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Good recruiter, bad coach?

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1 hour ago, moytoy12 said:

That’s like the gambling addict at the black jack table saying “yeah, but I’m getting a lot of good hands but the dealer just keeps beating me.”

Which is your mindset at the casino. 

If you get a good look you take it.  If we start passing up good looks scoring will suffer more.  They need to look inside first but other teams are packing the lane or running zone.  So we have to adjust somehow.   Either turn up the pressure and tempo and try to score in transition.   Or work it inside better than we have.   Attack the zone it collapses and make a quick pass.  Or pass ball back and forth side to side quickly then attack the spot when they are slow to shift.  Or possibly overload 1 side of the zone.   Just need to see some execution.   Also make the easy baskets the lay ups come on.

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1 minute ago, billikenfan05 said:

Granted I was sitting on the court, nooooooooootttt a big deal, and couldn't see the big picture but it seemed like we got ourselves open shots off passes quite a bit.

We had open looks but I think that may have more to do with SIUC packing the lane and forcing us to beat them from 3

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Just now, slufan13 said:

We had open looks but I think that may have more to do with SIUC packing the lane and forcing us to beat them from 3

Fair point. 

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17 minutes ago, slufan13 said:

We had open looks but I think that may have more to do with SIUC packing the lane and forcing us to beat them from 3

We did get open looks but they had a man running to us as we were about to shoot which makes me wonder why our guys don’t head fake and drive. 

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I don’t think he’s a bad coach and he can definitely recruit but he’s lacking at team design.

This team is loaded with big strong athletes. They have size, speed, and toughness, and that’s great. 

They don’t have shooters or ball handlers. Those are two huge parts to a successful college team.  

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2 minutes ago, dlarry said:

I don’t think he’s a bad coach and he can definitely recruit but he’s lacking at team design.

This team is loaded with big strong athletes. They have size, speed, and toughness, and that’s great. 

They don’t have shooters or ball handlers. Those are two huge parts to a successful college team.  

To be fair, when Coach Ford was constructing his roster, he expected to have Ty Graves and Adonys Henriquez playing.  That would have dramatically changed our ball-handling and shooting abilities.  It is probably tough to just find a replacement when key pieces are dismissed from the University.

You can tell that Coach is trying to remedy that with Yuri Collins and Gibson Jimmerson.  No relief for this year, unfortunately.

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1 minute ago, Matty Light said:

To be fair, when Coach Ford was constructing his roster, he expected to have Ty Graves and Adonys Henriquez playing.  That would have dramatically changed our ball-handling and shooting abilities.  It is probably tough to just find a replacement when key pieces are dismissed from the University.

You can tell that Coach is trying to remedy that with Yuri Collins and Gibson Jimmerson.  No relief for this year, unfortunately.

Great great post. 

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6 minutes ago, dlarry said:

I don’t think he’s a bad coach and he can definitely recruit but he’s lacking at team design.

This team is loaded with big strong athletes. They have size, speed, and toughness, and that’s great. 

They don’t have shooters or ball handlers. Those are two huge parts to a successful college team.  

We do have bad team design, but some of that is just sheat luck. Guys like Hendriquez, Whelmer and Jaylen Johnson would significantly improve the outside shooting. As would a healthy Wiley. It's not like a coach can just randomly decide that he wants a great shooter in the spring and go find one available for the picking.

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More than the shooting I think we need to fix the turnovers. If we don't make a high % of shots then we need to take more than our opponent. More possessions ending in shots (made or missed) and less throwing the ball away. A true point guard (I would prefer 2) would help with that. I get JGood has/wants to be a PG to play at the next level. He isn't an elite college PG yet and the lack of one on our roster is the glaring hole IMO.

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3 minutes ago, shempie said:

More than the shooting I think we need to fix the turnovers. If we don't make a high % of shots then we need to take more than our opponent. More possessions ending in shots (made or missed) and less throwing the ball away. A true point guard (I would prefer 2) would help with that. I get JGood has/wants to be a PG to play at the next level. He isn't an elite college PG yet and the lack of one on our roster is the glaring hole IMO.

I think Isabell is a great player.....as any other guard than point. Travis is not going to abandon this experiment in the Non-con. Either Isabell needs to be taken off the point or figure it out. Those are the only two fixes.

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11 minutes ago, shempie said:

More than the shooting I think we need to fix the turnovers. If we don't make a high % of shots then we need to take more than our opponent. More possessions ending in shots (made or missed) and less throwing the ball away.

