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UNLV game thoughts

I'm still trying to get over Wednesday's heart breaking loss to the Rebels. It won't be easy, especially the way Utah lost it, but I guess the best way to get over something is to talk about it. So I guess that's just what I'll do...

  • Ray Giacoletti has got to get after Nevill when he gets lazy on defense. I love Nevill, but last night he played soft and rarely went to the basket. If the Utes are going to succeed at all in conference play, he will need to dominate inside and alter the opponent's game in the paint as well. Against the Rebels, he was pretty useless and continued play like that should result in a tongue lashing by Giac.
  • Shaun Green is improving better on offense, but he's still not a great defender. He scored a career high Wednesday night with 25 points. However he became non-existent when the Utes needed him the most, only scoring 5 points from about the 6 minute mark in the second half until the game ended. Green barely got any looks as the game moved into the closing minutes and by the time he did get the ball, he was so exhausted that his shot at the end of the second overtime missed.
  • Lawrence Borha needs to be yanked when the game is in the final minutes. I touched on this yesterday and still believe that he should not see the court when the game is in doubt. Hell, I don't think he should see the court even when the Utes are up 15 with 2:00 to play. Keep him in for his athletic ability during points in the game where the clock isn't running down, because for some weird reason Borha panics more than a kid with his hands caught in the cookie jar.
  • Stephen Weigh is going to be an awesome player for Utah. He had 16 for the Utes and was two for two beyond the arc (why he didn't get a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds is beyond me). What's more, he stepped up and hit two clutch free throws with the game on the line. Sadly, it was the first miss that cost the Utes the game. A concern though is his turnovers, he led the game with 5 and had one less than UNLV had all night long (now that's a disciplined team).
  • The players have not given up on Giacoletti. I guess this is a good sign, because it shows he has some semblance of control, however I'm not fully sold on his leadership yet. The team battled hard and played well enough to win, yet the success of a coach is not weighed by how close he loses games, rather by how many games he can win. I've seen this team too up and down all season long to feel any confidence in what they did on the road against a solid Rebels team.
  • The Utes still don't know how to defend the three point shot. UNLV had entered the game only shooting 34% from behind the arc, yet they shot an impressive 45.5% from three point land and 50% in the second overtime. If the Utes do not start defending the three point shot, they're going to get abused by every team in the conference. If they even show an effort at stopping UNLV's three point shooting, Utah probably wins in regulation.
  • There were a lot of positives from this game, sadly this is an all too familiar picture for the Utes. They play up to their opponents and then lose to the ones they should beat. I fully expect Utah to come out flat Saturday against TCU and get worked at home. If this is the case, it will most likely validate my concerns about Ray Giacoletti.