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ATOillini
March 22, 2021 @ 08:27 AM

I have to get this out of the way. It is difficult to write, but it must acknowledged. Hats off to Loyola for an outstanding game plan which was executed to near perfection. There. I said it.

I admit to being somewhat shocked when I read the comments to you SOC post. There was quite a bit of casual dismissal of our opponent. I felt your concerns were valid (evidenced by my thoughts in that thread). We no doubt had a fantastic season. But fans often think that performances such as at Minnesota and at Michigan are who we really are and will be in the tourney. Watch highlights of those two games and you might conclude we were unstoppable. Somehow people forget something like our struggles against Northwestern which had lost 11 in a row (I think) prior to scaring us.

You have used the word "devastated" several times in the last 18 hours or so. That's not the right word for me. I watched Rutgers throw away a game they had won last night against a #2 seed. Rutgers basically did everything wrong the last 3 minutes. To quote the great Dennis Green...."We let them off the hook" has to be running through their minds.

Meanwhile, as stated by you and many others, Loyola was in control the entire game. When we had the ball I felt panic as the shot clock went below 15 seconds. Possession after possession it seemed we had no idea what to do. Contrast that with Loyola. When their shot clock dipped below 5 seconds, it seemed they knew exactly what to do (including getting us to foul).

I do have a couple questions that maybe Tyler could address. The double team of Ayo out high gave us fits the entire game. I didn't see any adjustment. Could we have done something different to negate the trouble it caused us? Similarly, on the other side of the ball, that wrap around screen that Loyola employs at the side of the free throw line was lethal in its efficiency. We never stopped it. It always felt like we were playing catch up. Could we have zoned or something else?

I apologize for the length of my comments here. Put it in the "getting it off my chest" category. So thanks.

The two songs you've referenced in these last two posts are certainly appropriate. At 10:30 last night I was compelled to listen to Farther to Fall from your SOC post. When I pulled it up on Spotify, I almost fell off the sofa when I looked at the album cover. Care to guess the title of the album?

"Home Again".....

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