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Aquinas

2019-20 Season

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4 hours ago, wgstl said:

No. Not from the top half teams in our conference at least

and I understand this wouldnt be an issue without the injuries. What im saying by all of this is we will continue to struggle until someone steps up, and I just dont see anyone on the bench doing so in the way we need. 

I keep picking on jacobs, because its obvious he has it in him to be who we need but just wont let go.  Our top four have separated themselves so much from the rest of the team

 

Yes and no.  I am removing French from my selection for this past decade’s all Billiken team based upon the following. The Davidson announcer was very informative and enjoyable to me. He commented upon the Davidson player cutting off French bc he was not even guarding French to shoot. And if French still beats you, You foul him and he only makes 35% of his FTs. IMO, you do a disservice to your other 4 teammates if you are one dimensional.  Then I look at Yuri and see that he plays 30 to 35 minutes per game, scores only 1 to 2 buckets per game and his defender doesn’t even bother to guard him on the perimeter but instead backs off him to pack the lane, all of which puts a burden on his other 4 teammates. Goodwin remains on my all decade team for his overall leadership, effort, scoring and rebounding though his lack of good shooting outside 5 feet and his poor FT shooting also puts a burden on his other 4 teammates. And Bell has come a long way, he has so much potential- though right now, his game is predictable too.  No mid range shot, no dribble, no 3 pt shot, no jump hook...  So with this said, does Ford become a poor x’s and o’s guy when teams pack the lane?  Do opposing coaches warrant getting praised for their relative genius?
If only Ford’s only concern was - who will be the 5th guy to these 4 who have separated themselves. Instead, Ford must piece together his 4 starters to diminish their own flaws while folding in the rest.  Guess we can say Coach Ford lost all these games to date or we can say Coach Ford won all these games to date.  I say the latter. 

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9 minutes ago, glazedandconfused said:

Kind of crazy that we saw more of Hargrove last year than Jacobs. Jacobs has taken a major step forward. He’s gone from essentially not playing to being a starter and major role player. He’ll have another year of growing before he’s asked to do a lot his senior year.

Wrong H-man.  I suppose you mean Hankton.

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The key to conference standing is the road win/home loss balance.  Halfway through the conference season, the Bills are +1 (two road wins vs. one home loss).

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On 1/24/2020 at 6:57 PM, Quality Is Job 1 said:

Wrong H-man.  I suppose you mean Hankton.

Speaking of Hankton, what the heck is going on with him? I guess it’s just a bunch of different injuries. I’m not expecting him to be a game changer, but we’re in desperate need of bodies.

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Just now, 3star_recruit said:

#42 NET East Tennessee State loses to #244 Mercer by 16 at home.  That's gonna hurt.

Good. Take em out. 

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1 hour ago, moytoy12 said:

Speaking of Hankton, what the heck is going on with him? I guess it’s just a bunch of different injuries. I’m not expecting him to be a game changer, but we’re in desperate need of bodies.

-last I saw or heard was back spasms

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Season to date:

I have seen posts and listened to the last House that Rick Built show (a show that I like) stating significant disappointment and blame for recent Billikens losses on coach Ford.

We Billiken fans I think are guilty of having expectations of wins based on early season performance that exceeded expectations, but were followed by an injury to Jimerson and loss of Thatch, apparently for the season.  Then the emotions of having a team come so close to beating Dayton but then drop two games to the Dukes, is frustrating and clouds our realistic view of the team and this season.

As Billiken fans, I think it is wise and fair to coach Ford and the team to step back a minute and take a look at team strengths and weaknesses and what has happened this season.

First we started the season with only 4 players with significant Division 1 experience.   Goodwin, French, Thatch and Weaver, and Weaver was not with our team last year.  In addition. we had 2 returning sophomores who were injured as Freshmen and played very little.  We added  6 new players with no Division 1 experience Perkins, a high scoring JUCO transfer and 5 freshmen.

Preseason projections were all over the place, but I think most of us would have been happy with 20 wins.

Early season.  The team exceeded expectations with strong contributions by Jacobs, Collins and Jimerson.  In my view Jimerson’s contributions had the greatest impact on the total team performance because opponents had to stretch the floor to cover him.  Some teams put their best defending guard on him.  He consistently hit 3s at a rate of 42% and he averaged 10.8 points per game and that average was rising, and he had two games over 20 points.

So at the in the middle of December With Jimerson and the expected return of Thatch, a top 4 A10 finish looked reasonable.

