Final Grades '20-'21 are in!

billsin01

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So with all the excitement/hand-wringing over departures/additions, felt like we should take a minute to look back at the past season and hand out some grades. I'll save folks the time up front: if you're looking for a bunch of D's and F's, you won't find many here because I'm not sure exactly what the ceiling of this team was. Plus, if we dock JB for his rotation (which is fair) we also have to give him credit for the postseason run and at least basically holding things together thru COVID stoppages ... twice. So with the exception of a really tough year for Girard, these are basically solid grades for most guys.

Anyway, on with the post:

Buddy Boeheim A-
Honestly, you could give Buddy a lower grade, I suppose, but if i told you before the season that he'd go from 1/9 through the ncaa tourney averaging 18.7 on 45/41/83 and add 3 rpg and 2.5 apg, I think we all would have jumped on it and been thrilled. Really early season struggles really boil down to four games -- the two games against Pitt (a combined 2-for-18 from 3), Northeastern (a brutal 1-for-12) and Buffalo (which I would argue wasn't exactly an ineffective game but still wound up in an 8-for-24 and 0-for-5 from three). His Va Tech and UVA games back-to-back weren't great but those are two solid defensive teams and his Clemson game in that stretch wasn't pretty either but those are pretty good teams and no one this side of Carmelo is going to just constant put up numbers against every single opponent.

So to me, is Buddy an ideal go-to scorer? No, not really. But to put up the numbers he did pretty consistently is outstanding. Love to see him come back next year and be good to go from day 1, but let's face it -- there will be a few games here and there where the jumper isn't falling and he's going to struggle a little. But man, even if you want to take the stretch from the northeastern game through the first Clemson game (13.7 ppg on poor shooting) and hold it against him (which I don't do b/c shooters aren't always going to hit 40% from three every game), what the kid did in the last several weeks is unreal.

Where could he improve: The difference to me between buddy the last few weeks and buddy the rest of the season may be mostly in terms of confidence, but I loved seeing how quickly he got set and got his shot off when he had a look -- mostly off a screen but sometimes in transition. I think that footwork and getting more efficient coming off the screen will be the key. Kid is a tough player to defend but I don't think he'll be able to add too much in terms of handle/play-making. I think it's just continuing to work on getting set and launching as quickly as possible with good form. Excited to see what a full healthy season could look like from him.

Kadary Richmond: A
Kadary came in as a frosh and played great. If you want to knock him for a few games here or there, fine, but he really probably should have been closer to 25 mpg than 21 overall (even if Joe gets the benefit of the doubt early). Love what he brought on both ends. Really difficult kid to lose but if he didn't want to be here for one reason or another, I'm not going to dwell on him leaving.

The only real knock I have is that he didn't look the same on defense the last six games (2 steals, 2 blocks total, i think). Was that injury? Probably. Was it that he had one foot out the door? Perhaps. But when he was locked in and playing hard on both ends, he was a really, really, really good player for us. We'll miss him, clearly.

Joe Girard: D
Tough grade, I know. And if he was dealing with COVID this may be unfair. But my feeling on Girard is that he came in out of shape and never got right. The push from Kadary seemed to mess with his confidence. Some of his free throw attempts were brutal late in the season (I think he was way short on a big one against WVU for example).

Bottom line is: whatever you think of Girard, he can be much better than what we saw this year. May never be an ideal PG, or an ideal fit in the zone and may always take some crazy shots. But, regardless, he can be much better than what we saw.

Where he can improve: If I'm the staff, I'm all over him to get as lean and quick as possible in the offseason. I don't worry too much about shot selection b/c the kid is capable of making it from wherever and if he's going to be successful here, some of those shots will be part of that. But I would love to see him do a workout other than his old high school football workouts and come in ready to play with a really high level of activity. No complaining to refs about calls when the play is live, constantly moving his feet on defense, getting as creative as he can inside the 3-point line. Would I rather have him or Kadary? Kadary, hands down. But I think he can be part of successful team but he needs to make some changes to his game this off-season.

Marek: B
Some folks will hate this grade but i love the way this kid plays. Roughly 10 and 5 with 3 assists/game on 6 FG attempts per game. Helped with ball-handling and battled despite being overmatched at the 5 most of the year. Did a nice job of challenging corner threes and makes so many little plays to save possessions or find an open guy. As limited as he was in some ways, we will miss him in a big way if he's gone (which I'm going to assume he is). If he returns, would love to see him turn and face and actually take and make some 15-foot jumpers. No reason a guy who shoots 85% from the line can't hit a few jumpers.

Quincy Guerrier: B+
Whatever was going on with Quincy's knee took a toll the second half of the season. He averaged 10.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg on 42% shooting in the last 14 games. Regardless, love how he plays and how tough he is inside. Definitely showed more confidence from outside. Not really sure what his ceiling is. Good athlete but not a jeremi grant elite athlete. Don't think he'll get rave reviews from the draft process but if he returns and stays healthy, no reason he can't be a 15/9 guy and a decent threat from 3.

