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Year 4


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Hard to evaluate this team right now; hence my wait and see attitude. 

An argument can certainly be made that there is no visible reason to believe we will improve on last year's team/record...but...we could be a more free flowing offense, we could be better defensively, we could be more cohesive, we could have more adaptable coaching, we could have stronger leadership...

Bottom line, we need a lot of things to go right!  Dang it, where did I set down my rose-colored glasses???

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Assuming this is the last addition, this is my penciled in lineup

 

Griesel

Emmanuel

CJ

Wilhelm/Gary (toss up, but I lean Gary i think)

Walker

 

-Lloyd (6th man. Wing primarily for CJ and Emmanuel, but might play lead guard too)

-Wilhelm/Gary

-Kieta

-mcpherson

-lawrence

 

Offensively, I have no idea who's going to score. CJ has to jump to 10+ PPG and Emmanuel/Griesel both have to match previous outputs with the jump in competition. Walker can maintain I think. The defense is this team might be one of the better defenses we've seen in a few years. Emmanuel and Gary both pride themselves on defense as does McPherson. Wilhelm was active in the passing lanes last year with his hands, if he can be more sound and disciplined I like him. Walker is a solid defender. 

 

It's kinda cool to contrast to what we saw last year. Offensively, we had 3 guys who were usually good for 10+ a night and 4 once CJ started heating up.

 

I'm not sure what to think honestly, but my initial reaction is I like this group. Just need some scoring jumps. Offense may be eye bleeding bad at times. 

 

Edited by thrasher31
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16 hours ago, thrasher31 said:

Assuming this is the last addition, this is my penciled in lineup

 

Griesel

Emmanuel

CJ

Wilhelm/Gary (toss up, but I lean Gary i think)

Walker

 

-Lloyd (6th man. Wing primarily for CJ and Emmanuel, but might play lead guard too)

-Wilhelm/Gary

-Kieta

-mcpherson

-lawrence

 

Offensively, I have no idea who's going to score. CJ has to jump to 10+ PPG and Emmanuel/Griesel both have to match previous outputs with the jump in competition. Walker can maintain I think. The defense is this team might be one of the better defenses we've seen in a few years. Emmanuel and Gary both pride themselves on defense as does McPherson. Wilhelm was active in the passing lanes last year with his hands, if he can be more sound and disciplined I like him. Walker is a solid defender. 

 

It's kinda cool to contrast to what we saw last year. Offensively, we had 3 guys who were usually good for 10+ a night and 4 once CJ started heating up.

 

I'm not sure what to think honestly, but my initial reaction is I like this group. Just need some scoring jumps. Offense may be eye bleeding bad at times. 

 

I can't argue with that lineup but it raises several troubling questions. Are we going to bring our 7' Juco All-American off the bench, really? OR do you bring your most proven commodity off the bench in Derrick Walker? Playing them together makes sense in some situations, but think what we'll give up in overall ball movement & outside shooting (which we already sorely lack).  Your last statement gives me the most pause, I'm afraid our Offense might be eye bleeding bad MOST of the time...

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1 hour ago, 49r said:

Griesel with the player-speak:

 

 

Of course we've heard it all before, but maybe this is the year it happens?

Hey losing with "team 1st lets share the ball" mentality is definitely a different culture than losing with a "me 1st Imma get mine" mentality. 

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3 hours ago, 49r said:

Griesel with the player-speak:

 

 

Of course we've heard it all before, but maybe this is the year it happens?

Griesel added, "And remember everyone, as Coach Sadler once said - A shot clock violation in basketball is much like a punt in football."

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I know we had Bryce and Verge putting up a lot of points last year really it was Walker and CJ keeping us from yet another offensive efficiency year worse than the first year of Tim Miles.

 

If all the other new guys just have to force up bad shots all season most night it shouldn't be worse then anything else we've seen during the Hoiberg era.