I share your concerns with the TOs, shempie.  Those high double digit TO games are killers.  We have been lucky to escape with the win in some of those games.  Have 16 TOs in a game is alright if you have a Point per Possession (PPP) significantly over 1.0.  You take some of those TOs as the cost of doing business in a high scoring offense.  But this year, our PPP or Offensive Efficiency is 0.928.  That is 273rd out of 353 teams--or the bottom 25%.  Only VCU and GW are worse in the A-10.

For comparison's sake our PPP was 0.982 last year.  The good news is our Defensive Efficiency is 0.852 (13th in the entire country).  Last year was 0.987.

If we are going to struggle to convert buckets, taking care of the ball is paramount.  As is offensive rebounding.

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Don't want to start a new thread, so i'll ask here, what changes should/could be made to the offensive scheme (not necessarily talking about personnel changes)?  We can't shoot and we don't have a stable pg which leads to a ton of turnovers. I know we want to run and play in transition, but without a reliable pg this becomes much harder. 

Installing RM's precision offensive with screens isn't going to happen.  But we have 2 very good big men and some guys who can get to the hoop (e.g. bess, dj and goodwin) so how do we maximize these attributes against the pack defenses we'll see? I'm honestly asking because i'm not a basketball wiz (that should be abundantly obvious by now).  

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5 minutes ago, moytoy12 said:

Don't want to start a new thread, so i'll ask here, what changes should/could be made to the offensive scheme (not necessarily talking about personnel changes)?  We can't shoot and we don't have a stable pg which leads to a ton of turnovers. I know we want to run and play in transition, but without a reliable pg this becomes much harder. 

Installing RM's precision offensive with screens isn't going to happen.  But we have 2 very good big men and some guys who can get to the hoop (e.g. bess, dj and goodwin) so how do we maximize these attributes against the pack defenses we'll see? I'm honestly asking because i'm not a basketball wiz (that should be abundantly obvious by now).  

I like the idea of concentrating on attacking the basket (under control that is).  It may seem counterproductive trying to get to the FT line more often but if we could saddle the opponent's big men with foul trouble, that has got to create more openings around the basket.  Plus, our PPP is under 1 point per posession, so even splitting a pair of FTs produces more scoring than our average possession (0.928).  It may be frustrating for French and Gordon to get hacked a lot, but most teams can't keep that up all game without having to go deep to their bench.

Also, more cutting to the hoop.  I am not seeing a lot of movement on the perimeter without the ball.  Force defenses to move with you.  At the very least wear those guards out some instead of giving them a breather on defense.

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2 hours ago, Old guy said:

I think as a group we are having a case of inflated expectations which are starting to look like they may not come to pass. Look at the stats of this game if you please, what is amiss? The glaring stat that is not as is expected is the low score produced by Bess. How about the rest of his stats, they were fine, he just could not score anywhere close to what he normally does in a game. Why may that be? The most likely cause is that he played injured and obviously without full use of a leg. For those of you who really know a lot about basketball, how important is the full use of both legs (your normal way of shooting a ball) in scoring? DUH... Does anyone doubt that Bess is our mot important player? Anyway Bess was injured and could not score as he usually does. We lost the game although we could have won it with a few more baskets. 

Now look at the game stats, we beat them in rebounds, we beat them in assists. We played reasonably well, but Bess who was injured could not score as usual. Why should this surprise anyone? All this garbage about Ford being a bad coach is just that, garbage. Ford cannot control injury, and other players like Thatch were plainly not scoring at all. 

Ford can do a lot of things but he cannot heal injury with a magic wand. We still have a chance but going to the dance but this is NOT going to be an easy thing to do. Not when our best player is injured just prior to a string of very tough games. Reality is reality, fantasy is not. Bess played injured and could not score as he normally does, we lost this game. 

We will see what happens going forward. The SIUC game was winnable, but not with an injured Bess. 

For those of you that write things like "In Ford I trust" and now turn around and think he is a bad coach after this loss, get a life. 

it wasnt like bess's injury snuck up on Ford last night and surprised him.   a good coach makes adjustments especially if they have 3 days to plan for it.   

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1 hour ago, Matty Light said:

To be fair, when Coach Ford was constructing his roster, he expected to have Ty Graves and Adonys Henriquez playing.  That would have dramatically changed our ball-handling and shooting abilities.  It is probably tough to just find a replacement when key pieces are dismissed from the University.

You can tell that Coach is trying to remedy that with Yuri Collins and Gibson Jimmerson.  No relief for this year, unfortunately.

lets not forget pierson's last second defection.  all due respect, hankton is likely not pierson.  

