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Norm Peterson

Outlook for '19-'20

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There's so, so much we don't know about this team. We think we know Hoiberg's style of play that he wants to implement but have to imagine he's modified a thing or two as a result of his stint with the Bulls. He's recruited a roster that he wanted. There might be a player or two he hoped for and didn't get, but by and large, this is the group he went after and the group he got. So … what the hell is this team really going to look like?

 

I have this sense that our back court is going to be really, really solid.

 

It's yet to be seen how good Cam Mack really is. Let's assume there's a lot of excess hype at this point and that he's maybe not quite the best player Hoiberg has ever coached. I wonder how good of a shooter he'll be. I think he has an unconventional shooting stroke that might be hit or miss depending on the night. I'm guessing he'll be a good distributor but until things go live and the action is real, we won't really know.

 

But what I think I do know and isn't hyperbole is how fast he is.  I think he and Dachon Burke could be the fastest pair of guards in the Big Ten. I don't think that's crazy talk, either. And I think they'll both be capable scorers who have a take-it-to-the-rack-and-score mentality.

 

So, you have Mack who's fast as hell, Burke who's also very fast, and then you have another cast of characters in the backcourt who also have potential to be pretty solid weapons.

 

Jervay Green is *potentially* an excellent outside shooter who's big and strong and can finish through contact. Can he defend well enough to see the floor? Does his juco shooting translate? Italy gave him a jump start on that typical juco transition time. That gives you some reason to hope it won't take half a season for him to figure things out the way sometimes happens with juco transfers.

 

Haanif Cheatham was a double-figure scorer as a true freshman at Marquette. Career mid- to upper-30s 3-point shooter. He's pretty mature. He's really long. He's a good defender. If he can stay healthy, he gives us another offensive weapon that defenses will have to account for.

 

Matej Kavas can shoot from the outside, but I don't think he's a one-trick pony. I also saw him do some things in the scrimmage that make me think he's pretty versatile. But his ability to spread the floor with his outside shooting will probably be his most important contribution.  Given the roster we have (you go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had) he's probably going to have to guard the opposing 4, which I suppose makes him kind of a stretch 4 for us rather than the guard position they have him listed at on the roster.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say 4 of the above 5 players will average 25 minutes or more per game. I don't know which 4. Maybe all 5.  I'm not worried about the backcourt. At least 3 spots on the floor, we'll be credible.

 

The question to me is whether we have guys at the other 2 spots who can defend and rebound well enough, and not be exposed as so big of a weakness, that our guards can win games for us on the offensive end of the floor.

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I'm most intrigued by your comment about Jervay being good enough on defense to see the floor.

 

The last couple coaches we've had were defense-first guys.  It was pretty safe to say that if a player could play D, they weren't going to play.  Is Hoiberg that concerned with the defensive side of the ball?  Or will offensive advantages outweigh defensive shortcomings?

 

Honestly, I'm ready for an offensive-minded coach. It's been a while.

Edited by atskooc

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46 minutes ago, Norm Peterson said:

Jervay Green is *potentially* an excellent outside shooter who's big and strong and can finish through contact. Can he defend well enough to see the floor? 

So far I’ve heard Hoiberg, Doc and Abdelmassih all mention Jervay’s ability to defend when discussing his potential with the media. Haanif, Dachon and Samari have reputations of being tough perimeter defenders. The only guard I’m concerned about on the defensive end is Cam. That’s based on watching his game against WNCC last year. He obviously has the quickness and athleticism required to be a good defender, but his defensive effort was frankly awful in that game. That’s what Doc is here for! 
 

I think Shamiel will be another guy that averages around 25 mpg. Hopefully he gets his waiver.

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I've heard those same comments about Jervay being good on the defensive end. That could be coach-speak or it could be an honest assessment.  I know that playing defense is not the priority in the juco ranks as it is in the D1 game and that's certainly the case as far as what I saw of WNCC games. Jervay might be a very good defender.  But that's one that, until we see him on the floor, we don't really know.

