Monday, April 16, 2018

Grading the season and NBA draft boards

I've been meaning to write a summary of the season in my eyes, but the day job has gotten in the way. I'll reflect now and divide the season into 4 quadrants

Quadrant 1- OoC play
Grade C+

Biggest win was over Rhode Island in what was a very ugly game. The OU win was great at the time... then we saw what OU was and it no longer had the power it did. The worst loss was an inexplicable loss at the hands of U C(an't) F(inish). The beatdown Texas gave to us in Birmingham should be mentioned, but I mostly wiped that memory out. In between was a good showing at Zona and 3 on 5 show vs Minnesota (which turned out to be not such a good loss). Overall I was a bit disappointed in this part of the season

Quadrant 2- SEC Play
Grade C-

I should break this down to first half and 2nd half of SEC schedule... nah I'll let it ride.
A 1-2 start with the beatdown @ UGA didn't give me much hope, but then we reeled off 4 in a row to sit at 5-2. A loss at Ole Miss (which is almost expected) put us at 5-3 going into the Mizzou game. A chance to sit at 6-3 and firmly in the top tier of the league squandered.
Next game we go into UF and beat the brakes off them. After another loss we come home to destroy UTK and LSU. Then the wheels fell off... who knew the expected loss to UK would start a 5 game slide to end the season. I have theories behind why we slumped at the end, but I'll keep that for another day.

Quadrant 3- SEC Tournament
Grade B+

This grade could've been a F if it wasn't for Collin Sexton's heroics against aTm. He singlehandedly saved Avery Johnson's job status from on fire next season to in control. Then we beat down Auburn and now comfortably in the NCAA Tournament. It would've been nice to be competitive vs Kentucky, but the job was to make the NCAAT and by then it was "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"

Quadrant 4- NCAAT
Grade B

When VA Tech was announced as our 1st round opponent I smiled as I felt they couldn't keep with our athleticism and it was a bad match up for them. I sweated that near the end, but I was right. Villanova... they did to us what they did to everybody in the tournament... beat the tar out of people. No shame in losing as they couldn't miss from the outside.

I am happy we made the NCAAT, but overall the season was disappointing to me. IMO there were 4 games we should've had which would have made a 3-4 seed difference. If I'm being honest I believe the reason we got a 9 seed is because the bubble was so soft with mediocre teams we were given special consideration for a tough schedule.

Going into next year do we build upon this or do we slide back to NIT contender? I have to see who stays and who goes.

NBA Draft
The only reason I'm looking at this is because for the first time in about 17 years we will have a 1st round draft pick. Selfishly I'd like to see OUR NY Knickerbockers grab him, but they'll Isiah Thomas it and draft some guy at #9 like Renaldo Balkman.


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