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  1. OK; I'll bite. This is going to be sort of fun: seeing how the line-up emerges at first, then changes... Personally, I think outside of Goodwin and Henriquez, it is a bit hard to say who starts; and it's pretty absurd for any of us to judge the "chemistry" of who fits best with whom, at this point. On a sheer skill/scoring level, those 2 are the elite players, in my eyes, so it seems likely they would be starters. I will also say, I would be surprised if Roby does not start, as senior. He has the edge, as far as experience in the system. The rest of this is spitballing, but here are a few more points: Anthony's name is Rashed, not Rasheed Bess is hardly a 4; actually he will play wing and be a terrific defensive stopper; I will be interested to see how he matches up against the other team's power scorers. Johnson really changed and matured in just a few months, so I agree with those touting his potential. I could see him starting. We have significantly strengthened out bigs over the past few weeks, believe me we are going to be bigger and stronger than ever, I think. It's going to be fun watching Foreman, Anthony, French, etc. bang it out in practice for minutes. This will really force French, with terrific upside, to compete, everyday. I think our bench strength is looking awesome going into the year: really have some good players at 6, 7, 8 and beyond!!! Best since I've been here at SLU?? maybe -- can't wait to see some live action with the newcomers over the summer... stay tuned! OT: I saw Coach at pre-commencement this morning, and happy to see Reggie walk the stage!!
  2. It's very, very odd, if folks on here are not really happy, or even delirious, to welcome Santos. And yes, players do actually improve, especially banging against other good physical players everyday and getting some good coaching. I have to repeat my observations about Zeke and JJ this year -- really terrific progress -- in 6 months! Look at Karnowski at Gonzaga: pretty unimpressive numbers for much of his career, 5pts 7 2 rebounds freshman year, even last year just as a junior = 7 pts and 4 rebounds in 21 minutes per game. He turned out pretty well, I think... Maybe over the past few years before Coach Ford, we got lulled by players never seeming to improve, and in some cases, seemed to get worse??? One other thing: was he our "top choice"?? sorry doesn't work like that -- we make multiple positional offers and are happy with whomever we get the commitment from first. And that's part of the offer: "once one of several power forwards/ centers accept, we may revoke this offer... From what I've heard: this kid has big upside and you can't teach physical strength and body frame, folks. He's also 6'9", in case you missed that small detail... WELCOME!!!
  3. I commented in the other thread... I do find it odd they had him and not the other 2; but I think Gillmann still wants to finish at SLU and I heard he is staying, but maybe not playing...
  4. Pelican's account sounds a lot like what I've heard. I think we have a better than 50-50 shot at Picket; actually it's uncanny because I was just signing on to say this, and to say that we should also add another big in the next few days, from what I'm hearing -- along with one other item: I'm hearing that Gillman's scholly is considered open but he intends to stay and graduate from SLU, so he will not transfer. Not sure if he intends to play or not -- anyone?? Bueller?? (He'd be a good practice body and he knows the system, but I would totally understand if he did not want to play...) postcript: I was glad to see Zeke's dad on here and welcomed his comments. I enjoyed having Zeke and saw awesome improvement from him. I saw him attempt defense in October and it was so high school it was an embarrassment. He really improved and I wish him well at his next school, where he can get lots of minutes and score a lot of points. My be wishes from a grateful fan, thanks Zeke!!!
  5. I may have missed this on here; but the steel and cinder block shell for the new Jesuit Archives on West Pine -- across from Cafe Ventano -- is all now pretty much up. A mock-up is available here:
  6. Sadly: I'm afraid most people actually do not know the half of it. I'll spare the details. But APR is cosmetic, IMHO... For now: and beyond the seductive powers of 7-foot reach and 40 inch vertical leap, and so forth: I still have not seen a single person mention the very obvious fact (from an educator's point of view) that there may be ABUNDANT learning and behavioral reasons why we would NOT want certain recruits, despite their ability to rebound or block shots. Trust me when I say; there are plenty of head cases out there, both among players and nowadays, maybe even especially among their weirdly obsessed parents, weird even by the high standards of today's helicopter parenting. Am I truly the first person to notice that these 4- and 5- star recruits are actually living and breathing human beings, with pulses and everything -- and that chemistry pollution via knuckleheadism can wreck a program or at least a team??? We have been hypnotized by athletic prowess. But SLU (supposedly) is about the "whole person." Go figure...
