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Girmindl's Ghost

A diary of Shaker High School's 2005-2006 basketball season, a retelling of Shaker's fabled 1979-1980 season, and general commentary on high school hoops, updated daily...

"I like sitting in the back row. I found that sitting against the wall is just easier on your back." -Dean Smith, on the comfort of the H-gym bleachers

On tap this week

On tap this week / Guilderland preview: First off, my game report from the Colonie game is up. Since I didn't go to the game and it happened four days ago, it's not a full report. But it's something.

Second, here's a look at what will appear on Girmindl's Ghost this week:

1. Previews and game recaps for Shaker's games vs. Guilderland and Mohon.
2. The long awaited photo-essay to accompany my essay on H-gym.
3. Hopefully one other essay - perhaps my interview with Bodgan and Dare.

1. Recaps from Shaker's two games, Mohon and Guilderland.
2. Possibly an interview - I was contacted by another '79-80 player this weekend.

Finally, Shaker plays tonight at Guilderland. SJC and I will be there. This is the first rematch of the season for Shaker. Back in December, Shaker beat Guilderland 50-48 in the H-gym new gym (the recap is weak, it's before i started writing 3000 word recaps). As I noted then, Guilderland is dangerous. They are 2-6 in the Suburban, but they did two things really well against the Bison the first time around: pressure defense and three point shooting. They consistently created turnovers using a full court press, and they made their big shots when they had to. Any team that can do that is scary.

Still, Shaker is a much, much better team. Guilderland has posted league wins over Shen and Mohon, but dropped games against Nisky, AP, Colonie, Bethlehem, and BHBL. That's not very impressive. The Dutchman are led by senior guard Jim Googas and sophmore guard Bret Marfurt, both of whom are averaging dobule figures in points and both of whom are excellent three-point threats. 6'4" center Luke Pagano also adds some offensive punch. (Full scoring stats here). But the three pointers are reall where the danger lies: the Dutchman have hit 65 3-balls this years (by comparison, Shaker has hit only 24). Five things in particular I'm looking at tonight:

#1) Ballhandling under pressure: If Shaker takes care of the ball, they will win this game. The first Guilderland game was the low point of the season in terms of reacting to full-court press. That was partially because it was early in the year. Let's hope it has been solved tonight.

#2) Brad's touches: Recently, I feel like they've been getting him the ball more, or at least looking to do so. And that's a good thing. I'm not just talking about shots. The offense really needs to be run through him. Occasionally, they'll go 5 or 6 trips in a row where he doesn't touch the ball. That's no good, and it happened in the first Guilderland game.

#3) The concession stand: Can you believe it's been three road games in a row- Nisky, Saratoga, B. Spa - where the concession stand doesn't sell Twix? That's outrageous.

#4) Unforced errors: SJC was arguing a new theory on the plane yesterday: The plurality of Shaker turnovers are being caused not by pressure, but simply by unforced errors - bad passes, violations, and the like. I disagreed, but I'm willing to entertain it. So we're keeping track tonight. And if you think I'm embarressed to admit we were having a conversation about "theories of Shaker turnovers," well then you don't know me well enough.

#5) Playing with the lead: From what I've read, the Colonie game was another example of Shaker starting to blow a team out in the 3rd quarter, only to give it back and not win the game by as much as they should have. Reader Tim P. has made the argument that the Bison don't play well when they're up double digits: Holmes uses too many reserves, the offense gets complacent, and the defense goes stale. I'm skeptical, but I'm hoping to do some in-depth analysis tonight if they can get themselves that kind of lead.

I'll have the teaser recap up when I get home from the game tonight. Full report tomorrow AM. Hope to see you at the game tonight, stop by and say hi!
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