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About JwgreDeux

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  1. Tour of Italy

    I'm just saying that with the addition of Okeke, Murray as forwards and Dunbar as a guard/forward the roster is getting deep quick. Add to that Purifoy possibly still playing some stretch forward and that is a lot of competition for Spencer. I love Spencer's energy, and he seems like a good young man. However, with his limited offensive game and the addition of guys who can defend, rebound and score, I wonder if he is in for a season of less opportunity. Looking at the stats from this trip just made me wonder about it. Hopefully, CBP gets to rotate a lot of guys on the floor and Spencer has a great year.
  2. Tour of Italy

    Spencer was noticeably absent from the stat lines compared to McLemore and Okeke. Once Wiley is back I wonder how much opportunity Spencer will have this season.
  3. Tour of Italy

    It's almost football season and all I can think about is basketball. Our Tigers just wrapped up a series of exhibition games and despite only having highlights to watch I think we can draw some conclusions about our squad. First, in order to evaluate the stat lines and try to make any conclusions we have to make some assumptions about the level of competition. As a former player (not at AU unfortunately) I keep in touch with a lot of other former players and have the opportunity to play pick-up games with current and former players. Specifically, during the summer months I play pick-up with a handful of guys that play pro overseas in various leagues, so I can give you some insights on the general talent level of the middle and lower tier euro league teams. Generally, speaking only a player or two is talented enough to play on an SEC roster, and of the rest, a few wouldn't have made a quality high school roster. Then you have the remaining 5-7 players who were juco talent level guys. Also, many of the guys from the US that play on these teams are home for the summer and not with the team. This is just a average framework, the upper level leagues are better than this and the lower level leagues are basically club teams and worse than this. Now, all of these teams have holes, where those holes are is difficult to say. Some have size but little athleticism, some have athleticism but no size. Looking at the limited highlights, it appears some of the teams lacked size and others lacked athleticism. So I would say we could compare these teams to a Sun Belt conference team, some may compete well in that conference, others would be middle of the road at best. We played Georgia St and Coastal Carolina, both Sun Belt squads, last season and beat them both fairly handily. We put up 117 vs Coastal Carolina in our best offensive explosion of the year. So that's my take on level of competition for what it's worth. Now for some interesting things I noticed from the lineups and stat lines. Game 1: AU vs Stella Azzurra Starting line up was very small going with: Harper, Heron, Dunbar, Murry and McLemore. I'm not sure if CBP was matching the opponents size, working on some concepts to play small some this season, or what. But I do think it is safe to say he started Dunbar because he wanted to gather information about him since he hasn't seen him in any game action to that point. From the stats tweeted out, we know that CBP was substituting in waves of 5 at a time and Desean had a great first quarter with stats recorded in many columns. We also know that we held Stella completely scoreless for the second quarter. This is one of the stats that is head scratching, because I find it hard to believe any college team could hold another scoreless for a period, even in the 16 vs 1 first round mismatches we see, this doesn't happen. Book ending the scoreless second, Stella scored 8 in the first and 7 in the third, add to that Harper had 10 rebounds and we have to simply assume Stella was severely over-matched. Stella didn't score again in the 4th until CBP emptied the bench with 7 minutes to play remaining, and we go on to win 87-29. Now this Stella team did play Kansas before us and muster roughly 50 points but I'm not sure how much we can draw from that. CBP admitted Stella was very young and likely the weakest team we would play on the tour. In any event nothing but positive takeaways. It was interesting to here CBP talk about Murry playing power