#1 Phil Pressey
I know that for Mizzou fans Phil Pressey’s name is a little bittersweet right now. One of the top point guards in the nation, yet he constantly makes poor game deciding decisions. It’s easy to watch games and point out everything Phil did wrong, but when it comes down to Pressey’s poor choices is it %100 his fault?
You can call Pressey many things, but inconsistent is not one of them. Mizzou has lost 5 games by 3 points or less. 6 if you include our 8-point loss to Kentucky in overtime. In EVERY one of those games Phil has made a poor decision within 1:30 minutes left on the game clock. Today, we lost against Tennessee where Pressey launched a ridiculous three with adequate time left on the shot clock to get a high percentage shot. Twitter and other social media sites exploded with criticism of Pressey and his lack of thoughtful decision-making, but I began to wonder if it’s even his fault anymore?
The definition of INSANITY is
“doing the EXACT same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
Pressey has made the same mistake many times, but is Pressey the only one who is insane?
This problem starts all the way at the top. Coach Haith, why do you continually put Pressey in a situation where he has failed multiple times? This is something that should have been addressed back on December 28th when we lost to UCLA by 3. Corrections should have been made through practice simulating game time situations, and if the progress was not seen by now (3 months later) BENCH HIM during game time decisions.
Next to address are the other players on the court. I will give some of them a break, mainly because I do not want them handling the ball at all, but there were 2 seniors on the court who let him take that shot. Bowers is shooting close to %40 from the three-point-line, which is more than what Pressey is shooting (%30.8.) When does he take initiative and go get the ball! Even getting the ball into Bell’s hands and letting him get a quick jumper in, would have been better than relying on Phil to make that decision. Obviously we can pass the ball to other people when the game is on the line, because they passed it to Ross in the end and he made desperation three.
Coach. Bowers. Bell. All three of you could have helped the outcome of this game. Honestly they are all insane because this is SIX times now that they have let this exact same outcome happen. Yes, Phil keeps shooting the shots, but Haith puts him in to do so, the in-bounder puts the rock in his hands, and neither Bowers nor Bell go get it!
So, Mizzou if you do not want to be certifiably insane, change it up next time. Maybe we’ll get the ball to Ke-Ke and let him drive, or go to that magical world that is the paint, and let L-Bow or Oriakhi put in work, possibly even hit Ross or Brown coming off of a screen on the far side. SO MANY OPTIONS.
Also, I did not write this to criticize any players or coaches. I love Mizzou basketball! I wrote it because one day Coach Haith is going to Google search his name and read my blog. Then when we win a national title, he’s going to give his ring to me because I saved the season. It’ll happen ya’ll. It will.