Its one thing to miss shots (and we missed plenty), but I was dumbfounded by Miles "strategy" down the stretch. As we all know, NU managed to take a lead by 3 in the second half and if I recall correctly, it was still a close game with about 6-8 minutes left, and we all knew we absolutely could not let UW stretch out the lead. So I was pleading, even yelling, for Miles to go to Hack-a-Happ. Happ is shooting 37% on FT in conference play. He was 0-3 last night. Miles made 2 massive blunders down the stretch of that game.
1. When Tanner fouled out, he put in Brady. Why? Why not go small? Play Watson, Allen, Thor, JPJ and Roby. Brady was clearly outmatched in that game. The smaller lineup could at least stretch out the defense a bit and give the offense the best chance to score. Then, on defense, if the ball goes inside to Happ, just FOUL HIM. We didn't need a big to guard their big, because our small could just foul every time Happ touched the ball (we had multiple players who had just 1 foul on the floor at the time. This lineup blunder was compounded when Miles, out of a timeout, ran a play that apparently was designed to go to Brady under the hoop! What? The ball was passed in to Brady and Brady then promptly threw it away. Turnover. What is going on? Why is Miles running a play through Brady late in the game when the game is on the line and Roby is on the floor?
2. His second mistake plays off the above. Miles should have gone to Hack-a-Happ with 6 to 8 minutes left in the game. Especially when NU reached 6 fouls putting UW in the single bonus. We could have had 3 straight possessions where we put Happ on the line for a 1-on-1 situation. If he misses the first shot, it is essentially a turnover. But no. Instead, NU allowed UW to run significant clock and either (a) hit a 3 point shot which was an absolute killer in such a low scoring game, or (b) fouled one of UW's guards late in the shot clock!?! What is going on here? In fact, Miles never went to hack-a-Happ the entire game. Even down 10 with 3 minutes to go, he could have fouled Happ every time down just to give NU a chance, but its almost like it never occurred to him or any of his assistants. Really?!? This is mind blowing.
It is incredibly frustrating watching the players miss shots. And watching JPJ take his hero shot 3s late in the game was tough. But that is something that can happen to the best of players, let alone our guys. Sometimes the ball just doesn't go in the hoop. But watching a coach, who is payed $2.5M fail to see and implement such basic and obvious strategies and lineups is unacceptable. The coach has to give the players the best chance possible to win the game. NU may still have lost, but Miles should not cripple them with such poor coaching decisions making it that much more difficult.
I have supported Miles. Up to this point I have told everyone I talk to I think Miles should get an extension. But with this collapse, and watching these types of massive coaching inadequacies, has me at wits end.