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JwgreDeux last won the day on April 2 2019

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  1. After watching our exhibition games in Israel here's my take on how the depth chart looks. Starting 5 1. Green Jr. - the most accomplished performer we have returning, we need him to improve his distributing and shot selection. 2. Westry - from this short sample, he looks to be the only guard we have that has the ability to penetrate, finish, handle, pass and shoot. I think we need him on the floor. Really like his upside. Can also help whoever is playing the 1 share the ball handling responsibility. 3. Flannigan - while I am not sold on his return to form, he did look healthier in Israel and he brings defense and rebounding at the 3 that we need. If we had better guards I think Westry would have potentially taken this spot. 4. J. Williams - he is one of our best remaining shooters and his versatility and experience will really help us. 5. Broome - brings scoring we have to have with the loss of Jabari, and solid defense we need with the loss of Kessler. While he won't be as good defensively as Kessler, I think he brings more offensively and is more versatile. Second 5. 1. Jasper - Zep was a starter most of last year, and if not for my view of Westry's upside, he would be a starter here again this year. Statistically our best returning 3 point shooter, we need him to look for that shot a little more this season. 2. KD Johnson - take the good with the bad with this wild card, I prefer him creating havoc off the bench rather than in the starting lineup. 3. Moore - while I think Westry will play some 3 as well (while some combination of Zep, KD, and Green are on the floor), Moore's only role is at the 3. He can't shoot but is a good rebounder and defender for short spurts. Will benefit from the departure of Devin Cambridge 4. Traore - will push Williams for the starting spot. Has all the tools to be elite, just a bit raw. Looked lost at times on defense vs the national team, but also looked dominant at times on the offensive end. This guy is one to watch. He could become special. 5. Cardwell - looks great on this trip. Lost some weight and improved his movement some. I look for him to expand on his role from last season and if he continues to blossom, may force Broome to play some at the 4 to get Cardwell more minutes. Others who will get some minutes: Lior played in 20 games last season and scored in every game he played more than 6 minutes. Has he improved enough defensively to get more time as a shooter on offense? He made the same number of threes as Flannigan on half of the attempts. He's the best shooter we have and we may have to find pockets of time to get him on the floor. The number of games he played in doubled last season, up from 8 the season before and his average minutes in those games went from 2 to 8. While we didn't get a look at him in Israel he did average 12 points a game playing with a guard from Princeton and one headed to Stanford in the "Jewish Olympics" this summer. Tre Donaldson has to get some minutes, but there just aren't a lot to go around with three returning guards and Westry in the mix. Donaldson has a qb mentality and the physical size and quickness that gives him a high ceiling, but he's a bit raw from what little I have seen him. He made a big shot late vs the national team that showed a lot of confidence and a flash of talent that really is exciting. I could see him progressing as the season goes along and taking minutes from Zep. Akingbola played in 6 games last season and will have a hard time finding the floor this season, but will likely get a few more than last year if our 5s aren't as good at staying out of foul trouble as Kessler was. It does look weird having our two starting guards from last season coming off the bench, and they may start again and bring Green and Westry off the bench, but this is my take on what the roster will look like.
  2. Encouraged by the newcomers’ talent level. Front-court will be very good again, back-court will limit our ceiling again. With the newcomers, think our upside at guard is higher than last season. Saw some nice flashes out of them.
  3. Perhaps we just disagree on what is hero ball. I agree there were too many possessions without ball movement, but the root of that is not always hero ball or ball hoging. Sometimes, and in my opinion often times, that comes from the ball handler not having/seeing better options. In any event, given what we have seen from this team this season, I did think this was something we would improve on and believe we can continue to play that way if we stay locked in.
  4. Miami plays small and has a lot of guards, I'd rather play USC I think, although they play better defense. Wisconsin has a guy who can go off and beat you, so you have to respect that team Kansas of course will be a stout test for anyone, they have a guy as well, with a very strong supporting case. That being said, I feel good about our ability to defend, so what I would look at is what are the best defenses we are going to face, as our trouble is usually on the offensive end. LSU would be the best defense in our region, but I don't think they will advance to face us. Iowa St would be next and they play slow and ugly so may not be a pretty matchup even though our talent is far superior. No one else has a top 50 defensive efficiency so I feel pretty good about our draw.
  5. This is a gross oversimplification of our issues. I do think there are moments of hero ball, but I think there are more moments of too few good options for the ball handler (who ever it may be). Off ball movement can be coached and player initiated in small windows to help (not cure) what ails us. There have been different sets and scheme tried in the last 10-12 games that I have talked about in other places, so to say it isn't going to happen ignores that they have been trying to improve in this area. I am optimistic this team can get back in a better flow. Let's go get this first win! Survive and advance.
