KWBears: Cuonzo's in-game management is suspect at best. How do we squander all this talent? Our guys looked lost. Cuonzo appears to be a great recruiter. Now, can he coach our guys to win games? That's his next true test, I believe.
LeonPowe: An inability (except for Rabb . . .and maybe Singer) to play on balance, fundamental man-to-man defense. Not stopping the point of attack leads to problems with everything else. I'd add in trying to find ways to get Jaylen Brown the ball 10' and in, so he can be that devastating finisher within the flow of our offense. Everything we're hearing about Jaylen doesn't lead me to believe that he's being selfish out of "I gotta get mine" but more not being able to find the right cuts or catch point opportunities. I'm less concerned about the offense than our commentators - if we can fix the defense (zone?).
Anyways - all teams (unless you're Kentucky or 1991 UNLV) will lose some bad games before tournament season. It's probably not a harbinger of disaster - but hopefully it'll be a wake-up call.
boomtho: Pretty much everything concerned me about Vegas.
The defense was my biggest worry - it just wasn't any good, and was downright atrocious in the 1H vs Richmond until we went zone. Given the caliber of athletes we have on this team, I'm supremely disappointed in what Cuonzo has coaxed out of these guys thus far.
My second concern, which is a carry-over from last year, is the offensive scheme we're running. Reef and LeonPowe assure me that the scheme is pretty sound and that we are running a lot more secondary action than last year, which reassures me - however, that just makes me wonder whether (1) Cuonzo is not teaching the scheme well or (2) we'r trying to run a system not well suited to our personnel. Either way, it's very frustrating to watch us make a series of perimeter passes before finally getting into something with <10s left on the shot clock. I'd rather watch Tyrone attack off a quick high PNR if it means we're being decisive.
Nik Jam: The offense needs to figure a way to respond to runs. Against Richmond they did a better job, but when San Diego State went on a romper near the start of the second half, Cal had no answers. They started pressing and were taking long distance shots that wouldn't fall in, and the deficit would keep growing as SDSU/Richmond would start nailing THEIR three pointers. They need to stay calm, make the right plays, and get the shots to fall in to stop those runs. That might fall on the coaching staff to keep the ship afloat, and may come around with simple experience from Jaylen and Rabb.
Other ranked teams got upset, including Arizona, Wichita State and Notre Dame, so the hope for a high seed isn't over. I think the young players will do a better job as the season wears on but there's a not a whole lot of chances to clean up their non-conference resume (St. Mary's might be it) and it'd be bad if the Bears had to completely romp the conference slate to avoid being on Bubble Watch.