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ellitor

My basketball thoughts

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Ok folks. You have seen my numerical posts about net positives & post season play but this ain't that. This is my emotional, coach-sensical reaction to this team. Yes no matter how this season ends it is a net positive statistically & progress wise however, on the whole it has been more disappointing than anything. As a former coach this team is not enjoyable to watch right now. They have shown little developmental progress to this point. They have played 30 games. Besides Wiley the freshman are not green anymore. They should be showing more focus & awareness in their game play right now. On D they don't communicate effectively at all & show very little fight or toughness on screens. The offense looks lost at times when it's easy to identify & play to whatever D the opponent is in.

On to the end of the UGA game. That was awful on so many levels. First, why in the world was TD the out of bounds guy? Even though he has had some "What the?" moments this year he has been the most effective driver on the team as a whole this season & was having a good night driving the ball. Down 1 the play is to get the ball to 1 of your best or most physical drivers and let him go to the whole to score or get fouled. Even a challenged 2 or 3 foot lay up has a better chance of going in or being fouled than a 23 foot open jumper. I don't care if UGA knew it was coming I would have ran an iso for TD to score or create & dish to Wiley. That's another thing. Why in the world was Wiley not in the game for rebounding and/or to be the dump man? It makes no sense at all. Yes UGA could immediately foul him & put him on the line but TBH if they were going to do that they could do it to many of our guys. The play call was bad for sure but here's why I feel it was worse than most already see it. If you are going to run the play we ran it should have been Bryce on the ball side screen & curl not Harper. Bryce was 5-7 from downtown while Harper was 2-7.  Further, the play ran is what you normally run for a wing. Bryce is used to catching the ball off a screen & shooting. That's not Harper's game. Harper is a spot up or dribble pull up 3 point shooter. Just bad game management coaching all around.

On to recruiting. Yes Pearl has pulled in some studs. That was based off his Vols legacy. Pretty soon that's going to wear off and recruits are going to say, "That's great and all coach but when are you going to win at Auburn?". No matter how this year finishes AU has to get to the NCAA Tourney next season to keep his sizzle going with recruits to keep getting studs otherwise recruit will dip some at the very least.

In sum, yes this year is a net positive but the lack of player progression & questionable coaching has made this a year where disappointment overshadows any progress. Win, lose, or draw I want to see a smart basketball team dad gum it!

Edited by ellitor
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E, go look at the UGA post game thread.  a bunch of us think the play was a drive to the basket by Dunans (see jared, I can learn) but wasnt executed.  I also think brown was the spot up shooter option and harper didnt pass the ball to him, even though he had 4 seconds remaining.

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10 minutes ago, mustache eagle said:

E, go look at the UGA post game thread.  a bunch of us think the play was a drive to the basket by Dunans (see jared, I can learn) but wasnt executed.  

Pearl said  TD was the drive option on the go cut. My point was TD should not have been an OOB passer. The play should have been designed for him to get the ball as the receiver from the OOB passer coming off screens insuring he gets the ball to drive it on an iso play.

10 minutes ago, mustache eagle said:

I also think brown was the spot up shooter option and harper didnt pass the ball to him, even though he had 4 seconds remaining.

Exactly my point. They were in the wrong positions to Harpoer's strength. IF You are going to run that play Bryce should have been the one curling around the screens with Harper spotting up.

Edited by ellitor

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huh?  Whether Dunans was the OOB passer or not, he was open - off a screen - with a possible drive to the basket.  The ball wasn't passed to him.

Brown was open for the shot - off a screen - as a second option.  The ball wasn't passed to him.  

You and I agree on what a reasonable play and second option could have been on the final play.  Dunans for the drive then brown for the jumper ... it was there ... it wasn't executed.

