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clarkwgriswold

Game 15. Central Michigan

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15 minutes ago, Illini Zip said:

It sure would be nice to have a few more guys (at any position) who can rock the rim. It would make going on the road into hostile environments or up against good shot blockers a little less stressful. Just saying.

It would.  Ivey and Sayles are our only players who play consistently above the rim.

Utomi is especially earth-bound.

Riak plays offense like he's afraid the rim's gonna bite.

Edited by Blue & Gold
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When you look at the box score you can see where we lost the game.  Utomi shot 6 for 13 from the 3 line.  All his makes came in the second half.  The rest of the team shot 4 for 22 from the 3 line.  I keep hearing Groce talk about how good these guys are from t he 3 line.  I just do not see it.  This team is better at driving to the basket than shooting the 3 ball.  When KD coached the team I always complained that we did not have athletic players that could attack the hoop.  We now have those type of players.  We need to play to our strength.  

 

Four of the starters played big minutes, 34, 36, 41, 40.  I just wonder if the defense got worse as these guys got tired.  Banks only played 19 minutes.  

 

Center production: Our 3 centers took only 4 shots.  Can anyone even remember a pass into the post.  THe center seta a high pick and rolled to the basket and never saw the ball.

 

Finishing the game.  I remember one possession with 2 minutes left where we tried to drain the clock with a 6 point lead.  It did not work and resulted in a bad shot and score on the other end.  I like how when we needed a basket we went to Ivey.  He made 2 clutch free throws and a clutch drive.  (okay, he missed a clutch free throw and committed the dumb foul)  Still he is my go to guy at the end of the game. 

 

Defense:  Our defense got worse in the second half.  We did not defend their high pick and roll.  I hated the way Jackson did not keep his man in front of him.  Gave up 16 more points in the second half.  

 

I enjoyed watching this team play and was very impressed how we did not turn the ball over.  As they play together more they should get better.  I would like to see our centers get more involved in the offense. 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, zipfan84 said:

Glad to hear a little displeasure from Groce in the postgame. Defense in the 2nd half was abysmal!

Loved when he told Frenchy there will be NO DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME!!!  Frenchy and Joe just stammered, and they still did the sponsor spot!

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I too would like the centers to become more involved in the offense, but I would also like my rat terrier to wake up tomorrow looking like Jennifer Lawrence.  I don't think either have it in them. 

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6 minutes ago, 1981 grad said:

When you look at the box score you can see where we lost the game.  Utomi shot 6 for 13 from the 3 line.  All his makes came in the second half.  The rest of the team shot 4 for 22 from the 3 line.  I keep hearing Groce talk about how good these guys are from t he 3 line.  I just do not see it.  This team is better at driving to the basket than shooting the 3 ball.  When KD coached the team I always complained that we did not have athletic players that could attack the hoop.  We now have those type of players.  We need to play to our strength.  

 

Four of the starters played big minutes, 34, 36, 41, 40.  I just wonder if the defense got worse as these guys got tired.  Banks only played 19 minutes.  

 

Center production: Our 3 centers took only 4 shots.  Can anyone even remember a pass into the post.  THe center seta a high pick and rolled to the basket and never saw the ball.

 

Finishing the game.  I remember one possession with 2 minutes left where we tried to drain the clock with a 6 point lead.  It did not work and resulted in a bad shot and score on the other end.  I like how when we needed a basket we went to Ivey.  He made 2 clutch free throws and a clutch drive.  (okay, he missed a clutch free throw and committed the dumb foul)  Still he is my go to guy at the end of the game. 

 

Defense:  Our defense got worse in the second half.  We did not defend their high pick and roll.  I hated the way Jackson did not keep his man in front of him.  Gave up 16 more points in the second half.  

 

I enjoyed watching this team play and was very impressed how we did not turn the ball over.  As they play together more they should get better.  I would like to see our centers get more involved in the offense. 

 

 

 

Excellent points.  They play so much better when they don't chuck up 3s.  That first game against YSU...when they got behind they caught up with 2 pointers and not with 3s.  Also, when they have an 8 or 9 point lead they always try for the "dagger" 3 and miss it usually leading to a 6 point turnaround.  Jackson is usually the culprit.   I'm sure the staff sees this.

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There's really not much doubt in my mind that K-Lac is our best offensive weapon at the 5, not that that is really saying a lot. He's shown to have solid post game and touch around the basket last year and in his limited time this year. He seemed to have very low bball IQ last year, but I think its *looked* improved in the very limited time I've seen him play. It doesn't hurt to give him a chance.

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6 minutes ago, 1981 grad said:

When you look at the box score you can see where we lost the game.  Utomi shot 6 for 13 from the 3 line.  All his makes came in the second half.  The rest of the team shot 4 for 22 from the 3 line.  I keep hearing Groce talk about how good these guys are from t he 3 line.  I just do not see it.  This team is better at driving to the basket than shooting the 3 ball.  When KD coached the team I always complained that we did not have athletic players that could attack the hoop.  We now have those type of players.  We need to play to our strength.  

