Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer of wishful thinking

With possibly the best recruiting class since I have been following coming in, it is very hard not to engage in wishful thinking this summer. The loss of Gus Leeper to an injury put a big damper on expectations, but the signing of Michael Javes put the cap on the class, and stirred up the optimism again. Of course, we have to get him cleared by the NCAA, which is always iffy with a foreign player. (We have struck out there before.) Since we have only five healthy players coming back, our success is going to depend heavily upon the newcomers. I think they are very good. Here's hoping that my thinking is correct.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not long

Only about two and a half months until the pre-season magazines come out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Not much experience

Only six players on the returning roster, and one of them (Gus Leeper) evidently will not play next season. Of the five who will be playing, four of them have only one year of D1 experience. The incoming class looks to be good, and they had better be, because we do not have the experience to bolster lack of talent this year.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Players' minutes

Shields' players do not average a lot of minutes, comparatively speaking. I picked ten teams at random to compare with ours. The average minutes of the five most-used players was 27.6, with the range of 23.7 through 30.5. Only one team was below our average of 24.4. I am not sure why this is, or at least was last season.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beating the press

I am no expert, but I suspect that a point guard cannot consistently beat the press by himself. It takes a team effort. I also suspect that when a team works together as it should, they should be able to beat the press consistently.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another example

Cody Ellis of Saint Louis is 6-8. He shot 83 shots from the arc this past season, but made only 28.9% of them. Why would a coach allow a bad-shooting post player to blast away from the arc on a team that was getting beaten on the boards?


It seems like more and more lower-level schools are going to foreign countries for talent, and that may be a very good strategy. Big schools don't have to look hard. Players come to them. Getting talent from overseas takes a little more work.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Why do it?

Why would any basketball coach want to go to a "football only" school? The recent turnover at Penn State is an example. Basketball is only an afterthought there, and likely always will be. Why would a competent coach want to do that? I realize he will make a lot of money, but there are other schools where he could also make good money where basketball is relevant.


Freshman recruits should be looked at for what they will contribute on down the line, not so much what they will do immediately. But it is sad how much fans forget that.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Not in their interest

I can see why the Big East and ACC would have every reason to oppose a college football playoff system. For most sports fans, they only think of basketball after football is over. A playoff system would effectively lengthen the football season (at least the part that is closely followed) for several weeks. These two conferences are the two most basketball-oriented conferences of the Big Six. Why would they want to sacrifice their strength on the altar of a playoff system?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wisconsin Way - I love it!

From a great ESPN article by Ted Miller:

Wisconsin runs a "swing" offense that is based on spreading out defenders and riddling them with screens. It's a half-court scheme that often uses much of the play clock. The Badgers also play tough, sound man-to-man defense. They are a disciplined team that plays within a system. They aren't terribly flashy. You don't see a lot of cool alley-oop dunks out of fast breaks.Boring? Or are we just so obtuse these days that good, fundamentally sound basketball makes us yawn?

Here is the link: