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About Aquinas

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  1. Post article on Hankton leaving. https://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/slu/billiken-beat/slu-s-hankton-to-transfer-opening-another-scholarship/article_6dc55e3e-cb1e-5b4a-be63-a8670556c4d8.html
  2. The 90s was the time I was thinking of. I think Spoon would have killed to have French or Bell.
  3. I'm with you on the need for a rebounding power forward, especially after French graduates. We will lose a lot of rebounds when French and Goodwin graduate. I think Bell will get his share, and I think Hargrove will get his share, but a real rebounding athletic 4 will be required if we want to continue to lead the conference. Next year, God willing, we are going to be a team that can force the ball inside and nail outside shots. That will be a nightmare to defend. The simple packed in zones we have seen for the last 2 years won't be the answer. What I really like about Jimerson and Perkins is that they are consistent and dont shut down if they miss thier first 2 shots.
  4. I hope you are wrong about Thatch, but I thought he played impressive defence his freshman year. I didn't intend to cast any shade on Jacobs. I see him as a more balanced player, each of the others, Bell, Jimerson, Thatch and Hargrove each have one really strong tallent that they bring to the floor. When it comes to unknowns, we have a lot fewer than last year, but I would agree that Diarra, Andre and Strickland are unknowns and I would add Thatch because of his illness. I would like to think there is still potential in Hankton, but clearly we have yet to see it in his first 2 years.
  5. I'm not just impressed with the numbers of dunks per game, but the number of diffent players who dunk in a game. In days gone by, how rare were dunks? i recall thinking that if we had a dunk contest, I didn't think we had 2 guys who could do it.... and I wasn't sure we had one.
  6. Do you have inside info on Diarra? Otherwise, he was a freshman big that was coming off of a serious injury. I have seen next to nothing on him from the coaching staff or anyone close to the team. It isn't unusual for a 6 10 freshman to ride the bench his first year. I am hoping that he makes progress over the summer and picks up reserve minutes this coming season.
  7. It is pretty amazing how much changing one player next year, will change the type of team we are. Start with the base group of 4: French, Perkins, Goodwin and Yuri. Add Bell and we are a big physical team, Bell 6 10, French 6 7, Perkins 6 6, Goodwin 6 3 and Yuri 6. A team that can match up with the big boys and neutralize a high scoring inside big man. Add Jimerson, now it's a 4 guard team with 2 strong outside shooters, who are creative shooters with quick releases. Add Hargrove and you have a 4 guard team with crazy hops that is always looking for a steal and a fast break. Add Thatch and you have a 4 guard team that can put a lot of pressure on ball handlers and shut down a high scoring guard. All we are really missing is a proven stretch 4 to add to the mix. Someon who can defend a legit inside player and step outside and drill an open 3. Hopefully Andre or KC can make that happen.
  8. I think Jimerson was participating in the summer program from the beginning and if I recall accurately, Thor did not. I think getting on campus early is one of the best things a new player can do for himself.
  9. I think Coach Ford has proven to be much more than a good recruiter. He has nagociated significant problems and loss of players, and improved the teams record every year. He isn't just signing players based on national evaluations, while some of his recruits have 3 stars are better, a significant number have the minimum 2 star rating. It is clear, that he doesnt just sign the highest rated player availabe and hope for the best. That doesn't mean however that every player works out. He has demonstrated that he can find recruits who have the skills and character that will improve the type of team he desires. He is also excelling at devloping the players he has signed. There are numerous examples. Bess couldn't shoot with any range when he got here, 2 years ago Jacobs looks totally overmatched in his limmited minutes. The improvement Jacobs made over the summer stunned everyone on this board. At the beginning of this year, Bell struggled and Hargrove looked completley lost on both ends of the floor. By year end, Bell was stopping some of the best bigs in the A10 and Hargrove was making significant contributions. Beyond just performance, Ford has motivated his players to play as a team and to maintain a good attitude even when things were difficult for them. Yuri and really all of the players are selfless, looking to make the extra pass to another player for an easy layup Perkins has excelled as the 6th player. This selflessness is not easy, in this Me First culture, but it is at the core of Team Blue. Ford has earned the respect and trust of his players. They believe in him as a guilde to thier personal development and for the direction of the team, both long and short term. The players also believe in each other. Ford has a long term vision for the program, that is clear to see at this point. He has also proven that he can modify game plans and strategy through the course of a season to match the players that are available. He clearly preps the team for being ready at conference time. One of the best examples of that was starting Bell at the beginning of the season and making sure he gained valuable experience, as he knew he would need more than a 4 guard team to match up with better teams in the A10 and any post season tournament. Ford believes in his players and his players believe in him and each other.
