Jump to content
Null

Men's 2021-22 Season Discussion Thread


Recommended Posts

Auburn Basketball Notebook: newcomers a big part of 2021-22 roster

ByMARK MURPHY 24 minutes ago
 
 
 

Jaylin Williams on his team personality: "Goofy and Competitive"

 
 
jaylin-williams-640-closeupmm.jpg
 
 

 

 

AUBURN, Alabama–As members of Bruce Pearl’s coaching staff mentioned, the “official” first day of preseason basketball practice isn’t quite the same as it used to be with teams now allowed to practice together over the summer, but that didn’t prevent the Tigers from having a spirited two-hour workout on Tuesday.

Pearl agreed with that assessment, noting that it is better for team development and the health of the players not to have to rush preparations for an opening game of a season when full squad practices traditionally began in mid-October.

For this year’s schedule the Tigers don’t play for keeps until a home game on Nov. 9th vs. Morehead State and they have been practicing together as a group going back to June.

One of the players who participated in Tuesday’s practice, junior forward Devan Cambridge, has a chance to play a bigger role for the 2021-22 team than he did last year when started 19 times and averaged 8.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest.

One of the reasons Cambridge will be relied on is that his teammate, Allen Flanigan, is currently sidelined while recovering from an Achilles injury. Pearl mentioned Cambridge as a player he will be counting on to help fill the shoes of the team’s top returning scorer.

“For sure, I am going to have to step up for my brother for however long he is out,” Cambridge said. “We have a bunch of players who are going to step up and take bigger roles. I am looking forward to that.”

Commenting on what he wants to do on the court this season, Cambridge said, “I want to be that energy guy and block shots, make shots and play good defense.”

Last year’s leading scorer, guard Sharife Cooper, was a second round NBA draft pick as was forward J.T. Thor, who averaged 9.4 points per game. Of the returning players only Flanigan (14.3 points per game) and junior forward Jaylin Williams (10.9 points per game) posted higher scoring averages. However, offensive punch is expected from each of the five newcomers.

“I feel like we are in a good spot right now,” Cambridge said, noting that he likes the talent that has been added to the roster with a trio of transfer guards (Wendell Green, Zep Jasper and K.D. Johnson) on board with 7-2 transfer Walker Kessler plus five-star freshman forward Jabari Smith. “They are new, but they are experienced and the only freshman is Jabari and he has a great mind,” Cambridge said. “I think we will work out together.”

Pearl said to expect his two new point guards, Green from Eastern Kentucky and Jasper from College of Charleston, to be on the court together at times. “You would think because they are your two point guards, how is that possible? It is going to be challenging, but I think they will play together, much like J’Von McCormick and Jared Harper played some together. Samir Doughty played one and two, and played together (with a point guard).

“What makes it difficult whoever it is going to be, most likely Zep, to play point guard and off the ball and this being his first year learning both positions, it is different.

“Wendell can really shoot it well,” Pearl said. “He is not afraid of the moment. His offense is ahead of his defense.

“The thing about Wendell Green is this: since he was a little boy he has been playing with and against great players. He has been on really good high school teams, really good AAU teams and he has played with and against pros. Then, when it was time to go to college, nobody thought he was good enough or big enough. That is why he winds up at Eastern Kentucky.

“He is not going to be intimidated by what he is fixing to face, but it is still a real opportunity for him to answer the bell. You were a dynamic, mid-major point guard. What are you going to be like now every night at the high major level?”

Green is a 5-11, 170 sophomore and Jasper is a 6-1, 170 graduate transfer with two seasons of eligibility.

“They can both shoot it, which is good in our system,” Pearl said. “Zep is a dynamic defender. He can really get after you, not only individually himself, he makes everybody out there defensively better. He is a little bigger (than Green) and little more physical. He is not a pure point guard where Wendell is a pure, shooting point guard. Zep is more of a combo guard, a guy who can play off the ball just as well as he can on the ball.”

Auburn’s other newcomer at guard, sophomore K.D. Johnson from the University of Georgia, is likely to be one of the team’s top scorers. Pearl said that Johnson will probably see game action at point guard in addition to his normal off-guard role. At Tuesday’s practice Johnson got a chance to run the point as the Tigers worked on halfcourt sets, both offensively and defensively, vs. their scout team.

In other news and notes:

*Cambridge said the Tigers are going to get immediate help from Kessler, a former five-star recruit who played last season for the North Carolina Tar Heels. “He is a beast,” Cambridge said. “He can stretch the floor, shoot the threes, rebound, block shots and he runs the floor real good.”

