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AU64

Men at LSU - game thread

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45 minutes ago, GwillMac6 said:

It is JUST SO SO hard to win on the road against quality teams. That is why beating teams like South Carolina is a must. We cannot let those games get away. Win the games we should and MAYBE eventually as the season goes on steal one on the road against a quality opponent. We are not ready yet.

Well, the thing is, to be a really competitive program, you always beat the teams below 600 in the league on the road. You always beat the teams below 800 at home. Auburn ain't there yet. Auburn cannot yet beat Miss State and Ole Miss on the road. Can we beat them at home? We are gonna find out. We know that we cannot beat UK at home, and surely not in Lexington, and Auburn's chances vs UT .... um, not 50/50. We can beat UF at home, but in Gainesville? Bama at home, but in Tuscaloosa?

Good teams win on the road. Auburn is not there this year. This is not a criticism of Auburn players or coaches, it is just reality. Auburn is just not yet capable of beating teams like LSU, Ole Miss, and Miss State on the road, much less UT and UK.

And like it or not, a big factor is the lack of talented size. That's just my opinion, but I've been watching college BB for more than 35 years, and that is my observation.

 

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We are losing these games by small margins without our ONLY answer to teams with size. Wiley hasn't played really in these losses for the most part. And FT shooting. And of course stupid turnovers. Even with all the problems in game, we are right there.

These are all fixable. With DP coming on and hopefully Wiley able to give us 15-20 mins a game when healthy will allow us to not have to play in only one way. His size would at least have minimized LSU's 2nd chance opportunities a little bit and in a 5 point game that could be the difference. He would've made their big guy work a little harder. We should never lose a game when we hit 16 3s. Ever. But the size disparity was so much that it offset the insane amount of 3s we made.

We didn't have anyone that could guard Waters, but who does? Also, Harper simply cannot be shouldering this many minutes. We have to get something from J'Von. We just have to. But we simply can't afford for Harper to sit more than 120 seconds at a time. Good lord do we miss Davion Mitchell. Tyrell "Turbo" Jones can't get here fast enough. Samir is so up and down vs power 5 competition but with Danjel seemingly coming on it hopefully it can mitigate some of his off nights. 

We just need to keep improving and get Wiley back.before too long. We lost 3 very crucial part of our team last season and all 3 had eligibility remaining. It's been noted on TV and on various boards Bruce was surprised to lose both Heron and Davion. Murray had failed drug test issues so he was out the door anyway but Bruce had this thing built for this year but we lost 3 main contributors. It sucks but we can actually still fight through. We will likely make the tourney in back to back years which is a hell of a feat for AU hoops while Bruce keeps building on this foundation -- and with the way we can score we can very well shoot our way into a nice little run in the Big Dance. I'm actually pleased that we were able to hit 16 3s on the road. That is a good sign. Now lets get our big guy back and finish this season off strong.

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2 hours ago, Tiger said:

We are losing these games by small margins without our ONLY answer to teams with size. Wiley hasn't played really in these losses for the most part. And FT shooting. And of course stupid turnovers. Even with all the problems in game, we are right there.

These are all fixable. With DP coming on and hopefully Wiley able to give us 15-20 mins a game when healthy will allow us to not have to play in only one way. His size would at least have minimized LSU's 2nd chance opportunities a little bit and in a 5 point game that could be the difference. He would've made their big guy work a little harder. We should never lose a game when we hit 16 3s. Ever. But the size disparity was so much that it offset the insane amount of 3s we made.

We didn't have anyone that could guard Waters, but who does? Also, Harper simply cannot be shouldering this many minutes. We have to get something from J'Von. We just have to. But we simply can't afford for Harper to sit more than 120 seconds at a time. Good lord do we miss Davion Mitchell. Tyrell "Turbo" Jones can't get here fast enough. Samir is so up and down vs power 5 competition but with Danjel seemingly coming on it hopefully it can mitigate some of his off nights. 

We just need to keep improving and get Wiley back.before too long. We lost 3 very crucial part of our team last season and all 3 had eligibility remaining. It's been noted on TV and on various boards Bruce was surprised to lose both Heron and Davion. Murray had failed drug test issues so he was out the door anyway but Bruce had this thing built for this year but we lost 3 main contributors. It sucks but we can actually still fight through. We will likely make the tourney in back to back years which is a hell of a feat for AU hoops while Bruce keeps building on this foundation -- and with the way we can score we can very well shoot our way into a nice little run in the Big Dance. I'm actually pleased that we were able to hit 16 3s on the road. That is a good sign. Now lets get our big guy back and finish this season off strong.