  7. Well -- maybe we are splitting hairs; because I think we are failing to agree upon the premise of my statements: just to clarify, athletic abilities are off the charts compared to the past, no doubt. And those are measurable, more or less. Players are just bigger, stronger, faster, better leapers, etc. But 3-star, when you say, "Individual skill level is up. Basketball IQ is down." it goes against my idea of skills, which are learned behaviors through intensive practice and discipline. i.e. Basketball IQ is a skill, and you agree it's down. So someone please explain to me: what skills, precisely, are up?? Genuine question. I hpe the answer is not bench press or vertical leap: those are not skills! Pistol; you are right, I don't have time to "back it up" with any numbers -- mainly because these are generally immeasurable things. It's like trying to quantify reading and writing skills. Believe me, multiple choice testing does only a very vague job of doing that. So what numbers could I draw on, to measure Basketball IQ, or seeing the court, or shot selection?? Along with other "skills," in my view. Can we at least try to distinguish these 2 things?? Yes, basketball "talent" and "athleticism" are just off the charts & through the roof. But skills?? I am not buying it, and you all should think harder about my objections to it. More generally; progress and improvement in any field of endeavor are not always chronological: it may be that some of you are operating under the illusion that naturally, things have simply (magically) improved. [see: contemporary American politics and media, e.g.] Also, for the person who suggested I actually go back and watch those games from the 70s or 80s: I doubt if I am the one who needs to go back and view them. I was there... So I may be in a better position to recognize the emperor's new clothes! Meanwhile, so much hemming and hawing, sturm und drang, about what a lousy final game it was, and overall, how mangy and sickening the inner machinations of the industry have become. Dirty dealings, record transfers, and coaches reporting that half their players don't even appear to like playing basketball. And the NCAA laughing all the way to the bank with another billion dollar profit over the past month or so. Hmmmm.... I may be wrong, I'm happy to admit that; and we all can certainly disagree, and I appreciate the challenges by many of you, to my position. I've thought about it, and I've tried to locate the points of difference, above. But for those wanting stats to "back it up," most of the important arguments in our lives do not depend on stats. I should quote Mark Twain on this subject, but instead I'm on to other things this morning.
  8. Speaking of which: here is the SLU email I got this morning from SLU DPS: containing, evidently, no irony whatsoever: I though some on here might find this "visitor's" story of interest: At 12:09 am DPS was notified of the following incident. An individual who was visiting campus was standing on the sidewalk at 3822 Laclede Avenue when he was approached by three black males ranging in age from 17 to 20 years old, wearing dark pants and hooded sweat shirts. The individuals engaged the visitor in conversation and were offered a ride home by the visitor. Once they reached the area near Vandeventor and Finney Avenues, which is approximately one half mile north of campus, the three males, each pulled out a weapon and robbed the victim. The subjects stole the victim’s property and vehicle. They were last seen driving the victim’s vehicle west on Finney. The visitor walked back to campus and contacted DPS. The visitor was not injured and St. Louis Police are investigating.
  9. I disagree. Actually lots of commentators who know tons more about it than me and you have been saying this for years. It also depends on the meaning of "skills." So it may be you are not hearing me on the term itself. Certainly I'm trying to distinguish skills from simple athletic prowess, like vertical leap or something that is measurable. 40-yard dash speed is not a "skill," according to my language here. Shot selection is a skill. Protecting the ball is a skill. So you are actually agreeing with me, in saying it was really poor. that's my point exactly. Skills (learned behaviors through practice and discipline) in basketball would include shot selection. Passing. Seeing the floor. Not throwing the ball in a bad place and causing a turnover. Free throw shooting; field goal shooting. Playing as a team. Basketball IQ. Not fouling when you have 3 or 4 fouls. Lousy shot-taking = one weakness among others. I do think defensive skills have gone up a lot, since the old days of UCLA dominance; anyone can see that. And much of it is due to simple athletic ability and size, among other reasons. Look at Meeks stopping Karnowski; it was one of the stories of the game. Remember that in general, defense is always ahead of offense, athletically. Meaning, in most sports, it just takes a little more skill on offense than defense. Some sports, a lot more skill on offense. It's why quarterback is often considered the ultimate "skill" position in all of sports. But those are very particular skills, of course. Meanwhile, the Lawrence Taylors of the world simply take off with superhuman speed and try to kill the guy, purely on athletic prowess. Some skills might seem to be on the increase, if by skills you mean simple brute athleticism (clearly on the increase). But generally; no, not so much...