But as fans often do, we discounted the loss of Jimerson and Thatch when it came to our expectations for the team.

The loss of Jimerson has meant more tightly packed zones that especially restrict the ability of French, Goodwin and Collins.   Jacobs can hit a spot up 3 at the rate of 38%, Weaver hits them with a quicker release at a rate of 37% and Perkins unfortunately is only hitting 3s at a rate of 29%. 
The loss of Jimerson also took out our best free throw shooter, he was at 86%.

The loss of Thatch this season has hurt our ability to play a shut down defending guard.   It reduces the number of steals resulting in easy baskets and it improves the 3 point scoring of opponents.  If summer reports were accurate it took away an expected double digit scorer, who was hitting from outside.

From a coaching perspective, the loss of Thatch and Jimerson has taken a lot of the flexibility he has in defending and attacking opponents.

At this point, we have a team with a strong inside game, an average outside game and a team that is terrible from the free throw line.  Our inside strength is largely dependent on French.  While Bell has been steadily improving and has done admirably in some games, the loss of French kills us.  Even foul trouble forces him to dial down his intensity.  The loss of Thatch and Jimerson has also made us thin at the guard spot.  We have had to play the walk on Hightower, in situations where the other guards are in foul trouble, have a tough matchup or are just not playing well

This leaves us with a team that can play at a high level when the matchups are good AND the refs let us play a physical game.  But we struggle in games where the matchups are bad and/or we have foul trouble.

I think coach Ford has done an admirable job of reshaping this team following the losses of Thatch and Jimerson.  There are significant limits to what a coach can do with a short bench. One thing he can and has done, is motivate this team to play with heart.  They have played some very strong games in some very tough road environments, where many teams, especially young teams typically fold up and get blown out. There is no quit in this team or its coach.

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This team has had a better regular season run than last year's team in a tougher conference with one of the least experienced teams in the conference.  That's good coaching. 

Some fans expectations is a NCAA appearance despite the program having only 8 tournament appearances in in the last 30 years. For those fans, anything less is a disappointment.  Older fans who lived through the 30 years prior to Spoonhour remember not making the tournament at all.

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18 minutes ago, Aquinas said:

I think coach Ford has done an admirable job of reshaping this team following the losses of Thatch and Jimerson.  There are significant limits to what a coach can do with a short bench. One thing he can and has done, is motivate this team to play with heart.  They have played some very strong games in some very tough road environments, where many teams, especially young teams typically fold up and get blown out. There is no quit in this team or its coach.

D1 coaches don't make millions of dollars to coach the team they assemble in November, they make millions to coach the team they end up with in January after injuries, mid-season transfers, flunks outs, suspensions and whatever other craziness besets their roster. While I don't disagree that Ford has done a good job I don't think he reshaped the team in any meaningful way (I would have liked to see them go more up tempo with a healthy dose of secondary breaks) and again those roster limitations are what these guys get paid a king's ransom to figure out. All that said, I don't have any major issues with how the coach has handled this team.  

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11 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

For those fans, anything less is a disappointment.  Older fans who lived through the 30 years prior to Spoonhour remember not making the tournament at all.

Thank god I wasn't born for that nonsense 

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Why cant both things be true?

Has Ford done a tremendous job coaching when looking at the season as a whole? Absolutely yes. 

Has Ford's in-game coaching Loss us a game or two? very possible. 

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16 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

This team has had a better regular season run than last year's team in a tougher conference with one of the least experienced teams in the conference.  That's good coaching. 

Some fans expectations is a NCAA appearance despite the program having only 8 tournament appearances in in the last 30 years. For those fans, anything less is a disappointment.  Older fans who lived through the 30 years prior to Spoonhour remember not making the tournament at all.

 

3 minutes ago, wgstl said:

Thank god I wasn't born for that nonsense 

Sure, but the fact that the internet and internet message board (and Twitter, etc.) weren't around lessened the exposure and amount of time people spent on it.  (I didn't start following until 1988-89.)

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2 minutes ago, wgstl said:

Why cant both things be true?

Has Ford done a tremendous job coaching when looking at the season as a whole? Absolutely yes. 

Has Ford's in-game coaching Loss us a game or two? very possible. 

It's also very possible that Coach Ford's work has resulted in more wins that the team probably shouldn't have gotten than in losses that shouldn't have happened, but people don't remember those wins as much as they remember the undesirable losses.