I agree with this Post. I believe with Jones coming in next year and improvement from McCormack we will be able to give Harper the rest he needs. We have other very good players coming in next year but again no true athletic big man. We will lose three key players next year Brown, Spencer and Dunbar.  I love Dunbar he will be hard to replace but I believe Okoro given time can replace him and Flanigan will give us another Option at SF, Akingbola will be our new Spencer at 5 and Jaylin Williams as a backup at 4.  The biggest loss from a scoring standpoint will be Bryce Brown none of the players coming in have shown Bryce's scoring ability. That said we should have an overall improvement in talent with more scoring options.  

Assuming Okeke returns he should take some of Browns shots he can shoot the three and drive, from what I have read Okoro at 6'5" is a defensive force who can go to the rack but will need to improve his shot, Turbo gives us speed and constant motion and the ability to setup other players.  Big issue will be how fast we can work these new players onto Lineup and build team chemistry.  Jaylin Williams is a PF but again will be a little short for the position at 6'7" but is HS is a rebounding machine who is a much more well rounded player than Spencer. Flannigan plays tough D at 6'5" like Okoro I could see both play some SG both as defenders and to post up smaller SG's plus drive to the rack.  We should have more flexibility next year assuming we are willing to take advantage of it.

We will still not have the athletic big man that can match up some of the bigger PF's and Centers in the SEC but we should be bigger at SG have tremendous depth at SG,SF, and C with better depth at PG we are getting there.

A true modern big man has to be our priority in next years recruiting class.

 

Edited by AuburnNTexas
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13 minutes ago, AuburnNTexas said:

I agree with this Post. I believe with Jones coming in next year and improvement from McCormack we will be able to give Harper the rest he needs. We have other very good players coming in next year but again no true athletic big man. We will lose three key players next year Brown, Spencer and Dunbar.  I love Dunbar he will be hard to replace but I believe Okoro given time can replace him and Flanigan will give us another Option at SF, Akingbola will be our new Spencer at 5 and Jaylin Williams as a backup at 4.  The biggest loss from a scoring standpoint will be Bryce Brown none of the players coming in have shown Bryce's scoring ability. That said we should have an overall improvement in talent with more scoring options.  

Assuming Okeke returns he should take some of Browns shots he can shoot the three and drive, from what I have read Okoro at 6'5" is a defensive force who can go to the rack but will need to improve his shot, Turbo gives us speed and constant motion and the ability to setup other players.  Big issue will be how fast we can work these new players onto Lineup and build team chemistry.  Jaylin Williams is a PF but again will be a little short for the position at 6'7" but is HS is a rebounding machine who is a much more well rounded player than Spencer. Flannigan plays tough D at 6'5" like Okoro I could see both play some SG both as defenders and to post up smaller SG's plus drive to the rack.  We should have more flexibility next year assuming we are willing to take advantage of it.

We will still not have the athletic big man that can match up some of the bigger PF's and Centers in the SEC but we should be bigger at SG have tremendous depth at SG,SF, and C with better depth at PG we are getting there.

A true modern big man has to be our priority in next years recruiting class.

 

Agreed on all fronts. I also see Babatunde as our Horace replacement. I am hopeful that Jaylin Williams can have a little bit of Desean Murray in him --a bit undersized but a force on the boards. His HS rebounding numbers are very impressive. I think next year we may struggle a bit and grow game by game due to tons of youth up and down the roster but a senior PG with Harper will be very key. I hope the board learns to love the progress and buckles up for a big year the following season. I like that we will have a 6'5 SG in Flanagan. Same for Okoro at SF.

Even though our front court size is an issue most times, our size, or lack thereof, in our back court as a whole is where all the problems start for us all the time. You can be small at 1 of the back court spots if you make up for it elsewhere but we don't this year. Brown is a SG in a PG's body. Samir is a 2 that's playing the 3. Harper hasn't been taller than a single opposing PG in his career. I'm looking forward to some added length and size on the perimeter next year. That's a step in the right direction as Bruce keeps building this thing.

--

I HATE that UGA is getting Anthony Edwards. Would much rather have had Mark Fox get Ashton Hagans for a year and keep his job then UGA hire Crean.

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2 hours ago, AuburnNTexas said:

A true modern big man has to be our priority in next years recruiting class.

Been needing this for a couple years.  We complain bitterly that football can't find 4 or 5 OL but we have not even had a hint of being able to bring in a big man the past three years.    At first appearance we thought AW might be " one and done"  so even when he started we really should have recruited another one or two bigger inside guys.    Good news was that AW stayed with AU but the bad news is that he is injury and foul prone and not able to give us as much time as the team needs..  

 Hoping there is a grad trans or big juco who could give us at least 15-20 minutes a game next year. 

