* I only got to catch the game starting from the middle of the 3rd Quarter. I feel like an idiot, this is the 2nd time I expected a “light” game for us, only to have us lose each time.
* It was relatively close until the 4th quarter, when the Kazakhs suddenly hit 4-5 straight 3 pt. shots & blew the game away. Ponomarev, their 6’10” Center, hit at least 3 three-point shots in that quarter. What can you do, when a 6’10” player starts hitting shots from the 3 pt. line one after the other? Not much, really.
* While the Kazakhs were making theirs, we weren’t making ours. I learned Yap was sidelined earlier in the game, & that Norwood also did not get to play this game for some reason. Those were 2 guys off our rotation who could’ve helped us on both ends of the floor in the 2nd half. Which goes to show how important those 2 guys are now to the team.
* It didn’t look like the Kazakhs were as intimidating in the paint as the Qataris or Jordanians. The height was there, but not the heft. I feel the reason we got outrebounded, was simply because we were outhustled on the floor. At any rate, the way they smoothly ran their plays, & their enthusiasm for game, this team certainly didn’t look like a team w/ a 1-7 Win-Loss record going into this game.
* A bad loss for us, mainly because our rotation was out of sync due to the missing wing men, & also due to overconfidence & a little bit of apathy. I have more confidence we can get these guys next time, without the limitations we had in our game.
* The Kazakhs were using a 2-3 Zone against us all throughout the 2nd half. We used a 2-3 also in the 3rd, but switched to man-to-man when their 3 pt. shots started coming in, to little effect.
* A week of non-stop, top class international basketball. I sure hate to see it go. Not sure if we will still be sending over our best NT next year in this tournament, so am pretty glad to have been able to watch this one closely.