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    Harry Rogers

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  1. Roy, if you reread what I wrote, Goodwin was very poor leading the break. He made poor passes in the key, he took poor angles, and he too often tried to bull rush the basket, and picked up a charge. i love Goodwin, but - but - he is not going to morph into more than a serviceable pg who can deliver groceries. His best skills fall into the small forward niche. He happens to have some of the best skills in areas that we don’t normally see, such as Larry Hughes like level jumping the passing lanes, understanding what angle to take to snag a rebound, when to release a shot in the paint, where to go and when/how to cut without the ball. All these skills are superior, and underutilized when he has the ball as the pg. Our strengths this year may lie more on offense than defense, and playing a beautiful game may be more a focus. This would preferentially drive playing time for Collins being the pg; conversely, Goodwin would be the one to most benefit from Collins’ development, as Goodwin is quite adept at being the secondary ballhandler when the halfcourt defense is unbalanced. He has great court sense.
  2. 3 star, I agree with you there, I’m just confabulating how to protect French from getting into foul trouble early and often. We had Foreman and to a lesser extent, Bess to throw at the weak side big on d last year. Now we have French more exposed in our full court 1-3-1(if it lasts, Ford loves it) and in our conventional man to man. Our 2-3 zone gets wonky as well, with French being the slide center on the wing and key rotation. It will be interesting. Cowboy, I agree with you that Hargrove’s natural slot is replacing Foreman on the press. He also is the best fast ball deny big in the paint to help French, so I hope he can develop fast enough to become a viable relief man. Bell will get his minutes to absorb fouls, gain experience, practice technique, and hopefully mature his skill set. Early on, Bell will need a blow after two minutes, Hargrove can easily hit ten minutes unless he is getting abused. Hankton is a wild card.
  3. Goodwin showed last year that he did not have high level decision making when on-ball leading the break. The PD article showed a curve ball with Perkins - he will not get much time at PF at all. This changes the PF/center rotation over to a pod of Hargrove, Bell, and Hankton, with French/Bell being the projected pod for the dedicated PF. Last year our 1-3-1 press was effectective because Foreman’s presence high at the front of the press allowed Bess, Thatch, and Goodwin to both jump the passing lanes and to body the ball handler to the high sideline, with a resultant high difficulty pass to break the trap. Without Foreman and Bess, the inbounds pass and second pass can both be flatter, so we’ll see fewer turnovers off the ball. Hopefully Weaver, Hargrove, and Collins represent upgrades in foot speed so we can create more on ball pressure.
  4. Roy, don’t try to win every single poster to your point of view. It is impossible. My hope is Goodwin turns the corner, and starts hitting FTs at an 80% rate again.
  5. Roy, no one is hoping Goodwin fails. We are hoping that French, Goodwin, and Thatch all have had Conklin summers improving their individual noted weaknesses as TAj detailed. This season rides on the bench guys rapidly assimilating so our core can reduce play time, rather than increase play time. At the same time, we are also hoping Ford can figure out rotation patterns to allow for the rookies to gain game seasoning. At the same time, he also must continue individual player development so he can identify the exact player to substitute for a specific need within a game. Developing and integrating the new players, molding the known talents to best utilize their strengths, and creating cohesion and buy in as the season progresses are all part of Ford’s job, and he is well above average at doing it. This will be interesting, as Goodwin and French are now the bell cows who own the team. Most D1 teams take on many of the attributes of those leaders who have gone through the battles. We will have improved ball handling, better midrange and 3 pt. Shooting, but our defense is going to slip a little. Even more so, this year we can be better if we generate marginal improvements in free throw %, 2 and 3 pt %, lower turnovers, and a lower core foul trouble induced pine sitting. Ford has his work cut out for him.
  6. If this were true, we made the third round of the dance last year. We had point guard by committee, and Goodwin had ball handling tasked to him mainly due to Isabell not being up to the task in crunch minutes, and Bess at first having too much on his plate, and then being injury depleted. Neither Thatch nor Wiley could handle the rock under pressure, and at timesFrench brought it up court.
  7. I see three transition keys that Ford must learn early in the season on the offensive side. The first is can we attack zones adequately, and specifically the 2-3. Last year we started with a combo of Foreman/Bess, and then Bess, who was the flash man at the key to receive the pass in the middle of the zone. This year, Perkins hopefully can handle the job of splitting the zone. He is tall enough to pass out of the collapsing forest to the wing, center, or pop a mid range jumper. If we go big, I would bet this would be Bell doing the chore. Second, I expect to see Jimerson, Thatch and Hankton hoisting their share of threes early and often. We need to again replace Bess from 3, and keep teams alert all the way out to the three line. Creating this spacing will enable us to cycle in Our third critical effort, which involves weaning Goodwin from PG duties, and creating the right blend of Weaver, Collins, and Jacobs to handle a solid majority of the on the ball PG duties. The more we can play beautiful ball, the more depth we can create, and this in turn will allow us to expend more effort on defense. Win-win.
  8. You can afford to play fast when you have real solid rebounding, and real good guards distributing the ball, and real good outside shooters to fill the bucket on the secondary break. We have had great rebounding...but our guards never leaked out, they stayed in to help. We now have a fresh who can handle the rock, but once again we do not have a glass cleaning center, so we won’t have a guard and a forward releasing, unless it is a long rebound. We have not established any record of good outside shooting, so the third aspect of playing fast is missing. i hope that we can start playing the beautiful game in patches, but I only see it happening when Yuri is in with a couple shooters and Goodwin/French. We may have five cupcake games early in the schedule, and Yuri will need 15-25 minutes a game here to get acclimated to D1 fast break/secondary break windows. it will be a load for him to learn. Knowing when, and how, to push it(and do well) is a coveted skill. Miller(under Majerus at Utah) and Dee Brown at Illinois we’re the only two effective one man fast breaks I readily remember recently. Almost every pg needs a wingman.
  9. Life is short. Carrying a grudge around, rather than talking with someone in person, is hard work. Forgiveness is a virtue, and is a good reflection of character.
  10. CG, you two ARE talking past each other. Apologize for the umbrage taken, but not meant, and get together for a beer. We are well past the point of CAG mattering in our basketball universe; we still should pray that the light goes on in his head and he takes advantage of his gifts to do good. Hopefully we can stick a fork in this thread.
  11. I run out of digits on my hands and feet of friends in college who would kill a case of beer every weekend, or a bag of dope a week, or get in a stupid fight, who are now doctors, lawyers, professors, own or run companies, and are fine, upstanding citizens. Give people some education, the right circumstances and motivation, and they can succeed. They can start tearing down that wall of failure and get to where they can run through it. Don’t give up on 20 year olds.
  12. We all excused it, in a sense. Some loved that we got Gordon. Some loved we got Gordon, with concern about his baggage. Some loved we got him, with trepidation. We all loved that we were projecting a conference championship, and going to the Big Dance, with Gordon being a mobile big who could be a five tool player. We also all knew that Gordon had issues, and it would take most every player on the team, all the coaches, and a vigorous effort from the school to help him develop into a well adjusted and whole individual. If you look at the number of success stories Saint Louis has achieved with minority basketball players over the decades, from disadvantaged backgrounds, then the lesser number of failures vs successes at the school is acceptable. CTA, at some point, you need to realize that differing viewpoints can arise from differing levels of experience and understanding, and not just be a carte Blanche excusal. Quit trying to box one issue into another issue.
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