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New Exercise

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In an effort to generate discussion alternate to whether or not any one of the two million "pundits" have us in their latest "next four out," I would like to propose an exercise:

 

What one reasonable trait would you like to see our players improve on - both in the immediate (to assist our stretch run) and in the long run (offseason to improve the team going forward). For example, you can't hope Benny develops an outside shot in the short run, but that could be a long-term improvement. I am going to list my evaluation to major contributors.

 

Tai Webster:

Short-term: Confidence - especially in attacking the rim.

Long-term: Outside shooting.

 

Terran Petteway:

Short-term: I'm nitpicking, but maybe decision making (continue taking care of the ball) and rotational defense.

Long-term: On-ball defense. I would like to see him become a lock-down defender that can shut down the other team's best player. I think this would best serve him as he potentially moves to the next level.

 

Shavon Shields:

Short-term: Consistency in attacking the rim and finishing strong.

Long-term: Continued improvement in outside shooting.

 

David Rivers:

Short-term: Consistently finish at a higher elevation!

Long-term: Add 10 lbs of good weight.

 

Walter Pitchford:

Short-tem: Increased aggression in rebounding.

Long-term: Round out offensive game. I do not expect him to be a back-to-the-basket player, but would like to see him be able to catch the ball on the block, open up, and beat slower post defenders, as well as take slower post defenders off the dribble from the perimeter if/when we go five-wide.

 

Ray Gallegos:

Short-term: Find his shot! (this could include increased selection)

Long-term: NA

 

Leslee Smith:

Short-term: Perform role more consistently. We do not need a ton from him - solid post defense and rebounding. But he should be able to do this consistently.

Long-term: Same thing. I do not expect him much more from him - but this is a very important role and he can fill it very well if he performs as we have seen him do so in flashes more consistently.

 

Benny Parker:

Short-term: None

Long-term: Develop a respectable perimeter shot.

 

Not including Hawkins, because I think immense improvement is needed (and expected) from year 1 to year 2. I absolutely agree with concerns regarding foot speed/quickness, as he has consistently been a step behind when playing this year.

 

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Oof!  This is a lot of work...

 

Will we be graded on a curve?

 

Never was a fan of the curve... I do not understand evaluating someone's content knowledge as it relates to others in a specific class. Shouldn't it relate to the content itself?? (Don't answer that... I don't want to sidetrack my own thread!)

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Oof!  This is a lot of work...

 

Will we be graded on a curve?

 

Never was a fan of the curve... I do not understand evaluating someone's content knowledge as it relates to others in a specific class. Shouldn't it relate to the content itself?? (Don't answer that... I don't want to sidetrack my own thread!)

 

 

...unless you're Creighton. They don't have any class.

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Great post, not sure I agree on Leslie smith though. Leslie has given us really productive post defense and rebounding all year long. What is so frusterating to me is the decline of his offensive efficiency. Missed bunnies and crazy dumb turnovers get fixed immedietly and he's a very productive player for us down the stretch

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Great post, not sure I agree on Leslie smith though. Leslie has given us really productive post defense and rebounding all year long. What is so frusterating to me is the decline of his offensive efficiency. Missed bunnies and crazy dumb turnovers get fixed immedietly and he's a very productive player for us down the stretch

I agree - if we could get him to produce like he was, that would be great. I was saying I don't see him developing into much more than that.

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Only a few thoughts/observations:

 

Petteway - decision-making, both offensively (shot selection at times) & defensively (not fouling after frustration/retaliation)

 

Shields - perimeter shooting, both range & percentage

 

Pitchford - pull-up game & interior defending

 

Rivers - shot fake & then shoot through contact as well as playing D w/o using hands

 

Webster - obviously, shooting with confidence from basically everywhere

 

Parker - three-point range with consistency

 

Hawkins - lateral quickness to slide better on D, continued development of all-around game

 

Fuller - strength upper & lower body to D up low post & development as stretch 4

 

L. Smith - better decisions w/ outlets in transition, less attempts at charges along baseline

 

Hammond - strength & development in a possible redshirt season

 

T. Smith - strength & development in a possible redshirt season

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Now that the season is done, we're basically talking about long-term, over the summer.

 

Shooting is always something that can be worked on, so that's a given for everyone.  Tai, in particular, could be a much better shooter.  I think having a year under his belt will really be a help for Tai and I expect he'll see significant improvement between years 1 and 2.  But I'd like to see Tai work on his perimeter jumper as well as his mid-range pull-up J.  I'd also like to see him develop his left-hand dribble more so that he can drive the lane effectively from either side of the basket.

 

Shavon and Terran are pretty complete, well-rounded players and there's not any one skill that they need to especially focus on other than just continuing to improve their outside shooting.  Both can get to the rim.  Both can finish when they get there.  It'd be nice to see them both improve their 3-pt % by a good 5% each.  Terran shot 31% beyond the arc in conference play and Shavon was at 34%.  They both need to be closer to 40% and I think they're both capable of getting there.

 

Walt and Leslee both need to spend considerable time this off-season working on their footwork in the low post, both defensively and offensively.  Walt was getting beat too easily late in the season playing defense.  Be nice to see him gain some upper body strength.  But, with his quickness and leaping ability and shooting touch, there's no reason he couldn't become a much more effective offensive weapon in the low blocks.  Same with Leslee.  He'd get stuck with his pivot foot toward the defender and unable to make a move out of it, resulting in either a turnover, a block or a missed shot.  Walt seemed similarly unsure what to do with the ball if/when he got it deep.  I think a big part of scoring in the post is being decisive, knowing your moves and having them down by feel, so that as soon as you get the ball, you fake left, drop-step right and go up (or whatever move you're making.)  If you have to stop and think about it, you're too late. 

 

That's why people wanted Walt to watch Frank Kaminsky.  Frank isn't especially quick, but he's decisive.  He makes decisions quickly and executes his move.  Depending on where he's being played, he knows how to respond.  That can be learned.  And Walt and Leslee need to spend the off-season learning it.  When you have developed some go-to moves, the game slows down for you and you can just react without having to stop and think.  That's where they need to get to.

 

I don't see Benny ever becoming a deep threat shooter, but he needs to be at least adequate from 15-19 feet.  If the defense allows him that shot, he needs to be able to step up and bury it.  That's his off-season homework.

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I tend to agree with Norm. I believe Benny can continue to improve his shot and shot selection, but he likely will never be confused with a pure shooter. That doesn't mean that there will not be improvement, but he simply does not seem to have a shooters touch. I know that is vague, but some players simply have the appearence of a shooter, Benny lacks that presence.

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