Random Game Thoughts | Syracusefan.com

Random Game Thoughts

anomander

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First off there is no sugar coating that was an absolutely brutal loss. Totally unacceptable. I understand we were going to lose eventually, but losing to a 6 win BC team at home when we had a 13 point lead in the 2nd half is just really bad

Anywhere he are some thoughts

- I really don't like seeing negative posts and blame being throw at CJ. I would have thought he has banked enough good will over his career to survive an off game. No question he was really off tonight, but those a lot were shots he usually makes. He was aggressive the shots just didn't fall. I'd like to see him get a couple easy baskets out of the offense. It seems like every basket he gets he really has to work for it, or create it on his own. This is the exact opposite of how he got his during his first 3 seasons

- I think Ennis needs to be more aggressive offensively. He seemingly can get to the cup at will. When we are struggling as bad as we are to score in the 1st half i'd like to see him try and create his own. He did this in the 2nd half when we needed him, and he scored 2 straight buckets, and had a 3 go in and out. Plus with teams tagging Cooney, his man is not giving help defense. The driving lanes are open. Ennis should capitalize on this. We need to make teams pay for doing this.

- Hate to get into our depth issues because it's not going to change. The time for developing depth so it is there now is Nov/Dec non-conference games. I think we missed the boat on this, and it looks like it is hurting us now. You can't tell me Roberson will hurt you if he is out there for 8 minutes a game. He has looked solid defensively, and has made some plays offensively in very limited opportunities. I really think our defensive intensity in the 2nd half has been suffering because our guys are either gassed, or trying to conserve energy. You can also try to tie it into our low shooting percentages.

- I think Rak should get at least 5 touches in the post a game. I think he has earned that. I have no doubt he would either score, or get fouled on 60% of those touches. It's not like our offense is producing right now anyways. How does it hurt trying to get a couple easy buckets in the paint? Plus then if he is expeted to convert with the game on the line he'd have more confidence to make a strong move. Still that's a bucket he needs to put in. It was BS that Boheim singled him out during his post game presser. the kid didn't deserve that. it's bad enough he has been his whipping boy his whole career. it seems like he is still treated like a freshman. it's tough to play at a high level when you feel like you have no freedom to make a mistake.

- Finally I don't think there is any reason for panic, or even start doubting this teams greatness. Sure they aren't playing all that well right now, but it's a long season and teams go through slumps. It speaks to just how good this team is that even though they have been playing poorly they have still found ways to win. Our team will be there when it's all said and done because of our defense. No matter how bad we are offensively our defense always shows up. We also don't turn the ball over. We seldom give up fast breaks and every bucket opponents get they have to earn the hard way. If we can rebound the ball on the defensive end, and show a pulse on offense i still don't see a better team in the country.


I actually think we match up better against teams like Duke who aren't afraid to get out and run with us. I hate these teams that grind you out on offense. The Duke game should be much more open, which should help us offensively. A win at Cameron and we shouldn't drop from #1, but more importantly we stay tied at top of the ACC standings.
 
I can't speak for anyone else, but regarding C.J. and banking good will, a couple thoughts:

First, I'll always remember him as a winning player (unless something really weird happens in the next six weeks), an even-keeled teammate, and a smart complementary players. That's where the good will comes into play.

The criticism is of his play, not just last night and not just missed shots (his first-half three, for instance, was a great look; it didn't go in, these things happen). What's frustrating is that a) C.J. wastes some possessions with low-percentage shots early in the shot clock; b) doesn't do a good job of identifying a mismatch (either by posting up the 6'2" kid or by passing out of a double); and c) isn't consistently strong on defense.

Part of this is out of his control, of course. We'll never know why a senior forward (Kris Joseph, C.J., etc.) gets a free pass on soft defense while others get benched for lesser infractions (as you note with Rakeem).

Sorry for the ramble, but if I could sum it up, C.J.'s a nice SU player who's a credit to the program but is playing a bit over his head this season and has become more inefficient as a result.
 
I can't speak for anyone else, but regarding C.J. and banking good will, a couple thoughts:

First, I'll always remember him as a winning player (unless something really weird happens in the next six weeks), an even-keeled teammate, and a smart complementary players. That's where the good will comes into play.

The criticism is of his play, not just last night and not just missed shots (his first-half three, for instance, was a great look; it didn't go in, these things happen). What's frustrating is that a) C.J. wastes some possessions with low-percentage shots early in the shot clock; b) doesn't do a good job of identifying a mismatch (either by posting up the 6'2" kid or by passing out of a double); and c) isn't consistently strong on defense.

Part of this is out of his control, of course. We'll never know why a senior forward (Kris Joseph, C.J., etc.) gets a free pass on soft defense while others get benched for lesser infractions (as you note with Rakeem).

Sorry for the ramble, but if I could sum it up, C.J.'s a nice SU player who's a credit to the program but is playing a bit over his head this season and has become more inefficient as a result.

Which is why I think, as anomander noted above, Ennis has to be more in charge taking it to the hoop. I think Ennis is our go to guy by creating off the dribble to either score or set someone else up to score. Good things happen when Tyler gets into the lane. CJ has done great things with his skill set. He is a terrific player, but at the end of the day I would rather see him hitting one of those baseline jumpers off of a feed or slashing to the basket rather than having to create at the end of a game. He has been clutch though, particularly in the Pitt game where he had 5 quick points in the last 2 minutes to set the stage.
 
