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Author Topic: What I Would Do To Finish The Season  (Read 2327 times)

Offline Ciepierball

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What I Would Do To Finish The Season
« on: January 05, 2017, 01:53:55 PM »
Lots of people are talking about the season, and while I didn't care about this season so much because I know the complete picture is next season, there are a few things I disagree with and that I would change.  So wanted to put out there what I would do for the rest of the season if I was Leitao.

Have Wood's Season Come To An End - I was really hard on Derrick Wood last year.  I thought he played foolishly, many times didn't know the plays, and played selfish basketball.  This year I couldn't be happier with him.  I think he found out what a good shot was, he's played more in the system, and I just see an attitude adjustment.  But his injuries have really hurt him this year, not practicing all the time, and also not able to go many games.  I am a true believer in a consistent environment when you're trying to grow, and his minutes take away from someone like Gage, who will be on the team next year.  I would have a heart to heart with Wood, have him dress in street clothes, and for the rest of the season have him on the bench, but also huddle with the coaches and see if maybe coaching is an avenue he would want to pursue in the future, as I think his playing days are over.  He tried hard over the past year, bought into the system, but his knees just won't allow him to go anymore.

Billy Will Play Less, Shoot Less, But Distribute More - We can go on-and-on about the debate if Billy is really a point guard.  The thing is, after March he will never play point for DePaul again, so it really doesn't matter.  It's how do we use him going forward in order to help the other players on our roster.  My thoughts are based on the pure numbers: in wins, Billy plays 2 less minutes, shoots about 2 less shots a game, yet has more than two more assists per game, and shooting at a higher percentage.  This team doesn't have a surplus of point guards, and not many I trust dribbling up the court against pressure, so let Billy keep his role, but make him understanding he's a pass first point guard, and that's final.  I'd show him the stats, and how that makes him look better.  And those two less minutes goes to Gage for his training for next year.  That way Gage gets Wood minutes, as well as a couple from Billy.  No excuses for Gage next season.

Focus Needs To Be On Cain And McCallum - Billy won't be here next year, so why you have him doing so much for a season that doesn't matter is beyond me.  Eli Cain is by far your most talented player on the active roster, and McCallum is playing like the #2.  They are both here next season, so focus the offense around these two.  However, this requires better fundamentals (next point), and some changes in the offense (the following point).  I don't think people will argue this.

Hanel Out, Cook And Big Al In - Why this isn't happening is beyond me, and I don't agree with it.  Again, you're not playing for post season right now, rather you're playing for development.  Get Al and Levi minutes out there, so that way they are more like juniors than sophomores next year.  Hanel is a walk-on, and for a walk-on is doing a great job, but AS A WALK-ON.  We need to give our bigs a shot, even if we have growing pains.

You Need To Instill One Big Fundamental Before Anything - Setting screens!  I've been saying this for years, and I have no clue why every single Blue Demon team has issues with this.  I know personally I think this is a great part of the game because it's the only time you can target and smack another player.  The only player right now that sets good screens is Levi Cook....everyone else sets skinny screens, or just interchanges positions with another player.  Just switching positions puts no stress on the defense....NONE.  It's almost pointless, and when we do this, it makes things harder, creates one-on-one basketball, and everyone else is left standing and watching.  How many times have we seen that?  It's pathetic that Billy, as a senior, sets the crappiest screens.  It's also crappy that Cain doesn't set them any better.  Then there are skinny screens.  You make yourself into a pole, where you screen the defender, but it's easy to get around you.  What's the point?  Yes it's better than what I first described, but still not super effective.  People complain that Cook was getting offensive fouls for moving screens.....BUT THEY WERE GOOD SCREENS!  We need to get EVERY player get strong bases, feet slightly wider than shoulders, and set them strong.  Next, we need players to take the screens properly.  Another thing that Billy is horrible at.  Billy always has a gap between the screener and him.....that just allows the defender to slip!  They need to rub!  And taking the screens, we need to fade versus curl based on what the defense does.  And lastly, moving without the ball.  Not one player should ever just stand....you can always move.  Even if you just v-cut into the lane and pop back out, you should never be caught standing.  Too many times I've seen Cain just standing and waiting, rather than moving to get the ball.  Move and you'll get the ball, and probably right where you want it.

Slight Variations To The Offense - Leitao obviously likes to run a pick-and-roll offense.  He did it when he was here 10+ years ago, and he's doing it now.  As someone who loves traditional motion offenses (screens always off the ball unless a special play), I'm not a huge fan, but it can work, and a ton of people use this.  Right now most all of the picks on the ball are on the top of the key, and usually using our center.  A pick on the top of the key is typically called a San Antonio screen.  When Cook or Hanel do this, they are limited.  First, neither are going to pop and be a threat.  Second, Hanel diving down is not going to be a thread.  Lastly, when is the last time we saw the roller get the ball?  It's always a pick and then Billy drives.  We need to utilize McCallcum on the San Antonio screens, because he can dive as well as pop.  We also have to use Cain as the guy on the ball, because I think he's a better option to score, as well as dish.  Next, we need to utilize what they call a DC screen, typically used with two guards doing a two-man game, and done on the 45-degree angle outside the 3-point line.  Here I would use either Eli or Billy on the ball, and Cyrus as the screener.  You have these two options, and then whoever isn't on the ball (so either Eli or Billy), have on the opposite baseline with the two bigs, and get a double screen, curling around to the arc.  Then you have a big then either roll to the strong block or on top of the key.  Many options from this, and will give variety to the pick-and-roll.  Lastly, would love to see Horns used alot more.  This is the new "sexy" set in college and pros, where you have two screeners at the top of the key extended, and the PG chooses which screen, while the other side runs another option.  You can use this against the zone or man, which is nice.  Again, would do all this if we stuck with pick-and-roll, which I believe they will, and would work nicely with the additions next year.

Stick With The Man-To-Man Defense, With Some Zone - I honestly am not unhappy about our defense.  I had someone go on Synergy at another school and look at some stats and analytics when Cook is out there.  Our defense is actually pretty good when he's out there, and makes sense...man-to-man defense without a true big is like playing hockey without a goalie.  Keep doing what your doing, but I think we should add a 1-3-1 zone to our plan.  Why?  We have length at the guard spots, and it's the zone that trips people up the most.  Use it sparingly, but will definitely screw with the opponents.

Finish Recruiting Specific Positions - First, we need another big man, and I really think this needs to be JUCO.  I don't want this to be a 5th year, because I want someone that will be around for another year, and be a big that both Cain and Strus are used with playing.  I don't want it to be a HS kid because I want someone who is more physically mature.  I'd like to get a center who is actually more wide and strong than is tall.  Give me someone who is 6'8", 260lbs and aggressive.  We need bangers.  And then we need another PG.  Either you get someone who is VERY GOOD in the HS ranks (Mark Smith is one), or else you go for a 5th year.  A 5th year PG is easy to get, and they can mentor Justin Roberts while you get another in 2018.

Just my thoughts....and to get them out there.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 03:28:55 PM by Ciepierball »
"In life if you don't perform at things you're expected to perform at, you are fired." - Jerry Wainwright after Alabama State game.


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