Edited by mustache eagle
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I hate to say it, but this deep into the season we still have freshman that want to be the hero instead of making a drive or pass for a better shot.  So many questions on the last play.  Why not show a sense of urgency and call time out at the 12 second mark instead of 7 seconds??  Why not have our best driver (TD or Ronnie) take it to the hoop with Wiley there to rebound or drop off the pass?  But as we have all year, we rather jack up the 3 to be the hero.  I know CBP has said he has been soft on this group and you can understand they are freshman, but he's got to get some tough love and get away from the quick 3 especially with a lead toward the end of the game.  I have seen coaches require 3-4 passes before a shot can be taken. That's contrary to CBP style, but these kids don't seem to have the court awareness to be totally turned loose.

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44 minutes ago, mustache eagle said:

huh?  Whether Dunans was the OOB passer or not, he was open - off a screen - with a possible drive to the basket.  The ball wasn't passed to him.

He wasn't completely open. He went in front of  Harper's screen when he should have cut behind it giving him a better driving angle.  I agree he was open enough TJ still should have attempted the pass but TJ's defender still could have deflected it and it was still not a good driving or passing angle. Still don't like that play in the sitch. TD's the best Driver. Get him the ball on 1 pass coming off screens specifically for him, not 2. That's why I said he should have never been the OOB passer. Basically have TJ & TD switch their spots.

44 minutes ago, mustache eagle said:

Brown was open for the shot - off a screen - as a second option.  The ball wasn't passed to him.  

Brown's not my point. My point is Harper should have never been coming around a curl to catch and shoot. He's a spot up or dribble pull up 3 point shooter not a come off screen 3 point shooter. And he should not have been an option over Brown as the immediate nearest 3 point option. Just watched the play again. Brown was the 2nd 3 point option off a non ball side/far side screen. Down 1, there should have never been 2 designed 3 point shot screens anyway. If you are going to run that play Brown should have been on the near side & Harper the far side, basically switch them too. The play though should have been get it to TD on 1 pass, drive to the hole, Harper spot up, everybody else crash.

Edited by ellitor

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I agree with most of these points. I would argue that our guys have passed and played more unselfishly as the season has progressed. Not as unselfish as they should be but we have improved offensively 

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1 minute ago, au302 said:

I agree with most of these points. I would argue that our guys have passed and played more unselfishly as the season has progressed. Not as unselfish as they should be but we have improved offensively 

The one I'm most frustrated with on that is Harper. I've rarely seen the cliche shoot first ask questions later applied to basketball, especially for point guards but by God Harper does it again & again.

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5 minutes ago, ellitor said:

The one I'm most frustrated with on that is Harper. I've rarely seen the cliche shoot first ask questions later applied to basketball, especially for point guards but by God Harper does it again & again.

I agree. He hasn't passed much at all. Heck, even Purifoy has learned to pass more. I like Harper but he needs to become more of a distributor 

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8 minutes ago, au302 said:

I agree. He hasn't passed much at all. Heck, even Purifoy has learned to pass more. I like Harper but he needs to become more of a distributor 

I thought he was our point guard but he has a shooter mentality that really diminishes his effectiveness there . In my view, he has lost ground as the season has progressed . I think he was a better PG early on....but after he started hitting the threes , that became his focus rather than setting up his team mates.

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34 minutes ago, AU64 said:

I thought he was our point guard but he has a shooter mentality that really diminishes his effectiveness there . In my view, he has lost ground as the season has progressed . I think he was a better PG early on....but after he started hitting the threes , that became his focus rather than setting up his team mates.

I thought Harper always had the shooting mentality when i went to games. I think at first he didnt because he was so green and new to SEC play. 

And on the last play. I am only guessing here, but I feel like on critical inbound passes, we have had poor inbounders. Purifoy and Lang at times have been terrible inbounders. So i am wondering if TD was used to be SURE they got it in to someone. Second, sometimes that is a play basketball teams run because the inbounder after passing it, tends to get lost or forgotten.

I agree, if I need a best 3 point shot i want Brown. But if you watch the play, after Lang passes it, and he somehow was able to block not 1 but 2 defenders out of the play, that HArper was more open that i ever thought a last second shooter could be.

