Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quick random thoughts about the Kentucky game and more

What I saw yesterday @ Kentucky regarding our offense is what I want to see more of... a guard oriented offense. Releford driving, Lacey shooting (Releford does have a nice shot too... if he doesn't lose confidence in it during a game), and pushing the tempo. Listen, we flat out suck in the half court when the offense doesn't go through Green and we do have the players to run so why don't we do that more? Yes, I'm aware Green had a monster game, but I would argue that the team as a whole benefits pushing the ball.

A few years ago I was questioning/begging/pleading for Mikhail Torrance to see more time on the court which fell upon deaf ears under xCMG for some unknown reason until Ron Steele left the team. If the long time readers remember I was right about MT getting more PT... as he proved his last 2yrs he was the best we had on the court. My new 'project'... Charles Hankerson. Someone explain to me why he doesn't see more PT? Don't tell me it's defensive issues as I've seen him do a pretty decent job in that department. Hankerson is a guy who could be the 2nd legitimate shooting threat (behind Lacey), but he's riding the pine next to Engstrom and Eblen. He's being wasted by CAG... and should see more PT than 2 of the freshman. We'll revisit this later on in the season.

So far, I don't think there is a dominating team in CBB. Sure the Syracuse Orangemen (yes, I know of the name change, but like St John's I refuse to accept it) were undefeated until yesterday, but I hardly find them to be AWESOME. Ditto for UNC (blown out by FSU), Ohio St, Baylor, Missouri, Kansas, Duke, or Michigan St. Even Kentucky looks to have some sizeable holes that can be exposed (by us yesterday). The quest for a national title is probably open to 30 teams. It's why I prefer college hoops to college football.


Bamalib said...

I like the Team-Spirit that Charles Hankerson, Jr. always shows, and he does hit 3-pointers. More experience would indeed help him in decision-making and overcome proneness to fouling and turnovers. Yes, his height at the guard position, ability to slash as well as shoot three's does remind us A LOT of Mikhail Torrence.

I'm worried about Tony Mitchell now. We really need his leadership and confidence and we see it vanishing. Now is no time for him to start doubting himself, his skills, or ability to play without Referees blowing every whistle on him. Get TOUGH, Tony.

I'ld like to see this team make an important adjustment on defense: the uncontested three-pointers...and Kentucky and Mississippi State certainly took advantage of them... I just see way too many free, open shots taken by the opponents from the 3-point line, and then having to hold my breath to see if they go in or not. I know it's tough on guards having to do double-duty on the 3-point line as well as double-teaming in the paint, but that's where the height and quickness of Hankerson and Randolph certainly help on defense..

bobbyjack said...

Hankerson should at the very least play 15 MPG.

Regarding Mitchell... I can't remember the last time he created his own shot. Most of his scoring is either a rebound put back or a 3. He is what he is... a scrapper that the offense can never really run through.

Yeah, M$U and UK got more open look 3s than I'm comfortable with. It seemed to happen more in the 2nd half of both games... tired legs perhaps?

BryanStein said...

Mitchell needs to sit for a while. The team would be better of if hankerson got all mitchells minutes until he decided to start playing team ball.

MSmilie said...

I like Hankerson, but I feel like with the logjam the team has at the 2 guard someone has to be left out and it looks like, for now, it's Hankerson.

Lacey has impressed me enough that I think he's earned the starting position, Steele's presence cannot be underestimated and Randolph has been very good on the defensive end of the ball. With all due respect to Hank, there's nothing he does that the others mentioned can't do.

And the idea of replacing Mitchell with Hankerson on the floor......really? Tony is going through a slump right now, but you're not going to help him regain his confidence by sitting on the bench. He's played out of position for the majority of the last two years. Hopefully with Jacobs continued improvement and Moussa returning from injury, Tony will be able to move back to his normal small forward position and get back to playing well.

I don't agree with the assertion that Tony doesn't play team ball. Tony's biggest issue is his lack of maturity when things don't go well. When a few calls go against him or his shot isn't falling, he's not mature enough to play through it. This more than anything else is why I raise my eyebrows when I hear or read someone talking about Tony leaving early for the NBA. Unless you've got the physique and potential of a DeMarcus Cousins, most NBA teams aren't going to deal with players who have maturity issues. Tony will be fine. He's going through a funk, but that happens to a lot of players.

bobbyjack said...

I ask this in all seriousness... How can you have a logjam at the 2g when for the most part we can throw the ball in the ocean from that slot? Isn't the SG supposed to be a scoring threat? Only Steele partially fits that mold that sees real PT.

bobbyjack said...

Can't, not can

MSmilie said...

In theory, you're correct. Nevertheless, Randolph, Steele, Lacey, Hankerson and even Cooper are all SG's, hence my logjam comment. Out of all those guys, someone has to be left out.

Unlike the CMG days, I trust our coaches to play the best available. Hankerson has struggled with his shot as much as the other guys so I don't know how you move him ahead of anyone else on that list. Lacey, Randolph and Steele have earned the majority of the minutes.

As far as the shooting woes go: there is no easy answer. You watch these guys and their shots all look good leaving their hands; they just don't go in 80% of the time. There's not much more they can do except keep shooting.