10626323.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offset-y0.50&width=620&height=320 Devan Cambridge is shown with the ball in Tuesday's practice. (Photo: Jason Caldwell, Inside the Auburn Tigers, 247Sports)

 

*Babatunde "Stretch" Akingbola, a 6-10 junior center, agree with Cambridge about Kessler being an impact player. “The dude is tall,” Akingbola said. “He can shoot over anybody. He can put the ball down a little bit too, so he can get his job done in the post. I won’t say Walker is a big post player, but he is a great three-point shooter.”

Akingbola said he feels like it is helping his game going against the seven-footer in practice while he is helping Kessler improve.

*The Tigers will have their annual Pro Day on Oct. 8th with NBA scouts visiting practice to check out the 2021-22 roster.

*The night before the pro day the team will have a Tipoff at Toomer’s event. It is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on a portable court at the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue. It drew a big crowd the last time it was held prior to the 2019-20 season.

New women’s coach Johnnie Harris will have her team at the event as well. The women’s team will have its first official preseason practice on Tuesday, but like the men have been practicing together all summer.

*Before opening the regular season the Tigers are going to play a private scrimmage at UAB on Oct. 23rd. Pearl said he hopes that an experienced UAB team will “expose” areas the Tigers need to work on before getting into what the head coach calls a very challenging pre-conference schedule. Auburn will also scrimmage against a team Pearl once coached, Southern Indiana.

*** Subscribe: Receive the latest Auburn intel and scoops***

*In order to be ready for the pre-conference, schedule Pearl said that the Tigers are doing more preseason conditioning than usual. He noted that the plan is normally to focus the conditioning on getting the entire squad to be a peak performance level to open league play because of the threat of burning out a team during the course of the lengthy collegiate season.

*Conditioning and work ethic is not an issue with highly-regarded 6-10 freshman Jabari Smith, whose dad was an NBA player. He is a regular in the team’s “Breakfast Club” group that includes Cambridge, Green and drop-ins for workouts in the 6 a.m. hour at Auburn Arena.

Edited by toddc
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites




  • Replies 82
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

It still amazes me what Bruce has done here. If there ever was a guy that deserves the “rockstar” coach moniker, it’s him. He totally changed everything. AU and Final Four were not words that usually

Posted Images

Are y’all excited yet? I’m excited, really excited 😜 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 10/2/2021 at 4:59 PM, AUwent said:

Ah, it feels great to actually be excited about a major sport!

You mean football and b-ball, as in plural, after the lswho win.

Edited by toddc
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, toddc said:

You mean football and b-ball, as in plural, after the lswho win.

Well, this was written before the game when I thought we were going to lose. Happy to be wrong! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really excited to see what this team can do. Interested in where/how Pearl decides to utilize some of these players and the ultimate rotations he settles on. So much talent and so few minutes, its incredible to see the talent now vs what seems like not that long ago. 

  • Love 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, JwgreDeux said:

I'm really excited to see what this team can do. Interested in where/how Pearl decides to utilize some of these players and the ultimate rotations he settles on. So much talent and so few minutes, its incredible to see the talent now vs what seems like not that long ago. 

The overall talent level is night and day from the Barbee era. Not even comparable.

If you adjust for recent expectations, I think our 1-3 spots may end up thinner than some expect. With Allen out, not exactly deep with guys that’ve proven they can do it at an SEC-starter level, IMO. We really need both Zep and Wendell to be good out of the gate. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It still amazes me what Bruce has done here. If there ever was a guy that deserves the “rockstar” coach moniker, it’s him. He totally changed everything. AU and Final Four were not words that usually accompanied each other. He’s already done enough to get a sidewalk plaque over by Toomers IMO. 

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/6/2021 at 1:40 PM, Dunndone414 said:

The overall talent level is night and day from the Barbee era. Not even comparable.

If you adjust for recent expectations, I think our 1-3 spots may end up thinner than some expect. With Allen out, not exactly deep with guys that’ve proven they can do it at an SEC-starter level, IMO. We really need both Zep and Wendell to be good out of the gate. 

With the talent at wings, we don't need as much scoring from the point as we have in the past. And no school is deep with starter-level talent. Chemistry, fit and rotations is what is going to be key here. 