The problem I think most have with the end, is if you need only 1 to tie, 2 to win, the best play HAS to be drive it, or get an inside shot. And I do agree, on an inbounds from where it was, Wiley HAS to be in there to take up space in the middle, or have a shot at a tip in. Without him, we had nothing inside...

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38 minutes ago, AU64 said:

I thought he was our point guard but he has a shooter mentality that really diminishes his effectiveness there . In my view, he has lost ground as the season has progressed . I think he was a better PG early on....but after he started hitting the threes , that became his focus rather than setting up his team mates.

Yep, he won freshman of the week twice, which probably also contributed to him thinking he had the green light. The thing that also bothers me is that his threes come from way too deep. I'm fine with him shooting but he can't be jacking up wild threes like that every time 

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au302 probably hit the nail on the head with his comment...

Sometime back a ways there was conversation that as your point guard goes, so goes your team......and I think AU's season is an indicator of that admonition.   KInda like a football team without a really solid QB...which we also experienced this year.   . 

Could also be that once DP seemed to cool off, the team was needing points from somewhere else and he stepped forward and abandoned his PG leadership role.    Ronnie Johnson played more like a traditional PG in my view and team just looked different when he was on the floor. 

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my first thought was to bag on harper about needing to be a distributor first, then shooter ... but he did have 6 assists in this game to one turnover.  thats solid and probably towards his upper end this year in a game.  my only problem with the last shot is he had a bad night shooting, not anything else.  RJ had been getting more minutes prior to this game and had sort of closed out games at the PG spot in the last couple weeks.  

People have asked about wiley ... if we are trying to clear out the middle for dunans to drive, then you don't want wiley in there.  you want shooters who have to be guarded on the perimeter.  The middle was open.  whether dunans should have gone on one side of the screen or the other i cant comment on ... but the lane was open and dunans could have gotten the ball a couple of different manners if passed to him.  maybe RJ should have been there instead of lang because RJ is a better passer and is more capable of driving than lang.

ultimately the person who needed to be on the floor was heron, but he was gimpy.  Had heron been in there then you would have had dunans, heron and purifoy who are all capable rebounders - heck heron had more boards than wiley.  CBP put on the floor who he had.  the play was there.  they didnt execute option 1.  that happens - bummer for us.  we ended up with a wide open shot with plenty of time on the clock.  we had a well thought of freshman miss it.  that happens - bummer for us.

the rest of this discussion is nitpicking and hindsight.

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24 minutes ago, mustache eagle said:

People have asked about wiley ... if we are trying to clear out the middle for dunans to drive, then you don't want wiley in there.

Yes you do. You don't camp him in the middle like you are thinking for some reason. You run a high set having him crash for a rebound or a dish-n-dunk.

Or even have him on the far side block in case Dunnans gets a lane forcing Wiley's defender to pick up Dunnans. Slip pass. Dunk! Ball Game! AU Wins!

29 minutes ago, mustache eagle said:

The middle was open.  whether dunans should have gone on one side of the screen or the other i cant comment on ... but the lane was open and dunans could have gotten the ball a couple of different manners if passed to him.  maybe RJ should have been there instead of lang because RJ is a better passer and is more capable of driving than lang.

The area where TD was running to was indeed open but the passing angle and lane Lang had was not completely open. Lang's defender was in a good enough spot to make Lang second guess the pass. Would not have mattered if RJ was in the game.

38 minutes ago, mustache eagle said:

ultimately the person who needed to be on the floor was heron, but he was gimpy.  Had heron been in there then you would have had dunans, heron and purifoy who are all capable rebounders - heck heron had more boards than wiley.  CBP put on the floor who he had.  the play was there.  they didnt execute option 1.  that happens - bummer for us.  we ended up with a wide open shot with plenty of time on the clock.  we had a well thought of freshman miss it.  that happens - bummer for us.

the rest of this discussion is nitpicking and hindsight.

