My Take | Page 2 | Syracusefan.com

My Take

I remember our first scrimmages when I coached. Each one got markedly better. I anticipate the same for this team. Everyone is just running around doing basic defense and offense. You continue to fine tune and lock in defensively and eventually learn to play to your strengths on offense. They will come up with offensive sets through their motion that gets the shots you want and from whom. This will also allow better offensive rebounding chances. This is the time of year where you have everything going through your head that you feel you still need to put in place. I’m sure Red’s head is swimming right now. Out of bounds situations under the basket, on the wing, and inbounding against pressure. How do we want to defend these situations; end of game situations, secondary breaks, attacks against all kind of full court pressure, etc. He also needs to think how teams will play to stop his better players. Red will continue to adjust after every time they play a game. Figure out your base and go from there. Last night was a good start. It really helps when you have options.
 
I remember our first scrimmages when I coached. Each one got markedly better. I anticipate the same for this team. Everyone is just running around doing basic defense and offense. You continue to fine tune and lock in defensively and eventually learn to play to your strengths on offense. They will come up with offensive sets through their motion that gets the shots you want and from whom. This will also allow better offensive rebounding chances. This is the time of year where you have everything going through your head that you feel you still need to put in place. I’m sure Red’s head is swimming right now. Out of bounds situations under the basket, on the wing, and inbounding against pressure. How do we want to defend these situations; end of game situations, secondary breaks, attacks against all kind of full court pressure, etc. He also needs to think how teams will play to stop his better players. Red will continue to adjust after every time they play a game. Figure out your base and go from there. Last night was a good start. It really helps when you have options.

Good stuff. I liked seeing how active the staff and Red were on the sidelines looking at numbers and other things and talking through it. Red has a solid bench to partner with as they attack all of this to go with.
 
I’m sure Red and the staff mapped out everything they need to install and cover before practices even started. If you don’t, you will get off schedule. It helps that he’s not counting on getting freshman up to speed. One thing that needs to stay constant is individual skill development with every player. You don’t take time away from this to try to implement too many things.
 
modern man defense is all about providing great help. Virginia doesn’t have lock down defenders, but they are all on the same page.

Jury is out on whether red can be a tactician and coach these guys up.
Yeah, this is how I see it too. Whether you’re playing man or zone, good defense these days is all 5 guys on a string working together. Last night looked a lot more like 5 guys all trying to play solid defense individually. Maybe that was intentional given the stakes and the opponent but it wasn’t super exciting based on that.
 
Carey isn’t strong enough to play more than 10 min a night. If he can’t rebound vs D2 kids, he’s not going to be able to rebound vs HM competition.

Concerned about 3 point shooting and 3 point defense. Offense, besides running a bit more, had pretty similar half court sets to last year. Defense wasn’t an earth shattering change besides switching to man. First game but not sure how much significant conceptual change so far outside of substitution patterns and lineups.
Carey won’t play a bunch of minutes I’d guess. But in an exhibition it would be great to see him get some real run. The foul trouble took care of that unfortunately
 
Carey won’t play a bunch of minutes I’d guess. But in an exhibition it would be great to see him get some real run. The foul trouble took care of that unfortunately

Speaking of the fouls.. he got robbed on a couple in the re watch. Two definitely weren't fouls.
 
I remember our first scrimmages when I coached. Each one got markedly better. I anticipate the same for this team. Everyone is just running around doing basic defense and offense. You continue to fine tune and lock in defensively and eventually learn to play to your strengths on offense. They will come up with offensive sets through their motion that gets the shots you want and from whom. This will also allow better offensive rebounding chances. This is the time of year where you have everything going through your head that you feel you still need to put in place. I’m sure Red’s head is swimming right now. Out of bounds situations under the basket, on the wing, and inbounding against pressure. How do we want to defend these situations; end of game situations, secondary breaks, attacks against all kind of full court pressure, etc. He also needs to think how teams will play to stop his better players. Red will continue to adjust after every time they play a game. Figure out your base and go from there. Last night was a good start. It really helps when you have options.
Agreed. I guess I just thought we’d see something on the defensive end that gave us an idea of what they’re trying to accomplish over there. Don’t feel like saw that though. To your point, however, the second scrimmage will be interesting to see after they have some time to watch film and address things.
 
