Friday, January 17, 2014

Know Your Enemy- @ Missouri Tigers

Here's an opportunity to beat a team we shouldn't beat... and keep that ember of a chance we got at the NCAAT alive. DJC will love the fact that his Cardinals are signing autographs before tip-off at 1PM CST (on ESPN2 BTW).

Missouri comes in at 1-2 in conference play... losing to Vanderbilt in their last game 78-75. Looking at the schedule we have 3 common opponents: UCLA, UGA, and Vanderbilt. We're 1-2 with a win over Vandy while Missouri is 1-2 with a win over UCLA. UGA pwns both of us. Damn.

Missouri is 13-3, but only 3-3 in their last 6. Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown lead the offense at 18.8 and 18.4 PPG. Clarkson also leads in assists. Brown is their best 3pt shooter (.422)

On the boards Earnest Ross and Johnathan Williams pull 6.5 and 7.0 a game. Ross also drops 14 per (you might remember him from his cup of coffee at Auburn).

Offensively they score 75 a game while giving up only 66.4. They don't force a lot of turnovers (roughly 10 a game), but don't turn the ball over much either.

Season stats

This is a game we could win if (big if) we get some production inside. Hopefully we can build on the beatdown of $tate and leave Columbia with a W. This is a winnable game (and I think I've been posting here long enough to NOT have a homer tag).


Msmilie said...

Not a Frank Haith fan but, wow, what a game plan they had for Releford. Completely took him out of the game. And, of course, Bama doesn't have a plan B. Chalk up another loss.

crimsontider said...

We scored 17 second half points in the second half. Four field goals. One outside of Relly, and it was in garbage time. Wonder why Releford won't get consideration for SEC POTY? This game. Anthony Grant continues to prove himself as a clown, and his continued employment a disgrace. If Grant is back next year, it should go down as one of the biggest abomination in the history of this Athletic program. He is not qualified for this job, he is not a real coach. Every big game, he is a deer in the headlights. It is time for a change. Bill Battle, as a passionate supporter of your department, please fire this loser as soon as possible, thanks.

Msmilie said...

I don't think you can put this loss on Releford. The guy had 2 or 3 players defending him at a time all game. Other guys have to step up. That happened in the 1st half, but not the 2nd. We can't count on Releford to score 25-30 points a night.

The story of the season is the complete absence at times of the juniors, Levi, Coop and Jacobs. Those of us who predicted 18-20 wins this season did so with the belief those guys would be playing much better than they have. Their stats today: a total of 12 pts, 8 rebs, 4 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 4 turnovers. Retin is much improved, but he shouldn't be the 2nd leading scorer for this team. It should be one of those three juniors.

Seems like Grant said screw it at one point and just left Jimmie in the game. His play was really the only silver lining of the day.

I'm not saying Grant isn't to blame for some of the struggles (he is the head coach after all), but what do you want the guy to do? His team is running the same offense it ran on Wednesday. The only difference is that shots fell in that game. He has no shooters, no dependable big men. It's fair to criticize his recruiting with that in mind, but there's little he can do with this team right now on the floor.

That's the biggest disconnect with me and those of you who are just vicious in your criticism of Grant. People saying he's a terrible coach are clueless. You're criticizing the man for the wrong things. He has his teams ready to play, and usually a good gameplan going into games, but he simply has not been able to amass the talent to become an elite team. Who on this team is a next level player? Hale has the skill set to become a next level player of some sort, but that's a long ways off. If anything results in Grant being fired, it will be the lack of talent, not his ability to coach a team on the floor. And, you know what, the next guy will have the same struggles in recruiting the necessary talent to become the elite team all of you want.

For what it's worth, Grant will have the most talent on campus he's had during his entire tenure next year. That's why he will be given another year. And if they continue to stumble, he will be fired. Unfortunately for most of you, you'll just have to wait.

Murray NA said...

I agree with Grant, might as well leave Taylor in the game and give the freshman as much PT as you can. At this point I would open up the offense and run wide open. Whenever a fast break opportunity is there, take it to the basket. No more holding ball for 25 seconds then look for a shot. Did anyone notice numerous times our post players were completely open under the basket. The guards were so busy passing the ball around the perimeter they didn't see them.

To me, the half court offensive strategy has to be shelved. We have a very athletic team and to keep playing slow down basketball with 1 shooter and no post play to speak of, has no logic. So my suggestion is open up and run, play up-tempo. It's the only way to beat someone your not suppose to. That's my input. Thanks

crimsontider said...

It's not the lack of talent. We are the three years into a top 5 recruiting class, and have the best point guard in the league. Just stop with that. This team has NCAAT talent, and won't even make the NIT. Don't believe me, believe CAG, and the team who talked all offseason about making the NCAAT. We are 6-32 against top 50 teams, and are 63-60 against top 50 teams. That is an embarrassment. As far as next year, I remember you telling me that last year. Bottom line: 1 NCAAT in 5 years is not nearly enough. He has had five years to build the program up. That is an eternity, and definitely enough time to build a program up. Ask Mark Gottfried, who buy this point in his tenure, had an SEC championship, and a number one ranking on his pedigree, but hey let's continue to make excuse after excuse for a multi millionaire.

crimsontider said...

Grants awful offensive schemes are another reason why he should go.

Msmilie said...

It is a lack of talent. Jimmy Dykes asked the question during the telecast: outside of Releford, who on this team can step up and make plays? You care to answer that question, CT? This team has guys who can produce in limited minutes (Hale, Retin, the juniors), but no one who can step up and carry the team on their back if Releford is out of the game/having a bad day.

