You knew this was going to happen sooner or later. During its 7-game win streak, Gannon was careless with the basketball but hot shooting, intense defense, and rugged rebounding overcame that glaring weakness of Too Many Turovers (TMT). But those strengths weren't enough Saturday night as Gannon lost a big lead before falling at West Chester, 66-64.
It's difficult to definitively say why a team lost a game when you didn't see one second of the action, but look at the game's stats and you tell me if you think turnovers made the difference:
* 2-point FG: Gannon 48.9%, West Chester 45.5%
* 3-point FG: Gannon 46.2%, West Chester 30%
* Free throws: Gannon 14-of-23, West Chester 13-of-19
* Rebounds: Gannon 38, West Chester 24
* Turnovers: Gannon 25, West Chester 13
* Field goal attempts: West Chester 55, Gannon 45
is complex, but if you consistently give the other team more field goal
attempts than you -- the Rams shot 22% more FGs than Gannon -- prepare
to hang your head after the game.
The thing about
turnovers is there's no known cure. If you stink at shooting, you spend
more time in the gym putting up shots. If your defense is terrible, you
give the scout team the ball for all of a two-hour practice and then
coach up the D. But turnovers?
The best way I know to
get better is to make valuing the basketball part of every conversation,
drill, scrimmage, and game. During my playing days, Bob Dukiet brought a
$100 bill to one of our practices and asked, "How tight would you hold
onto this if I gave it to you? Treat the basketball like a $100 bill."
The rest of the practice, and for several future practices, Duke would
say after every turnover, "Juan, you just lost $100 ... Todd, you just
gave away your $100."
I hope John Reilly has some effective words of
wisdom for his team regarding turnovers. Or we'll be talking about TMT
after a close loss again very soon.