 

Four of the starters played big minutes, 34, 36, 41, 40.  I just wonder if the defense got worse as these guys got tired.  Banks only played 19 minutes.  

 

Center production: Our 3 centers took only 4 shots.  Can anyone even remember a pass into the post.  THe center seta a high pick and rolled to the basket and never saw the ball.

 

Finishing the game.  I remember one possession with 2 minutes left where we tried to drain the clock with a 6 point lead.  It did not work and resulted in a bad shot and score on the other end.  I like how when we needed a basket we went to Ivey.  He made 2 clutch free throws and a clutch drive.  (okay, he missed a clutch free throw and committed the dumb foul)  Still he is my go to guy at the end of the game. 

 

Defense:  Our defense got worse in the second half.  We did not defend their high pick and roll.  I hated the way Jackson did not keep his man in front of him.  Gave up 16 more points in the second half.  

 

I enjoyed watching this team play and was very impressed how we did not turn the ball over.  As they play together more they should get better.  I would like to see our centers get more involved in the offense. 

 

This is a well articulated post and I agree with pretty much everything said. Utomi and Banks are our only above average 3 point shooters. Roscoe may be one too, but it's hard to say given his limiting playing time. Ivey is a career .316 3 point shooter and is putting up nearly 5 attempts per game. LCJ is putting up over 7 a game while shooting .315. These are very poor averages. Both have shown the ability to cut the basket. That's where they need to be predominately getting their points. I have no problem with them taking a 3 here or there when they have a wide open look, but 12 a game is too many.

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29 minutes ago, clarkwgriswold said:

I too would like the centers to become more involved in the offense, but I would also like my rat terrier to wake up tomorrow looking like Jennifer Lawrence.  I don't think either have it in them. 

It may not look pretty but I have seen Sayles and Riak make some nice post moves.  However, the other guys have to be coached to get them the ball and they have to want the ball.  

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For all of the people asking for more play in the post I ask the following question.... Did you watch any of Groce's teams in the past? All of his teams are reliant on guard play and high ball screens. The days of playing inside out have left and gone to Pittsburgh.  

This team will live and die on the perimeter.  The wings are simply not playing at a high level. This team needs one more playmaker.  

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59 minutes ago, LZIp said:

There's really not much doubt in my mind that K-Lac is our best offensive weapon at the 5, not that that is really saying a lot. He's shown to have solid post game and touch around the basket last year and in his limited time this year. He seemed to have very low bball IQ last year, but I think its *looked* improved in the very limited time I've seen him play. It doesn't hurt to give him a chance.

 

35 minutes ago, 1981 grad said:

It may not look pretty but I have seen Sayles and Riak make some nice post moves.  However, the other guys have to be coached to get them the ball and they have to want the ball.  

 

Sayles has the most potential offensively.  I think Riak is what we all expected him to be.  GT referred to him erroneously early in the season as "virtually forgotten."  Maybe GT was being prescient.   

 

I agree K-lac showed some some flashes last year.  Unfortunately, they were greatly outnumbered by ugly turnovers and other assorted offensive miscues.  He was also so foul prone that he couldn't stay on the floor.

 

Unfortunately, the college game has evolved to a point where it's all 3 pointers and points in close.  At this juncture, the Zips are below average at one and way below average at the other.

Edited by clarkwgriswold

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1 hour ago, 1981 grad said:

It may not look pretty but I have seen Sayles and Riak make some nice post moves.  However, the other guys have to be coached to get them the ball and they have to want the ball.  

^^I think this has a lot to do with it.

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12 hours ago, kreed5120 said:

I wonder if we'll ever learn how to close out these close games because all these last minute losses feel like a swift kick in the kicks

 

Do you mean how to close out on a shooter as to not foul them on a 3 point attempt, especially with 5 seconds to go?

 

12 hours ago, Illini Zip said:

 

You're talking to someone who just watched the Bears lose a playoff game to the Eagles with a double-clank off the goal post. So yes, it is all starting to feel like horseshoes and hand grenades to me right now.

 

I am late to commenting and I already "liked" all the comments critical of the second half defense and the stupid foul in the corner. As frustrating as tonight's loss is, I do think the whole losing 6 games by a total of 20 points is something to discuss. How much of it is learning to finish games? I mean we had some good looks for the win that didn't go down. Is it that we lack a cold-blooded closer? Did we get tight as a team and forget to play the right way down the stretch? There is a road-game component. I don't know, maybe it's a bit of all of it. But according to Kenpom math, there is only one other team who has fans that are more pissed off than we are with the close loses a record that doesn't match expectations and that's Mercer.

 

Correction: I took a look at Mercer's schedule and their loses were not always close so I was reading the "Luck" column the wrong way. Kenpom "Luck" is the deviation in winning percentage between a team's actual record and their expected record using the correlated gaussian method. Correlated gaussian method, any statisticians in the house?

