Wake Forest UpDown | Syracusefan.com

Wake Forest UpDown

SWC75

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The Upside

- Don’t tell coach Autry that I posted an upside.

- Justin Taylor finally found the basket and scored 10 points in only 14 minutes of play, hitting a couple of three pointers. It meant little in this game but if he can get his confidence back, it could matter in games to come. Downside withing the upside: Justin was contributing in one area earlier this season: rebounding. He had a goose egg today.

- JJ Starling continued to act like a “shooting” guard and let the team with 15 points, including two treys. Unfortunately, most of them came in garbage time, which most of the second half was.

- Benny Williams had 7 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. He’d have done better if he hadn’t missed 7 of 9 shots.

- We got to 70 points after a 28 point first half.

- That’s all I’ve got.

14-8 (5-6) with 9+ to go…

LET’S GO ORANGE!


Net Points

This year I’m going to make things a bit easier on myself and just list the net points in each game after the Upside. Once a month I’ll do a deeper dive into the numbers rather than doing a “Net Points, etc.” post after every game. ‘Net’ points is the positives (points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks) minus the negatives, (missed field goals and free throws, turnovers and fouls committed).

JJ Starling game: 12NP in 38 minutes; season: 207NP in 754 minutes = 11.0NP/40m
Judah Mintz game: 9NP in 33 minutes; season: 302NP in 726 minutes = 16.6NP/40m
Benny Williams game: 8NP in 24 minutes; season: 99NP in 307 minutes = 12.9NP/40m
Justin Taylor game: 4NP in 14 minutes; season: 128NP in 521 minutes = 9.8NP/40m
Kyle Cuffe game: 1NP in 6 minutes; season: 27NP in 231 minutes = 4.7NP/40m
Peter Carey game: 1NP in 11 minutes; season: 2NP in 56 minutes = 0.7NP/40m
Quadir Copeland game: 1NP in 20 minutes; season: 204NP in 468 minutes = 17.4NP/40m
Chris Bell game: 1NP in 25 minutes; season: 115NP in 524 minutes = 8.8NP/40m
Maliq Brown game: 1NP in 29 minutes; season: 295NP in 575 minutes = 20.5NP/40m
Did not play:
Mounir Hima game: 0NP in 0 minutes; season: 9NP in 28 minutes = 12.9NP/40m

Hurt:
Chance Westry game: 0NP in 0 minutes; season: 0NP in 0 minutes = 0.0NP/40m

Out for the season:
Naheem McLeod game: 0NP in 0 minutes; season: 108NP in 202 minutes = 21.4NP/40m

Red Shirting:
William Patterson game: 0NP in 0 minutes; season: 0NP in 0 minutes = 0.0NP/40m



Brent Axe had his appendix taken out last week. Let’s see if he’s any different without it:



The Downside

- When the coach apologizes to the school and its fans for a team’s performance, that’s a sign that they didn’t play very well. Actually, Red’s presser could be the whole downside. But I’m too long-winded for that.

- We lost because we shot 40% and they shot 66%. And they shot 63% from three. (Matt Park said that the two worst SU defensive performances in terms of opponent’s shooting percentage in the last ten years were the last two). And we got out-rebounded 23-36. And they had 40 points in the paint. And our starting forwards were 1 for 10 and 0 for 6 from the arc at halftime. And…

- It was a 1 point game. Chris Bell had 1 Net Point. Maliq Brown had 1 net point. Quadir Copeland had 1 net point. Kyle Cuffe and Peter Crey had 1 net point each. When even Maliq Brown isn’t doing anything, we’ve got no shot.

- The refs stunk. If they’d been competent, we might have lost by 20.

- Inevitably, (it happens every year), somebody posted that we lost because we don’t have any talent. JJ Starling is a McDonald’s All American. Judah Mintz and benny Williams were top 50 recruits. Maliq Brown is certainly talents. Quadir Copeland can be a spectacular player. Chris Bell is our biggest outside threat and our best dunker. Justin Taylor has shown the ability to score in the past. Chance Westry was big-time recruit. Donnie Freeman is a Mickey Dee and Elijah Moore a dead-eye shooter. Talent is not our problem. A big problem is that we had four centers on the roster and we went 0-4 on them, (our center is in Morgantown), forcing our power forward to play center and the Benny Williams saga forced Red to play two small forwards. Westry’s injury has made him unavailable. We don’t have enough outside shooting. I think the on-court leadership on the team is lacking and maybe the off-court leadership as well. The team has no seniors and just one basket case junior. In a pinch, everybody does their own thing, or nothing at all. Those are the problems, not talent.

