Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We had a great time at the Creighton game. There were 28 of us (counting ankle-nippers) from western Arkansas, north Mississippi, Memphis, Texas and Benton - ranging in age from 1 to 87. We absolutely could not have asked for a better game to watch – just good, exciting basketball – and the home team won. It probably was the most enjoyable basketball game I have personally attended, all things considered. I was impressed with the crowd. They are getting into the game a lot more than they used to, and the student section is beginning to fill up and become more vocal. Incidentally, my brother and his family are from Ripley, MS, the hometown of Derrick Bails.

Friday, November 21, 2008

shooting percentages

One of the key sets of stats I look for is shooting percentages minus opponents' shooting percentages. So far against two not-very-good opponents we look pretty good. FG% plus 9. 3PT% plus 8.

SBC not very good

Last night the SBC slid into 18th place in the Sagarin ratings. Not good! As a conference we just are not doing very well. To date our win over Pepperdine is the only win over a conference that was ranked higher last season.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big Ticket

When you weigh 285 and have quick feet, you are going to be a load on the low block whether you are 6-7 or 7-7.

ASU rotation

Interesting note. Through the first three games, ten ASU players have played in every game, and all ten have averaged at least 12 minutes per game.


It looks like ASU's new coach actually has them playing defense this year. Isn't that novel? They lived on offense last year - or maybe they died on it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

3-point efficiency

So far, it appears the better discipline on 3-point shooting is in place. The ones who are shooting are the ones that ought to be. Actually, I think Edwards and Fowler could shoot them a little more.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pepperdine game

It was an UGLY win, but we'll take it. How can you shoot that badly and let your opponents shoot that well and still win? Well, by outrebounding them and shooting more free throws, for a couple of items. Hats off to Big Mike Smith for his double-double. Also for John Fowler for making the most of his limited attempts. Patterson did not score, but had six assists. Good team effort. Need to shoot better to win the next couple of games, though. Competition gets harder.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

First game

It was a nice victory, but there were several things not to like about it. We had way too many turnovers, and we did not shoot free throws well. Both those are areas we will have to improve if we are to be really successful this season. I suspect that the sloppy play of the Cal Poly tended to make the whole game have that quality, but we still have to keep it under control. Good win, though. We'll take it. Good start to what we hope is a special season.

Special notice to Matt Mouzy for his shooting and LaMarvon Jackson for his outstanding rebounding coming off the bench.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The use of jucos

As a rule, I prefer to see us recruit freshmen out of high school. Most of our juco recruits have not been stars, but Brandon Freeman and Rashad Jones-Jennings certainly were. I would take a team full of them. If the best players available are jucos, then by all means sign them. Also, they are critical from time to time to plug gaps in the roster.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shields' constant?

Nolan Richardson's constant in his teams was outstanding athleticism. They were quick and fast and could jump. Shields cannot get that sort of player, but it appears that defense is his constant. The problem is that in order to make really outstanding team defensive players he needs to have them in his program for a while. (John Fowlers don't come along too often.) By the time they are seniors, the players ought to know his system inside and out, and if they have been playing with others for two or three years, they should be well coordinated with one another. Getting "stayers" into the program is key.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So often we hear of the "intangibles" that teams possess. Hustle, desire, teamwork, unselfishness, things like that. How much of the "intangibles" will this team have?