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20 hours ago, AU64 said:

Been needing this for a couple years.  We complain bitterly that football can't find 4 or 5 OL but we have not even had a hint of being able to bring in a big man the past three years.    At first appearance we thought AW might be " one and done"  so even when he started we really should have recruited another one or two bigger inside guys.    Good news was that AW stayed with AU but the bad news is that he is injury and foul prone and not able to give us as much time as the team needs..  

 Hoping there is a grad trans or big juco who could give us at least 15-20 minutes a game next year. 

We had one in EJ Montgomery. He was the #11 overall prospect in the entire country and a 5 star. 6-10 PF/C. He's currently playing for Kentucky and decommitted from AU immediately after Chuck Person's BS. I mean like within 24 hours if I recall correctly.

Edited by Tiger
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Wiley isn't anymore foul prone than any of our other big men, that's related more to our style of defense. A mac and Spencer picks up a bunch of fouls. It seems to be people on this board see him miss a shot and that's all they think about and stay downing him. This is why so many figured Herron and Murray wasn't going to be a big deal or Mitchell wasn't going to be a big deal. What Wiley does to help is bigger than looking at a box score and evaluating. 

This attitude towards high ranked recruits is probably why we have such a bad history with them

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I think Heron and Wiley get held to higher standards then the other guys because they were 5* recruits. Both were billed as "program changing" type of players. Neither have turned out to be on that level for various reasons. So i think fans just naturally expect more of the guys and are harsher as a result. Certainly not fair to the players but just my thoughts on why things are the way they are

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44 minutes ago, gravejd said:

I think Heron and Wiley get held to higher standards then the other guys because they were 5* recruits. Both were billed as "program changing" type of players. Neither have turned out to be on that level for various reasons. So i think fans just naturally expect more of the guys and are harsher as a result. Certainly not fair to the players but just my thoughts on why things are the way they are

I don't know, Heron played a huge part in our program "changing" from a bottom feeder to SEC Champions. In basketball. At Auburn.  That's about as far as you can change a program. 

Some didn't see Mustapha's immense value over the last 2 years but I have to believe everyone sees it now. He's the biggest piece missing from last year and that's why we're a middle of the pack team in a very deep SEC this year rather than in the top 4.

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45 minutes ago, gravejd said:

I think Heron and Wiley get held to higher standards then the other guys because they were 5* recruits. Both were billed as "program changing" type of players. Neither have turned out to be on that level for various reasons. So i think fans just naturally expect more of the guys and are harsher as a result. Certainly not fair to the players but just my thoughts on why things are the way they are

Basketball fans may grouse about them on forums but never heard them booed or anything disrespectful from the fans, unlike what can happen at a football game.

 Shoot...just watch some of the blue blood fans when one of their "one and dones" does not turn out to be what they expected.   JMO but by comparison , most of our players pretty much get a free pass from fans over inconsistent play, mistakes or whatever.   .AU fans at games mostly just appreciate the improvements and potential to make the tournaments as best I can tell.      

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24 minutes ago, Tiger said:

I don't know, Heron played a huge part in our program "changing" from a bottom feeder to SEC Champions. In basketball. At Auburn.  That's about as far as you can change a program. 

Some didn't see Mustapha's immense value over the last 2 years but I have to believe everyone sees it now. He's the biggest piece missing from last year and that's why we're a middle of the pack team in a very deep SEC this year rather than in the top 4.

I dunno.....hard to say he is the biggest missing piece. Murray and Mitchel are massively missed as well. We could debate for days on why this team is not performing as well as last years and maybe Heron is the missing piece but in my mind defense and rebounding are the reason this team is not performing at such a high level. 

And i'm not trying to under sell Heron here. He is a great player and has great all around game. But he isn't on "program changing level" to me.  

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35 minutes ago, AU64 said:

Basketball fans may grouse about them on forums but never heard them booed or anything disrespectful from the fans, unlike what can happen at a football game.

 Shoot...just watch some of the blue blood fans when one of their "one and dones" does not turn out to be what they expected.   JMO but by comparison , most of our players pretty much get a free pass from fans over inconsistent play, mistakes or whatever.   .AU fans at games mostly just appreciate the improvements and potential to make the tournaments as best I can tell.      

Yeah just wait...if we stay consistently good in bball and expectations are raised then you'll hear your booing when the team does not perform. Right now you are correct that AU bball fans are just happy to be in the conversation

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5 minutes ago, gravejd said:

Yeah just wait...if we stay consistently good in bball and expectations are raised then you'll hear your booing when the team does not perform. Right now you are correct that AU bball fans are just happy to be in the conversation

I though Louisville fans showed admirable restraint last night when their team blew a 20 point lead in about 5 minutes against Duke.....

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10 minutes ago, gravejd said:

I dunno.....hard to say he is the biggest missing piece. Murray and Mitchel are massively missed as well. We could debate for days on why this team is not performing as well as last years and maybe Heron is the missing piece but in my mind defense and rebounding are the reason this team is not performing at such a high level. 

