Friday, May 29, 2015

Daniel Green

Someone at Wake Forest thought this kid had enough potential to be worth signing. His numbers are underwhelming, but he is tall and looks athletic. So, he is worth a scholarship. This definitely is one of those "show me" cases. Can he stay healthy? Will he produce if he does? But Green is a tantalizing recruit that might pay off big time if everything works out.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Forgotten players

Our attention goes where there is movement and energy. In all the excitement over the players Coach Beard is bringing in, some of whom had fairly gaudy stats at lower levels, we seem to have forgotten about Kemy Osse and Stetson Billings. And, who knows, maybe we still will be forgetting them at the end of the season. But they are both mature and presumably stronger after a season of weight training. Neither of them played huge minutes under Shields, and right now there is no reason to think that they will play a lot under Beard. But you just never know. Their particular abilities may fill a need in his system. His recruiting has been so heavily on offensive skills that he may need a few players who can play (will play) defense. Stetson was a pretty good rebounder for his size. Time will tell.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The basketball Toyes do Kentucky one better

Another pair of twins have signed to play high-level D1 basketball this season, like the pair at Kentucky last year. Well, not quite like that, because they will be playing at different schools. They have to play at different schools because they are boy/girl twins. Joseph signed with Vanderbilt, while his twin sister Elizabeth inked with Wisconsin.

Record book entries we might see next season

In career marks, only Josh Hagins has played enough to be close to getting into the all-time lists, and he is on several of them already.

He needs to play in 100 games to make the list, and already has 92.
He needs to make 391 FGs, and already has 356.
He already has 116 made 3PT baskets, which ranks 12th.
He is at 80.7% FT%, which would be 8th if he finished there.
He has 300 assists, which is 6th all-time.
He has 126 steals, which is 4th all-time.
He has 995 points. If he scores the number of points this season that he has averaged per year in his career, he would finish with 1326, which would be 6th.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In sync

Some teams just have that feeling among them that allows them to play as a unit. Whether it is high basketball IQ, or the fact that they have been on the same team together for several years, or just some sort of undefinable chemistry among them, some teams have it and some do not. Not being a player myself, I do not even know to what extent it can be taught. But it does exist, and it is easy to see where it exists. Let's hope we have it.

It goes both ways

The head coach is the chief executive of the basketball program. He hires his assistants and so he is responsible for their conduct in their jobs. If they are incompetent - or worse - he gets the blame. It goes with the job. There is a flip side to that, however. If they do well in their jobs, the head coach also gets the credit.

Monday, May 25, 2015

We will find out what kind of recruiter Shields was

If Hagins and Isom and Woods are still cornerstones of the team after all this ballyhooed talent gets to town, then we will know that Steve Shields was not that bad at bringing in talent. If none of them is starting, then he was not very good.

Sure thing 3-point shooter

One thing we need among the recruits is a dead-eye guard shooter. Josh Hagins is probably going to fill that role primarily, but we need someone to replace James Reid. Mareik Isom can shoot very well, but he probably will be playing one of the forward positions. If you are not deep enough in shooters to be able to have at least one on the court at all times, it forces a change in your game plan, or at least makes it less effective. And you really need two out there all the time.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I want to be excited, but

I have to keep reminding myself that not one of these incoming recruits has played a single game at a level as high as the Sun Belt. That by no means implies that they cannot do it, only that they have not done it yet. And as one of the pugnacious boys in my father's class in school used to say when someone would threaten to whip him, "Do it and then talk about it!" We shall see. I am optimistic, and am looking forward to being convinced.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Kaminsky in the pros

The experts are not overwhelmingly positive about Frank Kaminsky's prospects as a pro, but that is understandable given his style of play. He probably will not be the next Abdul-Jabbar (that is on the assumption that there ever will be another one). I would guess that he will be a serviceable big man who will get lots of minutes, but probably never be a big-time star. Joe Kleine never averaged double-figure scoring for a season over his NBA career, but he had 20 good, productive years as a pro.

Friday, May 22, 2015

How fast was Bob Hayes

Watch his anchor leg on the 400m relay in the 1960 Tokyo Olympics. He comes from behind to blow away the fastest runners in the world.


We'll find out something about Shields' recruiting this year

We have been amazed, generally speaking, at Beard's ability to sign quality players in a hurry late in the recruiting cycle. After we have had a chance to compare the holdovers to what is coming in, we will be able to make a more informed judgment as to Steve Shields' recruiting ability. Who knows how that will turn out?

Cameron Stilwell signs with baseball

I see today where Cameron Stilwell from Tulsa Union has committed to the Trojan baseball team. This has special interest for me, since I have known this young man for over ten years. He comes from a fine family, and has baseball in his blood, as his father and grandfather both played professional ball.

Where does the juco point guard leave Hagins?

Let us assume that he is the real deal, and his numbers would seem to indicate that. That probably puts Josh back into his old combo guard situation, which probably is where he operates best. He does a creditable job at the point, but (I think) his better position is at the shooting guard spot. Either way, this gives us more firepower at guard and gives us another option for mix-and-match to keep a potent combination on the floor at all times.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Calipari ought to be fired

"Calipari says UK's top goal was to get players drafted, not win title." (From CBS Sportsline)

Can you imagine any other coach saying  that and getting by with it? My, my my!

Jermaine Ruttley

Usually star players at lower levels will translate into at least decent players at the mid-level range. That ought to be the case with Ruttley. He was by far the leading scorer for FAMU last season at 17.4 ppg, and also their leading rebounder at 6.7, although I suspect that total was helped by the lack of quality big men and the fact that he played 33 minutes per game. He led the team in FT attempts, so he knows how to get to the line.

He shot only 29.5% from the 3-point arc, even though he made 112 attempts. I hope he either learns to shoot better or backs off on his gunning. I do not know how much on-court discipline (good shot selection) our new coach will demand from his players, but it looks like this guy is someone who could shoot you out of a game if you don't sit on him.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Marcus Johnson - an important piece

One thing we had been missing on this roster was a true point guard, and it looks like we have one in Johnson. Even at juco, a 4.9 A/TO ratio is very impressive. With the likes of Washington State, Charlotte, Middle Tennessee and FIU after him, to name just a few, evidently a lot of other people thought the same thing. We have several players who can play point, but none is a true point guard, and that is always something you like to have. Now we have the depth we need at point.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why would freshmen expect to play immediately?

What possible logic would make an incoming freshman think that he is going to come right into a situation and be a big factor from the get-go? Any program that is having to look to true freshmen to carry the mail for them is in BAD shape; so why would a freshman be wanting to sign with that program to start with, if it is in that bad shape? Maybe the coach/salesman has told him, "We are down right now, but you can be a big part of our rebuilding." Even there, if true freshmen are the answer, it must be a pretty sad question.

Everything today is about ME. What is going to make ME look good?  What happened to TEAM?

Seth Greenberg hit it right on the money

About the 30-second clock. From ESPN:

Are they going to transition and flow right into their offense, and then stay within their offensive concepts to score in a shot clock situation? If not, it’s just going to be the same thing we’ve been watching but with five fewer seconds. It’s going to be: transition, pull it out, run a set, pull it out and a seven-second play. If that’s the result, you’re going to see a lot of bad shots in my opinion. You’ll have more possessions and more bad shots.

Another cross-eyed gunner

St. Francis Brooklyn junior guard Tyreek Jewel attempted 145 three-point shots last season, and made a paltry 29 of them. That is 20%. You wonder why the coach didn't holler, "Stop!" because he had some pretty good shooters on the team.