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We were a gnat's eyelash away from making the NCAA tourney with a team that featured 6'6 Ade Dagunduro and 6'5 Ryan Anderson as our front court starters.

 

The starting guards on that team -- Sek Henry, Steve Harley and Cookie Miller -- were good but not great. We brought a walk-on guard off the bench as our 6th man in Paul Velander.

 

I feel like there's every reason to believe this set of guards is better than that group. And we can certainly hope that we can find front court players from among everyone else on the roster that would come close to matching what we got out of Ryan and Ade. Ade was just a stud and played hard and left it all on the floor.  He's a big reason that team was actually fairly successful.

 

I think we can score.  I think the big question is whether we'll be able to defend and rebound well enough to slow down the other team's offense enough to outscore them.

 

It's not our size that worries me so much as our inexperience in the front court. The good news is that the last 7 years of making the other team's big man look like an all-American should help the fans not feel so demoralized this year when some other team's big man goes off on us.

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The good news about our front court is there’s 2 sides to every mismatch. We’ll be iunderdized but guys like Stevenson, Cross, sometimes Kavas and even Cheatham at the 4 is that other teams have to guard them too. It just depends whether those guys are willing to attack those types of match ups and can hit shots when bigger guys sag off them.

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I would say that there are times this season when this team will look pretty good and like a team that can compete with anyone. There will also be times when this team will be so frustrating and look disorganized. Gotta be ready for the roller coaster this season and enjoy the good times. They should be a glimpse into what is to come in the future

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1 hour ago, Norm Peterson said:

We were a gnat's eyelash away from making the NCAA tourney with a team that featured 6'6 Ade Dagunduro and 6'5 Ryan Anderson as our front court starters.

 

The starting guards on that team -- Sek Henry, Steve Harley and Cookie Miller -- were good but not great. We brought a walk-on guard off the bench as our 6th man in Paul Velander.

 

I feel like there's every reason to believe this set of guards is better than that group. And we can certainly hope that we can find front court players from among everyone else on the roster that would come close to matching what we got out of Ryan and Ade. Ade was just a stud and played hard and left it all on the floor.  He's a big reason that team was actually fairly successful.

 

I think we can score.  I think the big question is whether we'll be able to defend and rebound well enough to slow down the other team's offense enough to outscore them.

 

It's not our size that worries me so much as our inexperience in the front court. The good news is that the last 7 years of making the other team's big man look like an all-American should help the fans not feel so demoralized this year when some other team's big man goes off on us.

 

Here's the closest player-to-player comparison possible for 2009, trying to match players who match the same roles. 

 

Ade Dagunduro 6-5   200  Sr.   Haanif Cheatham 6-5   195  Sr.
Cookie Miller 5-7   165  So.   Cam Mack 6-2   175  So.
Ryan Anderson 6-4   205  Jr.   Shamiel Stevenson 6-6   245  Jr.
Sek Henry 6-3   200  Jr.   Dachon Burke 6-4   180  Jr.
Steve Harley 5-11  180  Sr.   Jervay Green 6-3   210  Jr.
Paul Velander 6-2   200  Sr.   Matej Kavas 6-8   200  Sr.
Toney McCray 6-6   205  Fr.   Thorir Thorbjarnarson 6-6   205   Jr.
Brandon Richardson 6-0   190  Fr.   Samari Curtis 6-4   190  Fr.
Chris Balham 6-8   235  Jr.   Yvan Ouedraogo 6-9   260  Fr.
Alonzo Edwards 6-7   225  Fr.   Kevin Cross 6-8   240  Fr.
Cole Salomon 6-5   220  Jr.   Akol Arop 6-6   190  Fr.
Nick Krenk 6-0   185  Sr.   Charlie Easley 6-2   190  Fr.
Ben Nelson 6-8   230  Sr.   Bret Porter 6-6    215  Fr.