On 10/6/2021 at 7:23 PM, Dual-Threat Rigby said:

Honestly if the guards can pass into the post, they’re already better than their predecessors, Jared and Sharife excluded 

There isn't going to be a ton of passing into the post. We are going to spread the floor, drive, swing, kick and crash the boards. Should be a fun team to watch. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, JwgreDeux said:

With the talent at wings, we don't need as much scoring from the point as we have in the past. And no school is deep with starter-level talent. Chemistry, fit and rotations is what is going to be key here. 

There isn't going to be a ton of passing into the post. We are going to spread the floor, drive, swing, kick and crash the boards. Should be a fun team to watch. 

It was more of a quip in reference to some of the other guards’s limitations at passing. However, I think it’s always a skill that has some value, and they even still ran things around the post/elbow area when their “center” rotation was Mac, Purifoy, stretch guys. Sometimes you do that just to allow a guy with enough gravity (Jabari) to eventually isolate and cook…sometimes you hope he gets doubled and he can kick it out for a good look 

There’s ways to use that area other than the Austin Wiley way 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope that doesn't even become a topic this year. I felt very sad trying to explain that passing to the post wasn't a skill set or ability

Link to post
Share on other sites

Passing to the post is a team effort more than just something the Guard does. First the Post player has to seal his defender in a position where the guard can pass it to him, The post player also needs to show that he is available, next other players have to be far enough away so it is not easy to double down on the post player. There are other things that are required one that the PG , SG or Wing Player has to have a passing lane to get the ball to the Post player and finally you have to trust that the Post players can make something happen when he gets it.  The post player has to be able to see and pass to a player cutting down the lane, Make a move and score, Pass out to open three shooter or pass out and reset deeper for an easier basket. 

Last year at times Cardwell reminded me of Wiley he did a good job of sealing his man and putting up the correct hand to show he was available but that was where similarity ended as he was no where near as capable as Wiley in scoring down low once he received the ball.  I am hoping practicing against Kessler, Smith, and Stretch that Cardwell will have developed his down low game where one of our options is a banging down low presence who can score enough to keep people honest. If so I could see a few minutes with Cardell as Center, Kessler as PF, and Jabari as SF. This would be a great change of pace but I doubt you would see it for long stretches.  Smith could shoot over any SF guarding him with two strong rebounders down low. If we did that I think we would need to play zone D taking advantage of their length.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, cole256 said:

I hope that doesn't even become a topic this year. I felt very sad trying to explain that passing to the post wasn't a skill set or ability

Do you believe it’s just a “you either got it or you don’t”? Or is it just not focusing or what 

Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, AuburnNTexas said:

Passing to the post is a team effort more than just something the Guard does. First the Post player has to seal his defender in a position where the guard can pass it to him, The post player also needs to show that he is available, next other players have to be far enough away so it is not easy to double down on the post player. There are other things that are required one that the PG , SG or Wing Player has to have a passing lane to get the ball to the Post player and finally you have to trust that the Post players can make something happen when he gets it.  The post player has to be able to see and pass to a player cutting down the lane, Make a move and score, Pass out to open three shooter or pass out and reset deeper for an easier basket. 

Last year at times Cardwell reminded me of Wiley he did a good job of sealing his man and putting up the correct hand to show he was available but that was where similarity ended as he was no where near as capable as Wiley in scoring down low once he received the ball.  I am hoping practicing against Kessler, Smith, and Stretch that Cardwell will have developed his down low game where one of our options is a banging down low presence who can score enough to keep people honest. If so I could see a few minutes with Cardell as Center, Kessler as PF, and Jabari as SF. This would be a great change of pace but I doubt you would see it for long stretches.  Smith could shoot over any SF guarding him with two strong rebounders down low. If we did that I think we would need to play zone D taking advantage of their length.

He didn’t have great touch around the rim and I think he’d bring the ball up too high often. Wiley did that sometimes as well 

Cardwell was a really good lob threat for Cooper, so he has offensive value even if the post doesn’t work out. But I’d hope that comes around for him, for his own sakes. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Dual-Threat Rigby said:

Do you believe it’s just a “you either got it or you don’t”? Or is it just not focusing or what 

Passing the ball? I think being creative and making consistent good discussions is a gift. Somebody like lamello ball was just born different.

But just making a decision to slowly pass the ball to the post? I could teach a 5 year old to do that

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • ellitor changed the title to Men's 2022-23 Season Discussion Thread
  • toddc changed the title to Men's 2021-22 Season Discussion Thread

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...