Which is why I think, as anomander noted above, Ennis has to be more in charge taking it to the hoop. I think Ennis is our go to guy by creating off the dribble to either score or set someone else up to score. Good things happen when Tyler gets into the lane. CJ has done great things with his skill set. He is a terrific player, but at the end of the day I would rather see him hitting one of those baseline jumpers off of a feed or slashing to the basket rather than having to create at the end of a game. He has been clutch though, particularly in the Pitt game where he had 5 quick points in the last 2 minutes to set the stage.

Not to mention against Baylor and at least one other team (St. John's) when he truly won the game in the last couple minutes. Without legs, though, C.J. loses a lot - the jumper's off, he's laying the ball in instead of dunking (and missing some as a result).

I'd like to see Tyler drive more; with everyone tired, though, that's easier said than done.
 
I love CJ but lately he has morphed into a black hole. He almost never passes the ball. That's my biggest criticism. He doesn't even pass when he is double teamed.
 
Not to mention against Baylor and at least one other team (St. John's) when he truly won the game in the last couple minutes. Without legs, though, C.J. loses a lot - the jumper's off, he's laying the ball in instead of dunking (and missing some as a result).

I'd like to see Tyler drive more; with everyone tired, though, that's easier said than done.

Agreed, easier said than done. I think to be successful on offense we need more ball movement. I've noticed this the past couple of games where we are starting to become more iso, whether it be primarily CJ or Jerami. Both great players, but neither is Melo. IMO not the best way to go.
 
Disagree about the bench. We had a bench. Now we have injuries. These guys all had opportunities early in the season and were largely unimpressive. Roberson still gets minutes and plays himself back to the bench in most cases. Yes I believe he will hurt us if he's in for 8 minutes a game. JB will not lose a game to "give a guy some run". Thank God for that.

I agree that Rak could stand a few more touches, but he has fallen in love with his baby hook, which isn't nearly as good as he thinks. He had a good game or two with it, but it's not falling consistently. Bad decision to go with it in that situation. No problem with JB telling the truth about his play. We had the lead late in regulation and he opted not to play D. Just awful.

You're paragraph about panic is on the money.
 
Disagree about the bench. We had a bench. Now we have injuries. These guys all had opportunities early in the season and were largely unimpressive. Roberson still gets minutes and plays himself back to the bench in most cases. Yes I believe he will hurt us if he's in for 8 minutes a game. JB will not lose a game to "give a guy some run". Thank God for that.

This is where I think everyone, JB included, goes overboard to justify not playing subs. Our starters are making mistakes, maybe due to tired legs, maybe not. But one of our strengths is that as as a team we haven't made that many mistakes...I think we could weather a few mistakes by Roberson to see the upside of (i) additional rest for the stars and (ii) see what his upside might be with a little bit of additional run. I'm not looking for someone to supplant CJ or Jerami as the guys that play down the stretch.....but it would be nice to find someone that can help us get to winning time and then yield to the established players.

Believing that your coach has confidence in you can make an absolutely enormous difference in how a kid plays, conversely the opposite is true as well...sometimes JB needs to make an investment in one or two of these guys, give them some run and see what happens. It isn't always going to be mistakes that lose us games. For God's sake, he is one of 5 guys on the court, how many mistakes can he possibly make in 10 minutes of run. Its not like he is a guard who will have the ball in his hands the whole time. Its not like he is going to be guarding someone like Parker (except against Duke) where they will just continue to feed his man the ball so that they can take advantage of his mistakes.
 
My main thought. Teams that shoot 32% don't win games. And it's not like the BC defense was the culprit.
 
CJ is tired, JB has to give him a breather in these games down the stretch. He has to.
 
The reason that we don't turn the ball over is the same reason we don't score many points: too much time spent on east-west motion and not enough north-south action. I've seen about 10 games and have noticed the same thing in each (no, I didn't see Duke): we play much better when we create offensive opportunities rather than waiting for them to be presented.

edit: and BC made 11 threes, we made two. In other words they made almost as many as we took. It's not the first time we've been sorely tested by teams that shoot 3's well while we counterattack slowly looking for perfect passes that finish in layups.

Basketball is, IMO, an offensive game and we're not playing that way very often.
 
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And win or lose, let's get rid of those blue shorts.
 
Cowtown said:
And win or lose, let's get rid of those blue shorts.
Now that is something we can almost universally agree to.
 
This is where I think everyone, JB included, goes overboard to justify not playing subs. Our starters are making mistakes, maybe due to tired legs, maybe not. But one of our strengths is that as as a team we haven't made that many mistakes...I think we could weather a few mistakes by Roberson to see the upside of (i) additional rest for the stars and (ii) see what his upside might be with a little bit of additional run. I'm not looking for someone to supplant CJ or Jerami as the guys that play down the stretch...but it would be nice to find someone that can help us get to winning time and then yield to the established players.

Believing that your coach has confidence in you can make an absolutely enormous difference in how a kid plays, conversely the opposite is true as well...sometimes JB needs to make an investment in one or two of these guys, give them some run and see what happens. It isn't always going to be mistakes that lose us games. For God's sake, he is one of 5 guys on the court, how many mistakes can he possibly make in 10 minutes of run. Its not like he is a guard who will have the ball in his hands the whole time. Its not like he is going to be guarding someone like Parker (except against Duke) where they will just continue to feed his man the ball so that they can take advantage of his mistakes.

The significance of such an immeasurable intangible should never be dismissed...in any walk of life for that matter...
 
CJ is tired, JB has to give him a breather in these games down the stretch. He has to.
Completely agree. In the past 6 games, going back to Duke, CJ is averaging 41 minutes a game! He did 45 last night, then we have an up and down game against Duke on Saturday where he'll probably play 40 again. I can't imagine he'll have any legs left by Monday at MD. It seems like a pretty simple answer to what's ailing his previously-money mid-range shooting.
 

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