 

 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Dead Dog Alley said:

 

Here's the closest player-to-player comparison possible for 2009, trying to match players who match the same roles. 

 

Ade Dagunduro 6-5   200  Sr.   Haanif Cheatham 6-5   195  Sr.
Cookie Miller 5-7   165  So.   Cam Mack 6-2   175  So.
Ryan Anderson 6-4   205  Jr.   Shamiel Stevenson 6-6   245  Jr.
Sek Henry 6-3   200  Jr.   Dachon Burke 6-4   180  Jr.
Steve Harley 5-11  180  Sr.   Jervay Green 6-3   210  Jr.
Paul Velander 6-2   200  Sr.   Matej Kavas 6-8   200  Sr.
Toney McCray 6-6   205  Fr.   Thorir Thorbjarnarson 6-6   205   Jr.
Brandon Richardson 6-0   190  Fr.   Samari Curtis 6-4   190  Fr.
Chris Balham 6-8   235  Jr.   Yvan Ouedraogo 6-9   260  Fr.
Alonzo Edwards 6-7   225  Fr.   Kevin Cross 6-8   240  Fr.
Cole Salomon 6-5   220  Jr.   Akol Arop 6-6   190  Fr.
Nick Krenk 6-0   185  Sr.   Charlie Easley 6-2   190  Fr.
Ben Nelson 6-8   230  Sr.   Bret Porter 6-6    215  Fr.

 

 

 

 

 

I've been drinking the Kool Aid, but damnit I love this roster.

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33 minutes ago, Dead Dog Alley said:

 

Here's the closest player-to-player comparison possible for 2009, trying to match players who match the same roles. 

 

Ade Dagunduro 6-5   200  Sr. > Haanif Cheatham 6-5   195  Sr.
Cookie Miller 5-7   165  So. << Cam Mack 6-2   175  So.
Ryan Anderson 6-4   205  Jr. >> Shamiel Stevenson 6-6   245  Jr.
Sek Henry 6-3   200  Jr. < Dachon Burke 6-4   180  Jr.
Steve Harley 5-11  180  Sr. = Jervay Green 6-3   210  Jr.
Paul Velander 6-2   200  Sr. < Matej Kavas 6-8   200  Sr.
Toney McCray 6-6   205  Fr. << Thorir Thorbjarnarson 6-6   205   Jr.
Brandon Richardson 6-0   190  Fr. < Samari Curtis 6-4   190  Fr.
Chris Balham 6-8   235  Jr. << Yvan Ouedraogo 6-9   260  Fr.
Alonzo Edwards 6-7   225  Fr. << Kevin Cross 6-8   240  Fr.
Cole Salomon 6-5   220  Jr. == Akol Arop 6-6   190  Fr.
Nick Krenk 6-0   185  Sr. == Charlie Easley 6-2   190  Fr.
Ben Nelson 6-8   230  Sr. == Bret Porter 6-6    215  Fr.

 

Excellent chart, @Dead Dog Alley

 

Obviously, Doc would be in a great position to tell us who's better, but my thoughts are indicated above.

 

Looking at that comparison makes me feel better about this year.  This year's bench is way better than the 2009 team. The starters could be better as well.  And that was Doc's best team as a head coach and nearly made the NCAA tourney.

 

I'd give Ade the probable nod over Haanif, but I have to think Haanif is no slouch and can hold his own.

I'd give Ryan A the nod over Shamiel, but Shamiel could surprise us.

Cookie was solid, but Cam Mack is 7 inches taller and I'm just going to guess he's a better player and maybe even a lot better.

Steve Harley was a pretty good baller, but it's plausible that Jervay could be a lot better than Steve.

And Sek was decent, but what I've seen of Dachon, he's better overall because Sek wasn't that good from the outside.

 

This is going to be an interesting team.  Very interesting comparison looking at both rosters like that.

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2 hours ago, Dead Dog Alley said:

 

Here's the closest player-to-player comparison possible for 2009, trying to match players who match the same roles. 

