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mrjoelabs

Optimism

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Last night was a punch in the gut.  I hated it at the time and thought the sky was falling. But then I realized, this is college hoops in 2019/2020.  NO ONE has been consistently good, at any level, even top 25.  Maybe Auburn (but we  could've had them) SDState, and the zags.  But #1 has fallen again and again this year.  Top 10 teams lose again and again. Michigan lost to Illinois who then lost to Mizzou, who had lost to Charleston Southern!  Tonight, Wisconsin knocked off #5 ohio state.  We had SFA Duke, Evansville Kentucky, Wofford UNC, and so many others.  It might be a wild tournament this year.  In summary, we are going to be ok.  We would be a lot better if Fred could somehow get out there. But man his situation sounds tough.   The next 2 games are must wins against dogs, then we gotta focus on Richmond and Dayton.   Hargrove might end up being a key to this season.  If he can continue to develop and start adding defense and outside shooting, things change a lot.  And Bell, although immobile, could use more minutes.  He is finding a scoring touch.

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We are going to lose a game or three like this every season, except for the truly special ones (we were 3.5 point underdogs for crying out loud). Just a good ole fashioned reality check. I’m honestly shocked we didn’t have a let-down game sooner. 

I enjoyed getting my hopes way up there at various points during non-con (right before   Seton Hall possibly the high point), but IMO, this was never going to be one of those special seasons. Our deficiencies are way too big to overcome night in, night out (freeeee throwssss, outside shooting down JG, getting fisted by refs).

I’ve always had my eye on next year being the big one, and seeing our freshmen play has only bolstered that notion, but seriously the free throw issue is f’ing unbearable and doesn’t seem likely to go away between now and then. Sure we can make another A-10 tournament run this season, hopefully with a bye or two, but Dayton and VCU seem to be the only viable at-large teams in this conference. 

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Lunardi currently has one A10 team in his bracket but says to bank on two. It is a very slim margin for error for anyone even VCU.  I am guessing most of us are thinking next year will be great but why?  I can only assume we are all looking at French getting better at the line and finding a 10-foot shooting touch.  Goodwin doing the same.  All why maintaining super hero status already attained elsewhere.  Jimmy Bell being "Big" Jimmy Bell and not "Timid" Jimmy Bell as he is now.  Perkins becoming the go to guy.  Hargrove becoming Superman.  Jacobs finding consistency.  Collins getting an offensive game.  Jimmmerson coming back and being better.  Ditto Thatch.  

All next year does is make us a year older and kshoe has told me many times that could be good enough.  I honestly hope that's right and we're all right.  I don't think Markhi Strickland will add enough to make much of a difference and while losing only Weaver is so-so, he is our lone ranger from distance right now.

This would be a good year to get into some tournament (NIT/CBI) and develop the youth.  This would be a good summer to go overseas too.

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5 minutes ago, Taj79 said:

Lunardi currently has one A10 team in his bracket but says to bank on two. It is a very slim margin for error for anyone even VCU.  I am guessing most of us are thinking next year will be great but why?  I can only assume we are all looking at French getting better at the line and finding a 10-foot shooting touch.  Goodwin doing the same.  All why maintaining super hero status already attained elsewhere.  Jimmy Bell being "Big" Jimmy Bell and not "Timid" Jimmy Bell as he is now.  Perkins becoming the go to guy.  Hargrove becoming Superman.  Jacobs finding consistency.  Collins getting an offensive game.  Jimmmerson coming back and being better.  Ditto Thatch.  

All next year does is make us a year older and kshoe has told me many times that could be good enough.  I honestly hope that's right and we're all right.  I don't think Markhi Strickland will add enough to make much of a difference and while losing only Weaver is so-so, he is our lone ranger from distance right now.

This would be a good year to get into some tournament (NIT/CBI) and develop the youth.  This would be a good summer to go overseas too.

Um, the title of this thread is "Optimism".  You obviously misread.  Get off the ledge and watch a couple of wins coming up.

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One man's optimism is another's insanity.  As I said, "most of us are thinking next  year will be great." So I am there.  I think that optimism is defined for me by what I said .... who comes back with what.  I am asking others what thoughts form their optimism.

Sure, we'll likely  beat Umass and Geedubya, those are rather simple expectations against league bottom feeders and being at home.  The next three games after that define "the ledge."  See you there?

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Quote

getting fisted by refs

That has been happening for the 15 years we’ve been in this league.

and as far as next season goes, well, you know the saying about the best laid plans.

It’s still early to call it a year.