Agreed. I guess I just thought we’d see something on the defensive end that gave us an idea of what they’re trying to accomplish over there. Don’t feel like saw that though. To your point, however, the second scrimmage will be interesting to see after they have some time to watch film and address things.

I saw a couple things in that first half.

1- picking up the ball handler earlier to speed things up.

2- Aggressively attacking the passing lanes and going hard for steals on the catch/ handoff and switching on and off ball.

3- Sagging the bigs vs a smaller team and working hard to closeout shooters

4- Keeping as much in front as possible.

5 - only a couple possessions but switching it up to zone from time to time.

The second half was poor execution at times as guys got tired. Otherwise this was what I picked up.
 
I saw a couple things in that first half.

1- picking up the ball handler earlier to speed things up.

2- Aggressively attacking the passing lanes and going hard for steals on the catch/ handoff and switching on and off ball.

3- Sagging the bigs vs a smaller team and working hard to closeout shooters

4- Keeping as much in front as possible.

5 - only a couple possessions but switching it up to zone from time to time.

The second half was poor execution at times as guys got tired. Otherwise this was what I picked up.
Yeah. Second half we got beat down the floor on almost every possession. At least it felt like that. The drop coverage from bigs while fight through screens looks like the plan with McLeod on the floor at least. Agree on the other points but I guess I was thinking more about how the five defenders work together. Seemed like we saw five guys playing hard most of the time but I don’t feel like we saw five guys playing together a whole lot.
 
Yeah. Second half we got beat down the floor on almost every possession. At least it felt like that. The drop coverage from bigs while fight through screens looks like the plan with McLeod on the floor at least. Agree on the other points but I guess I was thinking more about how the five defenders work together. Seemed like we saw five guys playing hard most of the time but I don’t feel like we saw five guys playing together a whole lot.

Yeah it doesn't help when obvious key pieces weren't out there too. That isn't an excuse but when it's the first time under a new coach it makes it tougher to get a vision.
 
Wouldn't matter to me if JJ or Judah had the ball at the end of the game, JJ is a MAN, i know its D2 but he is really going to cause problems off the dribble, don't see him being stopped at the end of the game, finish and score or go to the line, which is going to make Judah even tougher. it's like Judah is a finesse driver and JJ is a power driver.
 

My #1 important player for this season

IMG_9489.jpeg

 
Yeah, this is how I see it too. Whether you’re playing man or zone, good defense these days is all 5 guys on a string working together. Last night looked a lot more like 5 guys all trying to play solid defense individually. Maybe that was intentional given the stakes and the opponent but it wasn’t super exciting based on that.
the average bloke gets tunnel vision and starts complaining that so-and-so is not a good man defender. The team athleticism is more than adequate, but the fact is even great athletes can and will get beat off the dribble in isolation. It will come down to coaching these guys up to play team defense. I am a little concerned by what I saw out there. They’ve had a few weeks of practice so I don’t know that we can use the “it’s early” excuse and assume red is still installing the defensive playbook. My fear is this will be red’s myopic version of man-to-man. And unfortunately this is the risk we take on when we hire a first time head coach.
 
the average bloke gets tunnel vision and starts complaining that so-and-so is not a good man defender. The team athleticism is more than adequate, but the fact is even great athletes can and will get beat off the dribble in isolation. It will come down to coaching these guys up to play team defense. I am a little concerned by what I saw out there. They’ve had a few weeks of practice so I don’t know that we can use the “it’s early” excuse and assume red is still installing the defensive playbook. My fear is this will be red’s myopic version of man-to-man. And unfortunately this is the risk we take on when we hire a first time head coach.