 

Ade Dagunduro 6-5   200  Sr.   Haanif Cheatham 6-5   195  Sr.
Cookie Miller 5-7   165  So.   Cam Mack 6-2   175  So.
Ryan Anderson 6-4   205  Jr.   Shamiel Stevenson 6-6   245  Jr.
Sek Henry 6-3   200  Jr.   Dachon Burke 6-4   180  Jr.
Steve Harley 5-11  180  Sr.   Jervay Green 6-3   210  Jr.
Paul Velander 6-2   200  Sr.   Matej Kavas 6-8   200  Sr.
Toney McCray 6-6   205  Fr.   Thorir Thorbjarnarson 6-6   205   Jr.
Brandon Richardson 6-0   190  Fr.   Samari Curtis 6-4   190  Fr.
Chris Balham 6-8   235  Jr.   Yvan Ouedraogo 6-9   260  Fr.
Alonzo Edwards 6-7   225  Fr.   Kevin Cross 6-8   240  Fr.
Cole Salomon 6-5   220  Jr.   Akol Arop 6-6   190  Fr.
Nick Krenk 6-0   185  Sr.   Charlie Easley 6-2   190  Fr.
Ben Nelson 6-8   230  Sr.   Bret Porter 6-6    215  Fr.

 

 

 

 

 

Great post. I’m sure Doc loves the pieces he has to work with defensively. This roster reminds me of a couple of his great defensive teams that were undersized. I don’t think he’s ever coached this much quickness and length at the guard and wing positions though. Call me crazy, but I think this team could be better on defense than on offense. The sheer numbers may not suggest that, since there will be more possessions and more shot attempts than we’ve seen here since Nee (and therefore more points for both teams), but our defensive efficiency (Doc’s specialty) may keep us in some games when our offense is struggling. 

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Hopefully Coach H can get the team to play together.  My dad has good friend that attends a lot of the practices and told him that the guys are playing as individuals and not as a team.  They all want to be "The Star".  

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17 hours ago, Dead Dog Alley said:

 

Here's the closest player-to-player comparison possible for 2009, trying to match players who match the same roles. 

 

Ade Dagunduro 6-5   200  Sr.   Haanif Cheatham 6-5   195  Sr.
Cookie Miller 5-7   165  So.   Cam Mack 6-2   175  So.
Ryan Anderson 6-4   205  Jr.   Shamiel Stevenson 6-6   245  Jr.
Sek Henry 6-3   200  Jr.   Dachon Burke 6-4   180  Jr.
Steve Harley 5-11  180  Sr.   Jervay Green 6-3   210  Jr.
Paul Velander 6-2   200  Sr.   Matej Kavas 6-8   200  Sr.
Toney McCray 6-6   205  Fr.   Thorir Thorbjarnarson 6-6   205   Jr.
Brandon Richardson 6-0   190  Fr.   Samari Curtis 6-4   190  Fr.
Chris Balham 6-8   235  Jr.   Yvan Ouedraogo 6-9   260  Fr.
Alonzo Edwards 6-7   225  Fr.   Kevin Cross 6-8   240  Fr.
Cole Salomon 6-5   220  Jr.   Akol Arop 6-6   190  Fr.
Nick Krenk 6-0   185  Sr.   Charlie Easley 6-2   190  Fr.
Ben Nelson 6-8   230  Sr.   Bret Porter 6-6    215  Fr.

 

While these rosters compare in size in terms of experience they are ripe bananas and green bananas.  (if you prefer eating under ripe bananas and use this to pick apart my comparison you are a monster 😎)

 

Doc rolled out 5 returners and meshed them together into a sum greater than their parts. What are the odds that we get 13 brand new guys, none of whom appear to be NBA first round draft picks, to mesh together into a sum greater than their parts?

