Friday, October 31, 2008

What Bozeman brings - again

I am really excited about what Soloman Bozeman will bring to this team - THIS year. He has two years under his belt in what is arguably the best basketball conference in the country, playing against the Syracuses and UConns of the world on a regular basis. Most of us have assumed the that biggest strides will come from our post players, but I'm not sure that is true, simply because of Bozeman. The guards are going to have to get better, or be made to look sub-par by a guy who isn't even playing this season. Internal pressure to improve.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big 10 - BIG

If you want to compete in the Big 10, you have to have a front line:
Illinois: 7-1, 6-10, 6-9, 6-9
Michigan: 7-0, 6-10, 6-10
Mich St: 7-0, 6-11, 6-10
Minn: 6-11, 6-10, 6-9
Northwestern: 7-0, 6-11, 6-9
Penn St: 6-10, 6-10, 6-9
Wisc: 7-1, 6-11, 6-10, 6-10


Let's make some assumptions: Stevie Moore, John Fowler, Shane Edwards and Brandon Patterson are going to start, or at least get a starter's share of the minutes. I do not see Shields going with more than a 10-man rotation, probably 9-man. That leaves three players that are going to get less than rotation minutes (double figure minutes). Who will be left out? Probably the underclassmen, or maybe LaMarvon? But LaMarvon is a senior who plays very hard and does a lot of the little things that will help in the crunch. If, as Jeffrey says, Curtis is the best shooter on the team, how do you keep him off the floor, unless you have enough shooters and he hasn't learned the system and defense sufficiently? Courtney is the most heralded recruit, and seems to be working hard. It will be interesting to see. It appears this team may be significantly better than last season.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Big Ticket's minutes

Mike Smith's minutes very well could come down this year even though he has a year under his belt. First, his weight went up, which it did not need to. Second, we apparently have another option at the 5 in Burton, even though he is not truly a 5.

Bozeman's value

It is entirely possible that our best point guard will not be playing this year. Can you imagine the value to the team of having a Big East-quality point guard who is there to imitate the various offenses so that our team can practice defense against it?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No weak positions

One thing I like about this team is that there are no weak positions. Every spot is manned by at least two capable players.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Senior leadership

It appears, from the comments of Mr. Slatton and Dr. J., that the seniors are taking hold on this team. Hopefully, that will have the same effect as it did for the team on which Co Willis and Richard Hardman were seniors. That was a tough, focused group. If a couple of the players significantly raise the level of their play, or if some of the new players are the real deal, this could be a special team.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Three constants

Show me a team that is strong in rebounding, defense, and taking care of the ball, and I will show you a team that is usually in every game, even on cold nights, and a team that other coaches dearly hate to play.

"Best Name" prize winner

University of Hartford's Drake Uu. I don't know if it is pronounced "oooo" or "oo-oo" or "you-you."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Was Fish a "loser"

Derek Fisher played at Little Rock 1992-1996. We never went to the NCAA's in that period. Does that make him a loser? Hardly. It is just that some folks have a very shallow view of success.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Preseason picks

If you had regard only to offense, there is no reason in the world why you would pick the Trojans to win our division, as the coaches did. After all, normally when you look at a stat sheet and do not see a player in double figures, that is NOT a good sign. Still, the coaches obviously recognize what we do well, and expect us to do it again. However, they also did not pick us to put any distance between us and the pack, which is not good. We can get back where we were last year doing what we did last year, but to move up a notch, we have to do something else well? What will it be? Who will do it? Stay tuned.

Tied for first

I think the coaches picked us about where we should be. We will be pretty good. It remains to be seen if we are very good. (Well, we won't be "pretty" in any case. We play ugly basketball, but it works.) The fact that we were picked that high and only one 3rd team individual picked is a testimony to the team play insisted upon by Coach Shields. He gets a lot out of what he has. But I do think that the talent/experience combination on this team will take a significant step upwards this year. I keep going back to how many first-year D1 players we had, plus two more that had laid out a year.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The value of getting fouled

One factor in assessing offenses which often is overlooked is the value of getting fouled. Foul shooting rewards good shooters. If good shooters cannot get to the foul line, then their effectiveness is not maximized. Similarly, a lack of opponents’ fouls fails to put pressure on their bench because no one gets in foul trouble. That is one positive about working the shot clock to its maximum – because defenses often become lax and/or aggressive as the shot clock runs down. On the flip side, some offenses that milk the clock (notably the Princeton) are exceptionally unlikely to get fouled. Offenses that look inside first usually pick up a lot of fouls.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

new 3-point line

The opinions of the experts seems to be widely divergent as to whether or not the new 3-point line will make any difference. My guess is that it will, but not to the really good shooters. If it does nothing else than force coaches to shut down the mediocre shooters who blasted away from the arc, it will have helped the game.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On baseball

I cannot understand the fascination of baseball fans with home runs. It is BORING watching someone jog around the bases. For me, put the foul lines at 400 feet and center field at 500 feet, and you automatically guarantee lots of running, and that is a lot more exciting than jogging.


This waiting for the schedule is really getting frustrating. I'm about to the point of saying forget about Memphis, and just release the rest of it.