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I have spent sometime thinking about our offense next year because there has been a fair amount of doom and gloom regarding that topic.  Last year we averaged 73 ppg and were not very efficient in doing it.  I think we will be in the neighborhood of that number, but with better efficiency and defense.  What that means in terms of wind and losses…I don’t know but my way too early guess is this will be Fred’s best season.  I’d set the over/under at 15 wins.  Here is how I see our scoring distribution as of today.


Starters: 49 points per game
Griesel 8

Emmanuel 13

Wilcher 10

Gary 6

Walker 12

 

Bench: 21 points per game

-Lloyd 5

-Kieta 5

-Tominaga 7

-Breidenbach 4

 

So that is about 70 ppg…very similar to last year.  Here are my thoughts by player:

 

Griesel:  Averaged about 14 in the Summit league IIRC.  I see that number going down quite a bit.  He will be facilitating more and being a team leader with occasional scoring.  I don’t believe he will be scoring like he did at the mid major level but will be a valuable team leader.

 

Emmanuel:  part of why he came is because he wanted an increased scoring role.  He averaged 10 at SMU as the 3rd option.  I think he can up that to 13.  He’ll be getting a big portion of Bryce’s shots.

 

Wilcher:  averaged about 8 as a freshman.  I think he will continue to improve with experience.  I’m penciling him in for 10.


Gary: I think most of his points will be put backs and junk yard dog plays. He won’t be hunting his shot like Lat which will help the team.

 

Walker:  rock solid team leader.  Averaged close to 10 last year.  I think he can up that to 12.  Extremely efficient when he gets the ball where he wants it.  I think Griesel will provide that.

 

Lloyd:  I am guessing he will be our main wing and PG off the bench.  I hope he will be as advertised and chip in 5 while helping in lots of areas.  Heck, he could even do better than that but I am being conservative.

 

Kieta :  when he originally committed I was dreaming of a walking double/double patrolling the paint.  Coming off injury I am just not sure.  Erring on the side of caution: 5 ppg.

 

Tominaga: averaged close to 6 ppg.  If he is the shooter off the bench he can certainly do 7 if he continues to improve.  Most people overlook Keisei, but only 4 players on last years team had a positive assist to turnover ratio.  He is the only one returning.  I am hoping Fred is putting more value on taking care of the damn ball this year.  Now if one of the youngsters beat out Tominaga, it’s not a bad thing because that means they are doing better than this.

 

Breidenbach: he averaged about 4 last year when healthy.  I think he will do that again as the 2nd big off the bench, but I believe his efficiency will be better with a year under his belt.

 

It is very possible McPherson, Dawson or Lawrence can break their way into the rotation.  And again, that is not a bad thing.  When I look at the roster, I think we have enough to have our best season in awhile.  Especially is coach Howard significantly improved our defense.  I don’t think my expectations for any of the players is over the top.  If our team chemistry for whatever reason doesn’t improve, though, it ain’t going to work.  I believe it will be better…that’s the part where I know I am wearing my rose colored glasses.

 

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We averaged 73.3 ppg last year. 4th in the Big Ten. The 3 teams ahead of us won 20+ games. We also had the worst defense by a huge margin. We were-5.3 giving up an average of 78.5 ppg. Other than Nebraska, only Maryland (70.7) and Iowa (71.2) gave up more than 70.

 

If we average 70 ppg on offense that would have been good enough for 11th last year in offensive output. So if we average 70, to have the kind of season we hope for we would have to go from giving up 78.5 ppg to at least 68ppg and really to be safe, about 66. That's a switch from -5.3 to +4.0.

 

I'm not saying it's impossible or that it won't happen. I hope to God it does because it would be amazing.. but in order to do that we would basically have to go from what we were last year to being Wisconsin. We really need someone or a couple of guys to get together and get us an extra 4ppg over your 70. If we can get to 74ppg getting the defense to 71-72 is at least a legitimately good chance. Though again +4 is the dream so giving up 70 and putting up 74 would likely be getting everything out of this roster in this league.

