Last season's team was the first one in a long time that was hard to keep focused.
I posted about lack of leadership several times throughout the season. I posted after the trip to Brooklyn that I didn't like the makeup of this team. I was talking about leadership as well as skill set.
It's always better if coaches can work through leaders on the team to get their messages to sink in, and it's damned near impossible to get the messages to sink in when there isn't anyone to show his teammates the way.
There are/were no bad actors among the upperclassmen, but their effort and work ethic were inconsistent. Cooley got benched during games at least twice. When was the last time that was necessary for any starter, let alone the best player on the team. If there had been any depth at guard, I guarantee we would have seen it happen with a starter or two at those spots too.
The same team that had to be babied to build confidence in 2011-12 had to be browbeaten day after day in 2012-13. They'd suck at getting position for rebounding; so Brey got on their asses about it, they'd spend entire practices on rebounding, and it would get better. Then they'd be careless against pressure defense, Brey would get after them about executing what they'd been taught, they'd spend entire practices working against pressure D, and that aspect of their game would improve. Then they'd have a problem with help defense. Same process to improve it. Then they'd forget about everything they practiced about rebounding position, so they'd have to revisit that topic. These guys weren't driven enough to keep working on the old bad habits while they were addressing new bad habits, and I could tell it was driving Brey crazy based on comments he's drop into press conferences.
I have not seen a team like this since Thomas and Latimore were seniors. Brey made some changes after that, most notably in his approach to motivating players. He's a nice guy in real life, but he's an SOB in practice.