Lol... if this wasn't year in year out I'd think you were just a UConn troll.
 
Where JJs jumper the jury is still out on... his defense and playmaking paired with ability to play the point looks to have taken a big step forward. We need all of the above but he looked good in almost all aspects.
He looked better last night than he did for ND last season.
 
If Mintz is more willing to take his jumper I almost think we may be better off with JJ as the point and Judah off the ball.

Yeah while still running it like a dual PG system. JJ pushes the ball (small sample) the fastest of anyone since Flynn. I do think he will hit some shots once he doesn't have to be on the ball all the time and it will benefit them both. That said his speed puts immense pressure on the D a bit like Fox did at UK ( not comparing them level wise given Fox is an NBA star).
 
I think Brown may the player that stirs this teams drink. He is just so solid in all areas. We really struggled without him backing up McLeod.

Maliq is a good choice, as well; they are both very versatile!​

 
I think Brown may the player that stirs this teams drink. He is just so solid in all areas. We really struggled without him backing up McLeod.

Me, too.
 
Agreed. I guess I just thought we’d see something on the defensive end that gave us an idea of what they’re trying to accomplish over there. Don’t feel like saw that though. To your point, however, the second scrimmage will be interesting to see after they have some time to watch film and address things.

Great thread! I really wanted to post something about the game. But just couldn't find the time. Luckily your observations are very close to what I saw.

I, personally, am concerned about the defense. I was even in the first half when Daemen only scored 27 points. They made several bad decisions that lead to pick-six's which I feel masked some pretty uninspired defense. I get that it's exhibition and you are going to play a vanilla version of your D, but I didn't see any overarching philosophy our guys were hanging their hat on. I saw a lot of reacting, mostly switching off screens and sometime fighting through them with poor results (especially from JJ). Nothing to dictate how the other team plays.

Red did a lot of talking about aggressive man to man D, but I didn't see anything aggressive about what we were doing.

Obviously you don't get a full view of the playbook during an exhibition, so we can't know anything for sure, but what we saw wasn't impressive and is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Other things we learned from the game ...

JJ does not have a pull up jumper. Hopefully he can hit a set jump shot (something he didnt have an opportunity to do in this game) otherwise he needs to get all the way to the rim to score which is limiting.

McLeod is 7'4 and Deamen's center is 6'5. What's the name of that movie where Adam Sandler needs to go back to kindergarten? This game reminded me of the basketball scene from that movie. I actually think there was a bigger height difference between McLeod and the basketball player trying to guard him than there was between Sandler and the kid actors he was playing against, maybe someone can research it? Anyway, it's not just that McLeod was blocking shots without jumping, he actually had to lower his arm and make himself smaller to meet the ball where they were putting it up. It was weird.

Lots of talk about more running in practice but the guys looked in worse shape than normal to me. Never saw anyone gassed in an exhibition before and we saw a few guys really struggling at the end of this game. Expecting 20 minutes a game from McLeod might be too much. I think Hima is going to play a part this year of he's healthy. Hope his injuries aren't chronic.

One guy who didn't look gassed at all is Copeland who I thought looked out of shape in high school. I've always thought he had the highest ceiling on the team and you saw some of it in that game. At the end when Daemen had all the momentum and JJ was gassed and wanted no part of the ball Copeland took over the offense single handedly AND was the best defender on the court as well. Literally every point we scored for a long while down the stretch came from Copeland creating off the bounce either for himself or for teammates. I know its D2, but usually those small D2 guards are pains for bigger D1 guards to get around. I'll never forget Flynn struggling against LeMoyne guards and like 5 days later scoring 28 in this first ever D1 game.

Daemen isn't a bad team. They are a peer school with Pace who easily beat St John's (who also has a new coach and a new system) so let's not underestimate that this was an easy win without the two guys who would have been the biggest difference makers, Mintz (our best player) and Brown (who looked like he could have scored 100 before pulling a groin muscle).
 
