borders and as well as Trump has defended his wiretapping accusations. I thought Jeff Bzdelik was the worst defensive coach in the history of basketball but Manning might actually be worse. And keep in mind that we’re not always going to have a NBA First Round Draft pick and 5 excellent shooters scoring the basketball. Ok- I’m done with my rant but seriously, this team had the potential for so much more and until Manning figures out that he’s not coaching an NBA All Star game I don’t think we’re going to be winning any NCAA Tournament games.

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