forward as his best position, and how he could present match up issues in the SEC. If that's true we may be able to project him as coming off the bench at the 4 and 3 spots depending on opponent and circumstances, as we try to start projecting what our starting 5 and playing rotations will look like. Also, if you're keeping score at home in the point guard battle that is one start for Harper. Game 2: AU vs BC Silute Starting lineup for this one was much more traditional: Mitchell, Heron, Purifoy, Okeke, and Spencer. I'm not sure if going with Mitchell vs the step up in competition says anything or not, but if you're scoring at home, that is one start each for Harper and Mitchell. This game started out much more competitive with it being tied in the early going 16-16 and AU having a narrow lead at the half 46-39. Brown led the way scoring at this point with good contributions from McLemore, Okeke, Heron and Harper. AU came out hot in the second half and opened up a 15 point lead and never really looked back, emptying the bench with a 99-77 lead. It was good to see such a strong second half performance vs decent competition. Brown led us in scoring with 20pts, McLemore had 18 pts, and Harper had 10pts and 10assts as AU won 103-87. Looking at the highlights you can tell BC had some size and was trying to collapse on the drive, although McLemore was seen finishing well, this defense is what probably led to so many points from Brown from outside. CBP mentioned the team might have been affected from the travel schedule and didn't have their legs 100%. I personally would have liked to see us give up less points, but with the rotating of new guys and limited highlights it's hard to say how good/bad the defense was. Still pretty much all positive things to take away. Game 3: AU vs Veneto Select Starting lineup for this one was interesting, going with: Mitchell, Doughty, Purifoy, Murray, and Spencer (Heron sat this one out as part of CBPs plan to sit most players for one game). That two starts for Mitchell, but you have to wonder how much starting means with Doughty getting a start, since he is sitting out the upcoming season. Au jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Doughty played well early and at least 5 different guys scored in the first quarter. The defense seems to have been better in this one with 12 steals before the second quarter was over and AU took at 19 point lead into the half. We came out of the half on fire with Brown getting going, as AU ran out to a 104-50 lead when the bench was emptied with 5 min left in the game. AU wins 119-54 with Brown leading the way with 21 pts. Defensively we totaled 35 steals and 7 blocks as we seemingly did a lot of pressing against a clearly outmatched foe. Game 4: AU vs Italy All-Stars Starting lineup for this one looks more traditional with: Harper, Brown, Heron, Purifoy and Okeke. Personally, I love this lineup and if Wiley wasn't on this team this could well be our starting five, but with Wiley's talent he has to start and we will likely move Heron, Purifoy and Okeke up a spot sending Brown to come of the bench. We started this game on fire, and it was over from the opening tip. We were up by almost 40 at half with a lot of guys contributing and 16 assists on 19 fgs, I hope that stat is accurate. We again were able to empty the bench and cruised to a 104 - 58 win. Okeke had 20 boards and Brown had another 20 point game. Key Takeaways: _ Okeke is legit and will have a big impact on the floor this year. Between his performance here and at the team USA tryouts, there is little doubt he is ready to play from day 1 and possibly start. _ Hot second half starts. It would be easy to explain away sloppy second halves, travel, touring, distractions, etc. However, we had very strong second halves in every game. Regardless of competition, that is a good sign. _I take little away from the starting lineups and the rotations CBP mixed and matched on this trip. We will have a true 1 guard starting with Harper/Mitchell, a guard that can play 2 or 3 in Heron, and a true 5 in Wiley. The other two spots will likely be Purifoy and Okeke, or maybe Brown or Murry if we are going with a smaller lineup. Brown's scoring/shooting on this tour is what I thought we would see more of last year. Murry's defense, rebounding and physical play will be a great addition, likely coming off the bench. Can't wait for the season. War Eagle!
  4. Mizzou Preview