  6. I personally believe the primary issue is a fairly simple one. Movement, both ball movement and body movement without the ball. The guards start dribbling and the ball stops moving. Jabari gets a catch and bodies stop moving. Better movement can help all areas that ail us. Takes pressure off ball handlers, shifts the defense and makes passing easier, creates better shooting opportunities off the catch and should also help get some cuts for Flan/Devin. I would like to see us use the dribble weave we showed a little bit off at the end of the regular season, keep two guards high during pick and rolls to give Green more options if trapped or pressed by the big on the screen, use Smith more in pick and rolls and look for Kessler in a high/low action. As @cole256said some pindowns for Flan could also be good options. Perhaps a pindown screen for Kessler before he comes and sets the pick and roll screen to get a defender in the pick and roll that is not accustomed to being there. I trust CBP has something in store to help our movement issues. For the average watcher, if you see movement on the offensive end, good, if you see players standing, bad.
  7. I'd like to see them use Smith and Green in a ball screen at the end, so if a team switches they both have mismatch. Green should be able to drive better and Smith could just elevate and shoot.
  8. To @cole256's point, at this point it is what it is and all we can do is hope our guys play to their abilities. We've lost from turnovers, rebounding and poor shooting. The good news is even in those games this group has fought to the finish and forced teams to eek out wins. Here are the loss margins for some of the top teams in the tourney: Auburn (5 losses) 22 total points, 4.4 average margin of loss, worst loss 6 points Gonzaga: (3 losses) 22 total points, 7.3333 average margin of loss, worst loss 10 points Arizona: (3 losses) 36 total points, 12 average margin of loss, worst loss 16 points (twice) Duke (5 losses) 37 total points, 7.4 average margin of loss, worst loss 15 points and one by 13 points also Kentucky (7 losses) lost by 13 Kansas (6 losses) lost by 18 and by 10 twice Baylor (6 losses) lost by 10 The only other teams I could find without a loss of 10 or more points were Boise St and UAB. I think we can expect this group to be in every single game and have a chance to win them all. What a great position to be in as an Auburn basketball fan.
  9. We have been ranked AP #1 this season and are a projected 1 seed right now. Having players and coaches getting league and national post season awards. What disrespect are you talking about? Just that some people think other teams are better than us?
  10. The dunk after the horn and the coach in the arm sling going into the locker room, taking his shirt off, and coming back out were probably some of the stuff Zep is talking about. I'd love to see us go get all the teams that beat us, not for revenge, but to make us better at playing teams that gave us a hard time. I also like Zep's attitude about it as well.
  11. I've rewatched some of our recent games and gone over some of the numbers and I'm convinced we are in store for something special from Jabari in this postseason run. So here's a few things I've noticed. I think CBP started intentionally getting Jabari more touches sooner than we realized. Starting with the Missouri game on the road. Prior to that game he had attempted 15 or more shots just twice in 19 games and zero in conference. Starting that game he has attempted 15 or more shots 5 times in 12 games. Prior to the Mizzou game he had 4 games where he attempted 0 free throws (and 5 games where he shot 2 or 1) with 63 total attempts, only 1 game with 0 attempts (and 1 game with 1 attempt) since, with 76 total attempts. In the last six games he has recorded his season high in points, assists, and tied his season high in rebounds. This group has been trying to evolve as he does and there have been some bumps in the road, but I think there is reason to believe it is headed in the right direction. He's been more aggressive off the dribble in the last few games and there is one area I think we will see him improve on as he takes the next step and that is setting up others to score. I think our lack of assists can be helped by look for Jabari to get more assists on kick outs and high lows to Kessler or high low lobs to our 3s. Going to be fun to watch
  12. What a time to be an Auburn basketball fan. Let's all enjoy the ride no matter how it ends. This has been and will continue to be a special season.
  13. I honestly am more interested in the draw/matchups we end up with rather than the number beside the name. Right now I wouldn't want to catch Duke as a 2 seed, or Kansas if we end up as the last one seed. I want to see us get some tourney experience for this team in tampa and then hope for the best draw. Honestly, this season the current 2 seeds are as strong as the 1 seeds. So looking at match ups. The three seeds (who we would catch as a 2 seed) don't look much stronger than the 4 seeds (who we would catch if a 1 seed). So again matchups.
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