Nitpicking on plays aka paying attention to detail is the difference between winning and losing for coaches my friend. & it's not hind sight. I was thinking the play plan was poor on all those levels as I watched it. The execution wasn't there because the play plan & player placement was awful. There's just no ifs, ands, or butts about it. 

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6 hours ago, ellitor said:

Ok folks. You have seen my numerical posts about net positives & post season play but this ain't that. This is my emotional, coach-sensical reaction to this team. Yes no matter how this season ends it is a net positive statistically & progress wise however, on the whole it has been more disappointing than anything. As a former coach this team is not enjoyable to watch right now. They have shown little developmental progress to this point. They have played 30 games. Besides Wiley the freshman are not green anymore. They should be showing more focus & awareness in their game play right now. On D they don't communicate effectively at all & show very little fight or toughness on screens. The offense looks lost at times when it's easy to identify & play to whatever D the opponent is in.

On to the end of the UGA game. That was awful on so many levels. First, why in the world was TD the out of bounds guy? Even though he has had some "What the?" moments this year he has been the most effective driver on the team as a whole this season & was having a good night driving the ball. Down 1 the play is to get the ball to 1 of your best or most physical drivers and let him go to the whole to score or get fouled. Even a challenged 2 or 3 foot lay up has a better chance of going in or being fouled than a 23 foot open jumper. I don't care if UGA knew it was coming I would have ran an iso for TD to score or create & dish to Wiley. That's another thing. Why in the world was Wiley not in the game for rebounding and/or to be the dump man? It makes no sense at all. Yes UGA could immediately foul him & put him on the line but TBH if they were going to do that they could do it to many of our guys. The play call was bad for sure but here's why I feel it was worse than most already see it. If you are going to run the play we ran it should have been Bryce on the ball side screen & curl not Harper. Bryce was 5-7 from downtown while Harper was 2-7.  Further, the play ran is what you normally run for a wing. Bryce is used to catching the ball off a screen & shooting. That's not Harper's game. Harper is a spot up or dribble pull up 3 point shooter. Just bad game management coaching all around.

On to recruiting. Yes Pearl has pulled in some studs. That was based off his Vols legacy. Pretty soon that's going to wear off and recruits are going to say, "That's great and all coach but when are you going to win at Auburn?". No matter how this year finishes AU has to get to the NCAA Tourney next season to keep his sizzle going with recruits to keep getting studs otherwise recruit will dip some at the very least.

In sum, yes this year is a net positive but the lack of player progression & questionable coaching has made this a year where disappointment overshadows any progress. Win, lose, or draw I want to see a smart basketball team dad gum it!

Pearl has been underwhelming as a coach...we have looked pitiful down the stretch...fundamentally retarded...

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In general response to some comments , it seems that court side coaching has been a problem for most of the year. Bruce can bring the talent but he and his staff are still having difficulties getting the most out of that talent on game day.  I don't consider that to be nitpicking....just observations about our season.

 Fact that our record is better this year does not excuse some of the play we have seen and games that have gotten away.  JMO 

 

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I have been a "sunshine pumper" compared to most of you because I am subscribing to a patient approach. Not everyone has to agree. But @AU64, we are usually on opposite sides, but in this case I totally agree with you. There is some disconnect between the coaches and players. The coaches just have not seemed to be able to get the players to listen to them to maximize their talent. I phrase it this way because you can see and hear Bruce telling them the right things on TV but they are just not executing things properly. Case in point, Harper's last second 3. Or the fact that BP is yelling his throat out telling the guys to cut to a certain place on the floor in certain sets, which is baffling because how can these guys not know simple concepts to beat certain defenses? Especially a zone, there are only a couple of zone beater sets and they are relatively simple. There are a few spots on the floor that if we get the ball to those spots really puts pressure on zones. 