Great thread! I really wanted to post something about the game. But just couldn't find the time. Luckily your observations are very close to what I saw.

I, personally, am concerned about the defense. I was even in the first half when Daemen only scored 27 points. They made several bad decisions that lead to pick-six's which I feel masked some pretty uninspired defense. I get that it's exhibition and you are going to play a vanilla version of your D, but I didn't see any overarching philosophy our guys were hanging their hat on. I saw a lot of reacting, mostly switching off screens and sometime fighting through them with poor results (especially from JJ). Nothing to dictate how the other team plays.

Red did a lot of talking about aggressive man to man D, but I didn't see anything aggressive about what we were doing.

Obviously you don't get a full view of the playbook during an exhibition, so we can't know anything for sure, but what we saw wasn't impressive and is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Other things we learned from the game ...

JJ does not have a pull up jumper. Hopefully he can hit a set jump shot (something he didnt have an opportunity to do in this game) otherwise he needs to get all the way to the rim to score which is limiting.

McLeod is 7'4 and Deamen's center is 6'5. What's the name of that movie where Adam Sandler needs to go back to kindergarten? This game reminded me of the basketball scene from that movie. I actually think there was a bigger height difference between McLeod and the basketball player trying to guard him than there was between Sandler and the kid actors he was playing against, maybe someone can research it? Anyway, it's not just that McLeod was blocking shots without jumping, he actually had to lower his arm and make himself smaller to meet the ball where they were putting it up. It was weird.

Lots of talk about more running in practice but the guys looked in worse shape than normal to me. Never saw anyone gassed in an exhibition before and we saw a few guys really struggling at the end of this game. Expecting 20 minutes a game from McLeod might be too much. I think Hima is going to play a part this year of he's healthy. Hope his injuries aren't chronic.

One guy who didn't look gassed at all is Copeland who I thought looked out of shape in high school. I've always thought he had the highest ceiling on the team and you saw some of it in that game. At the end when Daemen had all the momentum and JJ was gassed and wanted no part of the ball Copeland took over the offense single handedly AND was the best defender on the court as well. Literally every point we scored for a long while down the stretch came from Copeland creating off the bounce either for himself or for teammates. I know its D2, but usually those small D2 guards are pains for bigger D1 guards to get around. I'll never forget Flynn struggling against LeMoyne guards and like 5 days later scoring 28 in this first ever D1 game.

Daemen isn't a bad team. They are a peer school with Pace who easily beat St John's (who also has a new coach and a new system) so let's not underestimate that this was an easy win without the two guys who would have been the biggest difference makers, Mintz (our best player) and Brown (who looked like he could have scored 100 before pulling a groin muscle).

Good post. One particular nugget- on the defense.

I've watched the game a few times and get the vanilla reference. What I was seeing ( besides not being a heavy pressure approach) was a very intense focus on jumping the passing lanes while also sagging into the middle to protect against backdoor cuts and easy cuts across the lane in general. They were teasing the opponent to throw it over the top thus putting them up against our shot blockers. That seemed specific to the opponent to me. Again it's an exhibition so need to see a lot more.

On the topic of pressure defense- watching a lot of these teams pressing hard and being overly aggressive to create turnovers - they lack a general purpose to me as well outside a select few. Hurley at UConn has more purpose with his defense ( helps a lot with someone like Jackson to be clear) but some others even like Musselman and our future opponent Tennessee- it seems chaos and trying to get turnovers is the purpose more than a more in depth strategy/tactic.

When you watch these teams you don't hear them talk about being gassed but it's clear by the second half this is often the case even with deeper teams. At which point then it's your offense that really becomes the key.

I feel like this is maybe where smart deployment of the zone can be effective to preserve legs and capitalize on tired legs on the other side.

I will add also that with Tennessee we should be aiming to penetrate and go with the lob quite a bit. MSU isn't really built that way and honestly it was there all game vs kicking for 3s.
 
