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Biancardi was on Frank’s show today. He said SLU will challenge for the A10 title this year and will be in the tournament. He also said Wiley is a strong 6’4” guard who is a very good shooter.

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2 hours ago, Pistol said:

The only issue I see at this point is that we have only four players who have played in games together before - Bess, Goodwin, French, and Foreman - and none of them have played together for more than a season, and Goodwin missed the home stretch of the season.

Welmer is technically the most veteran SLU player on the roster because he played in 2016-2017, but hasn't played in games with any of the four other SLU veterans.

So we're adding 7 new-to-SLU guys this year, plus 1 redshirt who has not played yet (Santos), and 1 medical redshirt who hasn't played with any of these guys (Welmer). Yes, this assumes a return to health for EW.

Based on the newness of this roster, it stands to reason that we're going to have some rough nights early on. Guys not in sync, lack of rhythm on either or both ends, turnovers, etc. So getting as many guys on campus as soon as possible and having good summer workouts and strong early-season practices is so, so crucial for this bunch. Because there's no question this is the most physical, talented roster we've ever had, and there's serious potential for a March 2019 run.

This nails it, Pistol.  Last season with basically 8 players, it took a while for the chemistry to mess, and that is with Bess and Foreman having the experience of practicing at SLU in their redshirt season.  Now you have 7 that likely haven't even met.  You have Bess, let's label him as the stat stuffing team leader, Goodwin, who wants/needs to ball in his hands, French, the more touches he gets in the paint the better for the team, and now two Graduate Transfers who are coming to SLU to have a larger or higher profile role than they had at their previous school. 

Ford and the staff well know that mixing all of the talent will be a significant task.  There is only one basketball. It will be interesting, but I am anticipating initially a bumpy OOC ride.  By A10, let's plan on smooth sailing.

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2 hours ago, tarheelbilliken said:

Do we have any ideas of the newbies (Thatch, Wiley, Isabel, Thor and anyone I missed) are on campus? I seen were Carte is already here and enrolled in summer classes.

I just tried People-Findering the new freshmen, and it appears that they haven't updated it from the end of the semester yet. Roby is still listed as a senior

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3 hours ago, tarheelbilliken said:

Do we have any ideas of the newbies (Thatch, Wiley, Isabel, Thor and anyone I missed) are on campus? I seen were Carte is already here and enrolled in summer classes.

A lot of high schools around the country held graduations this past weekend. I have no idea about our newbies situations but I would imagine them to arrive before second summer session begins. And we know Wiley stated he will graduate from Maryland this summer so it may be even longer for him to show up. 

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You don’t have to ask, as soon as anybody knows they’ll post it, that I’m sure of

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23 minutes ago, billikenfan05 said:

You don’t have to ask, as soon as anybody knows they’ll post it, that I’m sure of

I won't post it if you're reading it

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2 hours ago, HoosierPal said:

This nails it, Pistol.  Last season with basically 8 players, it took a while for the chemistry to mess, and that is with Bess and Foreman having the experience of practicing at SLU in their redshirt season.  Now you have 7 that likely haven't even met.  You have Bess, let's label him as the stat stuffing team leader, Goodwin, who wants/needs to ball in his hands, French, the more touches he gets in the paint the better for the team, and now two Graduate Transfers who are coming to SLU to have a larger or higher profile role than they had at their previous school. 

Ford and the staff well know that mixing all of the talent will be a significant task.  There is only one basketball. It will be interesting, but I am anticipating initially a bumpy OOC ride.  By A10, let's plan on smooth sailing.

Looking at this in a more positive note, Santos had an entire year to play (albeit in practice) with French, Foremen, Bess, and Goodwin*. 

Also, Goodwin, by all accounts, has been working on his game and should be an even better PG in year 2 making it easier for everyone to find their individual role AND we get guys playing in their natural positions (Bess = 3; French = 4, etc.)

Also also, anyone else really excited about the fact that teams won't be able to just sit back in a zone and dare Jalen Johnson / Hines /  Bess to jack 3s all game?

 

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Honestly undefeated regular season thoughts have crossed my mind in recent days. But in reality, Pistol and HoosierPal are right. It will likely take some time to get everyone used to playing together and playing as a cohesive unit. I could see days where the offense stalls but hopefully we have enough shot-makers now to make up for those 8 minute scoreless droughts. 