 

BTW not enough credit is given to Rutgers coaches. Last year was a  masterclass of getting the absolute most out of a team. They were only +2 giving up 66.5ppg while scoring 68.5. Yet somehow won 18 games and were 2 games over. 500..  If Fred and his staff could do that kind of work here, they would have statues.

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22 minutes ago, Blackshirt83 said:

We averaged 73.3 ppg last year. 4th in the Big Ten. The 3 teams ahead of us won 20+ games. We also had the worst defense by a huge margin. We were-5.3 giving up an average of 78.5 ppg. Other than Nebraska, only Maryland (70.7) and Iowa (71.2) gave up more than 70.

 

If we average 70 ppg on offense that would have been good enough for 11th last year in offensive output. So if we average 70, to have the kind of season we hope for we would have to go from giving up 78.5 ppg to at least 68ppg and really to be safe, about 66. That's a switch from -5.3 to +4.0.

 

I'm not saying it's impossible or that it won't happen. I hope to God it does because it would be amazing.. but in order to do that we would basically have to go from what we were last year to being Wisconsin. We really need someone or a couple of guys to get together and get us an extra 4ppg over your 70. If we can get to 74ppg getting the defense to 71-72 is at least a legitimately good chance. Though again +4 is the dream so giving up 70 and putting up 74 would likely be getting everything out of this roster in this league.

 

BTW not enough credit is given to Rutgers coaches. Last year was a  masterclass of getting the absolute most out of a team. They were only +2 giving up 66.5ppg while scoring 68.5. Yet somehow won 18 games and were 2 games over. 500..  If Fred and his staff could do that kind of work here, they would have statues.

Spot on. The 73 ppg last year was for a team ranked 19th in adjusted tempo. It's obvious that this team is going to try to win on grit and toughness, meaning physical defense and working for good shots. This roster isn't capable of putting up a lot of points with a much slower tempo. If our tempo is 100+ this year, then we're going to score a lot less but hopefully win more games.

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Let me see if this comes off the tip of my fingers correctly.  Yes we will run some different sets.  Yes we will absorb some new offensive concepts with the addition of a new assistant.  Yes we have a number of new players.  Yes those players will have different strengths and weaknesses that have not been truly identified until they are on this team with these coaches.  But the general offensive scheme will be similar.  Offense is Fred's forte' so adjustments are likely; but major reconstruction seems unlikely.

Defense may be overhauled; in my opinion.  Perhaps more full court, perhaps trapping, perhaps multiple defenses.

But the major fix that cannot get overlooked and cannot go unchanged is the players mindset.  It is the jimmies and joes accepting roles, making teammates better, making the right pass, taking the good shot, beating the opponent to the floor for a loose ball, helping on defense, owning the ball by not turning it over, rebounding smarts and effort...and oh yeah, not accepting defeat.

Other teams are going to get better; we must get a lot better...in every category.  

Edited by Huskerpapa
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2 hours ago, Chuck Taylor said:

Spot on. The 73 ppg last year was for a team ranked 19th in adjusted tempo. It's obvious that this team is going to try to win on grit and toughness, meaning physical defense and working for good shots. This roster isn't capable of putting up a lot of points with a much slower tempo. If our tempo is 100+ this year, then we're going to score a lot less but hopefully win more games.

Maybe on defense, but I don’t think we’re going to see a grind it down offense. It may be relatively slow for Fred’s preference, but we’ll still be pretty high tempo. You can play gritty defensively and at a fast tempo offensively. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. 

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I really believe that we will be more efficient next year which will offset a possibly lower tempo.  Our leading scorer last year shot 40% from the field with a negative assist to turnover ratio.  And I truly believe the hero ball made all of our other players worse.

 

But my hope that our efficiency increases means that all of our newcomers in the lineup play cohesively which is not a given by any stretch.  I’m drinking a bit of the koolaid in thinking that they will mesh well.  We shall see.

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5 hours ago, busticket said:

I really believe that we will be more efficient next year which will offset a possibly lower tempo.  Our leading scorer last year shot 40% from the field with a negative assist to turnover ratio.  And I truly believe the hero ball made all of our other players worse.