The record against top 50 teams is nice to toss out there but means nothing when a program is perpetually rebuilding. Not being able to sign recruits who can shoot the ball, rebound, run the floor, losing players to transfer. These have all played a part in the struggles this season. Some of that is on Grant, some of it is on an apathetic administration and fanbase, and some of it is on the players themselves. These are not excuses, these are facts. You want to criticize Grant and call for his firing for the inability to build a roster of sustainable players, go for it. You won't hear me argue at all. Bobby has specifically pointed this out and I can't disagree with it. But to call a guy a clown and a loser for his coaching ability on the floor is disingenuous. Enough with that crap.

Murray NA: Thank you for having an idea on how to improve things instead of just calling Grant a loser and moving on. None of the people criticizing this team have offered any way for them to improve outside of firing the coach. Even I, a defender of Grant, have not offered much in the way of how this team can improve. Thank you for keeping the discussion centered on what happens between the lines.

Regarding your thoughts on the offensive strategy. I think that Grant wants to play more uptempo basketball, but the problem is, unless the defense is forcing turnovers, there simply aren't enough transition opportunities. The offensive struggles in the halfcourt make it darn near impossible to press for long stretches because they don't make enough baskets to set the press. And when they do, they don't have the support at the back of the press that they've had in the past so you're seeing teams get a lot of opportunities at the basket once they break the press.

I think it comes down to this and this only for this team right now: Other guys have to step up. Hale is taking steps, but he's only a freshman. Levi, Coop and Jacobs have to be more aggressive and confident on the offensive end. Jacobs has to play like he gives a shit on both ends. Releford is going to have the odd off game, but we know he'll be a factor most nights. Other guys have got to bring consistency for 40 minutes. It's the only chance this team has to salvage what's left of the season.

Msmilie said...

Those schemes worked just fine on Wednesday night. Look, any offense is going to look bad when players can't make shots. This is not rocket science.

crimsontider said...

M, What are Grant's qualifications for the job? What has he accomplished in his eight years as a head coach at VCU, and Alabama, besides one NCAAT team against Duke's weakest team in a decade? Name one player who he has developed to his full potential besides Releford? The more of his recruits he has gotten in, the worse we have become. The only time this team was any good, or at all fun to watch was in Grant's second and third years with CMG holdovers.

crimsontider said...

You can talk all day about 20 win seasons and NIT's, but nobody cares. Winning 20 wins does not mean what it used to. In todays day and age, if your team/program has a pulse you are winning 20 games. M, Let's face the facts. Grant is 63-60 against top 200 opponents at Alabama, which means that if you take out the extreme trash on Alabama's schedule, he is a 500 coach through 5 years. That is pathetic, there is no way to spend that. Don't act like that doesn't matter.

Msmilie said...

Maybe so, but you're still going to have to wait until next year for your Fire Grant fantasies to have any chance of coming true. Try to keep your hands off yourself until then.

crimsontider said...

And your going to have to wait forever to live your fantasy of Grant winning anything of significance.

Msmilie said...

We'll see, little fella.

crimsontider said...

I heard that if we fire Grant, and eat the buyout this year, then we would likely go cheap on the next hire. We could be stuck with someone like Pearson or Pettway which would suck.

Iron Mike Sharpe said...

I have a list of good (realistic) asst coaches that I'll throw up at a later date. I've been compiling it since the Xavier game. Still on the cheap, but better options than what you listed.

I meant UTK as they are a middling team so far under Cuonzo. Auburn is a cellar dweller (like M$U and SC Lite) and we are still a good bit up on that... but trending downward.

bobbyjack said...

I have a list of good (realistic) asst coaches that I'll throw up at a
later date. I've been compiling it since the Xavier game. Still on the
cheap, but better options than what you listed.

I meant UTK as they are a middling team so far under Cuonzo. Auburn
is a cellar dweller (like M$U and SC Lite) and we are still a good bit
up on that... but trending downward.

crimsontider said...

I think head coaching experience should be a requirement. Not that there aren't assistants (even the two i just mentioned) that can't be successful, but I feel with our immediate roster, and money we can attract a coach with experience running a program. Additionally this next hire is the most important one in our programs history. We can't afford for this next guy not to work out. We have to get this one right.

DJC said...

The problem with that, is the best we can realistically do with that requirement is someone with a Grant/Gottfried type resume coming in...and up and coming guy that's had success at the mid-major level. Those guys are just as big of a crapshoot as the assistant coaches at established programs. Rather than having a strict criteria on experience, I would rather we focus on certain qualities, attributes, and overall philosophy. At some point, likely after the season, I'll post in more detail about the things I think we should look for in a head coach.

crimsontider said...

Anthony Grant, and Mark Gottfried were the best coaches we could hire at the time. It's unfortunate that neither of them worked out (with the exception of a few good years under CMG in the early to mid 2000s), but honestly, other than Grant's salary, I'm not sure what we could have done differently in either one of those coaching searches. I would at least ask Gregg Marshall. He is probably holding out for a better job, but the worst he can say is no. Greg McDermott, Chris Mack, and Ben Howland would also be guys that I would consider. There is also a coach out there that has won big at an SEC school, who would be my personal choice, and I think we all know who that is, but due to my interest in not getting involved in yet another firestorm, I will not elaborate. I am actually very impressed with the potential candidates that we could get. I think the candidates, and the job is much better than 1998, or 2009.