    I read over the preview I did for our first Mizzou game and it is scary how spot on it is for this team in the third installment of the series this season: Replace Purifoy being out due to injury, with Spencer being out due to injury and it can be completely recycled. We have an RPI in the 90's, need this win, and are the better team. We have seen Mizzou twice, they have lost their coach, there are no Xs and Os to discuss here really. I think what we did vs Mizzou on senior night shows how confident CBP is that we can handle them. He started the seniors, played the most zone we have seen all season, and still won comfortably. I wouldn't expect to see that again. Maybe we continue to see us work on our zone defense, but the time for experimentation is over. I'd like to see CBP have his rotations set, utilize the soft zone press with the second unit that was effective, and put this game away as quickly as possible. I am telling you now, let MIzzou hang around and they will be dangerous at the end of the game. We have to get this Win. With all the 1 seeds losing in conference tourneys a win vs Ole Miss may or may not be enough to get into the NIT, but we don't get there without beating Mizzou first. This season has been a step in the right direction, but a loss here would make progress (although present) hard to see. Things we need: Dunans to play his game, quit shooting threes, drive the ball and create. Wiley to stay on the court, when he isn't in foul trouble Mizzou has no response for his size and abilities. Production from Johnson, Johnson has had a few very unproductive games late in the season, and we need his boost off the bench. Defense from Purifoy and Herron. Most often the 3 and the 4 do most difficult rotations in help defense settings. Example: the point guard beats Harper and Wiley steps up to contest a layup, it is typically Herron or Purifoy that is responsible for getting to Wiley's man to prevent a drop off pass, or an easy put back. That is where our help defense has struggled most. When they fill those rotations we are adequate enough on defense, when we don't we aren't. Games at neutral site big arenas that aren't made for basketball can have weird sight-lines and deceiving depth perception backdrops. The Bridgestone Arena in Nashville holds 20,000 and is normally a hockey venue, while this is better than the Georgia Dome, it is still going to be very different than our games to this point. This can affect shooting percentage and change the dynamic of the game a bit. This is why Dunans driving and creating is very important, as is the defensive end if shots don't fall early. We are a 6 point favorite on the neutral floor per the opening lines. We have a favorable draw in the SEC tourney, it starts with Mizzou, win or go home. War Eagle!
  5. Men's Postseason chatter thread (Merged)

    I have no idea about Dunans off the court attitude, but CBP gave the seniors a start vs Mizzou, and Dunans responded by pulling an early three point attempt. That really raised my eyebrows. He isn't helping himself or the team by taking those shots. I think he could be the factor that determines how we play in the SEC tourney. His ability to contribute in all stat categories is unlike any other player we have.If he would play that game we can make a run, and he will help himself. IF he gets a chance to play anywhere other than a mid-level European league, it will be his defense and utility ability that will get him there, not his shooting prowess. 7-10pts, 5rebs, 3asts, 2stls, and 1blk is what we need from him.
  6. Mizzou Question

    Dunans was actually quite effective at the top of the zone, disrupting them and getting a few steals/deflections. We did stay in it too long, and when Harper was in it, he struggled with communication. Like I said, I would like to see the second unit get in it a bit, just to alter the opposing team's offense at times. Mizzou also hit quite a few deep contested 3s early in that game to prevent us from really running away from them.
  7. Mizzou Question

    We played an unusual amount of zone vs Mizzou this past game. Even though we aren't great defensively, this played in to it. I think we are best in man to man, mixing in the zone at times is great, but only with the second unit of Dunnans, Johnson and Heron at the guard spots.
  8. SEC Tournament Bracket Set

    It is a great draw for us.
  9. Georgia 2 - preview

    Auburn (17-12, 6-10) vs. Georgia (17-12, 8-8) Wednesday, March 1st 5:30PM CT SEC Network / WatchESPN Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Georgia This one isn't much different than the last one, except that instead of fighting for NCAA tourney position, we are fighting for NIT tourney position. Here is my preview from the first match-up: Both teams are down a man, AU is without Spencer, and UGA is without Maten. He was 1 of their 1-2 punch with the point guard, but somehow they have managed to play pretty well without him. Our build a lead and lose it history, actually started in the first UGA and has plagued us since. This isn't a must win, but let's face it, a win vs Mizzou doesn't help any resumes. So this is a chance to more than likely lock in a spot in the NIT. UGA is a solid home favorite in this one at -5, so it will take a good effort on our part. The bulldogs have a lot to play for, they aren't just going to roll over because they lost Maten. They have been playing a bit more up-temp without Maten, which should work in our favor. At this point, we know what we have in most of our guys, how close can they play to their abilities on both ends? We can not afford a lack luster half in this one and expect to win. We have to contain Frazier, end of story. He is their primary weapon at this point and is who they will go to when they need a basket. That falls to Harper, Johnson and maybe Brown. That is the game within a game to watch, slow down Frazier we should have a great chance to win this one; let him run wild and its over. War Eagle!
  10. Arkansas - preview