Where he can improve: The footwork and finishing inside is pretty solid but could be better. That little move where he goes baseline is one where I'd love to see him just go up strong instead of pump-faking and letting the defense react. Like his stroke but he's mostly a threat if wide open. Needs to smooth out those mechanics so he can let fly from three more consistently. Don't think he's a real threat to take anyone off the dribble any time soon, but he's certainly got the athleticism to be a bit more of a slasher. That's less of a focus for me though -- work on that shot, combine it with improved footwork, he could be really efficient down there.

Alan Griffin: C
Griffin, overall, wasn't bad. 13/game on 35% from three with decent rebounding/assist numbers is really a fine season for a young kid. The mental aspect was weird. Just had halves and sometimes whole games where he didn't show up to play. Obviously struggled late and lost time to Bras. Wherever he is next season, the focus needs to be there game-in and game-out and he absolutely has to add some sort of attack off the dribble -- even if it's the two hard dribble, pull-up that Battle used all the time. Talented kid but a bit of a mystery.

Robert Braswell: B+
Looked like he wasn't going to get on the floor thanks to some poor early-season shooting, JB's rotation, Griffin's solid start, and Woody's emergence. But, he rebounded to play a huge role late. The numbers don't really tell the story here. Kid has a knack for being in the right spot at the right time. Not totally sure I get what he's looking for in a transfer situation but it is what it is, I guess. Would have loved to have seen a totally healthy Braswell b/c you can tell he's not truly 100% (shins, I guess?).

Jesse Edwards: A
Again, numbers don't knock you over here but for a kid who got stuck out of the country due to COVID, then dealt with the two shutdowns and limited playing time, I give him a ton of credit for being ready when he got his shot. Defense looked different with him on the court. Offensively, he's a work in progress but he's not afraid to try and make a play there.

Where he can improve: Obviously a post move or two would be great. Needs to get stronger. A lot to like here though as a key rotation guy for next season.

JB: B-
People will hate this, I get it. Rotation is the big knock and, even for a JB fan like myself, there are some obvious questions here. Kadary should have played more earlier and whatever happened with woody is hard to understand entirely. Jesse wasn't ready, but then he was ready. Hard to figure. Those are the negatives and, let's face it, JB has something to answer for there. That said, this was a crazy season, this wasn't a team that was completely loaded with talent the way some of our teams in the past have been and it's tricky when you're talking about shooters and veterans. It's easy to say play Bras and Woody more, but then are you putting Buddy on the bench? Or Griffin? Or Marek? Quincy was our best player in the first half, he's not coming off the floor and nor should he. Marek is such a solid, dependable guy, he's tough to sit. Buddy, we saw what he was capable of. Griffin was a talented guy I think JB ultimately wanted to be successful, so he was trying to be patient. The Joe/Kadary argument is one thing, but it's tougher to figure with the other guys. Ultimately we wound up in the tourney and in the sweet 16. I don't feel like the Houston loss was a coaching issue as much as running into a team that matched up well with us.

Ultimately, I think JB held it together and will put a solid squad together for next season. Will that be enough to quiet his critics? No, nothing short of a couple great seasons and final four runs will do that (and maybe not even that). But to me it was a decent season for JB and not the disaster many here believe.

Woody Newton: Inc
Woody played so well early then whatever happened we never really saw him again. Another big loss for us in the offseason but best of luck to him wherever he ends up. He wasn't going to supplant Buddy either way so what can you do?

Bourama Sidibe: Inc
If he gets healthy he can definitely help. If not, hope he walks away with a grad degree. He'll be a sneaky wild card headed into next season

Frank Anselem: Inc
Didn't really see much of frank but the kid has some tools to work with. Hands looked ok, good size and athleticism. Hope we are lucky enough to have him back.

JBA: Inc
Good energy but don't think there was going to be a place for him here. Hope he finds success elsewhere.
 

hoopsupstate

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So with all the excitement/hand-wringing over departures/additions, felt like we should take a minute to look back at the past season and hand out some grades. I'll save folks the time up front: if you're looking for a bunch of D's and F's, you won't find many here because I'm not sure exactly what the ceiling of this team was. Plus, if we dock JB for his rotation (which is fair) we also have to give him credit for the postseason run and at least basically holding things together thru COVID stoppages ... twice. So with the exception of a really tough year for Girard, these are basically solid grades for most guys.

Anyway, on with the post:

Buddy Boeheim A-
Honestly, you could give Buddy a lower grade, I suppose, but if i told you before the season that he'd go from 1/9 through the ncaa tourney averaging 18.7 on 45/41/83 and add 3 rpg and 2.5 apg, I think we all would have jumped on it and been thrilled. Really early season struggles really boil down to four games -- the two games against Pitt (a combined 2-for-18 from 3), Northeastern (a brutal 1-for-12) and Buffalo (which I would argue wasn't exactly an ineffective game but still wound up in an 8-for-24 and 0-for-5 from three). His Va Tech and UVA games back-to-back weren't great but those are two solid defensive teams and his Clemson game in that stretch wasn't pretty either but those are pretty good teams and no one this side of Carmelo is going to just constant put up numbers against every single opponent.