 

By the way, my sarcasm wasn't directed at you, but at the stat, especially when you have games like this where you shoot yourself in the foot with a dumb foul on a 3 point attempt with 5 seconds left. 

______________________________________________________________

 

This was the first game, in my opinion, that we deserved to lose. While the effort was there, the mental game wasn't. Other losses can be chocked up to off shooting nights, depth issues, or just plain old being beat in a good game; this one we lost based on not being prepared mentally to handle the 2nd half. 

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There is no way I want to see K-Lac on the floor outside of garbage time. I feel people are using revisionist history in an attempt to find a solution to a problem. K-Lac played in 30 games last season and scored more than 4 points a whopping 1 time while shooting .492 from the field. Meanwhile, he's a turnover machine who averages a foul every 4 minutes on the floor and is slow on rotating in defense. Do you guys not remember how terrible our defense was last season when he was anchoring the middle?

 

Personally, I feel our best option at C at the moment is Riak. I'd take him over K-Lac at both ends of the court. K-Lac might be a marginally better post scorer over Riak, but K-Lac commits way too many offensive fouls. On the defensive side Riak is a stud. Sayles IMO isn't far behind Riak. He's a slightly better offensive player, but not the defender Riak is. 

Edited by kreed5120
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I have to take the coaching staff's view on the proper rotation of the big men as they see them in practice for hours on end as opposed to our limited views. 

 

From my spot in the cheap seats, Riak, Sayles and E-man are all superior to K-lac, and there just aren't that many spots in the rotation for big men.  He's appears to be a great kid and his failures are not for a lack of effort, but he's so problematic at times on offense and defense that even my wife would cringe at times last year.  I can't recall how many times last year I saw him shut down with the ball near the basket, make some weak shot fake and then turn the ball over, after which I hear a huge sigh and  "why is he in the game?' from my better half.  Even she could see it.

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That comment is coming from the highest possible authority in your life Clark. All I can say is "Ouch!"

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21 hours ago, 1981 grad said:

It may not look pretty but I have seen Sayles and Riak make some nice post moves.  However, the other guys have to be coached to get them the ball and they have to want the ball.  

 

Riak has trouble catching the ball let alone attacking the rim. His strength appears to be shot blocking. Looks like a one dimensional player.

 

I think Sayles has a much bigger potential.

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I caught the 2nd half of the Iowa / Northwestern game. Iowa started the 2nd half with no defensive intensity. NW ripped off 8 unanswered points in less than 2 minutes (sound familiar?), taking command of a game that was tied at the half.

 

During the ensuing Iowa timeout, their coach demonstrably ripped into his team without calling out anyone in particular. The team responded nicely, playing solid defense, regained the lead, and cruised to a 10 point win. On the road.

 

I found it very refreshing.

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2 hours ago, zipfan84 said:

 

Riak has trouble catching the ball let alone attacking the rim. His strength appears to be shot blocking. Looks like a one dimensional player.

 

I think Sayles has a much bigger potential.

I agree, Riak has butter fingers down low half the time and I believe that makes the others cautious about passing the ball down low to him. I like Sayles and think he can really be a good player for us, but is he still not 100%? Seems that way to me.

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Riak is the 5 who gets the most playing time and has 10 blocks throughout the season. I'm not even sure I'd call it a strength, though you think it would be with his size and length.

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2 hours ago, blueandgold said:

I agree, Riak has butter fingers down low half the time and I believe that makes the others cautious about passing the ball down low to him. I like Sayles and think he can really be a good player for us, but is he still not 100%? Seems that way to me.

As I recall, Sayles was hurt in a home game against BG, which would have been January 13th.  I'd hope he's back to 100% by now.  I think his primary issue is mental in that he loses track of what's going on during the games and disappears sometimes, doing things losing his man, not boxing out, not looking for the ball...   He's very good in transition when he's on the move.  He's still young so I hope he comes around.

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The biggest issue with K-Lac is fouls - OFFENSIVE FOULS - moving screens!

I blame this on the coaching staff! OK, he is a step behind and that is why he gets caught.

So for goodness sakes, post him up and tell him NO MOVING SCREENS.

He has the best touch around the bucket of any of our bigs. We NEED points at Center. NEED.

Under the KD system he would be scoring 10 PPG. Because he would be used properly as a post, in-out player.

I concede, JC had more success in the MAC than KD - won a game or two in the Dance!!

However, he had DJ Cooper and Armand Basset. He does not have them now.

Time to start using what he does have - 1 6'11" big who is capable of scoring. We could NOT be any worse at center than we are right now. NO production. NO threat to take it inside. Stop chucking 3's, it is NOT working.

Rant over.

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I listened to Groce on Zips Live tonight until I got a call.   He said Sayles is playing the best basketball since he got to UA.  He also said he would like a 9 man rotation but presently have 7, but that the 8 and 9 spots have to be earned.  His happy with the offense but was not happy with the defense of second half Tuesday night.  

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