    Here we are again. A game where Auburn has a great opportunity to take a step forward as a program and to improve our post season resume. We find ourselves a slight (1 point, and several books have as a pickem game) underdog to Arkansas, a top 35 RPI team, at home. A win here would nearly lock in a first round host spot in the NIT. Arkansas plays our style of basketball, but at an even faster pace. They have a nice overall record, but are not as consistent at the record might suggest. While we have had two separate three game losing streaks, Arkansas has two separate spans where they lost 3 out of 4, including a loss at Mizzou. They come in playing good ball, however, winning their last 4. Very similar style of play to Florida, but without as good or as much outside shooting. Statistically they don't jump off the page, and aren't much better than AU across the board. This is a winnable game. We have shown plenty of ability to score, in these opportunity games, we have allowed opposing teams to shatter their season averages, with poor defense. Arky averages 81 a game, so if we allow them to shatter that, we lose, like the Florida game. If we can keep them in that ball park and have a good offensive night, we have a good shot. Vegas has the over/under at 170 for this game for the total amount of points scored, so they too expect a game in the 80's. I would expect to see us go with a smaller lineup, getting shooters and scorers on the floor. Lang will probably play 4 behind Purifoy again, and I would expect Brown to get another start. We have wilted in these games recently, need to man up tonight. War Eagle!
  11. Men's Postseason chatter thread (Merged)

    The fact that fans now have any expectation of success speaks to what CBP has done in three seasons. This season has already seen real progress and it isn't over yet. As for JJ, many in the college basketball world thought Barbee was a good hire. It was a miss no doubt, but many would have made that same miss.
  12. Texas A&M - a preview

    Forgot to mention we are a 6 point dog in this one.
  13. Texas A&M - a preview

    Auburn (16-10, 5-8) vs. Texas A&M (13-12, 5-8) Saturday, February 18th 3:00PM CT ESPNU / WatchESPN College Station, TX Well somebody's gotta win this one. Both teams are coming off two losses in a row and are looking to prevent a late season slide. There isn't much to say about our Tigers that hasn't been said to this point in the season. Prior to the Ole Miss game this team was on the verge of serious tourney consideration, so I'm not convinced they are ready to fold up shop. It's important to take a moment and realize that this team has already taken a step forward from last season and created expectations of post season play. That's progress. Nonetheless, of this team isn't able to salvage a postseason appearance, it will be a let down considering where we were two games ago. A&M presents a lot of problems. Davis is a bull in the post and I'm not sure we have anyone who can play that physically without fouling, in order to limit him. Their guard Gilder does it all, scores, facilitates and defends. At 6-4 he may be too big for Brown to guard and could require Heron to guard their best scoring guard. A&M doesn't score as much as we do, but they can score the ball and will present a challenge for our second half matador defense. A couple of other notes. Anyone who is on the coaching staff needs to get some perspective. CBP and CCP know more about high level basketball than any of us ever will. They are both proven. I and others have talked about chemistry and communication issues that all the roster shifting would cause. Low and behold we lose Spencer and our defense dramatically suffers, just when the team seemed to be finding its self. I love the passion that I have seen from the fans wanting to win, but to start calling for heads to roll is misplaced. I saw a tweet from Rod Brambett the other day that said in his 13 years of calling AU basketball this was already the third most wins he has seen. This program was a dumpster fire when CBP took over. A&M is a top 100 RPI team, with our RPI at 72, a win will put us in good position for the lesser postseason tourneys. We improved our turnovers and rebounding vs UF, but the defense was lacking. With our offense the fldefense doesn't have to be great, but the intensity has to come up. I still think this group has some wins left in them, let's get one this afternoon. War Eagle!
  14. Florida - preview