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Just now, Quality Is Job 1 said:

It's also very possible that Coach Ford's work has resulted in more wins that the team probably shouldn't have gotten than in losses that shouldn't have happened, but people don't remember those wins as much as they remember the undesirable losses.

Possibly.  I think Ford has done a great a job with game prep, but I still think his biggest flaw is in game coaching. 

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I think it'd be cool if those posters who are in the locker room at halftime and the timeouts during the game would record them. 

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7 minutes ago, slufanskip said:

I think it'd be cool if those posters who are in the locker room at halftime and the timeouts during the game would record them. 

I hear ya, but there have been some things that have been demonstrably bad.  For example, the zone against Duquesne 10 or so days ago.  It was a nip and tuck game in the first half until we went to a zone and Duquesne splashed open 3 after open 3 against our zone.  

I love Ford.  I want him here for as long as he wants to coach, but he's not above criticism for in-game tactics.  

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17 minutes ago, moytoy12 said:

I hear ya, but there have been some things that have been demonstrably bad.  For example, the zone against Duquesne 10 or so days ago.  It was a nip and tuck game in the first half until we went to a zone and Duquesne splashed open 3 after open 3 against our zone.  

I love Ford.  I want him here for as long as he wants to coach, but he's not above criticism for in-game tactics.  

I don't remember that specific game. When did he switch to the zone? 

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3 minutes ago, slufanskip said:

I don't remember that specific game. When did he switch to the zone? 

mid first half-ish

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38 minutes ago, moytoy12 said:

I hear ya, but there have been some things that have been demonstrably bad.  For example, the zone against Duquesne 10 or so days ago.  It was a nip and tuck game in the first half until we went to a zone and Duquesne splashed open 3 after open 3 against our zone.  

I love Ford.  I want him here for as long as he wants to coach, but he's not above criticism for in-game tactics.  

The thing about Duquesne is we have absolutely NO answer for Carry.  The kid is like Russell Wilson, surrounded by defenders yet somehow makes sneaks away and makes a key pass or shot with time running out.....Loss of Thatch hurts us bad against Duquesne and Dayton

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2 hours ago, Quality Is Job 1 said:

It's also very possible that Coach Ford's work has resulted in more wins that the team probably shouldn't have gotten than in losses that shouldn't have happened, but people don't remember those wins as much as they remember the undesirable losses.

For the most part game preparation IS coaching.  In-game coaching is often a crapshoot.  For example, the other team is in a nice offensive rhythm so you switch to a zone.  The other team proceeds to light you up from three.  Fans slam the coach for "not making adjustments".  He did make an adjustment.  It just didn't work.  

Coaches of fundamentally sound teams often get credit for being good in-game coaches.  But in reality those coaches have recruited high IQ players with complimentary skillsets who then execute during the game what they have performed in practice.  You're not going to see a roster dominated by non-shooters and ball-dominant players be molded into fundamentally-sound basketball team.  It doesn't work that way.  Guys like Jay Wright, who for years was castigated for his in-game coaching, suddenly get elevated to "very good coach" once they arrive at the right mix of talent and game preparation.  

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10 minutes ago, Basketbill said:

The thing about Duquesne is we have absolutely NO answer for Carry.  The kid is like Russell Wilson, surrounded by defenders yet somehow makes sneaks away and makes a key pass or shot with time running out.....Loss of Thatch hurts us bad against Duquesne and Dayton

while you're right, but what we're saying is Ford didn't attempt to do much that could've change this. 

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29 minutes ago, moytoy12 said:

mid first half-ish

No coach is perfect and I get that you're not expecting him to be. I'm sure he had a reason and it's always easier to say something didn't work in hindsight. Also we don't know what all went in to any decision a coach makes. 

I don't mind discussion of decisions made and how they affected the game, but I'm not sure in most cases you can blame the loss on the coach. There are many things that go into a game and the decisions made during the game. If you're going to say this decision cost us 6 points (and in that game they were 5/11 in the 1st half from 3, so it likely resulted in 1 3 pointer above the norm so in reality that half of raining 3's got them 3 extra points and they won by 14) you also have to take into account decisions he made during that game that worked and saved or scored us points. You can't just take the things that didn't work in a vacuum and hold them against a coach. 

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I don’t know anything about the status of Fred Thatch Jr. But I do know that this is the first practice in a LONG time I’ve seen him go through a full warmup with the team. He usually gets going by himself and jumps in/out when ready. This seems like a positive sign.

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