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4 minutes ago, slu06 said:

Also also, anyone else really excited about the fact that teams won't be able to just sit back in a zone and dare Jalen Johnson / Hines /  Bess to jack 3s all game?

What makes you think this will be the case?  I think opponents will continue to play a lot of zone defense to try to negate the Bills' north-south strengths until they prove they can bust the zone with perimeter shooting.

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1 hour ago, HoosierPal said:

A lot of high schools around the country held graduations this past weekend. I have no idea about our newbies situations but I would imagine them to arrive before second summer session begins. And we know Wiley stated he will graduate from Maryland this summer so it may be even longer for him to show up. 

I think Wiley has graduated and Isabell will graduate this summer.

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19 minutes ago, slufan13 said:

Honestly undefeated regular season thoughts have crossed my mind in recent days. But in reality, Pistol and HoosierPal are right. It will likely take some time to get everyone used to playing together and playing as a cohesive unit. I could see days where the offense stalls but hopefully we have enough shot-makers now to make up for those 8 minute scoreless droughts. 

-I sure hope those are a thing of the past and I think one key will be what I expect to be our rebounding prowess which should allow us to get baskets in transition 

-this past season per KenPom, who tracks 351 schools, offensively we were 225 in adjusted efficiency, 337 in tempo, 339 in possession length, 322 in effective fg%, 314 in 3pt%, 301 in 2pt% and 334 in FT% - even with the article where CFord said he wants all to shoot 3's, I think all of these have to improve, in part because they couldn't get much worse and on the flip side we were +4.1 rebounding margin (51 in ncaa) and I can see this standing pat or improving even if only slightly

-perhaps I should be more concerned about the offense gelling from the beginning of the season but i think from the start JGood will demand a lot from his mates and they will deliver

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31 minutes ago, slusam said:

I think Wiley has graduated and Isabell will graduate this summer.

You're right,  maybe.  This article was dated June 3.  It is still spring, but really the only thing that matters is when he shows in up the LOU.  

https://www.testudotimes.com/maryland-terps-basketball/2018/6/3/17186130/dion-wiley-graduate-transfer-saint-louis

Wiley was almost certain to have a role with the Terps next season, but with Anthony Cowan Jr.and Darryl Morsell returning and freshmen Eric Ayala, Serrel Smith and Aaron Wiggins coming in, it was unclear how significant that role would be. Head coach Mark Turgeon said Wiley “expressed a desire to play a prominent role for a program in a different area,” and after graduating this spring with a degree in American Studies, Wiley will be immediately eligible at Saint Louis.

The Billikens finished 17-16 overall and 9-9 in the Atlantic 10 this past season, their best mark since 2014. If healthy, Wiley has a chance to lead them to a second straight winning season.

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Wiley definitely graduated, so he can move to SLU whenever he's ready:

 

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50 minutes ago, slu06 said:

Also also, anyone else really excited about the fact that teams won't be able to just sit back in a zone and dare Jalen Johnson / Hines /  Bess to jack 3s all game?

 

45 minutes ago, slufan13 said:

Honestly undefeated regular season thoughts have crossed my mind in recent days. But in reality, Pistol and HoosierPal are right. It will likely take some time to get everyone used to playing together and playing as a cohesive unit. I could see days where the offense stalls but hopefully we have enough shot-makers now to make up for those 8 minute scoreless droughts. 

 

44 minutes ago, Quality Is Job 1 said:

What makes you think this will be the case?  I think opponents will continue to play a lot of zone defense to try to negate the Bills' north-south strengths until they prove they can bust the zone with perimeter shooting.

 

7 minutes ago, Cowboy said:

-I sure hope those are a thing of the past and I think one key will be what I expect to be our rebounding prowess which should allow us to get baskets in transition 

-this past season per KenPom, who tracks 351 schools, offensively we were 225 in adjusted efficiency, 337 in tempo, 339 in possession length, 322 in effective fg%, 314 in 3pt%, 301 in 2pt% and 334 in FT% - even with the article where CFord said he wants all to shoot 3's, I think all of these have to improve, in part because they couldn't get much worse and on the flip side we were +4.1 rebounding margin (51 in ncaa) and I can see this standing pat or improving even if only slightly

-perhaps I should be more concerned about the offense gelling from the beginning of the season but i think from the start JGood will demand a lot from his mates and they will deliver

Lot of good points here. 

