The two key questions for this team | Page 2 | Syracusefan.com

The two key questions for this team

I think the defense is only a little bit less than average. They give up a lot of offensive rebounds, but they get a lot of steals and blocks. The offense is still very 1-dimensional and reliant on heroic performances - and it shows.

It's not a direct correlation, but better offenses tend to have higher assist percentages (more FGA off a pass).
These are the P5 teams this season and it tracks. The teams in SU's quadrant, poor O-rating and poor assist percentages are not good teams. Most of the top-10 teams are in the upper right quadrant (higher O-rating, higher assist percentage). Baylor has a slight lower than average assist %, but their O-rating is the best in the P5.

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well theyve been getting better on the boards and ironing out kinks...to me the defense is good. defense won the gtown game. the defense looks worse than it is bc the team basically capitulated in the 3 blowout losses and stopped trying. (giving up vs adversity is a different and important problem)

not getting assists is huge. it makes scoring unsustainable. a team like UVA forces SU to make assists to score and they cant do it. good defenses force opponents to play together as a team to score.

one thing I was hoping to see the end of with JB leaving was the 1 on 1 offense...but alas, not yet, apparently.
 
Really good post! Just a few things to comment on...

- Agree 100% on Copeland. He brings so much that we need on this team and can be a huge difference maker with his energy and size. That said, the turnovers! I think it's tough with him because you don't want to take away his energetic play and fun of the game BUT he needs to make better decisions at times.

- JT is a tough one because he does a lot of things well. However, I'm a bit disappointed about the offense side of things. I expect he will get better and find a way to get more shots off, but who knows when that will happen. Solid player though.

- Brown is so solid and should be on the court as much as possible. If that means playing the center position, so be it, but I just wish he could play his natural position (but that means one of the centers stepping up more consistently).

- I'm really happy to see Bell shooting much better this year - something we REALLY need on this team. Too bad he doesn't do much else.

- I can't express how happy I was watching Starling hit those 3's the other night. Great for the young man and much needed for the team. If he can continue (even if it's in the mid to high 30% range), that would be big. I will admit, I was getting tired seeing him log so many minutes the way he was shooting. Hopefully he can just continue to prove me wrong!
With Starling, it wasn’t just the 3s that he knocked down. Against both Cornell and especially Gtown, he was hitting pull-up jumpers at key moments and finishing at the rim. He can eventually be a three level scorer, and we need him to get there this season—or at least become more consistent. Against Gtown, he looked like the player we all hoped he would be.

Most college basketball players are incomplete, including most of our opponents. We just need steady improvement from them over the course of the season.
 
Apologies if it’s been addressed already in the thread, but does anyone have a Westry update? Would be pretty awesome if he was available for Pitt on NYE.
 
Really good post! Just a few things to comment on...

- Agree 100% on Copeland. He brings so much that we need on this team and can be a huge difference maker with his energy and size. That said, the turnovers! I think it's tough with him because you don't want to take away his energetic play and fun of the game BUT he needs to make better decisions at times.

- JT is a tough one because he does a lot of things well. However, I'm a bit disappointed about the offense side of things. I expect he will get better and find a way to get more shots off, but who knows when that will happen. Solid player though.

- Brown is so solid and should be on the court as much as possible. If that means playing the center position, so be it, but I just wish he could play his natural position (but that means one of the centers stepping up more consistently).

- I'm really happy to see Bell shooting much better this year - something we REALLY need on this team. Too bad he doesn't do much else.

- I can't express how happy I was watching Starling hit those 3's the other night. Great for the young man and much needed for the team. If he can continue (even if it's in the mid to high 30% range), that would be big. I will admit, I was getting tired seeing him log so many minutes the way he was shooting. Hopefully he can just continue to prove me wrong!
Yeah, agree on these. I would think high 30s would be a bit overly optimistic for Starling. I would say if he's around 30-32 he can at least be on the floor and be an asset, which is important because his ball-handling and solid defense is important.
 
With Starling, it wasn’t just the 3s that he knocked down. Against both Cornell and especially Gtown, he was hitting pull-up jumpers at key moments and finishing at the rim. He can eventually be a three level scorer, and we need him to get there this season—or at least become more consistent. Against Gtown, he looked like the player we all hoped he would be.

