Saturday, August 29, 2009

Big Joe

I really wonder just how good a coach Joe Kleine is. As a player he was great, but can he coach? Those close to the program could tell us. Wish I knew.

What I get out of being a Trojan fan

I do not follow the Little Rock Trojans to stroke my ego that I am associated with a "big winner." I do it for fun. I enjoy rooting for this team. They have had a clean program and have been an easy team to root for. They have had some success, even though they have not been to post season since I have followed them, but that will come. I follow them purely and simply because I enjoy following them. I don't live and die for the team; I root for them. In the off-season I am unreasonably optimistic - because it is fun. Why not; at that point we are undefeated.

Go Trojans!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Matt a key

I think Matt Mouzy will be on of the keys to the team the next couple of years. We have not had many four-year players recently, and he should be one. He has earned his spot the hard way, and the team ought to respect that. He is a good basketball player: knows the game and plays hard. Somehow, he has to elevate his game beyond just being a good shooter. I know he can and figure he will. If he does, he could be a special player and help get us over the top.

Friday, August 21, 2009

juco recruiting

Out of a six-man incoming class this year, four players are juco and only one is a freshman. Another is a transfer who will have only two years left and has had to sit out a year. Relying too heavily on jucos usually means a coach is feeling pressure. I don’t know if that is the case with Steve Shields, but the post-season drought has been a long one.

Shields has had good success identifying JC players who can help the problem, including a nation-leading rebounder and a conference Defensive Player of the Year. It looks like he may have at least a couple in the current crop who can have an immediate impact if they buy into Shields’ system. I hope so. We need help quickly, even to be mediocre in the SBC this year.

I know that mid-major coaches commonly rely heavily on jucos, but I really would like to see us begin to move away from that practice whenever possible. Jucos have a track record to some extent, but they usually are short on defense, which is the staple of Shields’ system. John Fowler was an exception. However, I can’t argue with the overall results of Shields’ juco recruiting. It has been very good.

.500 this year?

If we are above .500 in the SBC this season, my hat will really be off to Steve Shields. We just lost so much from last year’s team, and there are so many starters returning in the SBC this season, especially in the West, that I don’t see how we could be expected to finish over .500. But we shall see. Shields is one of the better coaches in the league at getting a lot out of the talent he has.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quiet time

With school starting and the focus almost entirely on football in the sports world, it is hard to get much information about basketball. However, the pre-season magazines come out in less than a month, and then things will pick up.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mouzy this season

If, as Dr. J. says, Matt Mouzy is visually stronger and quicker this season than last, he may present other teams some problems. Last year he seemed to stand around waiting for the ball a lot, which may have been what he was told to do. We need to get him moving more. He probably will never be lightning-quick like Stevie was, but if he is stronger, he may be able to make space for himself and make his own shots a little more.

The great mystery

No one has yet said that Will Neighbours is not coming to UALR next season, but the roster is posted, and his name is there, so the staff at least assumed he was at one point. However, it is widely reported that Matt Mouzy was promised a scholarship. Also, the other 13 players on the roster are all reported to be on campus. So, either Neighbours is not coming, or Mouzy will not be on scholarship, or Neighbours is coming but will not be on scholarship (not likely). I think the first of those is the most likely.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

stupid fouls

One of the most common mistakes young players make is fouling after they have been beaten or were out of position. It is too late then, and as often as not all you do is give the opponent free shots. One aspect of the game that frequently goes unnoticed because there is no stat to measure it.

SBC strong in the West

Four teams in the Western Division of the Sun Belt return all four starters from last season, and one (Monroe) has their leading scorer from year before last returning, who redshirted last season. That is a lot of experience in the division. Usually the East is the stronger division, but this season might be different. We'll see.