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MandRHusker

Where Does the Problem Lie?

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I've been thinking about what is different this year than last and have a list of possibilities I'd like to share.

1. Are we suffering in game planning and bench coaching from the loss of Coach Smith?

2. Are the increased expectations this year placing too much pressure on this team?

3. Do we miss the quickness and shooting threat of Reyes Gallegos more than expected?

4. Are we no longer overlooked and teams are doing a better job of game planning against us?

Any thoughts & comments are appreciated.

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I've been thinking about what is different this year than last and have a list of possibilities I'd like to share.1. Are we suffering in game planning and bench coaching from the loss of Coach Smith?2. Are the increased expectations this year placing too much pressure on this team?3. Do we miss the quickness and shooting threat of Reyes Gallegos more than expected?4. Are we no longer overlooked and teams are doing a better job of game planning against us?Any thoughts & comments are appreciated.

I would say all four are problems that are hurting us this year. Poor shooting is also not helping.

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In order of hurting the team, I would say:

 

The loss of Gallegos is the biggest problem.  They couldn't help off of him like they can Benny, Tai, Rivers, or Tarin.  I'm not worried about his quickness.  Tai and Tarrin can bring that.  What they can't bring is that confidence to keep shooting even if they might miss some shots.

 

Next would be playing to the expectations.  We don't seem to play loose like we did last year, down the stretch.

 

Game planning would be third. If anybody plays man against this team, they are not a very adaptive coach.  A terrible zone would be better than playing man against this team.

 

Finally, it would be the loss of coach Smith.  I don't think it was a huge loss.  Shots aren't falling like they did last year.

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In order of hurting the team, I would say:

 

The loss of Gallegos is the biggest problem.  They couldn't help off of him like they can Benny, Tai, Rivers, or Tarin.  I'm not worried about his quickness.  Tai and Tarrin can bring that.  What they can't bring is that confidence to keep shooting even if they might miss some shots.

 

Next would be playing to the expectations.  We don't seem to play loose like we did last year, down the stretch.

 

Game planning would be third. If anybody plays man against this team, they are not a very adaptive coach.  A terrible zone would be better than playing man against this team.

 

Finally, it would be the loss of coach Smith.  I don't think it was a huge loss.  Shots aren't falling like they did last year.

Nailed it.

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Problem with the fans or with the team? Number one for the fans would be expectations. People got way too pumped up about the somewhat aberrant year we had last year. An excellent case could be made for putting NU basketball fans as number one losers for a supposed power in major men's athletics. Even the Cubs, the benchmark for sports futility, won two World Series at the turn of last century and were in the Series as late as 1945. We've never even won...oh, you know. Number one for the players is that we are not good rebounders or shooters. This is a deadly combination for any Div I team and is being exploited by every team we play now.

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I don't see how having high expectations is a problem for the fanbase. Sure, it should be realistic but I wouldn't have it any other way. This is team should have never lost to terrible teams like Incarnate Word and Creighton. Those games should have been gimmes. Win those two and we are sitting at 14-7 rather than 12-9. That's a big difference. But, you could tell right from the first exhibition game something was off. And while we have improved. It hasn't been enough. My expectations next year like this year will be to make it to the dance. I think that's pretty fair from a roster standpoint.

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Turnovers absolutely kill us.   l love Shavon but when he is a guy you frequently have bringing the ball up the court, especially against pressure, you have serious problems.  Shavon is the type of player where the majority of time when he catches the ball he should immediately drive or shoot.  If we had better options I'm sure Miles would be using them.  This team is just not good at ball handling.  Outside of recruiting to fix the problem, I'm not sure you can coach guys up that much in this regard.

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Reading this thread, I'm reminded of something Coach Miles said in the preseason when asked about the expectations and whether NU could pick up where it left off - he said he wasn't sure if NU was actually as good as it played late last season, or if the team just got hot. 

 

Someone who's better with the stats probably has the answer, but I believe NU's statistical results from last season would point to a team that just got hot, as NU's statistical ranking and analysis shouldn't have jived with a 19-win, 4th place B1G team. Because Miles is such a stats analysis guy, that's probably why he was wondering whether the team just got hot late last season.

 

When you're hot, you play with so much more confidence, and that's an area where we just have been lacking his season when it comes to outside shooting and to an extent FT shooting, especially on the road. 

 

If we had taken a slight step forward last season, rather than the huge leap to an NCAA berth, I think we'd be about where we expected 2/3 of the way through year 3, considering where the expectation level was going into Miles' first season.

 

I'd never "give back" what NU did at the end of season 2, as that was best ride for NU hoops in a long, long time. But that hot streak raised the expectation level too high going into season 3 versus the overall talent level, and the team hasn't been able to match it, which has raised the level of pressure on the team. It all kind of feeds on itself.

 

Hopefully NU can start another hot streak, beginning Tuesday, but the schedule is so much tougher down the stretch than it was last season that it's hard to imagine NU going on a big win streak this time.

 

Growing pains are to be expected when a program is trying to build itself up from the depths of where we've been. Coach Miles has us on the right trajectory, but, as shown so far, it's not going to be a smooth ride, with plenty of ups and downs.

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I do believe that sums it up pretty well!

 

(But there is still plenty of Basketball left to play this season  nod.gif)

 

In another thread someone asked what our expectations should be for next year?

 

:ph34r:  Speaking (only) for myself, I'm 'Cautiously Optimistic' (rather than 'Irrationally Over- Exuberant')

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