    Auburn (16-9, 5-7) vs. Florida (20-5, 10-2) Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 6:00PM CT SEC Network / WatchESPN A program that seemed poised to take a big step forward into the NCAA tourney discussion, let a key opportunity slip away over the weekend. Since the Tigers blew a 20+ point lead to lose to Ole Miss on the road, there has been questions about Bruce Pearl, softness of the team and whether we were ever a bubble team to start with. However, at 16-9 (5-7) and with 6 games to go, Auburn certainly has much left to play for. Auburn is currently tied for 8th in the league and 4th is only two games out in front of them. We have seen some over reaction in the past when we let one get away. For me, this loss hurt more than others due to the timing, as we have very little time to make up for this one. Of our remaining games, only 2 opponents are ranked higher than us in the league and we get them both at home (Arkansas and Florida). There are some very winnable games in this stretch and it is crucial to our program to pick up a few and earn some postseason play. The best thing for any postseason resume is beating good teams. We have such an opportunity tonight, as we welcome Florida to the Plains. Florida is a 9.5 favorite, and they deserve to be. They play good offense and good defense,and generally stay within their system and roles. Statistically they have the advantage all over the floor. Their worst statistical category is asst/fg ratio, which is only marginally better than ours. Which means they don't get a lot of assists, compared to the number of overall field goals. The scary thing is they are the best in the country at limiting assits and opposing asst/to margin. Considering we just blew a 20 point second half lead, largely in part to 26 points off of turnovers, I'd say this is a bad match up for us at a bad time. Harper and Johnson will have to play lights out (protecting the ball) for us to have any chance. There is no secret here, we have to be first half Auburn for the full game. Is that achievable, probably not, but it is possible. I wouldn't be surprised to see some runs in this game, good and bad. Florida isn't a perfect team, they are very average in their shooting percentages, it is their defense that is above average, and their defense that wins them games. They have only allowed 80+ points twice all season, back in December, and the lost both games. They held UK to 66 three games ago and Gonzaga to 77 earlier in the year. If we have any shot, we have to be the third team to get into the 80s because our defense is not good enough to hold them under their season average of 79 points per game. So we need to go off on offense, and limit them as much as possible in transition. Win or lose, how we respond to the disappointment of the Ole Miss game is the secondary story-line here. Do we fold up shot and call it a season, be happy we made any bubble projection and call it a good year, or do we rally for a strong finish to the year, get to 20 wins, and some post season play? I think this is a resilient bunch that has shown the ability to bounce back more than once. We have only lost back to back games one time all season, when we started SEC play 0-3. We responded vs TCU after a bad loss to SC, we responded vs bama after a bad loss to UT, it's time to respond again. War Eagle!
  15. Ole Miss Post Game

    Been traveling and just now back where I can really digest the Ole Miss game. 26 points off turnovers, all the fouls, the points in the second half, all point to mental toughness. Can't be surprised that is an issue considering the youth, but it isn't just a young thing. Dunans showed bad judgment most of the game. He was pulling 3s and spotted up several times where he wanted to shoot but didn't get the ball. That isn't his game, his release and motion is not good form and will not produce high percentages, he is a slasher and creator and needs to embrace that role again. Mental toughness affects the abilities to handle all circumstances, when a game goes bad, and when a game goes well. We haven't learned to maintain that intensity/engagement level that is needed. The truly disappointing thing about this game is we were within striking distance of real NCAA consideration. While the road loss to a top 100 team only cost us 8 points in the RPI, now at 66, we just don't have time to make up for loses that should have been wins. I still think this is a post season team, NIT likely, but with this loss we still have work to due there. These crazy kids could turn around a beat UF tonight and really flip the script tough.