So to me, is Buddy an ideal go-to scorer? No, not really. But to put up the numbers he did pretty consistently is outstanding. Love to see him come back next year and be good to go from day 1, but let's face it -- there will be a few games here and there where the jumper isn't falling and he's going to struggle a little. But man, even if you want to take the stretch from the northeastern game through the first Clemson game (13.7 ppg on poor shooting) and hold it against him (which I don't do b/c shooters aren't always going to hit 40% from three every game), what the kid did in the last several weeks is unreal.

Where could he improve: The difference to me between buddy the last few weeks and buddy the rest of the season may be mostly in terms of confidence, but I loved seeing how quickly he got set and got his shot off when he had a look -- mostly off a screen but sometimes in transition. I think that footwork and getting more efficient coming off the screen will be the key. Kid is a tough player to defend but I don't think he'll be able to add too much in terms of handle/play-making. I think it's just continuing to work on getting set and launching as quickly as possible with good form. Excited to see what a full healthy season could look like from him.

Kadary Richmond: A
Kadary came in as a frosh and played great. If you want to knock him for a few games here or there, fine, but he really probably should have been closer to 25 mpg than 21 overall (even if Joe gets the benefit of the doubt early). Love what he brought on both ends. Really difficult kid to lose but if he didn't want to be here for one reason or another, I'm not going to dwell on him leaving.

The only real knock I have is that he didn't look the same on defense the last six games (2 steals, 2 blocks total, i think). Was that injury? Probably. Was it that he had one foot out the door? Perhaps. But when he was locked in and playing hard on both ends, he was a really, really, really good player for us. We'll miss him, clearly.

Joe Girard: D
Tough grade, I know. And if he was dealing with COVID this may be unfair. But my feeling on Girard is that he came in out of shape and never got right. The push from Kadary seemed to mess with his confidence. Some of his free throw attempts were brutal late in the season (I think he was way short on a big one against WVU for example).

Bottom line is: whatever you think of Girard, he can be much better than what we saw this year. May never be an ideal PG, or an ideal fit in the zone and may always take some crazy shots. But, regardless, he can be much better than what we saw.

Where he can improve: If I'm the staff, I'm all over him to get as lean and quick as possible in the offseason. I don't worry too much about shot selection b/c the kid is capable of making it from wherever and if he's going to be successful here, some of those shots will be part of that. But I would love to see him do a workout other than his old high school football workouts and come in ready to play with a really high level of activity. No complaining to refs about calls when the play is live, constantly moving his feet on defense, getting as creative as he can inside the 3-point line. Would I rather have him or Kadary? Kadary, hands down. But I think he can be part of successful team but he needs to make some changes to his game this off-season.

Marek: B
Some folks will hate this grade but i love the way this kid plays. Roughly 10 and 5 with 3 assists/game on 6 FG attempts per game. Helped with ball-handling and battled despite being overmatched at the 5 most of the year. Did a nice job of challenging corner threes and makes so many little plays to save possessions or find an open guy. As limited as he was in some ways, we will miss him in a big way if he's gone (which I'm going to assume he is). If he returns, would love to see him turn and face and actually take and make some 15-foot jumpers. No reason a guy who shoots 85% from the line can't hit a few jumpers.

Quincy Guerrier: B+
Whatever was going on with Quincy's knee took a toll the second half of the season. He averaged 10.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg on 42% shooting in the last 14 games. Regardless, love how he plays and how tough he is inside. Definitely showed more confidence from outside. Not really sure what his ceiling is. Good athlete but not a jeremi grant elite athlete. Don't think he'll get rave reviews from the draft process but if he returns and stays healthy, no reason he can't be a 15/9 guy and a decent threat from 3.

Where he can improve: The footwork and finishing inside is pretty solid but could be better. That little move where he goes baseline is one where I'd love to see him just go up strong instead of pump-faking and letting the defense react. Like his stroke but he's mostly a threat if wide open. Needs to smooth out those mechanics so he can let fly from three more consistently. Don't think he's a real threat to take anyone off the dribble any time soon, but he's certainly got the athleticism to be a bit more of a slasher. That's less of a focus for me though -- work on that shot, combine it with improved footwork, he could be really efficient down there.

Alan Griffin: C
Griffin, overall, wasn't bad. 13/game on 35% from three with decent rebounding/assist numbers is really a fine season for a young kid. The mental aspect was weird. Just had halves and sometimes whole games where he didn't show up to play. Obviously struggled late and lost time to Bras. Wherever he is next season, the focus needs to be there game-in and game-out and he absolutely has to add some sort of attack off the dribble -- even if it's the two hard dribble, pull-up that Battle used all the time. Talented kid but a bit of a mystery.