Most college basketball players are incomplete, including most of our opponents. We just need steady improvement from them over the course of the season.
yeah, incomplete is probably the wrong adjective. Copeland, for example, is great. Love his game in so many ways. But it's just really hard to log consistent minutes if you are no threat to shoot a jumper at all and you're turning the ball over at an alarming clip. He certainly doesn't have to be perfect but just a little bit more control offensively would make him a really nice additive piece for this team.

Taylor is another one. He does a lot of nice things for this group but if he's averaging 3 ppg against power 5 teams, I'm not sure you can really play him 30 minutes. So can he find a way to just be a bit more of a factor offensively? Feel like he can, but if he doesn't it's really hard to see him logging that many minutes.

McLeod -- hope he is or can get healthy -- but regardless, if this is where he's at developmentally it's OK, but he can't play in our base defense. We have to find some other way to keep him near the basket and steal 6-7 minutes a half in a 1-3-1 or something like that.

The list goes on. It's not so much incomplete as traits that make it hard for a coach to consistently keep running you out there.
 
We were 230ish in Def efficiency last year and 109 this year.. I think thats a big improvement. Our M2M is not perfect but getting better and more consistent. I keep seeing people on here harping about the Opp missing open 3s and basically saying we are getting lucky for that.. Team are going to get open ooks against everyone.. Its how uncomfortable you make shooters on many of the 3s so that they will rush or adjust shot... When we played zone all the team we really never made anyone uncomfortable.

And yes Im not sure what the strategy with our help side is.. If Red tells them not to rotate and leave shooters or if they are missing help assignments. I believe those are adjustments that can and will be made

Offense is much more of an issue at this point but I have seen some growth.. Think thats alot to do wth personel gelling
These are all good points. At the end of the day, find a way to sneak past Oregon, get a win vs. Niagara and then let's see how we do in conference play. With Brown on the floor, I do hope we start jumping pnrs more regularly. make that ball-handler retreat away from the basket while the guard recovers, then sprint back to the big in the post.
 
Assists to score ration is highly volatile.. Mintz getting to the line a ton to shoot FTs is a good offense and even the best passes dont matter there.

Poor shooting teams will not have a good ration no matter how well they pass.

Its clear we have the better chance to score most of the time with our drivers driving and our 1-2 shooters waiting for a pass.

The only thing that matters is did we get a good shot off. Whether its off an assist or not who cares.. You get credit for an assist by passing it around the circle and making a contested 3 just as much as passing for a layup.

How many good shots are we getting?
 
The two positions I thought we had covered with both depth and variety - was guard with Mintz, Starling, Westry, Cuffe, even Copeland and center with McLeod, Hima, Carey and Patterson. That’s 9 of our 13 scholarships. However injuries and lack of early development has really restricted that depth particularly at center. It has affected the power forward position the most. I originally thought Bell/Taylor added to our diversity at shooting guard/ small forward positions. Instead we’ve had to play Brown and Taylor out of position at center/power forward mainly because of our issues at those positions since Benny and the centers are unreliable. We need a bonafide power forward and a developed center next year that can rebound, give us an inside presence. This year Red has had to adjust to the continuing Benny saga along with the injuries and lack of development affecting our center position that will hopefully be addressed next year along with replacing the go-to scoring of Judah next year assuming he’s going pro. Exciting times ahead putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Definitely, there’s been positive progress.
Really good post.
 
yeah, i was rolling, apparently.

A much simpler way to say it would be a bunch of interesting but incomplete players and a defense that's too simplistic.
In 2 words, more switching.
 
The switching topic would be good for Red's show. (I can't do it, on vacation, on the road to Chaco NM, if we survive a 2 night stay in Gallup NM, the highest crime rate, by far, in the USA. No place else in the vicinity of Chaco where a car can be rented for the 23 mile dirt road to Chaco)
 
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Apologies if it’s been addressed already in the thread, but does anyone have a Westry update? Would be pretty awesome if he was available for Pitt on NYE.
In case you hadn’t seen it addressed by Red, he won’t be back that quickly.
 
The switching topic would be good for Red's show. (I can't do it, on vacation, on the road to Chaco NM, if we survive a 2 night stay in Gallup NM, the highest crime rate, by far, in the USA. No place else in the vicinity of Chaco where a car can be rented for the 23 mile dirt road to Chaco)
Ah, yes, the home of the beloved Choco Taco.
 

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