And i'm not trying to under sell Heron here. He is a great player and has great all around game. But he isn't on "program changing level" to me.  

We may just have to agree to disagree on Heron. And that's not to disparage Mitchell and Murray and their importance because they were absolutely critical and we miss them badly. 

Pivoting from our team a bit, and this is more me picking your brain here, who would you consider a program changing player in the last few years? Seems those elite prospects all end up in the same handful of schools that don't need much changing. I'm thinking guys like Markelle Fultz or Michael Porter Jr would be those types but MPJ didn't play and I'm wondering how much a guy like Fultz actually changed UW's program. Maybe Ben Simmons for LSU? But Will Wade is a hell of a recruiter and he didn't coach or recruit Ben Simmons so I'm not sure how much of LSU's emergence has to do with Simmons. But maybe it allowed Wade to tell kids look elite prospects have come here recently.

 Circling back to Heron, just want to clarify, I definitely don't see Heron as the same level of the 3 guys I just mentioned but, as the highest rated player AU signed in history at the time, his impact went a long way in tangibly changing our program. I also think him staying more than 1 season is a big part of that. 

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30 minutes ago, Tiger said:

We may just have to agree to disagree on Heron. And that's not to disparage Mitchell and Murray and their importance because they were absolutely critical and we miss them badly. 

Pivoting from our team a bit, and this is more me picking your brain here, who would you consider a program changing player in the last few years? Seems those elite prospects all end up in the same handful of schools that don't need much changing. I'm thinking guys like Markelle Fultz or Michael Porter Jr would be those types but MPJ didn't play and I'm wondering how much a guy like Fultz actually changed UW's program. Maybe Ben Simmons for LSU? But Will Wade is a hell of a recruiter and he didn't coach or recruit Ben Simmons so I'm not sure how much of LSU's emergence has to do with Simmons. But maybe it allowed Wade to tell kids look elite prospects have come here recently.

 Circling back to Heron, just want to clarify, I definitely don't see Heron as the same level of the 3 guys I just mentioned but, as the highest rated player AU signed in history at the time, his impact went a long way in tangibly changing our program. I also think him staying more than 1 season is a big part of that. 

You know when i was writing that reply i was trying to come up with some examples of program changers. And while doing so i decided that i wasn't quite sure how i would characterize a program changer. Is it just a really good player or is it someone who actually changed the program??? Simmons is an excellent example....another recent one would be Sexton at bama. Both were and are excellent players.....top of the NBA draft kind of guys. But it would be hard to argue either really changed the LSU or Bama program in any way. The coach at LSU who was there with Simmons was fired and bama is about the same team this year as they were when Sexton was there. 

So i guess to me program changer doesn't mean they actually changed the program.....the elite players no longer stick around long enough to be program changers IMO. It just means a really elite bball player. So to me if you are one of say the top 10 bball players in college i would label you a program changer. 

Recent examples would be.......Murant, Simmons, Sexton, Zions, Barret, Trae Young. So my i guess i have a pretty high bar for the program changer label to be applied to a kid

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8 minutes ago, gravejd said:

You know when i was writing that reply i was trying to come up with some examples of program changers. And while doing so i decided that i wasn't quite sure how i would characterize a program changer. Is it just a really good player or is it someone who actually changed the program??? Simmons is an excellent example....another recent one would be Sexton at bama. Both were and are excellent players.....top of the NBA draft kind of guys. But it would be hard to argue either really changed the LSU or Bama program in any way. The coach at LSU who was there with Simmons was fired and bama is about the same team this year as they were when Sexton was there. 

So i guess to me program changer doesn't mean they actually changed the program.....the elite players no longer stick around long enough to be program changers IMO. It just means a really elite bball player. So to me if you are one of say the top 10 bball players in college i would label you a program changer. 

Recent examples would be.......Murant, Simmons, Sexton, Zions, Barret, Trae Young. So my i guess i have a pretty high bar for the program changer label to be applied to a kid

Good discussion. Nice call on Sexton. I see what your perspective now. Agree Heron isn't a lottery type talent like these other names you mentioned. I will maintain he was a huge part in changing the AU program from a literal standpoint though (top 20 recruit who stayed long enough for tangible change). It would be interesting to see if doing away with the one and done rule in the future allows for more program changing players to leave an actual impact and change a program's trajectory. Would be great to see elite players more spread out through the country.

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It's interesting to me how our fan base seem to be fine with under value Herron and pump up Brown. I don't remember anybody saying Herron would change a program, I remember people saying he's ready to play as soon as he hitcampus and he was. He shouldered the scoring and rebounding load and as far as being a leader and setting a tone for a team he did an excellent job

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