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Interesting 2021 final men's and ladies basketball thoughts from a fan perspective

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Lost our last three in a row. Went from 1st in the west division to 3rd. What hoppened?
The handwriting was on the wall earlier, had we just paid attention to it. In no order:
The recruiting class was not as good as expected. McBride started every conference game but did not improve as the season went on. As a replacement for Gibson, he was a total failure. 8th on the team in shooting % and 8th in 3 pt %. Not a contributor in clutch times I am thinking Coach Mac may have finally given up on him, since except for a few seconds at the end, he did not play in the 2nd half of yesterdays game when we put on a big rally. He was being groomed to be next seasons PG, which is a scary thought. Personally we would like to see Jones start in the tournament. Another highly touted of recruit, Terrence Lewis, did not develop and by the end of the season was getting only a few minutes playing time.  On the other hand, freshman Abou Ousmane showed great promise but is a project and had some good minutes but was not a major contributor this season.
Result was we did not replace Gibson and Draper satisfactorily. You should see how defenses are playing Reese and Bell even before they get the ball. Tight, tight, tight. The bottom line, last season we had a solid 8 man rotation plus 2 spot players, we were far from that in the last few games this season.
Hamlet did not have the year he had last season except in making his own shot. His assists and turnover ratio are way down. Could be the result of the problems mentioned above. On the other hand he was not decisive against UABs zone defenses and we had a lot of standing around.
The difference between 2nd and 3rd seed is significant. As 3rd seed we have to win four games in four days to win the tournament. 2nd would be 3 in 3. Big diff for a team with little effective depth.
My vote for MVP: Reese.




12th last season, 4th in W-L % this season. Beat Rice and their 6-9 center at Houston in the season finale. Rice has won the last two conf championships, has played in the NCAA, and appears hands down favorites this season. Who woulda thought? Apparently nobody as we were picked 7th or 8th in the preseason polls. In the interests of full disclosure Rice had clinched 1st place and might have been off their game somewhat against us.  Who cares, we played to win.
The keys are sophomores Noble (Q), Boyd, and senior Townley. Noble somewhat streaky but also explosive. Boyd similar to last season's version of Hamlett. Jackson (So), Neal (rs-F), Lampkin (true F), and Lee (Jr) were consistent contributors. Look for Cleary (F) and Brooks (Jr) to see more action next season.
I have to point out something i liked a lot. In the home game vs Rice last Thursday, we were awful in the 1st quarter, having more air balls than FGs. They gathered themselves between qtrs and near took over the game for the next two quarters and had a lead at the end of 3. Eventually Rice won in the 4th but but the fight and tenacity we showed were impressive. Gotta give credit to Coach Jalie for her role in pulling the team together between 1st and 2nd qtrs and to the players who have the moxie to pick themselves up. Pressing in the 1st, showed poise and rhythm thereafter.
Also gotta give Madison Townley some extra credits. The strong forward in our C-SF offense for 2+ seasons, she adapted to her new role in an offense that is similar to our men's O, improved her shot and her ball handling in open court without giving up her rebounding and defensive strengths. She appears inclined to become a grad asst for UNT next season, though haven't ruled out returning to play a pandemic season. Lamplin and Lee appear ready to replace her.
My vote for MVP: Boyd, who is more consistent than Noble.


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