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16 hours ago, millerhusker said:

Great post. I’m sure Doc loves the pieces he has to work with defensively. This roster reminds me of a couple of his great defensive teams that were undersized. I don’t think he’s ever coached this much quickness and length at the guard and wing positions though. Call me crazy, but I think this team could be better on defense than on offense. The sheer numbers may not suggest that, since there will be more possessions and more shot attempts than we’ve seen here since Nee (and therefore more points for both teams), but our defensive efficiency (Doc’s specialty) may keep us in some games when our offense is struggling. 

Very good point. We're all worried about interior defense and rebounding, legitimately so. However, good perimeter and wing defenders can neutralize some of those concerns by disrupting teams from getting into their offensive sets and creating turnovers. Hopefully, Doc can devise some schemes which make guys like Burke, Cheatham and Green defensive menaces. 

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1 hour ago, Handy Johnson said:

If Jervay Green isn’t WAY better than Steve Harley, we’re in a lot of trouble...

 

1. We have a lot of other options such that we're not dead if Jervay Green struggles to adjust to the D1 game; and

2. Steve Harley was a double-figure scorer who averaged 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.5 steals per game as a senior.

 

If you offered me the option of Jervay taking Steve Harley's stat line as his own or putting up whatever's behind door #3, I'd have him take Steve Harley's stat line.

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1 hour ago, hhcmatt said:

 

He should have a better shot chart, which I remember as this

 

 

image.png

 

 

 

I'm guessing it's kinda odd for a 5'11 guy to have Steve's shooting volume (250-300 attempts/year) with only about 20% of those attempts from beyond the arc.

 

Not unprecedented, but not typical either.

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Yep, trashing Steve Harley is a completely revisionist approach to his actual contribution which was pretty darned solid on both ends of the court.  He was a great JUCO pickup for us and delivered when he got here. 

 

One caveat I would point out between Doc's mini squad and this one is the conference.  That's actually fairly significant when considering how good the front courts typically are across the board in the B1G.  It's kind of like football in terms of its physicality.  It will take a toll on us week in and week out.  I don't think Doc's squad would've made the bubble in the B1G of today.  

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Norm Peterson said:

 

1. We have a lot of other options such that we're not dead if Jervay Green struggles to adjust to the D1 game; and

2. Steve Harley was a double-figure scorer who averaged 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.5 steals per game as a senior.

 

If you offered me the option of Jervay taking Steve Harley's stat line as his own or putting up whatever's behind door #3, I'd have him take Steve Harley's stat line.

 

It's tough to compare this vs guys we've recently but the closest one in my mind is Glynn Watson in his junior year slump.  Give me door #3 which i assume will have a lot more 3 and a lot more FT attempts.

 

image.png

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I don't think there's any question that Jervay will have a lot higher percentage of his overall attempts coming from beyond the arc. I hope and expect he'll be more efficient as a scorer than Steve Harley was.

 

But if we get 10+ points, 3 boards, 2 assists, and 1 1/2 steals out of him per game, I'll be pretty satisfied.

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21 minutes ago, Norm Peterson said:

I don't think there's any question that Jervay will have a lot higher percentage of his overall attempts coming from beyond the arc. I hope and expect he'll be more efficient as a scorer than Steve Harley was.

 

But if we get 10+ points, 3 boards, 2 assists, and 1 1/2 steals out of him per game, I'll be pretty satisfied.

 

Any guard who averages over 25+ mpg will achieve these stats on this team

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15 minutes ago, Norm Peterson said:

I don't think there's any question that Jervay will have a lot higher percentage of his overall attempts coming from beyond the arc. I hope and expect he'll be more efficient as a scorer than Steve Harley was.

 

But if we get 10+ points, 3 boards, 2 assists, and 1 1/2 steals out of him per game, I'll be pretty satisfied.

Satisfied yes. His % was 43% 2pt, 34% 3pt, and 61% FT as a senior. I don't think its trashing Harley to state if Green doesn't do better than those numbers we could struggle. Harley was O.K. but he was average at best. 

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