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Great thread! I really wanted to post something about the game. But just couldn't find the time. Luckily your observations are very close to what I saw.

I, personally, am concerned about the defense. I was even in the first half when Daemen only scored 27 points. They made several bad decisions that lead to pick-six's which I feel masked some pretty uninspired defense. I get that it's exhibition and you are going to play a vanilla version of your D, but I didn't see any overarching philosophy our guys were hanging their hat on. I saw a lot of reacting, mostly switching off screens and sometime fighting through them with poor results (especially from JJ). Nothing to dictate how the other team plays.

Red did a lot of talking about aggressive man to man D, but I didn't see anything aggressive about what we were doing.

Obviously you don't get a full view of the playbook during an exhibition, so we can't know anything for sure, but what we saw wasn't impressive and is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Other things we learned from the game ...

JJ does not have a pull up jumper. Hopefully he can hit a set jump shot (something he didnt have an opportunity to do in this game) otherwise he needs to get all the way to the rim to score which is limiting.

McLeod is 7'4 and Deamen's center is 6'5. What's the name of that movie where Adam Sandler needs to go back to kindergarten? This game reminded me of the basketball scene from that movie. I actually think there was a bigger height difference between McLeod and the basketball player trying to guard him than there was between Sandler and the kid actors he was playing against, maybe someone can research it? Anyway, it's not just that McLeod was blocking shots without jumping, he actually had to lower his arm and make himself smaller to meet the ball where they were putting it up. It was weird.

Lots of talk about more running in practice but the guys looked in worse shape than normal to me. Never saw anyone gassed in an exhibition before and we saw a few guys really struggling at the end of this game. Expecting 20 minutes a game from McLeod might be too much. I think Hima is going to play a part this year of he's healthy. Hope his injuries aren't chronic.

One guy who didn't look gassed at all is Copeland who I thought looked out of shape in high school. I've always thought he had the highest ceiling on the team and you saw some of it in that game. At the end when Daemen had all the momentum and JJ was gassed and wanted no part of the ball Copeland took over the offense single handedly AND was the best defender on the court as well. Literally every point we scored for a long while down the stretch came from Copeland creating off the bounce either for himself or for teammates. I know its D2, but usually those small D2 guards are pains for bigger D1 guards to get around. I'll never forget Flynn struggling against LeMoyne guards and like 5 days later scoring 28 in this first ever D1 game.

Daemen isn't a bad team. They are a peer school with Pace who easily beat St John's (who also has a new coach and a new system) so let's not underestimate that this was an easy win without the two guys who would have been the biggest difference makers, Mintz (our best player) and Brown (who looked like he could have scored 100 before pulling a groin muscle).
Aggressive man defense isn't necessarily quality man defense, which may be something a lot of folks on this board learn. I feel like there is an argument to be made that a basic 2-3 zone is outdated to an extent because so many teams are putting five scorers and at least three shooters on the floor most of the time these days.

But we really struggled every bit as much on defense the past few years because we weren't very athletic and lacked difference-making length. A big part may have been the zone, but personnel was a key piece of that.

The switch to man is good in theory, but m2m defenses get torched every night in college hoops. It's not enough to simply play man or to play 'aggressive' man. You need to be able to play good team man defense and that's what I'm hoping we see tonight.
 
Aggressive man defense isn't necessarily quality man defense, which may be something a lot of folks on this board learn. I feel like there is an argument to be made that a basic 2-3 zone is outdated to an extent because so many teams are putting five scorers and at least three shooters on the floor most of the time these days.

But we really struggled every bit as much on defense the past few years because we weren't very athletic and lacked difference-making length. A big part may have been the zone, but personnel was a key piece of that.

The switch to man is good in theory, but m2m defenses get torched every night in college hoops. It's not enough to simply play man or to play 'aggressive' man. You need to be able to play good team man defense and that's what I'm hoping we see tonight.

Gonna have to wait one more night though.
 

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