  10. I could have posted this in last years thread, but with allmost the whole team going forward, I decided to post it here: I watched the St. Bonaventure game again that had Dr. John Giannini, former Lasalle coach as the analyst. It was also apparent that he spent some time with Ford before the game. The game is available on the Stadium web site. Giannini quotes/paraphrases. Goodwin, there is no one like him in the nation. The first thing that SLU works on in practice every day is, fast break basketball. Perkins, starting, not starting, no difference, its what you do for the team. Thriving in his role. Yuri goes medium speed, not to fast, to read the floor. Bell and French kept Osunniyi (All conference 3rd. team) out of the paint. Hargrove, part of a spectacular recruiting class. Can you imagine if Hargrove becomes the kind of shooter Ford thinks he can be with that kind of athleticism. French put a blocked shots number in the record books that will last forever. Osunniyi can’t get in position against Bell. SLU, this is energy and athleticism unleashed. Had Crutcher missed that last second shot in that Dayton game, SLU wins and they are an at large team right now. Before the game, we had Kyle Lofton, guard on St. Bonaventure, as an all-conference first team, and Yuri has out played him. SLU has great intangibles: Goodwin and French love playing defense, Perkins doesn’t care if he starts and Yuri is poised and unselfish. SLU, they can get 4 star recruits here, that doesn’t always happen in the A10. French is a monster. Goodwin is the best rebounding guard in the NCAA and Ford says a great leader. I can see why Ford thinks Hargrove can be a shooter, in addition to his outstanding athleticism. Goodwin is a coach on the floor, in the walk throughs before the game, he was telling his team, what St. B will be doing next. I am really impressed with Perkins, he is really good going left, even in the NBA, you would be surprised by the number of players that favor their dominant hand. SLU appears to be peaking at the right time and did the same thing last year. SLU had so much to replace from last years team and nailed it, recruiting Perkins, Collins, Bell and Hargrove. French has unbelievable numbers, incomprehensible numbers, that 99% of players can only dream of. Nobody runs better sets and better offence than St. B, and SLU covered all of it.
  11. I forgot how well Jacobs can get off of the floor. Awesome video! Thanks
  12. How difficult is it to go on an NCAA Tournament run? Statistically speaking the single biggest factor is your seed. Some of this will be obvious: A 1 Seed will have favorable matchups for 4 games. A 2 Seed will have favorable matchups for 3 games. A 3 Seed will have favorable matchups for 2 games. A 4 Seed will have favorable matchups for 2 game. A 5 Seed will have favorable matchups for 1 game. A 6 Seed will have favorable matchups for 1 game. A 7 Seed will have favorable matchups for 1 game. A 8 Seed will have favorable matchups for 1 game. The first game spread advantage for round one is likely to be: 1 Seed – 20+ points 2 Seed – 14 points 3 Seed – 13 points 4 Seed – 7 Points 5 Seed – 3 Points 6 Seed – 2.5 Points 7 Seed – 1.5 Points 8 Seed - .5 Points It pays of big to be in seed 3 vs 4. The top 3 seeds face conference winners from weak conferences. Seeds 4 plus are matching up against teams that played in or had they not won their conference tournaments would have played in. A top 3 seed, means being a top 12 team nationally. A 4 seed still has a significant advantage in the first round, that means being a top 16 team in the nation. Another way to look at is that there is only a one possession gap between seeds 5 and 12 in the first round games. Second game spread advantage for the tournament group of 32 is likely to be: 1 Seed – 7 points 2 Seed – 3.5 points 3 Seed – 2 Points 4 Seed – 1 Point Third game Sweet 16 spread advantage is likely to be: Seed 1 – 5 points Seed 2 – 1 point Elite 8 Spread advantage is likely to be: Seed 1 – 1 point. This also means that about half of the games played in each bracket are likely to have one possession projected point spreads. This does not take upsets into account. So the 1 seeds have the advantage of playing lesser teams by virtue of their matchups and they are often significantly stronger than teams just a few positions behind them in the national rankings. This year, the difference in strength of nationally ranked teams 1 and 10, is 7 points. but difference between teams 40 and 50 is 1 point. The bottom line is unless you are a one seed, there is nothing easy about even getting to the sweet 16. Runs are going to require some luck and likely come down to 1 or 2 key plays. Data: I looked at one of the projected brackets and ran the Sagarin numbers to calculate the point spreads. These numbers assume no home court advantage. Now we know that teams that end up playing close to home, can present a home court advantage which is typically worth 3 points. Without looking at specific teams, after seeding, I would say the second biggest factor is where you play. If it is close to home with strong support of the fans attending the game, that can be at least as big a factor as the seeding, especially for the middle seeds in the tournament. For a team to regularly make the Sweet 16, it needs to regularly be among top 16 teams in the nation. Even then it isn’t a sure thing. While some team will make a Sweet 16 from a lower position, it isn’t surprising that an 8 seed is in that group. But having one of the 8 seeds make it and being able to project which of the 8 seeds is another matter.
  13. I think the reporter asking French if he intends to come back for his senior season and his answer were both reasonable. I also thini it is in his best interest to return for his senior season. He will get the opportunity to improve he areas he needs to work on, FT shooting under pressure and adding attitional feet to his scoring range. He will also get a great opportunity to show case his skills. The Billikens will start the season with 2 proven, high volume outside shooters in Perkins and Jimmmmerson, making It more difficult for teams to automatically double team him. We should also see improvement in other outside shooters and possibly new additions. That will open up the inside and giving French more opportunities to take players one on one, and increase his per game scoring and rebounding numbers. We also have a more mature and very confident Yuri providing slick passes, that end in French highlight video dunks.
  14. At this moment, there are no available scholarships and Coach Ford recently said that he is expecting everyone back. The only wrinkle, is that he also said that with the way the season ended he has not had the opportunity to sit down with each player.
  15. Corona Virus Red Shirt. If it is fair and reasonable to reinstate a year for the seniors, it would only be logical to give every class an additional year. I think it is indeed unfortunate, but each conference made thier decision to end the season and that should be the end of it. I personally think the conferences who already had their teams on location should have played their conference tournament games without fans. But they didn't do that. At this point I am hoping that this virus situation doesn't affect preparation for next season and I hate to even think it might affect the start this fall.
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