Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How about some dark horses this year?

It gets tiring seeing the same old names at the top of the basketball world every year. We expect it most of the time, but how about a change every once in a while? Someone who comes roaring out of the fog to take the basketball world by storm. Come on down, Dark Horse!

Muscle inside

Our post players this year will have some athleticism (White and Isom, in particular), but our overall team height will be no more than adequate. However, we have a couple of guys who appear to be pretty bulky (Maurius Hill and Roger Woods) and a guard who is an exceptional rebounder for his size (Hagins), so perhaps we can overcome any height disadvantages we might encounter.

Pine Bluff: things do not always turn out as planned

The previous had coach at Pine Bluff played a deliberate, hard-nosed style. When he was fired and the current coach was brought in, the AD specifically said it was because he would  bring an exciting style with him. Well, be that as it may, it certainly has not translated into points. This past season they were dead last in points/game.

Perception is not always reality

Many of our fans bad-mouth our team because we play "slow-down" ball. But is that really the case? Last season we were 5th in the SBC in scoring offense - in the top half of the league. Maybe not racehorse, but certainly not slowdown. And among the teams that some of our fans have pointed to as being offensive-minded were South Alabama, Western Kentucky and Troy. We finished ahead of all three of those teams in points/game.

James White needs to be causing headaches

Presumably James White will be The Man for us underneath this season, so he needs to take the bull by the horns from the get-go. He needs to be aggressive and active. I think most opponents will have a hard time handling him, and he needs to take advantage of that. He can be a real post weapon for us. I think  back to Stan Blackmon and how hard he worked underneath the basket; I hope James can imitate his effort.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Is college basketball relevant at Kentucky?

That might seem like a strange question, but are the players who go there thinking college? I doubt it. Kentucky is all about the NBA. That is where all the players are pointing, and "alma mater" is only an asterisk on their thinking.

Leaders this year - locker room and on the court

You always expect the seniors to step up and be leaders. Ben Dillard is quiet, but he needs to play a bigger role in intangibles, and maybe he is. By the every nature of their jobs, I would expect the three point guards to be out front, especially J. T., since he was a captain last year in his first season with the team. Someone has to be the enforcer, the guy who does not necessarily say much, but who has the respect of the team to get them in line when they are not pushing as hard as they need to be. No idea who that might be.