American head coach Mike Brennan spoke with the media after American’s 56-37 loss to Colgate that dropped the Eagles to 2-11, 0-2 in the Patriot League.
“They killed us inside. I think we’re just learning our offense and our defense isn’t easy. I mean, there’s gonna be games like this where it’s ugly. On offense it’s based on passing — we have 16 turnovers and eight assists. That’s just part of the growing pains of going through this. … they played well, they made shots, they ran their offense, I think they’re 2-0 for a reason.”
On if he considered switching the defense early in the second half as Colgate went inside?
“Zone, man, I mean obviously there’s some strategy to this stuff, but to be honest it’s more doing things that we actually work on and doing them better. You’re always gonna look back and say, ‘Oh, yeah, their big guys are posting James, they’re posting Jesse, and what can you do to eliminate that?’ But right now we’re just trying to know where we’re supposed to be, have a guy on a guy, box out, run your offense, simpler things. … At this point there’re sort of bigger issues that we’re trying to tackle.”
On if he felt good when AU tied it up early in the second half?
“Yeah, I was trying to remember the point I was feeling pretty good. We did some things tonight (where) one or two guys looked a little bit better in certain areas but it’s just not enough to compete, to compete and win a game and be in the game. And that’s what we’re going through.
“I think the freshmen are hitting the wall a little bit. James and Delante played a ton of minutes (in earlier games) and I think it’s showing. We’ve got to rest them a little bit more in games or try some different combinations, play them more with Marko or something — where Marko knows what he’s doing and he has two freshmen as opposed to them with Paris, and (also) play older guys with Paris, older guys that know what they’re doing with Paris. So there’s a lot to think about and a lot to try to do but essentially it’s trying to keep plugging away.”
On going 10 deep today; still trying to find those combinations?
“Yeah, well you’re always balancing — (not just) play some freshmen tonight and get them experience, you’re trying to win the game. It’s not obvious that freshmen are going to make you win games so … you want to get them experience, you want them to somehow grow and help you, but you’re also trying to balance, ‘OK, we want to try to win the game.’”
On Jesse Reed’s slow starts offensively
“I think he’s trying to get the other guys to help him some, trying to get other guys shots, trying to get through our offense so the other guys sort of recognize their scoring opportunities, so he’s sort of trying to find a balance himself of — he knows he can score, he can shoot, he can drive, he can post, he can do all these things, but it’s not going to be just him making us win, he knows that. So at the end of the day a week from now, a month from now, he needs his other guys to be able to help him and I think that’s what he’s trying to do.”