@slufan13, as much as this team is comprised of new personnel and that's a concern about how well we come together, that also means we're nearly impossible to scout.

@Quality Is Job 1, you're not wrong in that teams especially early in the season may sit back in stretches and challenge us to shoot because the numbers last year are so dismal. The difference is that, for the most part, we have better shooters now - perimeter shots last year were coming from JJ, who is gone and was by far the best, Roby, who was streaky, Bess, who didn't put up a great percentage from outside, and Hines - and I've made my thoughts on his shot selection and percentages quite clear. So we have a guy who was a high-volume shooter who will not put up quite as many attempts (Isabell), a guy whose offensive attempts were primarily outside and shot at a decent rate (Wiley), Bess again, and some relative unknowns (to opponents) in Gudmundsson, Thatch, Hankton, and Welmer. We have more shooters and the depth alone is going to make a difference. I'm not sure where they'll end up percentage-wise, but with Goodwin as the engine of the offense and more threats on the perimeter, they're not going to be able to pack it in on us all season.

@Cowboy, that's the other thing our depth gives us this year, the ability to play faster. 337 in tempo! Brad Soderberg would be proud. We had no choice, though, running with 6-7 scholarship players most nights. Now having a full roster available, not to mention some serious athleticism and size at every position, we can really push tempo, actually think about getting buckets in transition, and we have more guys to spread things out for Goodwin (which increases his value in a major way), so every one of those numbers is going to improve, no question.

@slu06, I'm counting on this season to put last season into perspective. That was hard to watch. When you don't have ball handlers or shooters, it makes for some seriously ugly basketball.

Of the four returners from last year, I'd look at Goodwin and Bess to have the biggest stock gains going forward. They're both more comfortable going to the basket and they need help on the perimeter to make that happen consistently. Foreman is going to be more or less the same guy, and if French just makes modest gains where he needs improvement - like the FT line - he's already a load to handle and primed for a big year - and, by the way, there won't be any more games like the one at Dayton last year, where French morphed into our only option on offense and UD slowly chipped away at our lead until the clock ran out and they were on top. It's one thing to have new and talented players who give you what you need, but it's another thing altogether when they're able to make your existing pieces more valuable, and we should see that with JG and JB especially.

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1 hour ago, Quality Is Job 1 said:

What makes you think this will be the case?  I think opponents will continue to play a lot of zone defense to try to negate the Bills' north-south strengths until they prove they can bust the zone with perimeter shooting.

I took it to mean JJ and Hines are gone :)

 

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A graduate transfer probably isn’t in a rush to be back on a campus. Probably taking time off. When are mandatory show up for players? Aren’t the first practices not for awhile?

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Guys looking for PT probably can't wait to get on campus

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The new guard transfers addressed our greatest area of concern and probable weakness.  Now I see the greatest weekness as the depth at our wing position.  Bess very solid, especially with his improved range last season. With his work ethic (maybe the greatest strength of this team), he will probably improve his accuracy and may take another step further out. But who comes in for Bess?  Welmer if healthy is probably too slow to cover the aposing wing.  You could play the 2 transfers + Goodwun, but only for a short while.  Or one of the freshmen.  An injury to Bess would almost certainly mean one of the freshman would get a lot of minutes.  It is wonderful to see the greatest team weakness/question is not with a starting position!

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I know it’s a little of topic but what in the world has been going on at Rhode Island, I haven’t heard any news of recruits or what is going on with that program. the Billikens could really dominate the A-10 next year.

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On 6/6/2018 at 9:15 AM, Pistol said:

The only issue I see at this point is that we have only four players who have played in games together before - Bess, Goodwin, French, and Foreman - and none of them have played together for more than a season, and Goodwin missed the home stretch of the season.

Welmer is technically the most veteran SLU player on the roster because he played in 2016-2017, but hasn't played in games with any of the four other SLU veterans.

So we're adding 7 new-to-SLU guys this year, plus 1 redshirt who has not played yet (Santos), and 1 medical redshirt who hasn't played with any of these guys (Welmer). Yes, this assumes a return to health for EW.

