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About JwgreDeux

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  1. I would expect us to be favored in both games. 7 or so vs LSU and .5-2.5 vs Alabama, right now.
  2. There are few team in College Football who need to be observed for the eye test, in determining who is in significant bowl games and who is out. In basketball there are so many more teams to be familiar with, it is nearly impossible to have a quality test of who deserves to be in without some metric based scale. RPI has been it, I'm all for them improving it as long as the human component is removed all together.
  3. We had a small margin for error, and just made too many mistakes to pull this one off. However, I was encouraged by what this team showed, without Purifoy, at Kentucky. Despite a first half where UK had it going, and looked like they were capable of putting the game away early, we fought and scraped to keep it close early, going into half down 12. In the second half, it was the Auburn that was the aggressor cutting the lead to 4 with 12 minutes to go, and after another run from Kentucky, cutting to 6 with 8 to go. At this point, we simply weren't able to finish the job and they pulled away late. I am not blaming the game on the refs, but the foul disparity was crazy, 31-18 is suspect, period, plain and simple. That is all I will say on that issue. We exacerbated that issue, by not shooting well from the line ourselves. Dunans, again showed how valuable he is, and I'm happy for him, as there has been plenty of chatter calling for him to be benched. Myself and others defended him and his style of play, and we would have been run out of that gym without him. We needed a big game from Wiley, Brown and Harper, and we simply didn't get it. None were bad, but we needed above their averages and that didn't happen. Wiley was hamper with foul trouble, and that is going to happen to him as he continues to learn. We actually shot the ball pretty well (other than free throws) 47% from the field and 56% from three, but only 33% from the charity stripe. We allowed one of the best teams in the country to make 12 more free throws than we did, can't win like that. They shot 57% from the field and from three, can't win like that. We attempted 6 more field goals than they did, but they attempted 17 more free-throws than we did. As is to be expected when we play 4 guards, we were out rebounded by 12 boards. I did wish we would have shot more from the outside. We were shooting it well, and I would have liked to have seen more outside attempts personally. It was great to see this team fight and scrap and respond to runs when UK made them. I hope they are encouraged, humbled, and challenged by this game. To realize we can play with anyone, but we need to be better together to actually win. This team has played well for most of the conference schedule (not Vandy) but only has one win. Close doesn't count and they have to get that taste for blood to finish off some games. CBP did a few interesting things. First he did cut the primary rotation down to 8 guys, which I thought was a good move. He also elected to start Dunans instead of McLemore, and went with 4 guards. Despite the disappointing finish, we did improve our RPI over the course of this week, from the 90's down to 83. The next week will be huge for this team. LSU and Bama at home are both games we can win, and that would put us at 3-4 in the league, improve our RPI, and put us at 13-6 overall . It starts with LSU on Wednesday. War Eagle.
  4. Line is out and it's U.K. -22.5
  5. I'm not that into predictions, but you may be right. I will tell you our defensive execution will be more important that being on "fire" from three. 1st priority has to be to keep them out of the paint as much as possible.
  6. Not saying I expect AU to win, just wanted to look at what our best chance would be......So you're (I'm) saying there's a chance
  7. I like Brown starting. Lang has no chance to guard UK's guards on the perimeter. I like Brown starting going forward as well. I assume it will happen once he satisfies CBP's conditions, which it appears happened judging by his minutes vs Mizzou. We will see.
