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JwgreDeux

Things I Saw - Oklahoma

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JwgreDeux    242

FINAL: Auburn 74 OU 70 

I'd say we measured up pretty well. A lot to be happy about, but some kinks are clearly being ironed out. 

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These Tigers are literally growing up before our eyes. Considering we are starting 4 freshman, and bringing one more off the bench, these Tigers have shown a lot of maturity. Surrounded by young talent, T.J. Dunans is finding his fit and the result is a very dangerous Auburn team. Combined with Heron's double double and Harper's closing efforts, we got a big WIN on a neutral site that has bumped our RPI up to 47, keeping our post season dreams a possibility.

From my preview:  

"Offensively, I like the way that Heron matches up with against their defense, perhaps he has another big game in his homecoming. Defensively, I would like to see ball pressure in the half court and less press when they go small, forcing them to run half court sets.  Purifoy will be looking at guys that can move as well as he can with similar size when he is at the 4 spot, and I will be watching to see how he responds to his struggles from our last game. 

I think for us to get the win, we need to move the ball well and make some jumps shots, and hold them to 70 points(ish)."

Mustapha Heron didn't disappoint in his homecoming, having a big production game with 15 pts and 12 rebs, shooting 50% from the field and from 3. He did press at times, which led to several turnovers, but overall you have to like the way his game is steadily coming along. Danjel Purifoy didn't really struggle, he was strangely passive, perhaps making an effort to get others involved, sensing that Heron and Dunans had the hot hands, in any event, I don't want to see much more of it. He is a scorer and I'd like to see him move towards his more aggressive days. Certainly, everyone's style will be altered by the addition of Austin Wiley, but DP was too passive in this one only taking handful of shots, and shooting 0 free throws.What was noticeably better was our defense. Granted OU missed some open shots, holding a team to 30% from the field is a great sign, especially without two of our better defenders playing in the game. Holding them to the number of points I thought we would need to in order to get this win.

OU was without the best player, but we were without two of our starters, so how you view that is quite subjective.  I watched our rotations closely to see what CBP had in mind and was surprised by a few things. First, Devin Waddell played as much as Wiley, and twice as much as LaRon Smith. Perhaps his role will be turned over to Horace Spencer once he is back in CBP's good graces. This will be interesting to continue to watch, as Waddell and Wiley were on the floor together a good bit, and this would mean a move to the 4 by Spencer, something that many posters have been discussing on the forum this week. We still saw plenty of Purifoy at the 4, but what CBP has in mind for the rotation going forward will be something to keep an eye on. 

Rebounding was better overall, but we still gave up too many offensive rebounds. The only reason OU was even in this ball game at the end was due to offensive rebounds and turnovers, getting 26 points off of turnovers or second chances, +9 in their favor in this area. We have been very good at limiting turnovers, so I don't think there is any need to panic about that. Most of them, 11 actually, came from Heron and Wiley. Heron pressed a bit, and Wiley's ball security will improve with experience, so again I think this will be corrected, but rebounding has to continue to be harped on. I hope the return of Spencer will help in that department, combined with Wiley's development. 

WIth OU's comfort in an uptempo game, I wasn't surprised to see us press less and try to make them execute in the half court, that mentality did seem to slow us down as well, only getting 4 fast break points all game. Perhaps this was deliberate by CBP, but it seemed we could have pushed the tempo offensively at times. 

Wiley's stat line won't blow you away, but I am very impressed with his play to this point. He clearly has come conditioning to due to get acclimated to the college game, but that is to be expected.  He was very efficient, shooting a high percentage, commanding attention and defending well. However, I believe his rebounding was limited due to him being gassed at times. I would expect that to come along over the next couple of weeks. The fact that he earned a start in his second game is a testament to his ability and potential.

This win, puts us back on the track I outlined a few weeks ago, regarding a possible tournament resume. The BC put us behind, and this win, where we were the underdog on a neutral court, puts us back on our path. UCONN is waiting tomorrow, a mid-day tip, and it will be revealing to see how we handle that game and this success. Two games in that time frame against OU and UCONN, is a simulation of what tournament play is like. We are currently 7th in the league in RPI, but within reach of the 4 spot with only a few more wins. That is likely the spot we need to occupy to be in the tourney discussion. The current team sitting is 4th is Georgia, who we open league play with, but that is for another post at another time.

Big win. War Eagle!

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mustache eagle    237

Cbp said in the halftime interview that he slowed the pace because OK was comfortable playing fast ... so it was deliberate 

i find it interesting that purifoy does go to the basket more.  Heron, dunnans, Johnson and even Harper do it more than he does.  I can't imagine cbp holding him back.  Maybe it is due to being at the 4?

