WD comin at you a broken man after ODU's first round exit at the hands of Matt Howard's buzzer beater. Not gonna be the dude who flames the refs - we got calls, we didn't get calls. What lost us the game was missed layups - 2 by Finney that can be argued were difficult angles but also an inexcusable point-blank flub by my man Frank Hassell.
I can't take anything away from Butler, nor would I. They beat us at our own game, out rebounding us and operating their offense with clean efficiency. They had role players step up (Butcher) and Howard, their star, stepped up and went to war for his squad. It could not have been easy for him to battle with our bigs in the paint and he wrestled through the gauntlet, ultimately putting us away on the type of offensive rebound put-back that is ODU's calling card.
I just feel for my team. Specifically the seniors Hassell, James, and Carter. They are our core and I wished a better outcome for their final run as college athletes. Looking ahead, it's going to be a tall order to replace the impact they have on our squad. Respect to them all, they did the things I loved watching them do for the last few years. Carter with his "does dude really have that range?" 3 pointer, James with his point guard savvy and of course big Frank with another bruising performance in the trenches for the Monarchs.
Sadly though, the image I will end up carrying away from this game is that of Frank missing that gimme lay-in right.at.the.basket. We didn't score a FG for a 7 minute stretch and we got out rebounded. Hats off to Butler, it's clear watching them that their exciting and unexpected run to the championship game last year has turned them into an experience squad that's calm under pressure. Damn son.