  8. Auburn (11-5, 1-3) at Kentucky (14-2, 4-0) Saturday, January 14th, 3:00PM CT ESPN (http://www.espn.com/watchespn/index/_/id/2923978/auburn-vs-6-kentucky) Lexington, KY (Rupp Arena) Auburn comes limping into this game, physically and mentally, after a much needed road win at Mizzou. Kentucky has it rolling and their young guns seem to be finding their mid-season form right on schedule. They are the top scoring team in the country, winning games by an average of 22 points, they don't turn the ball over, they rebound, shoot a good percentage from the floor, and love to push the tempo. They are favored by almost everyone to win the SEC and go very deep in the tourney, likely the final four, and a shot at another title. We can analyse this game a number of ways, hope to avoid a blowout, just keep it close for a while, beat the Vegas line (which isn't out yet, but it will be big 20+ in favor of UK), or we can look at any chance we have to actually win the game; I will look at the latter. Kentucky is not unbeatable, they have two losses on the season to this point, and only a couple of other close games. Looking at their results, one loss (to UCLA) and one close game (win over UNC) have been when they were confronted with another team who had the athletes to play up tempo games and stood toe to toe in a shoot out. Their other loss (to Louisville) and a close game (win over Vandy) were slower games where UK was held to 70 and 87 points respectively in mostly half court contests. Looking at this, we don't fit either mold very well for replicating others' success vs the Cats. So what do we do? Let's start by looking at what UK struggles with and what our strong suits are: Statistically speaking UK's worst areas (150th or worse) are allowing 62.4 field goal attempts per game, allowing 21.4 three point attempts per game, and allowing 21 free throws per game, and allowing 10 offensive rebounds per game, they also only shoot 34% from three vs 56% from two. Statistically speaking AU's best areas (top 60 or better) are field goals attempted per game 61, three pointers made per game 9, three pointers attempted per game 25, Free throws made per game 18 (#15 nationally), free throws attempted per game 27 (#5 nationally), opposing three points % per game 31.6%, we rank well in steels and blocks as well. So what do we have to do? It starts with slowing them down on offense, the way we do that is to press less, and make shots. Shooting a good percentage not only puts points up on the board, but if forces the other team to gather the made shot and inbound the ball. Additionally, we have to guard the paint and force them to shoot jump shots away from the basket, and when they miss we need to have the best defensive rebounding game of the season. IF we are able to do a good job of this, on offense we need to look to drive for fouls and move the ball for open three point shots. UK is pretty aggressive on defense, ball fakes and ball movement can lead to open jump shots, at that point we simply need to make them. Not some crazy percentage, but we need to shoot above 50% from the floor, and above 40% from three. We can greatly help ourselves out in both of those areas, by shooting a high percentage from the charity stripe, 73%. We don't have to shoot great from all three, but two of the three is a must. That's our recipe. Do almost all of those things and we could have a chance to shock the basketball world. I will be watching Wiley, Brown and Harper in this game. Wiley might be our only player that will have a physical advantage when on the floor, Brown will likely draw the task of guarding Monk and Harper will be facing a tremendous size disadvantage. How all respond will be a key in this game. You hope our players see this as an opportunity rather than a daunting challenge. Remember, they are young as well, and youth can make mistakes. War Eagle!
  9. Not an indictment, just an honest observation of where is game is currently. Averaging 4 points, 0 assists, and 2 rebounds. I like Lang, he had a role. But starting and playing 25+ minutes like has has done recently isn't it. That is on Brown, putting CBP and the team in that position. Last game we saw langs minites drop from 28 to 15, expect that trend to continue as Brown comes on.
  10. I'll tell you all now, that while Dunans hasn't played great, he is an important part of this team. We lost the only game he didn't play in to a terrible BC team. He is a gap filler, he can defend, score, pass, and rebound. He isn't great at any of them, but can fill the stat sheet in them all. That is why CBP hasn't pulled him and why he will continue to get minutes in middle portion of games, to preserve our starters legs, and to fill the gaps in our rotations. I had high hopes for Dunans this season as well, it appears he will fall short of those, but still a vital part of the rotation. Hopefully, he gets it going again. Lang has been starting in Brown's absence, so I'm sure he isn't in any doghouse. He is a role player, limited in his skills, a specialist. Only a certain amount of minutes available for a spot up shooter who isn't much of a ball handler, rebounder, or defender. I actually thing you will continue to see less of him as Brown works his way back into CBP's good graces.
