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February 11, 2010

Vegas was disappointing. For the second straight year, the desert saw a substantial amount of rain throughout the tournament, and due to the damage done to the fields last year, the field owners were hyper sensitive about shutting things down early. Cu1timate was unsurprisingly slow about communicating what was going on, but in the end, there really wasn’t much they could do.

On top of that, Night Train lost to Stanford (11-13), Florida (7-13), and Colorado (6-13).

The nice thing about playing good teams is that they push you to perform at your best. The nice thing about playing good, established teams is that they typically have more than one trick up their sleeve, and they’re often a step ahed of you when you try to adjust.

Yeah, describing this as “nice” is someone misleading. Getting beat is frustrating. Still, the reason for going to a tournament like Trouble in Vegas is to see how we measure up against (perceived) top competition and to pick things up from teams that have been successful for long periods of time. We did both, and considering that it’s still February, the weekend wasn’t half bad.

Couple things:

  • Of the 8 teams in the power pools, I think Virginia was the only one whose offense typically started in a four person flat stack (I didn’t see enough Oregon or Cornell to say, though I’m pretty sure that Cornell fits into this generalization based on what I saw at Wilmington 8s). Florida was the only one not running a primarily horizontal/spread (I know that people define spread differently, but for these purposes, I just mean something that spreads cutters across the width of the field). A lot of times, teams had the usual two cutters on the break side, but there were a number of variations on starting sets. The outcome was typically a wide open force side that gave cutters lots of room to work with, as well as a clear space for other cutters to fill. Also, a lot of teams were comfortable pushing non-active cutters deeper than I’ve seen in the past, just making sure that they came under at the right time to allow other deep cuts to develop. Styles are just evolving based on defenses getting better and cutters being able to do more.
  • It’s been said before, but the vert stack is making a comeback. Maybe it never left (it was the first offense I was taught in college), but at least people say that it moved over for the ho. Both Stanford and Florida ran it heavily, but in different ways (i.e. primary and secondary cuts coming from places other than just the back of the stack). So actually, I guess the best way to put it is that the vert stack is returning, but there are more variations of its use.
  • Since Friday’s Ego v. CUT game sparked a big discussion of travels, I’ll say this: there were certainly a few teams that had no regard for the whole pivot foot thing. It’s debatable whether or not calling the travel is worth it, but I’d say that those teams will see a lot of calls later in the season unless something changes.
  • I wish we could have gotten our games against Wisconsin and Oregon in.
  • I want my money back (this is directed at various hotels on the Strip, not Cu1timate).

All for now.

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