The Students of Cuspinera: green shoots and eternal evils

The coach made his debut on the collegiate bench with a defeat against Unicaja. The team showed a hopeful version in the first part.


Jota Cuspinera could not celebrate her debut with victory. Movistar Estudiantes fell in Malaga, against Unicaja, who hammered mercilessly (for having his own on multiple occasions, for a collegiate must on many other occasions) from the perimeter: 15 hits of 26 shots. 58% morrocotudo who broke the duel in the third quarter and sentenced him in the last. It is the 15th student loss in 20 games this season; the 7th in a row and the 11th in the last 12. The Ramireños are 16th in the standings with the same balance of triumphs as the tail three: Coosur Betis, Acunsa GBC and Bilbao Basket.

A delicate situation that is being reversed with the arrival of Cuspinera to the bench to replace Javier Zamora. The man from Vitoria took over the group two weeks ago with the added difficulty of not having part of the first squad when he was with his national teams. Much of the work prior to the duel against Unicaja was done with guys from the EBA and was played in Malaga without Gentile, still immersed in the recovery from the coronavirus, and with Edwin Jackson still without competition rhythm after being out for four months due to fault of the right wrist. The result, green shoots and old mistakes in the defeat of Martín Carpena.

Improved defense

The defense showed a new face during the first half. The first pass line was attacked insistently, there was a greater collective effort to cover holes and the changes of marking with the small rivals alleviated part of the effort. Jackson's return was quite noticeable (the Frenchman, on the contrary, was quite shy in attack) as well as Vicedo's presence due to versatility and strength. The blocking in the head of the perimeter, an endemic problem, was covered for 20 minutes: the pivot recovered well after helping the point guard and a third player efficiently covered the gap left momentarily by the first.

Angel Delgado bears much of the blame for the improvement behind. The Dominican, big and skilled on the rebound, is more comfortable every day in the ACB and his partner with Djurisic works on defense (the Montenegrin resisted his pairing with Deon Thompson well). In attack, especially in the case of Djurisic, it is another song and the need for a five of a certain level should be a priority.

However, it was a fleeting moment. In the second half, the schoolboys got lost again and gave Unicaja a lot of freedom of action on the perimeter. "We did not know how to interpret when Malaga began to attack with the exteriors in the blocked exits, we have made serious defensive errors that have allowed Alonso and Waczynski's triples that have broken the scoreboard to nine," said Cuspinera in the press conference after the match. “There we have had a low spirits, although even so we have managed to return after a time out. But those defensive errors have continued, we have defended shooters from a distance, letting Alberto Díaz shoot after blocking ... they have continued to play with their blocked exits, catching us many times with an advantage for their great shooters, "he continued.

Individual attack; no collective

In attack, the same problems of the past. The Estu has quality in its perimeter players. Individually, there are points on your hands. Many. However, there is no collective version that allows the threat to be constant and to integrate more protagonists at the top. There are more free verses than unity. "In attack we must share the ball a bit more," said Cuspinera.

The downturn from the triple remained unchanged. The schoolboys only scored 6 of their 18 shots out of three. 33% which is quite a feat compared to 23.7% (18/76) combined against Casademont Zaragoza, Real Madrid and Acunsa GBC.

A heavy stone within a template with only three specialists: Brown, Giedraitis and Roberson. The American goes through a worrying pothole: 2 of 18 in the first three games of 2021. Against Unicaja he made a 1/3 in just 13:20 (lowest participation of the season). For his part, the Lithuanian will have to undergo surgery because of his shoulder and it is unknown when he will return to the courts. The only one who flows is Roberson, who gives the impression of gaining weight with Cuspinera on the bench. Avramovic, Barea, Jackson, Cvetkovic and Vicedo are more streak players than specialist. A long way to go.

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