I don't know if we have a bunch of players that are all greatly talented but lacking severely in the mental department or what. I'm pinning it on youth and I'm really hoping the mental mistakes and miscues are eliminated next year and the following year. I don't mean taking bad shots because we should expect those tyoes shots as long as BP is the coach it's just part of the free flowing offense, but just basic stuff like knowing where to cut and where to attack would be a good starting point for me.

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I've harped on this all year. If you treat kids like delicate little snowflakes instead of holding them accountable, guess what you get?

snowflakes. 

We are a team of snowflakes. Solve that and you'll see the improvement. Until then, I've pretty much stopped watching. Few things in sports I enjoy watching less than a team of snowflakes that don't have respect for their coach and their coach doesn't demand it. 

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With Dunans being a 50% free throw shooter and not the best decision maker..... i have no problem him inbounding the ball. No point in getting so bent out of shape over 1 play. That is the classic fan blunder. Coach runs an onside kick and gets it he's the best ever. Coach calls the same play and it doesn't work and he is suddenly the worst ever. 

I'm on board with the season being a disappointment. I could go into all the reasons things happened but we've discussed each a 1000 times already. At the end of the day i still think Pearl has the program heading in the right direction. So i still believe he is the man for the job. I'm really ready to get over this hump though and get rid of all the records of futility AU basketball is setting

 

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On 3/2/2017 at 4:30 PM, au302 said:

I agree. He hasn't passed much at all. Heck, even Purifoy has learned to pass more. I like Harper but he needs to become more of a distributor 

Well, he leads the team in assists with 88 so it seems like he's passed the ball quite a bit.  But he's also 2nd on the team in scoring behind Heron with 357.  He's also only shot 2 more three point attempts than Purifoy has.

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On 3/3/2017 at 11:08 AM, FoundationEagle said:

I've harped on this all year. If you treat kids like delicate little snowflakes instead of holding them accountable, guess what you get?

snowflakes. 

We are a team of snowflakes. Solve that and you'll see the improvement. Until then, I've pretty much stopped watching. Few things in sports I enjoy watching less than a team of snowflakes that don't have respect for their coach and their coach doesn't demand it. 

Particularly, when it came to playing defense the players were like who? Me? They had that three game stretch where in the second half they acted like they couldn't spell defense, let alone actually play defense. They must have heard Pearl get on to them about it, heard the press belittle them for their lack of defense and again, who? Me?

Add to that their inability to box out on the boards, pathetic shooting from the FT line and it's amazing this team won 18 games. If they went through a whole season and couldn't improve on any of these facets what's to make you think they will be any better next year? Like I've said before, there were times when they looked like a bad church team.

Edited by milehighfan
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On 3/2/2017 at 1:27 PM, ellitor said:

but the lack of player progression & questionable coaching has made this a year where disappointment overshadows any progress.

Seems I've seen this statement used for other Auburn teams.  Football comes to mind.

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On 3/12/2017 at 0:59 AM, milehighfan said:

Particularly, when it came to playing defense the players were like who? Me? They had that three game stretch where in the second half they acted like they couldn't spell defense, let alone actually play defense. They must have heard Pearl get on to them about it, heard the press belittle them for their lack of defense and again, who? Me?

Add to that their inability to box out on the boards, pathetic shooting from the FT line and it's amazing this team won 18 games. If they went through a whole season and couldn't improve on any of these facets what's to make you think they will be any better next year? Like I've said before, there were times when they looked like a bad church team.

The bold is also a concern of mine but there should be quite a bit of natural progression that takes place in every single players' game, if they work hard during the off-season. That will help for sure.

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Some players did progress, it just wasn't the most talented players and that can be a problem....I posted about 30 times we'll go as far as our pg. The games we looked awesome either Harper or Johnson played well, when they didn't.....Well. 

But the main thing is you had 3 true freshmen starters, who were at your most important positions and the guy who was the physically most gifted was playing a position he'd never played before and he was just a redshirt freshman himself....

It is what it is

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