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Maverick.AU

Going Forward after Missouri Loss (Merged)

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After getting back to normal today with a clear head I probably shouldn’t have let myself get as aggravated as I did last night lol. We knew this year that we didn’t have the guard play that we had last year. We knew we had some “unknowns” on the bench. We knew going into this game that we would be facing an uphill battle without Okoro. You don’t lose a player like Okoro and it not hurt your team.
 

I like many others had gotten sucked into the always finding a way to win the last few weeks, but yesterday was a culmination of what we have been worried/talked about all season. This team has a lot of heart, I’ll never question that, but it didn’t beat as ONE heart last night.

With all that being said, 22-3 with this team by BP is pretty remarkable. Here’s to hoping we close out the season strong and are ready for the Tourney. WDE

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Not overly concerned. Remember we lost by 27 to UK the 5th to last SEC game last year before going on the 12-game historic win streak. 

We’re almost at that exact point in the season right now (six SEC games left). My hope is we rest Okoro as long as possible. If that’s till the SEC Tourney, so be it. 

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1 hour ago, Maverick.AU said:

After getting back to normal today with a clear head I probably shouldn’t have let myself get as aggravated as I did last night lol. We knew this year that we didn’t have the guard play that we had last year. We knew we had some “unknowns” on the bench. We knew going into this game that we would be facing an uphill battle without Okoro. You don’t lose a player like Okoro and it not hurt your team.
 

I like many others had gotten sucked into the always finding a way to win the last few weeks, but yesterday was a culmination of what we have been worried/talked about all season. This team has a lot of heart, I’ll never question that, but it didn’t beat as ONE heart last night.

With all that being said, 22-3 with this team by BP is pretty remarkable. Here’s to hoping we close out the season strong and are ready for the Tourney. WDE

I wasn't really upset with the loss but the way some of the players played and some of the things that they did at the end. I've mentioned it in the game thread from last night but the last foul from Mac was just a facepalm moment and J'von biting on a pump fake when he was over around 7 feet away from the shooter and then the guy getting an EASY dunk afterwards. Don't even get me started on what Cambridge did.

At the end of the day, we still have an outside shot of winning the conference, we're a virtual lock for the NCAA tourney, and we still have Bruce Pearl as our coach. It's a great day to be an Auburn Tiger! War Eagle!

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4 minutes ago, tgrogan21 said:

Don't even get me started on what Cambridge did.

I think it was a 10 point game at the time. As bad as we looked at times I can't help but think we had a shot at winning until that happened. Just like that were down 16. 

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7 minutes ago, gr82be said:

I think it was a 10 point game at the time. As bad as we looked at times I can't help but think we had a shot at winning until that happened. Just like that were down 16. 

Definitely! I can't remember the exact score but it gave them 4 free throws and the ball back. I know they missed one of the technical's but hit the other 3 to push the lead back to 13 with the ball. It just seemed like we would feed the post and we would cut the lead to under 10 and then start firing up 3's. We would have won the game if we continued to give Wiley the ball and the guards would have drove the paint.

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Okoro is a key piece but one thing the announcers mentioned is some key injuries Mizzou had before the season and during the season and that it has taken a while for other players to step up and replace those key players but that they had just pushed LSU just before playing us. Another words some of their Players who have played together as a group for a while are better that they were at the beginning of the season. It is impossible for any player who is less talented than Okoro (which are most players in the country) to play as well as he does but the other side is that it takes time to build the chemistry you get playing next to each other.  To expect a freshman like Flanagan or Cambridge to all of a sudden fill the role that Okoro played was not realistic.  Cambridge and Flanagan are both long enough and athletic enough to be a good defenders  but unlike Okoro who specialized in defense in HS it is what most young plays need the most help with.  Cambridge has a decent stroke but is more of a catch and shoot type player where Okoro was a down hill player who could weave through traffic and score. When Cambridge is in they want him to play the Okoro role which he is not capable of given time you could adjust the offense to what he is better at. We didn't have the luxury of time. 

We will be pleasantly surprised by Cambridge and Flanagan next year they have both shown some talent at times but have also shown that they need time to reach their potential. Considering what my expectations were with this group on day 1 I am still happy where they are and hope that Okoro can get healthy and help us when it counts. If we can find a way to win the next couple without him we should be fine.

By the way if we had lost Doughty instead of Okoro it would have been a similar outcome. We had three people play well on O against Mizzou Samir, J'Von, Wiley and but only one who really played consistently well on D and that was Wiley.