Robert Braswell: B+
Looked like he wasn't going to get on the floor thanks to some poor early-season shooting, JB's rotation, Griffin's solid start, and Woody's emergence. But, he rebounded to play a huge role late. The numbers don't really tell the story here. Kid has a knack for being in the right spot at the right time. Not totally sure I get what he's looking for in a transfer situation but it is what it is, I guess. Would have loved to have seen a totally healthy Braswell b/c you can tell he's not truly 100% (shins, I guess?).

Jesse Edwards: A
Again, numbers don't knock you over here but for a kid who got stuck out of the country due to COVID, then dealt with the two shutdowns and limited playing time, I give him a ton of credit for being ready when he got his shot. Defense looked different with him on the court. Offensively, he's a work in progress but he's not afraid to try and make a play there.

Where he can improve: Obviously a post move or two would be great. Needs to get stronger. A lot to like here though as a key rotation guy for next season.

JB: B-
People will hate this, I get it. Rotation is the big knock and, even for a JB fan like myself, there are some obvious questions here. Kadary should have played more earlier and whatever happened with woody is hard to understand entirely. Jesse wasn't ready, but then he was ready. Hard to figure. Those are the negatives and, let's face it, JB has something to answer for there. That said, this was a crazy season, this wasn't a team that was completely loaded with talent the way some of our teams in the past have been and it's tricky when you're talking about shooters and veterans. It's easy to say play Bras and Woody more, but then are you putting Buddy on the bench? Or Griffin? Or Marek? Quincy was our best player in the first half, he's not coming off the floor and nor should he. Marek is such a solid, dependable guy, he's tough to sit. Buddy, we saw what he was capable of. Griffin was a talented guy I think JB ultimately wanted to be successful, so he was trying to be patient. The Joe/Kadary argument is one thing, but it's tougher to figure with the other guys. Ultimately we wound up in the tourney and in the sweet 16. I don't feel like the Houston loss was a coaching issue as much as running into a team that matched up well with us.

Ultimately, I think JB held it together and will put a solid squad together for next season. Will that be enough to quiet his critics? No, nothing short of a couple great seasons and final four runs will do that (and maybe not even that). But to me it was a decent season for JB and not the disaster many here believe.

Woody Newton: Inc
Woody played so well early then whatever happened we never really saw him again. Another big loss for us in the offseason but best of luck to him wherever he ends up. He wasn't going to supplant Buddy either way so what can you do?

Bourama Sidibe: Inc
If he gets healthy he can definitely help. If not, hope he walks away with a grad degree. He'll be a sneaky wild card headed into next season

Frank Anselem: Inc
Didn't really see much of frank but the kid has some tools to work with. Hands looked ok, good size and athleticism. Hope we are lucky enough to have him back.

JBA: Inc
Good energy but don't think there was going to be a place for him here. Hope he finds success elsewhere.
You totally lost me when you gave Jessie and Kadary A’s and Joe a D.
 

billsin01

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You totally lost me when you gave Jessie and Kadary A’s and Joe a D.
Well, I’m not exactly sure why I feel qualified to hand out grades to begin with, so lay out your case. Here’s my reasoning: Jesse dealt with a tricky situation preseason and then didn’t get a shot. When he did it completely changed our defense. For a kid who wasn’t expected to play a lot, I was impressed at least relative to expectations. He’d have to improve quite a bit to keep that grade in an expanded role next season.

kadary was really good on both ends. The last few games, not as much but he was ahead of girard in win shares despite playing ~200 fewer minutes (for however much you value that).

Joe struggled on both ends, had a bunch of moments where the activity level was not where it needed to be (defensively at least), looked out of shape to me, and needs to be better. If C is average or OK, I thought Joe was not at that level at least relative to expectations.

I do truly believe he can be a solid rotation guy and good shooter here but I think he’s got to get in better shape and play with more consistent energy. But I’m certainly open to counter arguments here.
 

billsin01

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Kadary had the laziest drives to the hoop at the end of the year. Maybe he was fighting off injury? They were awful, looked like slomo. Hardly A grade material
His late season/postseason left something to be desired for sure but he was a big time difference maker for most of the season. Thought he played really, really well as a frosh PG overall.
 

newmexicuse

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Good post in some respects, but I have definite disagreement with some of your grades:

Buddy - spot on
Kadary - not nearly enough offense to earn an A, maybe a solid B.
Joe - I think D is a bit harsh. He had his ups and downs, maybe a C overall would be fairer.
Marek and Quincy - I agree, love Marek overall, but he really needed to be more assertive on O to get better than the B that you gave him. Q was heading for and A or an A- and injuries derailed him, so I like your B+.
Griffin - spot on, no way he should have been as up and down as he was.
Bras - not even close to a B+, he is a weak rebounder for his size, and he didn't live up to his outside shooting rep more often than not. He was not a battler and has a stagnant game. He gets a C.
Jesse - Really came on, but an A ??? I think you are grading him more on potential. He was limited on O. I think a B might be more in line.
Jimmy - I would agree with your B- if Kadary stayed, but when his poor rotation management drives off a kid with Kadary's potential and talent, he cant get more than a C, and I am only giving him that because of the Sweet Sixteen run.

