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    Roland Gray

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  1. Like all of the frosh and Perkins and Weaver he is drinking from a fire hose with so many different defenses to learn. He hustles, gives good effort and is reasonably quick.
  2. I talked to Fred and he said he was cramping at the end of practice--which went for 2+ hours from 3:30 until about 5:45--and he said the trainers wanted him to rest and get fluids because the next practice was the following morning. I was able to attend that practice, the first official one of the year, and for those of you who are concerned about our defense based on the Billiken Maddness scrimmage I can assure you that nothing in that scrimmage was real. In the practice they went hard for 2 hours working ferociously on various defensive plays and set ups. Everyone was playing hard and the coach was on them if they made a mistake in footwork or effort. Overall, they looked like they can play hard for 40 minutes of defense with the depth they have. In several recent practices that I attended the team has been shooting better than I have seen in years. JImerson leads the way--the best freshman shooter I have ever seen on the Billikens in practice- but Jacobs has been hot from the 3 as has KC Hankton. Weaver has a nice stroke as does Perkins and Fred has looked good as well.Yuri can get hot but his strength is his ability to drive and score or drive and dish--he is a very clever passer. When they do scrimmage full court--a very rare occurrence so far--they are attempting to fast break on almost every play and we have some players who can fly down the court. The most surprising player on the break might be Jimerson because he can flare out and hit threes like no one we have had in years. Obviously, Yuri in perfect for that style but JGood has actually been playing very well on the break and at times he will take it in over all of the bigs and score like Jordair Jett used to do and Fred and Jacobs are high fliers who can score over defenders as well. And all of our bigs have been told to run hard and try to beat opposing bigs down the court. Hasan is fast and tough and can finish. Bell and Diarra are working hard and may surprise some folks. Clearly, the best 3 on the team are JGood, Fred and Hasan but then it becomes an interesting dynamic in terms of playing time. Jimerson shoots so well it may be hard to keep him off the court. Yuri and Weaver are very good point guards with Yuri as the better passer and Weaver slightly ahead on defense. Bell is big and tough and will help in the middle, particularly against big teams where Hasan will be needed at the 4 spot. Jacobs at times looks like one of the better players on the floor and he has a nice touch from 3. Hankton is bigger and stronger and he is also shooting well from 3. Perkins is smooth and clever on offense. He will be taking a crash course in practice on the defensive end. I think it is impossible for any of us to conclude who will play a certain amount of minutes past the Big 3--but the competition is fierce and that should make us a better team by January after a tough non con schedule.
  3. There were changes in the team in charge of student recruitment including the leadership. Many hours were spent developing new strategies and a lot of hard work went into this effort which was very successful. This was definitely not just a situation where SLU did the same things as in past years
  4. I agree with your call for patience but I do see some differences. If you compare freshmen to freshman you could go either way as to which group is/was better. One distinct difference is the size of Bell. However, The key element of potential superiority of this years team compared to that team is the hard nosed defensive and rebounding trio of Upperclassmen Goodwin, Thatch and French combined with the experience and shooting of our grad transfer and Perkins. That group of 5 more experienced players had no equivalent on the 2010-2011 team. Go BIlls.
  5. Javon Bess is in town for 30 days before he goes to camp with the Pelicans and I had an opportunity to talk to him for a while at practice. He is in great spirits and very excited to have a potential opportunity. He is working out hard and looks to be in great shape. He plays open gym with the guys and he said that Perkins was playing outstanding basketball and can score from almost anywhere on the court. As soon as school starts Perkins can join the team at practice. It is difficult to know how all the distinct new players will mesh but I have been watching early practice for about 40 years and this is the most athletic and potentially best scoring team I have ever seen from top to bottom. With all the leapers we have it will be hugely entertaining! Go Bills!