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9 minutes ago, Matty Light said:

I like the idea of concentrating on attacking the basket (under control that is).  It may seem counterproductive trying to get to the FT line more often but if we could saddle the opponent's big men with foul trouble, that has got to create more openings around the basket.  Plus, our PPP is under 1 point per posession, so even splitting a pair of FTs produces more scoring than our average possession (0.928).  It may be frustrating for French and Gordon to get hacked a lot, but most teams can't keep that up all game without having to go deep to their bench.

Also, more cutting to the hoop.  I am not seeing a lot of movement on the perimeter without the ball.  Force defenses to move with you.  At the very least wear those guards out some instead of giving them a breather on defense.

Just watched the replay of some of our offense from early in the second half.  Once Goodwin got the rebound, he headed up court with some pace but not out of control. Once he got past mid court he dribbled with purpose into the defense.  He found CAG for an open 3 look that French cleaned up because the D wasn't set under the hoop (not a great shot %age, but doing it quickly allowed our team to get the board and put back).  The next time he forced the D to double team him and made a nice pass to French splitting the D and French made the easy bucket.  

I know it's just a snapshot, but Goodwin pressing the action after getting the board while staying in control created positive plays. I'd like to see more of this from Goodwin and Isabell. 

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24 minutes ago, moytoy12 said:

Don't want to start a new thread, so i'll ask here, what changes should/could be made to the offensive scheme (not necessarily talking about personnel changes)?  We can't shoot and we don't have a stable pg which leads to a ton of turnovers. I know we want to run and play in transition, but without a reliable pg this becomes much harder. 

Installing RM's precision offensive with screens isn't going to happen.  But we have 2 very good big men and some guys who can get to the hoop (e.g. bess, dj and goodwin) so how do we maximize these attributes against the pack defenses we'll see? I'm honestly asking because i'm not a basketball wiz (that should be abundantly obvious by now).  

actually a good fast break team just gets the ball out and goes.   the point guard mindset is more for the half court game.   yes just because of where the point guard will likely be on the floor defensively when a shot goes up, the point guard will likely be involved in the guys flying down the court, but all of the players are responsible for filling lanes and getting down the court as quickly as possible.   then it is up to the player with the ball in hand to make the decision to finish the drive or pull the ball back out.   

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Just now, billiken_roy said:

actually a good fast break team just gets the ball out and goes.   the point guard mindset is more for the half court game.   yes just because of where the point guard will likely be on the floor defensively when a shot goes up, the point guard will likely be involved in the guys flying down the court, but all of the players are responsible for filling lanes and getting down the court as quickly as possible.   then it is up to the player with the ball in hand to make the decision to finish the drive or pull the ball back out.   

Good point. I should have been more general and said "without reliable ball-handling guards". The point being is that it appears everyone is rushing on the break which is creating sloppy fast break chances.  Since we should slow down a half a step, I don't think we'll be an effective fast break team, at least not until later in the season.  However, I do think we can speed up our play when we get a D board (see post above) and create some higher %age chances. As we become more comfortable pushing with pace, we'll get better on the true fast break chances.  Essentially, we have a lot of guys going 100mph on the break. Instead, we need to get better at going 60 mph before we ramp it up to 100 mph. 

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Another problem we have on the break, and it again goes back to not having good 3-point shooters. The way the game is played today, the drive and kick on the break is so valuable. I know I often refer to the glory days of RM, but if you go back and watch those games, when we would go on the break with one of our guards, if they weren't open to take it all the way to the hoop or dish to somebody like Evans, there would be Cody, Loe or McCall flaring out to the 3-point line to be an option.

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I think the problem with the title to this thread is that it assumes that there are only two options.  1. we do well this season, or win a particular game and this is because of the great talent that Ford has recruited, 2. we don't do as well as expected this season, or lose a particular game, and this is because Ford cannot coach.  This sort of A or B mentality is the shortest of short-sided thinking among sports fans.  There are all sorts of factors that lead to success or failure in any season and in any game.  In college sports, it's matchups, home vs. road, injuries, girlfriend problems, family problems that we don't know about involving kids that may be hundreds of miles away from home.  The list could go on and on and we'd never be able to put down all of the reasons.

No coach is perfect.  Majerus was one of the most brilliant basketball minds, but didn't recruit as well as he should have been able to and sounded like Drunk Uncle when giving a post game interview.  Some coaches can't recruit or coach.  We've had a few of those.  Ford is an outstanding recruiter and has shown (last two seasons and defense right now) that he can coach.  If he had some shooters, ones that were supposed to be here (not on him) and ones that he maybe didn't land (on him), then we'd be in a much different spot.  I actually give him credit for winning the games we have won with such terrible shooting from the field and from the line.  There's an argument that he's squeezed a lot out of guys that can't shoot.