All of your no grades were very appropriate.
 

djcon57

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kadary was really good on both ends. The last few games, not as much but he was ahead of girard in win shares despite playing ~200 fewer minutes (for however much you value that).
for context, Joe‘s win shares and bpm were below Frank Howard’s sr year.
 

SoBristol

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Can only understand these grades if you are working off a curve. So not much was expected of Edwards, and he did OK by the end of the year as a sub, and very good in a handful of games, so an A. A lot was expected of Joe, he did OK but not as much as projected based off his surprising first year, so D. Braswell - similar situation, where you need a curve to justify that grade.
I know people want to rag on Boeheim (the coach), but he did well with this group of lowly regarded players. Consider how badly we were over-matched inside at two positions, most nights. The stuff about the rotations began with lots of flak about Buddy's minutes -- and that proved to be way off when Buddy led this team in March. Kadary obviously has huge potential, but he struggled in several games. He will be an A player with some improvement, but hard to give him that grade off the mixed play of this season. Again, it depends on what curve you might be applying.
 

Mano22

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Giving Jesse an A is just crazy. I honestly don't get all the hype in general, maybe I am missing something? To me he is little more than a reasonable defender and big body in there. But he has soft hands, cannot rebound, and has little offense. I love him playing ~10 mins as a role player, but people here seem to be real excited about him. Am I missing something?
 

rrlbees

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for context, Joe‘s win shares and bpm were below Frank Howard’s sr year.

advanced stats are nice and all but they aren’t the end all and aren’t always that telling. Yea Joe was a little below Howard in BPM. But at the same time the highest this year was Griffin. The lowest of those who played was Jesse. In fact Griffins this year was .1 difference from Hughes last year. Some of that stuff can be goofy.
 

djcon57

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advanced stats are nice and all but they aren’t the end all and aren’t always that telling. Yea Joe was a little below Howard in BPM. But at the same time the highest this year was Griffin. The lowest of those who played was Jesse. In fact Griffins this year was .1 difference from Hughes last year. Some of that stuff can be goofy.

math is math. Griffins was probably the highest because when he played well he played and we won, and when he ate it, he sat.
 

billsin01

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Good post in some respects, but I have definite disagreement with some of your grades:

Buddy - spot on
Kadary - not nearly enough offense to earn an A, maybe a solid B.
Joe - I think D is a bit harsh. He had his ups and downs, maybe a C overall would be fairer.
Marek and Quincy - I agree, love Marek overall, but he really needed to be more assertive on O to get better than the B that you gave him. Q was heading for and A or an A- and injuries derailed him, so I like your B+.
Griffin - spot on, no way he should have been as up and down as he was.
Bras - not even close to a B+, he is a weak rebounder for his size, and he didn't live up to his outside shooting rep more often than not. He was not a battler and has a stagnant game. He gets a C.
Jesse - Really came on, but an A ??? I think you are grading him more on potential. He was limited on O. I think a B might be more in line.
Jimmy - I would agree with your B- if Kadary stayed, but when his poor rotation management drives off a kid with Kadary's potential and talent, he cant get more than a C, and I am only giving him that because of the Sweet Sixteen run.

All of your no grades were very appropriate.
I was using my own arbitrary rubric. I give Jesse high marks for being a big part of turning around our season. We're 13-7 and getting abused inside heading into Ga Tech game. We still lose handily there but Edwards emerges as a potential rotation piece and from that point on we go 5-2 with our only losses being Houston and UVA. Now we win some w/o Edwards in that span (Clemson/WVA) and play tough against UVA without him mostly, but he was huge against Carolina (must win), plays really well as we pull away from NC State in the ACC Tourney, plays a big role in shutting down SD State and then is on the floor helping out in our only run vs. Houston.

For a guy who played less than 50 mins total heading into GA Tech to emerge as solid rotation piece and key returnee for next year -- that's pretty impressive. If we're just grading his overall season vs. the rest of big men in college basketball then, yeah, 2 pts, 2.6 rebs isn't exactly getting it done. But that's a tough way to grade, IMO.
 

billsin01

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Can only understand these grades if you are working off a curve. So not much was expected of Edwards, and he did OK by the end of the year as a sub, and very good in a handful of games, so an A. A lot was expected of Joe, he did OK but not as much as projected based off his surprising first year, so D. Braswell - similar situation, where you need a curve to justify that grade.
I know people want to rag on Boeheim (the coach), but he did well with this group of lowly regarded players. Consider how badly we were over-matched inside at two positions, most nights. The stuff about the rotations began with lots of flak about Buddy's minutes -- and that proved to be way off when Buddy led this team in March. Kadary obviously has huge potential, but he struggled in several games. He will be an A player with some improvement, but hard to give him that grade off the mixed play of this season. Again, it depends on what curve you might be applying.
Yup -- definitely on a curve. I explained my Edwards rationale before I read your post so it's on here. Just thought the timing of his emergence was huge in salvaging the season. i also should have mentioned the curve up top.

