Just three thoughts that hopefully some might respond/react to:
1) Amazing game. Important to start with that because it's never been truer that the guys played hard and in the moment and gave it everything they had.
Ok. Two things about Rick Barnes though.
2) When it was obvious that Varez Ward was going to stay in the game and handle the ball and be our facilitator - why in God's name was Balbay in the game??!!?? That's three PGs basically - Ward, Balbay and AJ - though Ward is a slasher and can jump in traffic and AJs a SG. Still that's three very short guys! Wonder why we didn't get the rebound?? Well three guys under 6'0/6'1 doesnt help. And it's not like Duke had blazing fast perimeter guys for Balbay to defend. And of course Duke didnt have to defend Balbay which means it was next to impossible to get AJ a good look in that last 11 minutes with Balbay in there.
This isn't rocket science type stuff.
3) There was one sequence right around the 12:30 mark - basically 30 seconds from the under 12 minute media timeout. Barnes calls a timeout after Duke hit a 3 to go up by 6 or 7. Coming out of that timeout, the Horns cant throw the ball in. We had nothing drawn up and Balbay froze. Again though, he had Abrams and Ward as two of his options, and Gary JOhnson nowhere near the ball. Just not making it easy on the guys. THEN coming out of the 2nd timeout, we turn the ball over! Two unnecessary timeouts in the first place because of the looming media timeout and we were actually playing well not about to get blown out.
That last point isn't all on him, but leaving Balbay in for the last 10-12 minutes is so unexcusable. We needed another shooter so badly. Mason, H. Smith, Connor. Anybody! And then to leave all those short Guards on the free throw line to get that last rebound is just mind blowing. Bah, I love Rick. But he's a really sub-par in-game coach.
Oh well, really wanted the Horns to win this one. Really admired the way they played and it was one helluva fun game to watch. Some suspect calls + Rick not much helping was too much to overcome in the end. Great, great game. Heart breaking :/