It looks like the weekend trips to the Morgan Falls dog park are here to stay. Jes and I took Marble and Radar to the dog park, located a few miles north of our condo, yesterday and the dogs had a great time. For the first time since we’ve been going there were actually other dogs for them to play around, much to the chagrin of Radar. Marble tends to be a little shy around other dogs, but none of these dogs were interested in her ball, so she didn’t give them a second thought. It was really nice to see Radar actually run around and play with the other dogs. It was also the first time we were out there in bright daylight, so we were able to get some really good pictures. Some of these are originals and some of them have been “enhanced” as Jes continues her quest to become a Photoshop master. See if you can figure out which ones are which, and I promise we will try to take pictures of more than just the dogs next.
First things first. Marble is a certifiable nut case when it comes to balls. The girl will literally chase a ball so long that the pads on her feet scrape off, but you would never know it until the ball goes away. She will chase a ball for hours on end if you keep throwing it. With that in mind, we went to the dog park yesterday and it was empty, so it was a perfect opportunity to try and get a picture of her never ending ball chasing joy. Out of probably 25 or 30 attempts to get a good image of her, and have it be in focus, I got one good one. But I think it’s really good, what do you think?
After watching Georgia Tech play Miami for their first ACC game of the year yesterday, there are a couple of recurring themes that still need to be addressed by Coach Brian Gregory if they truly want to be competitive this year. Keep in mind that I am by no means a basketball expert, so these are just my thoughts based on a lifetime of watching ACC basketball, but no real direct experience in the game.
Over Switching on Defense: While I completely understand the need to switch when a pick is set, we see to only have one gear. Our big men will aggressively switch to the player with the ball and attempt to push him off his line back towards the half court line. While this worked great against the smaller, less talented teams, Miami was able to exploit this in three ways. The first was by simply feigning the pick and as soon as the Tech post player was out of position, they would roll to the basket, uncontested, for an easy basket. The second was when the 2nd post player would rotate over to guard against the pick and roll, the man they were supposed to be guarding was left wide open. The final way was that by making our post players continue to guard on the perimeter, we let 3 or 4 baskets get scored by a back door cut when we had nobody in the post to defend it. I would like to see a few wrinkles thrown in that made it so the opposition wouldn’t always know exactly what we were going to do on a pick.
Lack of offensive identity: Our general half court set involves a lot of passing around the perimeter, eventually followed by a weak entry pass to the post and then a forced shot by one of our big men. This might be a good strategy if we dominant big men who always played hard to the rim, but we have weak big men who prefer a fade away jumper or hook shot to any sort of contact. There is nobody on the team that seems capable of creating their own shoot, nor are there any times where there are plays drawn up to get a player the ball being 2 or 3 screens. This leads to what you saw yesterday when those fade away jumpers aren’t falling. Which brings me into my next point…
Mismatched defensive and offensive strategies: Don’t get me wrong, we are a very good team defensively, but it doesn’t seem our defensive style matches what we do well on offense. Our philosophy on defense is to stay in front of your man and force bad shots, which on the whole, we do very well. The problem that I have with this is that it nearly forces us to play a half court game offensively. Since we have so many struggles in the half court game, why don’t we take more risks which would lead to easier baskets? It wasn’t until four minutes were left in the game that I saw us even attempt to make a steal or force a turnover that might lead to a fast break, and low and behold we went on our best run of the night. Obviously you can’t take risks all game long and not get burned, but mixing in this kind of defense when the offense is obviously struggling mightily would be a good club to have in the bag in my opinion.
No true scorers on the team: This is really the only one of my points that I don’t feel like is fixable with some scheme changes. Do we have some very talented players on the team? Yes, that much is obvious. Unfortunately nobody on the team right now can create their own shot or create shots for others. There is a good number of forced shot attempts in the paint (as discussed earlier) or people standing around waiting for someone else to make something happen. This will change in time, as the four freshmen all have the ability to become this type of player, but they aren’t there yet. I have faith that in time this will change, I just don’t know if it will be this year or not.
Energy: Why does this seem to be a constant issue for all Georgia Tech teams? We just didn’t look we cared yesterday, or maybe that because we had steam rolled so many teams in a row, we would do the same to a quality ACC opponent. Either way, we played flat, and the scoreboard show that for about 36 minutes, as the final score was nowhere near as bad as the game really was.
So there you have it. Fixing these five items, in my opinion, is what we need to do in order to get to 7 or 8 wins in the ACC this year. Three of them seem to be doable in a short period of time, and a fourth (energy) will hopefully fix itself, so I am still optimistic about the rest of the year. I still don’t expect to make the NCAA tournament, but I feel like we will get close, and that is another giant step in the right direction.
Jes and I made decided this year to eshew the usual New Year’s Eve hoopla and spend a relaxing evening at home and make a meal the likes of which our kitchen has never seen. We decided to get every ingredient together in one picture in order to show everyone just what we were talking about. With the ingredients listed below, we were able to create the following menu:
- Apple-Spinach Salad Maple Syrup Vingarette Dressing
- Thai Pumpkin Soup
- 6 oz Filet Mignon With Broccoli Covered in a White Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Without further ado:
Welcome to the Folsom family website… take four. The biggest improvement this site has over the previous versions is the loading speed should be immensely increased. The increased loading speed will help make me excited to keep the site up to date, and will hopefully help keep you guys interested. The second thing, which is probably more noticable, is the new site design. I like to think that I am getting better at making the site more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use, but I will let you be the judge of that. As I have time I will begin uploading all of the family photos to the Galleries tab, so check back there often to get the most up to date photos of what is going on is our lives. I will also be adding more functionality to the site as time goes on, but for the time being, what you see is what you get. I have plans for a recipe manager section, a section on our budding photography portfolio, social network integration, and a newsletter feature that will allow people to subscribe to the most recent site updates. After that, who know what will strike my fancy, but you can be sure I won’t stop adding to the site. Thanks to all of our friends and family who help keep our lives exciting.