Part of my slapping a crappy grade on Joe is because I actually think he can be a good player for us, if that makes sense. I like him. But he desperately needs to get into basketball shape and ramp up the intensity (in terms of consistency) on the defensive end. But I don't want that 'D' to be interpreted as me thinking he's a disaster of a player. Just think he can be far more effective offensively, and far peskier defensively.

Kadary to me gets really high marks b/c he was really the only play-maker -- at least with some consistency -- we had and I loved his defense for much of the season. A disruptive force at the top makes this zone so much more effective. So even in some games where he struggled offensively, I still thought he made really nice impact on the other end.

As for JB, the criticism of the rotation got absolutely insane but I'm not sure it's without merit in certain instances. Jesse really helped us late and probably deserved a bit more run earlier on. Kadary didn't need to play 38 mpg like many here believe he should have, but I do feel like he should have been more like 25 mpg and Joe closer to 20 than the reverse. I'll defer to JB on whatever happened with Woody but he seems like a kid who could have helped at times as well. But overall, I agree, I think JB was at least 'good' with this group. Was it the best way it could have been managed, perhaps not. But, as always, that's easy for me to say from my couch.
 

HoustonCuse

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I feel like Joe got unfairly harsh criticism from people this year. If I recall correctly, he was our leading assist guy and leading rebounder (which sounds crazy) in the NCAA tournament run to the Sweet 16. That alone seems like maybe he should get at least a D+. lol
 

CuseFaninVT

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Yup -- definitely on a curve. I explained my Edwards rationale before I read your post so it's on here. Just thought the timing of his emergence was huge in salvaging the season. i also should have mentioned the curve up top.

Part of my slapping a crappy grade on Joe is because I actually think he can be a good player for us, if that makes sense. I like him. But he desperately needs to get into basketball shape and ramp up the intensity (in terms of consistency) on the defensive end. But I don't want that 'D' to be interpreted as me thinking he's a disaster of a player. Just think he can be far more effective offensively, and far peskier defensively.

Kadary to me gets really high marks b/c he was really the only play-maker -- at least with some consistency -- we had and I loved his defense for much of the season. A disruptive force at the top makes this zone so much more effective. So even in some games where he struggled offensively, I still thought he made really nice impact on the other end.

As for JB, the criticism of the rotation got absolutely insane but I'm not sure it's without merit in certain instances. Jesse really helped us late and probably deserved a bit more run earlier on. Kadary didn't need to play 38 mpg like many here believe he should have, but I do feel like he should have been more like 25 mpg and Joe closer to 20 than the reverse. I'll defer to JB on whatever happened with Woody but he seems like a kid who could have helped at times as well. But overall, I agree, I think JB was at least 'good' with this group. Was it the best way it could have been managed, perhaps not. But, as always, that's easy for me to say from my couch.
I think you did an outstanding job and I may differ a bit in my own opinion, but you supported your case very well.

One thing I would add to the Buddy discussion, besides continued work to be the best defender he can be in the zone, is that the staff and he need to figure out how to start next season like he finished last season. As Cusefan0307 pointed out mid year or so last year, it's a trend that Buddy starts slowly and finished the seasons well. If they can overcome that early sluggishness, or whatever it is, the team will avoid some of those early close games or maybe even losses.
 

billsin01

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Giving Jesse an A is just crazy. I honestly don't get all the hype in general, maybe I am missing something? To me he is little more than a reasonable defender and big body in there. But he has soft hands, cannot rebound, and has little offense. I love him playing ~10 mins as a role player, but people here seem to be real excited about him. Am I missing something?
I can see this. So a couple things: I'm not really grading his potential. I believe he can be a very solid rotation piece for us with the ceiling of a starter (so we may differ there). The grade is reflective of his importance to helping turn around our season. The 6 points, 8 rebs, 4 steals and a block against carolina in a must-win is absolutely huge. The 4 points and 8 rebs. and 18 mins vs. NC State in the ACC tourney was a key in our running away with that game. He also played a big role in the 15-3 run against Houston and played decently in that game and played a nice role in shutting down SD State.

Is that the most amazing resume for a player on this roster? Absolutely not. But this is a kid a lot of folks here wrote off before the season, he got stuck out of the country and really only got a chance from Ga tech on (<50 mins total before that). To come on and play at least 16 mins in 5 of our last 8 games and to do so in the ACC tourney and NCAA tourney is pretty remarkable.