  6. Perkins has completed his work at junior college and has been admitted to SLU. All is good.
  7. You may be right but I can say Yuri looked very comfortable shooting the ball and I think he has the potential to be a much better 3 point shooter than 25 percent. To state the obvious--we won't know until well in to the season whether he will be an effective shooter in games.
  8. I was fortunate enough to attend a recent practice and I agree with this analysis. Hargrove can run the court exceptionally well and he is a better outside shooter than most on this board give him credit for but I seriously doubt he will often be looking to post up in the low post like French or Bell. He definitely can score on the inside with quickness and jumping ability. I expect goodwin to post up more that Hargrove. He is getting better all the time at finding a spot on the low block and cleverly finishing at the rim. He will post up any smaller guards and possibly some of the talller ones because of his skill down low. Another observation, Yuri is a much better outside shooter than most on this board seem to believe. He is not a sniper like Jimerson, who in the practice I watched seemed to hit 70-80 percent on three pointers. That young man can really shoot but Yuri seemed to make a good percentage--maybe 40 percent from 3 and much better from the midrange. Go Bills
  9. With so much information on social media and highly competitive recruiting from many schools, I think the staff at SLU will play its cards very close to the vest if they identify a possible recruit that fits in with our team. I do not think they believe there is any benefit in telling everyone who they are recruiting.
  10. For those of us who have been fans for decades—and at times watched teams that did not have very good shooting—it is very exciting to see us add a young man who appears to be a pure shooter! With next years team we will probably see double teams on Hasan and teams helping on Jordan in the post and Yuri off the dribble. I can see passes out to a wide open shooter or two. If Gibson can hit those open shots it will open things up for Perkins and Hargrove as well. Then if JImmy can spell Hasan in the post and Fred can polish up his shooting we could be looking at a team with much more offensive firepower. If the new guys can defend—we know the returning 3 of Jordan, Hasan and Fred can be tough defenders then with Jacobs and Hankton we will have a deep and athletic team. Young with great potential imo. Let’s all show up for the banquet tomorrow night! Go Bills!
  11. Gibson Jimerson was selected to play in this national all star game. If you look at the roster for the National game, which I has the best talent of the three all star games, the other recruits are going to many “name” programs, most are power 5 or the Big East. Nice honor for Gibson Let’s hope he plays well. Also, the word is that Jimmy Bell Jr played outstanding in a big all star game recently on the East Coast. We will be very young next year but I love the potential of our recruits and how they seem to mesh perfectly (on paper) with our returning players. Hope to see everyone next Tuesday at the Banquet.
  12. He is all in and very committed to SLU, the business school, the basketball team and the university as a whole. All is good!
  13. There is a plethora of misinformation on this board that often seems to somehow get a life of its own and is cited as fact when not true at all. This statement is false. Dr Pestello has done an excellent job of gaining the confidence of many major donors to the university including Dr Chaifetz and the Sinquefields, among others. He has also delveloped an excellent relationship with many of the top leaders and philanthropists in St Louis and in other cities who value and respect his leadership at Saint Louis University. He has played a key role in the highly successful fundraising done at SLU over the past three years and continues to do so.
  14. I watched Bonner in several high school games and as a senior he was a 6’7” wiry strong super quick athlete who did not have much of a shooting touch but could defend like a demon and rebound like a fiend. I saw Hargrove play in his soph year when I went to watch Goodwin and I thought he looked like he had great potential as a high flying wing who could shoot the 3. At least in high school they had completely different game skills. I did get to go to practice a few weeks ago and when I first saw Gordon I thought of Bonner. He is bigger than Bonner was as a frosh but he is a sculpted athletic 6’8” athletic big man who can run the court, rebound and he has a pretty nice shooting touch. He is not yet the defender or rebounder that Bonner was but he is more polished offensively than Bonner was as a freshman..It will be fun to see how he develops with our other skilled and tough big men.
  15. Thor is playing for Iceland in the U-20 European championships. He will come over in July after that competition..He is practicing hard and the games will be tough so he will be helped by the experience.
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