The problem right now is execution.  JGood is not JGood from the end of last season right now.  We don't have a calming influence in the offense right now like we did in Roby last season.  The players need to play better within the system they have and make shots.  I promise you this, if the players had been running the offense that they are learning in practice and if they had hit more shots (not coaching) then we would be undefeated and not having this discussion.

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2 hours ago, Matty Light said:

To be fair, when Coach Ford was constructing his roster, he expected to have Ty Graves and Adonys Henriquez playing.  That would have dramatically changed our ball-handling and shooting abilities.  It is probably tough to just find a replacement when key pieces are dismissed from the University.

You can tell that Coach is trying to remedy that with Yuri Collins and Gibson Jimmerson.  No relief for this year, unfortunately.

-the loss of these two players is being underestimated and those saying CFord constructed the roster are missing this point

-last night CFord was saying how everything and everyone was a second too slow-is this too much thinking? I don't know, but it is clear 

-I feel tempted to say let's go 94 feet and maybe that would help the above point but I think that cuts down on the effectiveness of two of our best players (HF and CAG), our fast break is not the best, we have not been consistent in finishing and last night CFord went nuts when were pressing and SIU beat the press with a 3/4 court pass over Thatch who was "guarding" the backline

-one area not getting enough mention imo is our spacing, or lack of it, on offense, we are easy too easy to defend and then too often when we get the ball on the post we bring more defenders to the area, spread out!!! - and we miss so many opportunities to get the ball to our bigs on the block

-JB was not putting much weight on his right foot in warmups so to think that impacted him is to me not out of the question but then he gets 15 rebounds and this has me wondering

-did any Billiken pump fake when that Bol was putting on a block display at our expense? I don't recall that being tried once (and I would tell our opponents to use the pump fake as we go for every block, too)

-turnovers, wow, we have to reduce these, it appears DJF should not dribble more than once 

-we still had a good opportunity to win the SIU game, in part because they could not put us away but also in part as we did enough, although clearly not a lot, things to hang around,  nor could we put them away, but shooting 33% is not going to win many games any way it is sliced

-going by his words and actions the only person more upset than many of us is CFord 

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5 hours ago, billiken_roy said:

actually ford does have to take some blame.   he picked this roster.   plus he is the one designing the offensive scheme that is presenting those bad shots/shooters.   

the best way to get our shooting percentage up is shoot more better shots.   so again, as many of us have been harping all year, quit walking the ball down the floor and going into the stupid weave to run the shot clock down and be faced with a last second shot clock attempt so often.  get out and run, get a few layups and dunks and if not there pull it out and start working an offense prior to 10 seconds left on the shot clock.  

this offensive show is pretty much all on ford imo.   it's time to start running the team for the upgrade in talent vs the hines show we were forced to utilize the last couple of years.

Right on Roy, can you recruit? Ou got the floor general part down :)

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2 hours ago, billikenfan05 said:

Great great post. 

Indeed, does seem like we are all doomsaying this but I try to step back and think how old JC always said "winning is hard" and think of teams like on Kentucky team that had like 5 Macdonalds all americans and didn't even get to the dance. Just because we are stud heavy doesn't mean 31-0. No matter what happens this year on paper we should be way better in the next 2 seasons. Ford has gotten us back to a level where we can reasonably think we have a chance to win most games and as pumped as we all are that's really all we can hope for. 

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3 hours ago, TheA_Bomb said:

Which is your mindset at the casino. 

 

Neither here nor there. But you may be right.

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4 hours ago, moytoy12 said:

Don't want to start a new thread, so i'll ask here, what changes should/could be made to the offensive scheme (not necessarily talking about personnel changes)?  We can't shoot and we don't have a stable pg which leads to a ton of turnovers. I know we want to run and play in transition, but without a reliable pg this becomes much harder. 

Installing RM's precision offensive with screens isn't going to happen.  But we have 2 very good big men and some guys who can get to the hoop (e.g. bess, dj and goodwin) so how do we maximize these attributes against the pack defenses we'll see? I'm honestly asking because i'm not a basketball wiz (that should be abundantly obvious by now).  

Not gonna pretend I have a magic answer for the offense. But I think everyone would agree with making Goodwin the primary point guard. Isabell should not be bringing the ball up. I’d like to see Jacobs as the main back up PG.  

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