What will he be next year? Not sure. Needs to get stronger, needs a lot of work on the offensive end. If people aren't optimistic, I get it. But I could see him being much more than a 10 mpg guy, at least if he improves.
 

billsin01

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I feel like Joe got unfairly harsh criticism from people this year. If I recall correctly, he was our leading assist guy and leading rebounder (which sounds crazy) in the NCAA tournament run to the Sweet 16. That alone seems like maybe he should get at least a D+. lol
This is a good point. Hit some big shots played pretty well at times in the postseason. Probably a bit harsh. My grade there reflects more about what I think he could be (potentially) as opposed to some disdain for the kid. Not sure if that makes sense but I think he can actually play a little bit and could be a solid double-figure scorer, dangerous shooter and maybe add some better assist totals. Just think he has to do some things to get there.
 

Cuse#1

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So with all the excitement/hand-wringing over departures/additions, felt like we should take a minute to look back at the past season and hand out some grades. I'll save folks the time up front: if you're looking for a bunch of D's and F's, you won't find many here because I'm not sure exactly what the ceiling of this team was. Plus, if we dock JB for his rotation (which is fair) we also have to give him credit for the postseason run and at least basically holding things together thru COVID stoppages ... twice. So with the exception of a really tough year for Girard, these are basically solid grades for most guys.

Anyway, on with the post:

Buddy Boeheim A-
Honestly, you could give Buddy a lower grade, I suppose, but if i told you before the season that he'd go from 1/9 through the ncaa tourney averaging 18.7 on 45/41/83 and add 3 rpg and 2.5 apg, I think we all would have jumped on it and been thrilled. Really early season struggles really boil down to four games -- the two games against Pitt (a combined 2-for-18 from 3), Northeastern (a brutal 1-for-12) and Buffalo (which I would argue wasn't exactly an ineffective game but still wound up in an 8-for-24 and 0-for-5 from three). His Va Tech and UVA games back-to-back weren't great but those are two solid defensive teams and his Clemson game in that stretch wasn't pretty either but those are pretty good teams and no one this side of Carmelo is going to just constant put up numbers against every single opponent.

So to me, is Buddy an ideal go-to scorer? No, not really. But to put up the numbers he did pretty consistently is outstanding. Love to see him come back next year and be good to go from day 1, but let's face it -- there will be a few games here and there where the jumper isn't falling and he's going to struggle a little. But man, even if you want to take the stretch from the northeastern game through the first Clemson game (13.7 ppg on poor shooting) and hold it against him (which I don't do b/c shooters aren't always going to hit 40% from three every game), what the kid did in the last several weeks is unreal.

Where could he improve: The difference to me between buddy the last few weeks and buddy the rest of the season may be mostly in terms of confidence, but I loved seeing how quickly he got set and got his shot off when he had a look -- mostly off a screen but sometimes in transition. I think that footwork and getting more efficient coming off the screen will be the key. Kid is a tough player to defend but I don't think he'll be able to add too much in terms of handle/play-making. I think it's just continuing to work on getting set and launching as quickly as possible with good form. Excited to see what a full healthy season could look like from him.

Kadary Richmond: A
Kadary came in as a frosh and played great. If you want to knock him for a few games here or there, fine, but he really probably should have been closer to 25 mpg than 21 overall (even if Joe gets the benefit of the doubt early). Love what he brought on both ends. Really difficult kid to lose but if he didn't want to be here for one reason or another, I'm not going to dwell on him leaving.

The only real knock I have is that he didn't look the same on defense the last six games (2 steals, 2 blocks total, i think). Was that injury? Probably. Was it that he had one foot out the door? Perhaps. But when he was locked in and playing hard on both ends, he was a really, really, really good player for us. We'll miss him, clearly.

Joe Girard: D
Tough grade, I know. And if he was dealing with COVID this may be unfair. But my feeling on Girard is that he came in out of shape and never got right. The push from Kadary seemed to mess with his confidence. Some of his free throw attempts were brutal late in the season (I think he was way short on a big one against WVU for example).

Bottom line is: whatever you think of Girard, he can be much better than what we saw this year. May never be an ideal PG, or an ideal fit in the zone and may always take some crazy shots. But, regardless, he can be much better than what we saw.

Where he can improve: If I'm the staff, I'm all over him to get as lean and quick as possible in the offseason. I don't worry too much about shot selection b/c the kid is capable of making it from wherever and if he's going to be successful here, some of those shots will be part of that. But I would love to see him do a workout other than his old high school football workouts and come in ready to play with a really high level of activity. No complaining to refs about calls when the play is live, constantly moving his feet on defense, getting as creative as he can inside the 3-point line. Would I rather have him or Kadary? Kadary, hands down. But I think he can be part of successful team but he needs to make some changes to his game this off-season.