  10. At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon: like a Sir Charles wanna-be. The athletic profile of the 10 starters was phenomenal, one of the best ever -- as athletes. But skill levels have dropped off so much, and lousy shot-taking is like watching a pick up game down at Simon, at times. Add to that horrible sight lines due to playing in a football stadium, and brutal fouling on nearly every play = just ugly. I agree about Collins, by the way -- really terrific player. And I agree that Karnowski, who I like a lot as a player, met up with an equally tough and physical kid in Meeks = problem. He's gotta make some of those shots. I enjoyed the game, more or less. But that UNC team, though very athletic, is just not that great as a basketball team. Sad testimony about where the game has gone since taking a lot of ill-conceived 3-point shots became the norm (again, see crappy pick up games at Simon, where guys just stand around the line and wait to receive the ball, which they usually don't since whoever actually has the ball typically heaves up an ill-conceived 3-point shot)... over and out.
  11. Kansas & Kentucky are the 2 best teams; it's hard for a guy from Indy to admit to that, regarding Kentucky, but they were awesome. Fox was outstanding and his flashes are pretty phenomenal. he can make Monk look average! Josh Jackson also really flashes, and Frank Mason may turn out to be the sleeper player of the tournament; but Fox was the best player in 3rd round. Kansas vs. Kentucky will be one for the ages, assuming they both win (which I am). Possibly the best game of the tourney, even after Florida v. Wisconsin which was ,as we used to say in the Hoosier State, a "barn-burner." Could it be the Zags' year, finally? I think they win; Florida vs. SC is a toss up but I'm picking the darkhorse South Carolina: better rested? Baylor was a big disappointment, by the way. Overrated. I'll go with Gonzaga vs. winner of KY & Kansas for the championship. 2017 Champions: watch that KY v. Kansas game to find out. (of course UNC could knock off Kentucky, shooting my predictions all to hell by end of day tomorrow...) ps: my original brackets had Gonzaga vs. Kansas for championship!
  12. A few more notes; I also liked Wisconsin a lot, and in fact picked them to win that game. They got a low seed, but Koenig is right up there with anyone as far as gutsy and heart. Wisconsin also has great experience in the tournament... Darkhorse? I think they have a good shot at making the Final 4. I was impressed with Purdue; they have the biggest guy in the field, Haas, who looks like he is close to 8 feet tall out there! Can they compete with Kansas? Well, they are pretty big, that's for sure! I was really ready to dislike Lonzo Ball; I really never saw him this year and after all the ballyhoo I figured he was an overrated wannabe. Folks, he is one impressive basketball player! Unlike most of these lottery draft kids, he really seems to know how the game is played: he couples terrific vision and court awareness with the uncanny ability to put the ball exactly where his teammate needs it to finish. Overall, UCLA was the team that surprised me the most
  13. Did a fair amount of binge-watching this weekend; saw all or most of many good games. My take: Best team: Kansas; runners-up, in order: UCLA, Gonzaga Best Player: (TIED) = Josh Jackson, UK & Lonzo Ball, UCLA; runners-up, in order: Fox & Monk, Kentucky; Swanigan, Purdue, & Thornwell, South Carolina addendum: most overrated = Duke, of course; Tatum looked in over his head a bit = I sure wish he would stay another year to fill out and improve, but of course he won't. And Kentucky has stud athletes but most of that game they deserved to lose to Wichita.
  14. STL Insider is welcome to make any comments he has, as far as I'm concerned. I speak as a person who has been denounced, and called "a joke" (or worse) on here many, many times. I've spent much time just lurking in recent years, for that reason. There's plenty of self-righteous, hypercritical voices in the media these days (and the White House, btw); and some of it spilling over onto here on I believe in the integrity of our coaching staff but for those who misunderstand the many ways the NCAA system can be manipulated and "bent" in so many words, let me be clear: lots of folks have been sniffing around LOI signees from all kinds of programs who lost coaches. This is business as usual, folks. So Illinois, Mizzou, Indiana, Washington, etc., better babysit those kids -- or else. Everyone gets that, at least folks on the inside... ps: fire away, STL Insider; I respect your experience and local knowledge, and I also deeply respect your caregiving for a special needs kid: kudos from one joke to another joke!
  15. Neighbor Dave, great to hear from you. C'mon dude don't hold out on us, I know you are positioned well to tell us: What are our chances of landing Torrence W.?? Personally, I'd be ecstatic if we got him too, along with all the other commits. Always room for great talents.