 

But my hope that our efficiency increases means that all of our newcomers in the lineup play cohesively which is not a given by any stretch.  I’m drinking a bit of the koolaid in thinking that they will mesh well.  We shall see.

I don't disagree that we'll be more efficient, I just don't think we'll score as much. Virginia consistently averages in the 60s while being top 50 in efficiency (though last year they were 85th in efficiency and 337th in scoring). Loyola has won the same way the last few years.

 

It seems to me that the message to Fred was to run a tight ship -- a team that plays hard and together. You do that by refocusing on defense, rebounding and playing smart on offense. That all adds up to longer possessions.

 

 

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11 hours ago, uneblinstu said:

 

Maybe on defense, but I don’t think we’re going to see a grind it down offense. It may be relatively slow for Fred’s preference, but we’ll still be pretty high tempo. You can play gritty defensively and at a fast tempo offensively. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. 

 

Marquette played that way last year: one of the fastest offenses in D-1 paired with defense that would slow down other teams.

 

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1 hour ago, Chuck Taylor said:

I don't disagree that we'll be more efficient, I just don't think we'll score as much. Virginia consistently averages in the 60s while being top 50 in efficiency (though last year they were 85th in efficiency and 337th in scoring). Loyola has won the same way the last few years.

 

It seems to me that the message to Fred was to run a tight ship -- a team that plays hard and together. You do that by refocusing on defense, rebounding and playing smart on offense. That all adds up to longer possessions.

I guess I don't see that as the only way to solve that equation and doesn't jive with what we know of coach Hoiberg. They've been 15.1, 15.5 and 15.7 in possession length under Hoiberg. I don't really see that changing. It sounds like to me you think they have to play more methodically to make that next step, I think a team that plays hard and together can also play fast. I expect them to try that and that fits in with more of what we know of Fred wants to do. And if they do bring more pressure on defense like it seems like they want to do, that can compliment what they want to do offensively really nicely.

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56 minutes ago, uneblinstu said:

I guess I don't see that as the only way to solve that equation and doesn't jive with what we know of coach Hoiberg. They've been 15.1, 15.5 and 15.7 in possession length under Hoiberg. I don't really see that changing. It sounds like to me you think they have to play more methodically to make that next step, I think a team that plays hard and together can also play fast. I expect them to try that and that fits in with more of what we know of Fred wants to do. And if they do bring more pressure on defense like it seems like they want to do, that can compliment what they want to do offensively really nicely.

Considering where we've been the last 3 years and how we've played, I just don't see us suddenly being a fast-paced, tough defensive team. If the coaching staff could turn the switch that easily, seems like they would have done it before. And we're overhauling the roster yet again, with only 4 guys who have ever stepped on the floor together. 

 

I'm not saying we'll walk the ball off the floor, I'm saying we'd sure as **** better make extra passes to get great shots since we don't have great shooters. And we sure as **** better make it hard for the other team to score. I've seen 3 seasons of prioritizing Fred's "system." I'd like to see some baby steps. If we can do that in non-conference, then maybe we can push tempo more as we get into the BIG grind.

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This summer, my beverage of choice will be gin and tonic rather than Kool-Aid.

 

Presumptive? starters:

 

Griesel: Summit League Stud. Can he do it at the Big Ten level? Big question mark there.

Bandoumel: 4th leading scorer for a solid mid-major SMU team, but shoots a middling 35% from three.

Wilcher: Clutch shooter and seems like a good kid but athletically underwhelming.

Gary: WTF? Who put him in the starting lineup with Walker? He got 15 min/gm at Alabama and shot 22% from three.

Walker: Can be a stud at times. Scores efficiently. Improved his FT shooting *tremendously.* Still undersized Big Ten 5.

 

Others:

 

Keita: Coming off injury

Breidenbach: Coming off injury

Tominaga: Coming off just not being very good at defense

McPherson: Coming off not playing

Dawson: Coming off getting floor burns in practice diving for loose balls

Kojonets: Coming off being a slightly uncoordinated 7 ft toothpick

Lawrence: Coming off a solid season against high school competition

Lloyd: Coming off a solid season against high school competition

 

So, anyway, yeah, I'm feeling GREAT about this upcoming season.