- Do you ever have old conversations start playing in your head? When SU has a really discouraging game, I recall a conversation with my mother from almost 60 years ago. She didn’t understand why anyone would care about sports at all. She felt I was wasting time watching or listening to games. After we’d blown a game we should have won, he asked me why I bother listening to the games when they don’t make me happy. Shouldn’t you seek activities that make you happy? I had to explain to Mom that being a sports fan means that you are going to be happy sometimes and unhappy other times. It’s not like listening to a favorite tune or reading an interesting book. There are going to be ups and downs. The fact that you remained loyal to your teams even when they made you unhappy makes you all the happier when they win the games that will make you happy. You can’t be happy after a loss. But how do you know which games they will lose? You don’t Mom, you don’t. She thought I was crazy. What I was a fan.
 
I proudly tell people before the game that I’ll be watching, for instance, Syracuse lose to Wake Forest. Sometimes it’s not about winning and losing. I was really curious about how Red would be as a coach and how he would work with this team. Gotta watch some losses if you want to see that in action
 
The problem is that Brown is playing out of position and our forwards cannot hold their own against Div I forwards. On court it is 3 against 5, or two against 5 if Brown is in over his head.

We dissolve into one on one play but what else can you do when your four forwards cannot even shoot at a highschool level?
 
kevin "boopie" miller went 10-14 . made one jumper and NINE layups. he went to the line just once. what's that say about our D ? the guards (who never got pulled) couldn't stay in front of him and our bigs just let him score uncontested. that explains the high FG % . our vaunted matador defense leads to yet another embarrassing loss on espn.
 
Seriously, usually your posts are usually 90%+ dead on, but how can you defend our talent ?

Our forwards are unimaginably bad. Bell can only shoot and does nothing else. Justin is a lost soul. Yeah, he got ten, but inefficiently. First time in forever that he got more than two. His athleticism is clearly subpar. Bennie ranges between average and bad. His shot looks so bad, I get amazed every time one goes in, unless it is a dunk.

Guards are our only plus position. Two good starters plus Cope.

As for center, Brown does a lot well, but he is not an inside defender, which is the primary role that a center should have. Also, he has zero O other than dunks and layups - he needs some sort of a baby hook or mid-range J. Maybe if we had a real center Brown could play well at the 4 spot - remains to be seen. MacLeod, before he got hurt, gave us some shot blocking, but little enough else so that he only earned 10 minutes or so per game.

Cope helps both at F and G and is potentially our best talent, but he needs to up his scoring to be more of a difference maker.

As for Moore and Freeman, last time I looked they were still in HS.
 
Justin Taylor has an 8.2 PER and has a TS% of 43.3%. He isn’t remotely producing for what we need at this level. Even if he got better, the distance he needs to make up to be serviceable is a long way’s away. Chris Bell is 11.5 and 51.2%. Benny is 13.5 and 45.2%. Those are *true shooting* percentages.

JJ is re-building his shot and it’s still not right, even tho it’s better.

Chance Westry hasn’t been healthy in two years.

I am all for looking for real hope and staying positive, but it’s getting really hard. I have hope for JJ. I love Maliq. I can see some silver linings. But I keep coming back to things like Chris Bell has started every game for Syracuse across two HCs and he just can’t be a starter at this level.

It’s tough right now.
 
Seriously, usually your posts are usually 90%+ dead on, but how can you defend our talent ?

Our forwards are unimaginably bad. Bell can only shoot and does nothing else. Justin is a lost soul. Yeah, he got ten, but inefficiently. First time in forever that he got more than two. His athleticism is clearly subpar. Bennie ranges between average and bad. His shot looks so bad, I get amazed every time one goes in, unless it is a dunk.

Guards are our only plus position. Two good starters plus Cope.

As for center, Brown does a lot well, but he is not an inside defender, which is the primary role that a center should have. Also, he has zero O other than dunks and layups - he needs some sort of a baby hook or mid-range J. Maybe if we had a real center Brown could play well at the 4 spot - remains to be seen. MacLeod, before he got hurt, gave us some shot blocking, but little enough else so that he only earned 10 minutes or so per game.

