Mar 16, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Members of the Cincinnati Bearcats watch the final moments of a game against the Texas Longhorns during the first half in the second round of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Bridgestone Arena. The Bearcats beat the Longhorns 65-59. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE
One of my biggest pet peeves with this team blossomed into a full blown issue in the second half of the Texas game today. Namely that the Bearcats get far too little from Dion Dixon both in terms of points scored but also in terms of just getting good shots.
Dixon is the Senior and as the Senior he has always had the ball in his hands when its time to close out games. This despite the fact that his shooting percentages, and offensive ratings have taken a big dive compared to his Junior season. For most of the year he has handled the ball in those situations and has made the right play more often than the wrong. And even when he makes the wrong it occasionally goes right. But the simple fact is this. Dion Dixon has a higher usage rate than anyone else on this team and the lowest offensive rating among starters.
Dixon simply can't be the crunch time ball handler/decision maker anymore. This team will go as far as Cashmere Wright and Yancy Gates take them. Its just a fact. But in crunch time Cashmere moves off the ball and lets Dion Dixon run the show. Why?
Its a simple question, I'm not sure what the answer is. Cash has to be the guy to make those plays. He should be on the ball every second that he is in there. It simply doesn't make sense to continuing deferring to Dixon when the output from doing so remains so low. Dixon consumed more possessions than anyone else in the game today. 25 per cent. And yet he didn't even score a .8 Points Per Possession. If the Bearcats want to make a deep run here they can't entrust so many possessions to someone who has routinely done very little with them.
I am not advocating removing Dion from the equation. He does bring a lot to the table in terms of attacking the rim and more importantly drawing fouls. Not to mention his own defensive efforts which have been tremendous all season long. But Cash is the guy for this offense now. He needs to handle the ball and make every decision down the stretch of games.