 

Where's my G&T?

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21 minutes ago, Chuck Taylor said:

Considering where we've been the last 3 years and how we've played, I just don't see us suddenly being a fast-paced, tough defensive team. If the coaching staff could turn the switch that easily, seems like they would have done it before. And we're overhauling the roster yet again, with only 4 guys who have ever stepped on the floor together. 

 

I'm not saying we'll walk the ball off the floor, I'm saying we'd sure as **** better make extra passes to get great shots since we don't have great shooters. And we sure as **** better make it hard for the other team to score. I've seen 3 seasons of prioritizing Fred's "system." I'd like to see some baby steps. If we can do that in non-conference, then maybe we can push tempo more as we get into the BIG grind.

They were top 40 in defensive efficiency in the covid-year. So, to some degree, it's already happened under a Hoiberg led team at Nebraska. That roster was longer, especially on the perimeter than last year's was and made teams work for their points. This team is even longer than that one. I don't think it's unlikely at all they could make a huge jump defensively. It's not about flipping a switch, it's about whether or not the changes that were made were effective or not. It's not really that much of a stretch to think they could be a solid defensive team next year, especially when you consider the players and their mentalities coming in. If they actually play with the mentalities they say they'll play with, it's a recipe for all the things we're all talking about to happen. Will it lead to wins? That remains to be seen. 

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19 minutes ago, Norm Peterson said:

This summer, my beverage of choice will be gin and tonic rather than Kool-Aid.

 

Presumptive? starters:

 

Griesel: Summit League Stud. Can he do it at the Big Ten level? Big question mark there.

Bandoumel: 4th leading scorer for a solid mid-major SMU team, but shoots a middling 35% from three.

Wilcher: Clutch shooter and seems like a good kid but athletically underwhelming.

Gary: WTF? Who put him in the starting lineup with Walker? He got 15 min/gm at Alabama and shot 22% from three.

Walker: Can be a stud at times. Scores efficiently. Improved his FT shooting *tremendously.* Still undersized Big Ten 5.

 

Others:

 

Keita: Coming off injury

Breidenbach: Coming off injury

Tominaga: Coming off just not being very good at defense

McPherson: Coming off not playing

Dawson: Coming off getting floor burns in practice diving for loose balls

Kojonets: Coming off being a slightly uncoordinated 7 ft toothpick

Lawrence: Coming off a solid season against high school competition

Lloyd: Coming off a solid season against high school competition

 

So, anyway, yeah, I'm feeling GREAT about this upcoming season.

 

Where's my G&T?

 

They may be more sound defensively and more cohesive as a group with the better chemistry aspect, but they're still not going to be very good. Maybe this year can be a nice building block into the next, but if it gets ugly again that will more than likely be it for Fred. 

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Big turnarounds can happen…just seems like it never happens for us.  Iowa State last year went from a 2 win team to a top 20 team in one offseason.  Usually that kind of thing happens when there is a new head coach though, and that is my biggest concern.  For both football and basketball, we are changing things up, and I like what I have seen from both, but at the end of the day it is the same voice in the locker room.  Trev even mentioned it would be unprecedented to have a turnaround after such a lousy run.  

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2 minutes ago, busticket said:

Big turnarounds can happen…just seems like it never happens for us.  Iowa State last year went from a 2 win team to a top 20 team in one offseason.  Usually that kind of thing happens when there is a new head coach though, and that is my biggest concern.  For both football and basketball, we are changing things up, and I like what I have seen from both, but at the end of the day it is the same voice in the locker room.  Trev even mentioned it would be unprecedented to have a turnaround after such a lousy run.  

 

Iowa State still had Izaiah Brockington last year. I just don't see a player like that on this roster. Bandoumel is the most similar, but the Big 10 is a lot different than the American. Hopefully his game translates. 

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