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tigerman1186    41

A good win, BUT we were too sloppy with the ball, which lead to too many TO's.....and too many crazy, wild shots.....don't know much about the game, but what I do know is when we passed the ball around and worked from inside to out we were more successful scoring....thank goodness OU was terrible shooting last night because with any success they would have won going away....

Against a good team we must cutdown on our TO's and rebound much better...have Georgia coming up in a week, we better become more forceful on the offensive boards, or we'll start the league off at 0-1... 

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80Tiger    304

It was a good win. We must be a good defensive team that holds most teams to bad shooting nights. OU had more offensive RB (9) and fewer turnovers (9) than us. That gave them 18 more opportunities in the offensive court. How you win a game and give up 22 more shots at the basket than you get yourself is pretty incredible. Credit to our D for holding them to a low shooting percent.

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Charhair    341

As I said in the post game, I agree with how deliberate it was that we slowed the game down. The positives I see in this was coach pearl and our team were able to control the tempo of the game on both sides of the court for a majority of the game, Oklahoma would have loved being able to run more especially without Woodard. And we were able to do that while starting four freshmen. While it did slow us down offensively more than I would have liked to see, it's still an impressive feat to pretty much get this team to turn on a dime from shooting and running all over the place against CC and BC to playing a deliberately slow game and coming out on top against a reigning final four team. 

Also, as you said, this two game stretch will be somewhat similar to an NCAA tournament. Even though they are down, it's an away game and a neutral game against a perrernial tournament team and a frequent title contender. Assuming Ok and Unconn end up getting it together a little bit by seasons end, having two wins here would be huge. It would be one of those stretches that they go back and highlight to show why a bubble team should get in. Not that it would be as good as an impressive conference or tournament run but it's a chance for our team to show they can contend, have gotten better since Purdue in completling a difficult 2-game-3-day road stretch. Losing to Purdue in that tournament and having back to back wins against ok and uconn would give us an impressive OOC schedule if we were to end up a bubble team. 

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Sani-Freeze    56

I have been really impressed with Anfernee McLemore in the limited minutes that he has played. He is an inch shorter than Spencer but seems to be a little more aggressive on the boards and has a good nose for the ball. I wouldn't be surprised if he works his way into the starting rotation next year. Also apparently he got accepted to MIT so the kid is bright.

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AU64    1,917

We should have a lot of opportunities to get some "good wins" in the SEC .....BUT.......aside from UK, it's hard to tell if the SEC has more than a couple teams that would / could count as a ":good win"....maybe South Carolina. (#22) and Arky ....but lots of teams where a loss would be thought of as a "bad loss".    

The conference looks so weak that I wonder if a .500 will get a team into the NCAA ? ...maybe the NIT.   But it's hard to build a good RPI playing such a poor schedule. 

SEC basketball is trending down it seems.

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JwgreDeux    242
28 minutes ago, AU64 said:

We should have a lot of opportunities to get some "good wins" in the SEC .....BUT.......aside from UK, it's hard to tell if the SEC has more than a couple teams that would / could count as a ":good win"....maybe South Carolina. (#22) and Arky ....but lots of teams where a loss would be thought of as a "bad loss".    

The conference looks so weak that I wonder if a .500 will get a team into the NCAA ? ...maybe the NIT.   But it's hard to build a good RPI playing such a poor schedule. 

SEC basketball is trending down it seems.

.500 won't be good enough. 

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AU64    1,917
26 minutes ago, JwgreDeux said:

.500 won't be good enough. 

Yes......thought it might be in that range but I looked at last year and only 3 went to NCAA and all except Vandy had 70% winning records...not sure how Vandy got in and USCe got left out....but that was it for the SEC and I guess it won't be much better this season?  

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JwgreDeux    242
8 minutes ago, AU64 said:

Yes......thought it might be in that range but I looked at last year and only 3 went to NCAA and all except Vandy had 70% winning records...not sure how Vandy got in and USCe got left out....but that was it for the SEC and I guess it won't be much better this season?  

This year the conference looks stronger overall, I'd say we are likely a four team league, maybe five depending how the chips fall. Right now the SEC is sixth in overall RPI. 

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AU64    1,917
33 minutes ago, JwgreDeux said:

This year the conference looks stronger overall, I'd say we are likely a four team league, maybe five depending how the chips fall. Right now the SEC is sixth in overall RPI. 

Time will tell , but I have been watching Wake Forest destroy LSU which looks awful.   . New coaches Barnes and Howland should turn things around at their schools.

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