Cope helps both at F and G and is potentially our best talent, but he needs to up his scoring to be more of a difference maker.

As for Moore and Freeman, last time I looked they were still in HS.

Talent is one thing. Performance is another. Some guys aren't not fully using their talents. Some guys are just out of position because of the center disaster. Some guys are injured. I assume any highly recruited player is talented but that's not enough. Also, when I see a player do something, I assume he's capable of doing it. When I see Justin Taylor score 25 points or get a double-double, I assume that such feats are within his capabilities. When I see Chris Bell make a contested three, throw down a one-handed dunk, back a man down and make a turn-around jumper and stop a guy in his tracks, block his shot and start the fast break, I wonder why he does none of those things in the next two games.
 
Talent is one thing. Performance is another. Some guys aren't not fully using their talents. Some guys are just out of position because of the center disaster. Some guys are injured. I assume any highly recruited player is talented but that's not enough. Also, when I see a player do something, I assume he's capable of doing it. When I see Justin Taylor score 25 points or get a double-double, I assume that such feats are within his capabilities. When I see Chris Bell make a contested three, throw down a one-handed dunk, back a man down and make a turn-around jumper and stop a guy in his tracks, block his shot and start the fast break, I wonder why he does none of those things in the next two games.
There's a difference between doing something once and being able to do it consistently game after game. We don't have many of the latter.
 
Talent is one thing. Performance is another. Some guys aren't not fully using their talents. Some guys are just out of position because of the center disaster. Some guys are injured. I assume any highly recruited player is talented but that's not enough. Also, when I see a player do something, I assume he's capable of doing it. When I see Justin Taylor score 25 points or get a double-double, I assume that such feats are within his capabilities. When I see Chris Bell make a contested three, throw down a one-handed dunk, back a man down and make a turn-around jumper and stop a guy in his tracks, block his shot and start the fast break, I wonder why he does none of those things in the next two games.
It has been said that energy is a talent. Too many of our guys seem to have no motor.

As MSO said above doing something once means nothing. An aspect of talent is consistency. Anybody can do something once (not exactly true - I will never dunk unless we get a 6' hoop).

If your definition of talent is to assume that any highly recruited player is talented, then everybody is talented and the word loses any perspective. Talent is a relative thing. Any highly recruited player would be talented at a prep level. That does not mean that they are talented at a collegiate level. Just as most talented collegians will not be viewed as talented pros.

So Taylor scored 25 once over a year ago. This season his only double digit game against a P5 opponent was the 10 he got in the Wake blowout. Doesnt that say something ????

So Bell is a great three point shooter when totally open. He lacks the skill to create, he lacks the hustle and anticipation to rebound. Where is the talent in terms of playing the game of basketball ? The ability to jump high does not mean he has basketball talent.

Neither Taylor or Bell can guard anybody well.

I dont mean to pick on Taylor or Bell, but they were the two guys you specifically named. Could certainly expand the conversation to include most others on this roster.
 
It has been said that energy is a talent. Too many of our guys seem to have no motor.

As MSO said above doing something once means nothing. An aspect of talent is consistency. Anybody can do something once (not exactly true - I will never dunk unless we get a 6' hoop).

If your definition of talent is to assume that any highly recruited player is talented, then everybody is talented and the word loses any perspective. Talent is a relative thing. Any highly recruited player would be talented at a prep level. That does not mean that they are talented at a collegiate level. Just as most talented collegians will not be viewed as talented pros.

So Taylor scored 25 once over a year ago. This season his only double digit game against a P5 opponent was the 10 he got in the Wake blowout. Doesnt that say something ????

So Bell is a great three point shooter when totally open. He lacks the skill to create, he lacks the hustle and anticipation to rebound. Where is the talent in terms of playing the game of basketball ? The ability to jump high does not mean he has basketball talent.

Neither Taylor or Bell can guard anybody well.

I dont mean to pick on Taylor or Bell, but they were the two guys you specifically named. Could certainly expand the conversation to include most others on this roster.

For years we complained about our recruits no longer were highly rated guys. Now it doesn't matter?

I agree that dong something once isn't enough: you need to do it consistently. But if you did it, you can do it.
 

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