Marek: B
Some folks will hate this grade but i love the way this kid plays. Roughly 10 and 5 with 3 assists/game on 6 FG attempts per game. Helped with ball-handling and battled despite being overmatched at the 5 most of the year. Did a nice job of challenging corner threes and makes so many little plays to save possessions or find an open guy. As limited as he was in some ways, we will miss him in a big way if he's gone (which I'm going to assume he is). If he returns, would love to see him turn and face and actually take and make some 15-foot jumpers. No reason a guy who shoots 85% from the line can't hit a few jumpers.

Quincy Guerrier: B+
Whatever was going on with Quincy's knee took a toll the second half of the season. He averaged 10.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg on 42% shooting in the last 14 games. Regardless, love how he plays and how tough he is inside. Definitely showed more confidence from outside. Not really sure what his ceiling is. Good athlete but not a jeremi grant elite athlete. Don't think he'll get rave reviews from the draft process but if he returns and stays healthy, no reason he can't be a 15/9 guy and a decent threat from 3.

Where he can improve: The footwork and finishing inside is pretty solid but could be better. That little move where he goes baseline is one where I'd love to see him just go up strong instead of pump-faking and letting the defense react. Like his stroke but he's mostly a threat if wide open. Needs to smooth out those mechanics so he can let fly from three more consistently. Don't think he's a real threat to take anyone off the dribble any time soon, but he's certainly got the athleticism to be a bit more of a slasher. That's less of a focus for me though -- work on that shot, combine it with improved footwork, he could be really efficient down there.

Alan Griffin: C
Griffin, overall, wasn't bad. 13/game on 35% from three with decent rebounding/assist numbers is really a fine season for a young kid. The mental aspect was weird. Just had halves and sometimes whole games where he didn't show up to play. Obviously struggled late and lost time to Bras. Wherever he is next season, the focus needs to be there game-in and game-out and he absolutely has to add some sort of attack off the dribble -- even if it's the two hard dribble, pull-up that Battle used all the time. Talented kid but a bit of a mystery.

Robert Braswell: B+
Looked like he wasn't going to get on the floor thanks to some poor early-season shooting, JB's rotation, Griffin's solid start, and Woody's emergence. But, he rebounded to play a huge role late. The numbers don't really tell the story here. Kid has a knack for being in the right spot at the right time. Not totally sure I get what he's looking for in a transfer situation but it is what it is, I guess. Would have loved to have seen a totally healthy Braswell b/c you can tell he's not truly 100% (shins, I guess?).

Jesse Edwards: A
Again, numbers don't knock you over here but for a kid who got stuck out of the country due to COVID, then dealt with the two shutdowns and limited playing time, I give him a ton of credit for being ready when he got his shot. Defense looked different with him on the court. Offensively, he's a work in progress but he's not afraid to try and make a play there.

Where he can improve: Obviously a post move or two would be great. Needs to get stronger. A lot to like here though as a key rotation guy for next season.

JB: B-
People will hate this, I get it. Rotation is the big knock and, even for a JB fan like myself, there are some obvious questions here. Kadary should have played more earlier and whatever happened with woody is hard to understand entirely. Jesse wasn't ready, but then he was ready. Hard to figure. Those are the negatives and, let's face it, JB has something to answer for there. That said, this was a crazy season, this wasn't a team that was completely loaded with talent the way some of our teams in the past have been and it's tricky when you're talking about shooters and veterans. It's easy to say play Bras and Woody more, but then are you putting Buddy on the bench? Or Griffin? Or Marek? Quincy was our best player in the first half, he's not coming off the floor and nor should he. Marek is such a solid, dependable guy, he's tough to sit. Buddy, we saw what he was capable of. Griffin was a talented guy I think JB ultimately wanted to be successful, so he was trying to be patient. The Joe/Kadary argument is one thing, but it's tougher to figure with the other guys. Ultimately we wound up in the tourney and in the sweet 16. I don't feel like the Houston loss was a coaching issue as much as running into a team that matched up well with us.

Ultimately, I think JB held it together and will put a solid squad together for next season. Will that be enough to quiet his critics? No, nothing short of a couple great seasons and final four runs will do that (and maybe not even that). But to me it was a decent season for JB and not the disaster many here believe.

Woody Newton: Inc
Woody played so well early then whatever happened we never really saw him again. Another big loss for us in the offseason but best of luck to him wherever he ends up. He wasn't going to supplant Buddy either way so what can you do?

Bourama Sidibe: Inc
If he gets healthy he can definitely help. If not, hope he walks away with a grad degree. He'll be a sneaky wild card headed into next season

Frank Anselem: Inc
Didn't really see much of frank but the kid has some tools to work with. Hands looked ok, good size and athleticism. Hope we are lucky enough to have him back.

JBA: Inc
Good energy but don't think there was going to be a place for him here. Hope he finds success elsewhere.
 

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