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realistically, without the scent of bias and trophy hunting, I think we already knew we cant be that good without Okoro and we definitely arent good on the road 

those two factors make just about every road game unwinnable unless the 3 point shooting reaches mythical level

Edited by Dual-Threat Rigby
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Now that I'm more calm I can say two things, there is no way we should have lost to that team last night (a losing record Mizzou) and it is very disheartening that none of the bench players played worth a damn. With that said, we can all hope it's a teaching moment and a sign to the team that they need to refocus if they want to "make history" like they have said so often. Wiley was phenomenal last night, and Doughty was good, but Jvon, Mac, and particularly Purifoy let their team down. Maybe that game is what Wiley needed to realize that great things happen when he goes up strong without pump fakes and he needs to dunk any time he is close enough to do it. Screw those layups under the basket, he misses them or gets fouled and doesnt finish. With the dunks he finished every single time, and there were several and-1s that were not called by the piss poor refs last night.  So as it sits now we are one game back from UK and tied with LSU (with tie breaker) If AU wins out and beats UK at UK we can win at least a portion of the regular season title. In reality that should mean that AU wins it outright but the SEC isnt using tiebreakers anymore for regular season title right??

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8 minutes ago, Dual-Threat Rigby said:

realistically, without the scent of bias and trophy hunting, I think we already knew we cant be that good without Okoro and we definitely arent good on the road 

those two factors make just about every road game unwinnable unless the 3 point shooting reaches mythical level

I agree to an extent.  If Purifoy plays to his potential and gets 10 to 15 points and 5 to 10 rebounds with Okoro out we will be in the game. I mean we hit ONE 3 point shot last night. ONE!!!  If they shoot their average  from 3 we win that game last night too. That was just a massive stinker of a game in a lot of ways.  I think as it sits now you are very correct in that winning an away game is going to be very, very difficult UNLESS some of these freshman start playing like they have some talent and basketball sense. 

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1 hour ago, BHDAU1 said:

I agree to an extent.  If Purifoy plays to his potential and gets 10 to 15 points and 5 to 10 rebounds with Okoro out we will be in the game. I mean we hit ONE 3 point shot last night. ONE!!!  If they shoot their average  from 3 we win that game last night too. That was just a massive stinker of a game in a lot of ways.  I think as it sits now you are very correct in that winning an away game is going to be very, very difficult UNLESS some of these freshman start playing like they have some talent and basketball sense. 

You say our average, but our average shooting on the road is probably somewhere below 30%. It pretty much requires one of our guys to play like the fear of God is in him just to come back and eek out road wins. We got crushed by Bama and Florida in horrendous shooting performances. OM was on pace to be another one of those. MSU outside of Perry and Weatherspoon appears to just be raw athleticism and height, which is likely how we snatched that out, although I suppose a Quad 1 win is a Q1 win no matter how you shape it.

Purifoy hasn't been a guy that's looked "up to his potential" since his freshman year. I dont even know what his potential looks like at this point...a guy that can make a handful of threes? 

Edited by Dual-Threat Rigby

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2 hours ago, Dual-Threat Rigby said:

Purifoy hasn't been a guy that's looked "up to his potential" since his freshman year. I dont even know what his potential looks like at this point...a guy that can make a handful of threes? 

I did not know a 6 foot 7 inch 230 pound basketball player could be so invisible.

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3 hours ago, Dual-Threat Rigby said:

You say our average, but our average shooting on the road is probably somewhere below 30%. It pretty much requires one of our guys to play like the fear of God is in him just to come back and eek out road wins. We got crushed by Bama and Florida in horrendous shooting performances. OM was on pace to be another one of those. MSU outside of Perry and Weatherspoon appears to just be raw athleticism and height, which is likely how we snatched that out, although I suppose a Quad 1 win is a Q1 win no matter how you shape it.

Purifoy hasn't been a guy that's looked "up to his potential" since his freshman year. I dont even know what his potential looks like at this point...a guy that can make a handful of threes? 

True, I think we can all agree that Purifoy came back a much more timid player and has never regained his freshman form. However, he is averaging 9 points and about 5 rebounds a game this year this far, so if with some increased minutes on the floor I dont think that expecting him to get 10 to 15 points and 5 to 8 rebounds would be too far out of line. It is his last year, you would expect there to be some urgency but like someone else said, despite his size he manages to be be invisible. I have focused on him at times during games and he often literally tries to hide on offense. He often doesnt try hard to get open and he definitely defers to everyone else unless he has no choice.  If by chance he does take a shot and make it, then you see his effort level go up.  It's just really disappointing because everyone wants to see him do great and there was a lot of hope that this would finally be his year to show out. 

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To be fair, Purifoy was still suffering from the lingering effects of the flu on Saturday.  Hopefully, he’ll be in better health next game.

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This loss bothered me a ton, maybe because of the way Missouri fans were acting like it was a Final Four game. That said, our first game was November 5th. Being upset after our third loss in 3 and a half months of play is a true testament to how high Coach Pearl has raised the basketball bar at AU. 