  11. I would say the primary problem is two fold, 1. understanding assignments and 2. communication. The lack of understanding assignments is pretty obvious at times, failure of the help in be in proper position, failure to rotate on help in scrambles, all have led to a surplus of open shots for opposing teams. Communication is bad, and its obviously a problem. Any time we substitute and an opposing team comes down and gets a WIDE open 3, we simply failed to match up. This same problem shows itself in transition defense, we our guys fail to match up and follow sound defensive principles. Much of this is youth and lack of time together as a team. Take Kentucky for example, their team defense is not very sound either. They make up for it with size and length, which allows them to get away with more mistakes than an average team. Our talent level is high but not as high as theirs, so ours shows more, and leads to more losses. These same issues are why you don't see us play more zone, or have the ability to switch up defenses from zone to man and back. It is also why our press isn't as effective as we would like, our press is a zone press (like almost all presses are) and it requires communication and chemistry that we don't yet possess. These issues contribute to poor rebounding. Notice during the Mizzou game how they would get 3 and even 4 offensive rebounds in a row, it is because during the scramble we wouldn't get matched up, therefore we wouldn't be in rebounding position, and would end up with too many or too few guys in certain spots. Fix the communication issue in one aspect of the game, and we will improve multiple aspects as well. These problems can look like lack of effort, but are really more paralysis by analysis than lack of effort. It bothers me to see people say our guys don't hustle or whatever, because to me, as I watch, that is not what I'm seeing. Sure we don't have that guy that seems to be covered in floor burns all the time, but I think our guys are generally getting after it. CBP has a difficult task to teach these fundamentals to as well as implement all of the various game plans week to week, so it is no surprise we have fundamental lapses at times. The question is how much can we improve on these chemistry related items this season.
  12. This isn't surprising at all. Smith and Spencer are similar players, and Spencer is a step above Smith. Wiley is the primary reason for Smith's minutes to go down though. His addition reduced the number of minutes for others. I would expect Wiley to continue to get more and more minutes as the season goes along.
  13. I don't think Spencer has played poorly when he is on the court. I would assume when he is included in that reference it is due to him simply missing time due to his off court conduct. His blocks and rebounding are slightly down from last year, his points are about even, but his field go percentage is up. Maybe you could say he has been underwhelming since he hasn't taken a step forward, but I didn't expect his scoring to go up this year, but would have expected an improvement in rebounding. I think he brings great energy, is one of our better defenders, and rarely hurts on offense. I'm not sure how much more his game will grow, but I'd like to see him work on his free throw shooting and mid range jump shooting. He is undersized to play 4 at the next level with his current skill set. He needs all four years of college, put on some weight, develop more offensively, or develop his rebounding. He won't be a rim protector at the next level either, if he would resist the temptation to block every shot, he could be a more explosive Dennis Rodman type guy with his defense and energy. Staying on the floor, not chasing the blocks, would make him a better rebounder as well. Sorry I got off point there. No he hasn't played poorly.
  14. Regretting I opened this thread. The OP's attitude is what is wrong with AU basketball culture. At the first sign of adversity, run and scream the sky is falling. It hurt our season outlook to lose those two at home for sure, but the season is not over. We just tied last season's win total and by year's end will have clear improvement over last year, and higher expectations for next year. How much improvement and how high of expectations is yet to be determined. We got whipped by Vandy, that was discouraging. The other two SEC losses were competitive, we probably should have won at least one, and arguable our best player was hurt during the other. Suddenly CBP can't coach, we will lose our players to the NBA, and we won't win more than 14 games? What in the world?
  15. Mustapha Heron would be my choice as the most likely candidate to become the leader of this team. Also, I largely agree with @cole256's description of the type of leader most teams have. Teams will often have multiple leadership roles, but the primary floor leader is the one who I would say affects wins and losses most. Heron has all the tools needed, and after playing hurt during the MIzzou game, and having 12 second half points to close it out, along with clutch free throws down the stretch, I think he's the guy. His presence and production is constant, high effort, gutsy, rebounds, scores, defends....doesn't play with a 5 star attitude.