A humbling experience

Oof.

That was the first thing that came to mind when I turned off the TV following the debacle in Cleveland yesterday afternoon.

Oof.

Not  a phrase, or a thought about the torn up transition defense or the paltry shooting or anything else.

Oof.

Sometimes, you take one on the chin.  I don’t know if the Milwaukee Panthers got complacent, too proud of being #1, or too confident in their own abilities.  I just know that the Cleveland State Vikings were shooting out of their mind, they were turning practically every transition opportunity into points, and the Panthers were frustrated by a mix of bad calls from officiating and their own inability to put the ball in the hole.

*Note, I am not saying officiating had anything to do with the outcome – I just believe that a couple stupid calls (Haarsma for an offensive foul with his back turned, Haggerty for a moving screen where he didn’t move, the call immediately preceding Kaylon’s technical) messed with the Panthers’ ability to focus on the game at hand.

Do I think this is the real Milwaukee Panthers? No. Teams have days like these where everything seems to go wrong.  Chalk it up to a frustrating weekend and move on.  But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot to learn from this.

For one, Cleveland State really exposed Milwaukee’s transition defense.  No other team is as good as CSU at transition offense, but it’s not difficult to imagine Horizon League teams trying to turn up the defensive pressure to create transition opportunities.

It’s all right. Milwaukee is one game out of first at the half-way mark, much worse than their position last year.  The most difficult opponents are on the home schedule in the second half.

But it’s gut check time. Butler, Valparaiso and Youngstown State, as the next three opponents, offer a very difficult stretch.  Milwaukee will know where it stands coming out the other side.

Thankfully, we have one of the best coaching staffs in the country, and I have no problem believing that they are going to solve these issues.  If they can figure out how to beat a press, they can figure out how to fix Sunday’s problems.

In Jeter We Trust.

It is time.

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