Based on the newness of this roster, it stands to reason that we're going to have some rough nights early on. Guys not in sync, lack of rhythm on either or both ends, turnovers, etc. So getting as many guys on campus as soon as possible and having good summer workouts and strong early-season practices is so, so crucial for this bunch. Because there's no question this is the most physical, talented roster we've ever had, and there's serious potential for a March 2019 run.

IN FORD WE TRUST!!

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So is Pearson definitely not playing this year??? And then rumors of one more freshman also not enrolling?  So disappointing if true. 

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2 hours ago, Aquinas said:

The new guard transfers addressed our greatest area of concern and probable weakness.  Now I see the greatest weekness as the depth at our wing position.  Bess very solid, especially with his improved range last season. With his work ethic (maybe the greatest strength of this team), he will probably improve his accuracy and may take another step further out. But who comes in for Bess?  Welmer if healthy is probably too slow to cover the aposing wing.  You could play the 2 transfers + Goodwun, but only for a short while.  Or one of the freshmen.  An injury to Bess would almost certainly mean one of the freshman would get a lot of minutes.  It is wonderful to see the greatest team weakness/question is not with a starting position!

 

What defines a "wing" in your opinion? Because this team is ultra flexible in terms of virtually every position, and they can run athlete after athlete out on that court and they would all jive in a reasonable manner. There is no set formula or "wing" requirement. This team's greatest strength is that it has a massive amount of players who can match up at multiple positions. They can go big. They can go small. They can go rough. They can go lean & mean. 

 

The A-10 won't have an answer.

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9 hours ago, Randy said:

 

What defines a "wing" in your opinion? Because this team is ultra flexible in terms of virtually every position, and they can run athlete after athlete out on that court and they would all jive in a reasonable manner. There is no set formula or "wing" requirement. This team's greatest strength is that it has a massive amount of players who can match up at multiple positions. They can go big. They can go small. They can go rough. They can go lean & mean. 

 

The A-10 won't have an answer.

Completely agree with you regarding the flexibility of this team.  With regard to your question, I would define a wing as Bess and "Bess clones."  A wing in my mind should be the ultimate "flexibility" player.  Able to rebound, shoot reasonably well from mid-range out,  including the 3 pt area.  Able to guard the opposing team's wing.  Have good handles with the ball.  In other words---J Bess!

On our team I would get to the definition of a wing by exclusion.  Santos, Foreman, French and Gordon= Bigs or 4/5s;  Jacobs, Wiley, Isabell,  Thatch, Thor and Goodwin = Guards or 1/2s.  I think Gordon,  Thatch, Thor and Goodwin could possibly play the wing for short periods of time.

That leaves Bess, Welmer, and Hankton as our primary "Wings."  While Welmer can rebound and shoot, I am concerned about his ability to guard opposing Wings and handle the ball, especially when facing a press. Hankton is still a guess as to being ready this year and might need to spend some serious time in the weight room this year.

What the above does point out is that your description of the team is spot on and that we have multiple options as to who is on the floor at any given time. 

No longer hard to be a Billiken fan.

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1 minute ago, bauman said:

Completely agree with you regarding the flexibility of this team.  With regard to your question, I would define a wing as Bess and "Bess clones."  A wing in my mind should be the ultimate "flexibility" player.  Able to rebound, shoot reasonably well from mid-range out,  including the 3 pt area.  Able to guard the opposing team's wing.  Have good handles with the ball.  In other words---J Bess!

On our team I would get to the definition of a wing by exclusion.  Santos, Foreman, French and Gordon= Bigs or 4/5s;  Jacobs, Wiley, Isabell,  Thatch, Thor and Goodwin = Guards or 1/2s.  I think Gordon,  Thatch, Thor and Goodwin could possibly play the wing for short periods of time.

That leaves Bess, Welmer, and Hankton as our primary "Wings."  While Welmer can rebound and shoot, I am concerned about his ability to guard opposing Wings and handle the ball, especially when facing a press. Hankton is still a guess as to being ready this year and might need to spend some serious time in the weight room this year.

What the above does point out is that your description of the team is spot on and that we have multiple options as to who is on the floor at any given time. 

No longer hard to be a Billiken fan.

It's never been hard to be a Billiken fan.

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