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Games 4, 5 & 6- Cayman Islands Classic Basketball Tournament


clarkwgriswold
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3 minutes ago, zipsrule said:

We get the loser of Nevada vs. Kansas State.

Yep!  I remember the last time we played Nevada, in a return game of the Bracket Busters, we got jobbed by the Mountain West refs and I discovered I was seated at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu behind the MW Commish of Refs.  What an amazing coincidence!!  He couldn't understand why I was so hot under my collar.  I let him know the coincidence.  😆

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The win yesterday guaranteed a top half finish in this field, which is better than I thought going into it. Zips have won 3 of the 4 halves, winning the second half yesterday 40-23 and losing the second half today by the same score. All of this while I truly feel they’ve left a lot to be desired,

particularly on the offensive side. With that said, they’ve played their tails off, and will need to dig deep tomorrow to continue the energy on short rest. The supporting cast is still settling into their roles, and they have played the worst of everyone this week. Nate Johnson (awesome yesterday) was hesitant today, Tribble was a mess, Clarke was pretty bad, Hunter was okay-ish. It’s a glass half full/half empty situation. Like, great to win or play LSU tough without your A-game, but they’re also 5 games in at this point and should be meshing a bit better. Definitely looking forward to the challenge tomorrow. 

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Fun history with Nevada. Javale McGee was on the team that Romeo and Dru hosted in December of 2006. They were ranked at the time I believe, Dru had a shot at the buzzer to win it and missed. Nick Fazekas had about 400 points, hitting mid rangers off the back board like nobody I’ve ever seen. 
 

Zips went out there in December of 2018 as big underdogs, and newcomers Channel Banks and Tyler Cheese nearly grabbed the Zips a top-10 upset. They were ranked 6th at the time, and had just come off a deep tournament run. It would be awesome to finally beat them. 

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Through five games of the season now, IMO this offense does look better this year without Ali Ali. Thankfully I don’t think I’ve seen any isolation plays with the back to the basket yet by anyone. Although Ali did have better shooting stats compared to the likes of Sammy and Hank so far, having the option of multiple shooters this year pleases me way more than Ali at point last year. Even if the numbers aren’t there this year, by my eye test the offense is doing a good job, just gotta knock down some shots

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Zips drop to 110 in KenPom, right where they were to start the season. KP has this one as a pick 'em, giving NV a slight edge. My concern is that the offense has not shot the ball well, outside of a stretch toward the end of WKU. They've gotten plenty of good looks for guys that are billed as or are proven shooters. It's a make or miss game.

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Fantastic slate of games in this tournament. Win or lose (last year's FL tourney was hard to stomach), I love having games 3 days in a row, especially against a good mix of competition. Eastern Michigan goes to Florida to play in a tourney, only to play Indiana Fort Wayne? No thanks. They can get that anytime they want November/December.

 

As others have said, looking to finally get that Nevada monkey off our back! Go Zips!

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9 minutes ago, RowdyZip said:

The worst part about these early season losses to middling p5s isn't that we lost...that's acceptable for the most part.  However, getting blown out will affect our seeding should we win the MAC tournament again.  That's the toughest part to stomach.  Beat Nevada.

I don't knw that LSU and Mississippi State are "middling"? They are both undefeated. Both smoked a good Akron team. Miss St beat Marquette in Wisconsin. We'll see how LSU fares against KSU tonight. I expect both will be NCAA at-large teams when March rolls around.

 

Beating one or the other in November would only affect our Tourney seed 1 spot, if that. Maybe a #13 instead of a #14.

 

We aren't loaded for bear like we were in the Williams/LCJ/Cheese/Banks season. We're a lot like last season's team. I expect we'll be playing our best basketball in March and we'll see how the chips fall.

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7 hours ago, Reslife4Life said:

Through five games of the season now, IMO this offense does look better this year without Ali Ali. Thankfully I don’t think I’ve seen any isolation plays with the back to the basket yet by anyone. Although Ali did have better shooting stats compared to the likes of Sammy and Hank so far, having the option of multiple shooters this year pleases me way more than Ali at point last year. Even if the numbers aren’t there this year, by my eye test the offense is doing a good job, just gotta knock down some shots

Very happy to not see that back to the basket backing down his defender and then throwing up something weak.  We'd be better with him I guess, but I am not losing sleep over his absence.

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8 hours ago, Reslife4Life said:

Through five games of the season now, IMO this offense does look better this year without Ali Ali. Thankfully I don’t think I’ve seen any isolation plays with the back to the basket yet by anyone. Although Ali did have better shooting stats compared to the likes of Sammy and Hank so far, having the option of multiple shooters this year pleases me way more than Ali at point last year. Even if the numbers aren’t there this year, by my eye test the offense is doing a good job, just gotta knock down some shots

I feel what you're missing is teams are trying to force the ball out of Freeman and X hands. Hunter and Tribble are being given those open looks because opposing defenses don't respect them as perimeter shooters and looking at the numbers it's hard to disagree with them. The offense looks abysmal and unless Hunter, Hankerson, Tavari, or someone else steps up we'll have to win games with rebounding and scrappy defense.

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50 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

I feel what you're missing is teams are trying to force the ball out of Freeman and X hands. Hunter and Tribble are being given those open looks because opposing defenses don't respect them as perimeter shooters and looking at the numbers it's hard to disagree with them. The offense looks abysmal and unless Hunter, Hankerson, Tavari, or someone else steps up we'll have to win games with rebounding and scrappy defense.

 

I don't know if that point was missed. I think what @Reslife4Life was getting at was when the ball is inevitably forced out of X/Enrique's hands, it isn't finding its way into the hands of a player that dribbled the air out of the ball for the remainder of the shot clock, only to put up a circus shot half the time. I recall having to win last year with rebounding and scrappy defense because of wasted possessions by Ali Ali's isolation habits. You named 2-3 players that the ball is finding (add Nate Johnson into that discussion as well), and it's up to them to start making the shots. But those aren't necessarily bad possessions vs. an isolation possession where the ball doesn't move. I agree with Reslife that the offense does indeed look better, we just need to start capitalizing on the improved flow and make our shots. 

 

 

Looking at the box score from Nevada's game against KSU, they were out-rebounded 36-22, although they do average 37 RPG. This should be a good game. I wish we had Dawson for this game (I wish we had Dawson in general), as Nevada is BIG at guard (6'6" and 6'4" for their main guards). 

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5 minutes ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

 

I don't know if that point was missed. I think what @Reslife4Life was getting at was when the ball is inevitably forced out of X/Enrique's hands, it isn't finding its way into the hands of a player that dribbled the air out of the ball for the remainder of the shot clock, only to put up a circus shot half the time. I recall having to win last year with rebounding and scrappy defense because of wasted possessions by Ali Ali's isolation habits. You named 2-3 players that the ball is finding (add Nate Johnson into that discussion as well), and it's up to them to start making the shots. But those aren't necessarily bad possessions vs. an isolation possession where the ball doesn't move. I agree with Reslife that the offense does indeed look better, we just need to start capitalizing on the improved flow and make our shots. 

Point I'm making is those open looks are there because those are the shots the defense is daring us to take. Tribble is a career 18% 3P% shooter. Any 3 ball he puts up is a low percentage shot, even if the nearest defender is 6-7 feet away.

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1 hour ago, clarkwgriswold said:

Me too, but those two things come together about 66% of the time according to a study of NBA games over a 37 year span.

The Zips don’t play in the NBA.In the NBA anyone can beat anyone.Over 37 years the Zips haven’t won a single ncaa tournament game or beat anyone in the top 25.We’re still waiting for it to come together? 

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