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I got a sneaky feeling Coach Pearl is kinda happy that we lost that game.

 

Just a hunch, but I absolutely believe it.

 

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2 hours ago, Beaker said:

I got a sneaky feeling Coach Pearl is kinda happy that we lost that game.

 

Just a hunch, but I absolutely believe it.

 

uhhh... no. And I hope not. Losing is never a good thing. He is a motivator, and doesn't need a loss to assist him.

What we need is better play. And better support from our bench. Most of the time we don't need much, but Saturday we did bc we lost about 16 pts, 5-6 rebounds and 2-4 assists without Okoro. 

Those points would have won us another close game...

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Only reason I can see him being happy is that it might allow him to shake up some rotations without messing up a winning formula. This exists more in the NBA where you have such fragile egos, but a ton of coaches are scared to shake up winning rotations there 

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Simply put, Isaac Okoro is a lottery pick. Not having him on the floor lowers our level of play. 

Missouri played the best game they've played all season. Our starters not named Wiley played a very mediocre game and our bench played a very bad and frankly, unintelligent game. 

That's a losing formula. More production from the bench plus some shots going down equals a win in that one. Isaac Okoro equals a win in that one. Playing in Auburn Arena likely equals a win in that one. Perfect storm. 

Okoro being back will solve most issues. The other issues can be solved with closer to average shooting and intelligence from the bench. That's about all that can be said about this team. Samir is a fantastic guard but simply can't score enough to be the guy that wins the entire game every night. You've got to have high IQ bench play, and Auburn didn't get that Saturday. Hope they step up against UGA, but having Okoro back will solve a lot of issues, no matter when that is. If we, for some reason, don't have him back until SEC Tournament, I still have Auburn as the favorite to win the SEC Tourney. Okoro means a lot to the team, just like any lottery pick does to any team. 

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I'd love know how Auburn ranked ranked 11th loses to an unranked Missouri team 85-73. Oh yeah, the game wasn't even that close.

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Something else worth considering. This team has been living on that edge for 7 games. They've played the equivalent of 8 games over that span with the OTs. Being down a man (Purifoy) during part of that run put some extra miles on the others in the rotation. Then, losing Okoro creates the same problem. Add to that losing Cambridge during the Mizzou game, and you have a bunch of guys who have logged a lot of minutes lately with a shortening rotation. It was bound to happen to us. It was going to catch up to us. The entire game, and especially late, we didn't seem to have the legs and the energy to close that distance Mizzou created to end the first half. We made a good run or two but just couldn't come up with plays. Hopefully, the extra day of rest helps us get our legs back a little. With Okoro likely being out again, it's going to take all the energy we can muster to pull off a victory in Athens. Just gotta find that extra energy and fight through the fatigue.

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9 hours ago, Gowebb11 said:

This loss bothered me a ton, maybe because of the way Missouri fans were acting like it was a Final Four game. That said, our first game was November 5th. Being upset after our third loss in 3 and a half months of play is a true testament to how high Coach Pearl has raised the basketball bar at AU. 

Can't let that get to you. Now you know how Kentucky fans feel after every loss. It's just part of it when you become a nationally recognized  program. You're going to get everyone's best shots and it's everyone's biggest game on the home schedule. We're going to face another crazy environment Wednesday night in Athens. 

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I don't see why people are so emotional about this.....we are over achieving as a team as is. Losing a big piece of your team will have negative effects. I Dred what this board is going to look like once tourney time comes....

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This team will either win a string of games in the tourney or lose in the first round lol. The field is soooo open this year there's no telling what happens. We just have to hope for some fortunate matchups and the committee not trying to bend us over like they did last year.

 

But as others have said -- this team was supposed to be on the bubble right now considering all that we lost from last season. This season was going to be a bridge year to Phase II of Bruce's tenure at AU. And he's got us sitting at 22-3. Just enjoy what these kids have accomplished and can possibly accomplish. Enjoy the highs and lows of Cambridge and Al Flan as they to figure it out and springboard their careers. Enjoy Wiley becoming the force that he is. Enjoy the fact that we have a mid-major transfer and a 0 star recruit as our starting backcourt who has us in the hunt for an SEC championship. Enjoy Mac coming back from horrific injury and still being able to be a game changing X factor for us more often than not. We didn't have the guy that will likely be our highest drafted player in decades and we looked like it.

I know there are a lot of new basketball fans here so just a friendly reminder that a loss in one random SEC game, on the road, doesn't mean much of anything until it becomes a trend. And even then I wouldn't be sounding alarms until we start dropping games with Isaac back in the lineup. I'm not expecting any wins until IO is back. The Ant Man is going to score 30 on us tomorrow just prepare your emotions, everybody

Edited by Tiger
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