I want fans to remain engaged. When we hit that three game skid, you could feel the fan-base's collective legs wobble. But Brownell stuck to his gameplan and has made this team look decent. We really do play great half court defense. Seriously, I don't think we remember how poor we were in the half court anything. Our offense was ridiculous and our defense was not pretty at all. I went back and watched some of last years footage and without Trevor Booker we wouldn't have won half of those games. I still would have liked to see a bit more press this year but we certainly would have regressed as a team if Purnell had stayed.
Now looking ahead I am not sure what you do without Grant and Stitt. I have always liked Grant as a player and thought Purnell didn't spend enough time trying to develop him. He has a sweet 20 footer that just keeps getting better and better. The man has some post moves and blocks shots at an amazing rate. Stitt is our only real penetrating threat and will be missed next year.
However, I point this out because Brownell can develop talent. Bobo will play 15 minutes a game next year, I am convinced. Tanner Smith is playing more within himself and the turnovers have finally been cut down. We can even pass the ball into the post!! Milton has started to rebound and hopefully has turned the corner.
We have a chance against Duke--not a good one but a chance nonetheless. We still suck on the road but we do play some good D--you have to admit. Going into the season I thought our downfall would be defending the three with our sub 6' 2 guards. Hello long armed Mr. Narcisse off the bench. The point is that Brownell is not afraid to play the hand he has been dealt and play it with confidence. He has, at times, turned a crummy two pair into a winning hand. With all the defections and even an injury to a starter, Brownell has done an admirable coaching job.
I want him to get more quality pieces. I want our recruiting to not cripple his ability to keep us in the tourney hunt each year. The best part about this year is thanks to the additional three teams, we can still hope. We beat Duke and we are squarely on the bubble. If we go 9-7 in the ACC and 20-10 overall, we need to win two (probably three) games in the tourney and cross those fingers.
Can't wait to take it to Wake. And thank our lucky stars that our hire didn't put us back 3-4 years. Rick Stansbury anyone?? No takers?? Really?