 

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My optimism:

We are 11-3 with no bad losses. We have a good chance to get 2 wins at home in conference and then have 2 straight Q1 games @ Rich and vs Dayton....Regardless, this team will be tested a lot and we still have a legitimate chance to build a resume in the coming months. We are ahead of most estimations and I have been encouraged by the young guys. For a team that is playing pretty much 2 guys that played for us last year, it could be a whole lot worse than 2 losses vs ranked teams and a loss at Duq.

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Thanks for the topic.  I admit that game was very disappointing.  Coach Ford said it was the worst game of the year.  We've been fortunate that the freshmen have been good but overall, the roster is also dealing with multiple problems: we have lost GJ; and YC is struggling w/ physical issues (hands). Thatch is still a big question mark, too.

Given all that: WOW!  It's a long-term project, folks.  Give it time.  Winning on the road is ALWAYS tough. I agree whole-heartedly, we are ahead of schedule despite the fluid roster situation.  We are much deeper than we have been in years.  TJH is starting to make a difference, and so is Bell.  JP will, I believe, become a more reliable presence as an outside shooter, just as he is doing it in practice.  And everyone else is improving, almost weekly (with some bumps in the road, like the lousy game on Thursday: also predictable now and then).  GO Bills!

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58 minutes ago, Taj79 said:

Lunardi currently has one A10 team in his bracket but says to bank on two. It is a very slim margin for error for anyone even VCU.  I am guessing most of us are thinking next year will be great but why?  I can only assume we are all looking at French getting better at the line and finding a 10-foot shooting touch.  Goodwin doing the same.  All why maintaining super hero status already attained elsewhere.  Jimmy Bell being "Big" Jimmy Bell and not "Timid" Jimmy Bell as he is now.  Perkins becoming the go to guy.  Hargrove becoming Superman.  Jacobs finding consistency.  Collins getting an offensive game.  Jimmmerson coming back and being better.  Ditto Thatch.  

All next year does is make us a year older and kshoe has told me many times that could be good enough.  I honestly hope that's right and we're all right.  I don't think Markhi Strickland will add enough to make much of a difference and while losing only Weaver is so-so, he is our lone ranger from distance right now.

This would be a good year to get into some tournament (NIT/CBI) and develop the youth.  This would be a good summer to go overseas too.

20 year-olds normally get better from the year before. They may not take a leap. Every other team loses players, and odds are their frosh won't be as good as the people leaving. Bringing back everyone is a huge advantage, unless everyone sucks. Can you imagine the symmetry between Yuri and Jimerson after another 9 months of practicing together? 

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Has and JGood have to add more to their games. Has is way too one dimensional. He's a warrior, no doubt, but the bull rush to the hoop doesn't work against a packed D. He is going to suffer the most from Gibby's absence. As will JGood because the lane will resemble Grand Central at rush hour. Both have to come up with a mid range jumper to keep D's honest. Probably too late this season but it's why they have off seasons. 

This is also why Jacobs has to step up instead of just filling a uniform. 

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25 minutes ago, slu72 said:

Has and JGood have to add more to their games. Has is way too one dimensional. He's a warrior, no doubt, but the bull rush to the hoop doesn't work against a packed D. He is going to suffer the most from Gibby's absence. As will JGood because the lane will resemble Grand Central at rush hour. Both have to come up with a mid range jumper to keep D's honest. Probably too late this season but it's why they have off seasons. 

This is also why Jacobs has to step up instead of just filling a uniform. 

During stretches of last season Has exhibited a lethal baby hook. We really haven't seen it from him this year. I wonder if he has gone away from it due to more double teams or for other reasons. Regardless, it seems to be a key missing piece from his game right now.

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All three of our losses are Q1. If we can pick up 2 Q1 wins and don’t lose any games below Q1 level we‘ll have a chance 

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I just think that we are kidding ourselves if we think we will get any benefit of the doubt from the tourney committee.  We have maybe 2-3 opportunities for good wins, and losses anywhere else for us are killers.  I think we have to have 26 wins to even be on the bubble given history.

There are just too many blue bloods who will find resume wins just solely on the fact that they get 12 chances at it.  The talking heads are already starting to talk about how Wisconsin “turned the corner” with their win over OSU.  Never mind that their 19 win resume at the end will include losses from NC St, Rutgers, and Richmond by 10 (!).  

Duquense is a bad loss bc in March, the Dukes will not be Q1.  If the goal is an at large resume, then all the middling teams in the A10 (Bonnie’s, GMU, Richmond, Duquesne) are essentially must wins unless we do something crazy like sweep Dayton.

I saw on twitter that the Bills called a players only meeting....I think they realized that Duquesne was trash too and the Bills should never have taken that L

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10 minutes ago, SLU_Nick said:

I just think that we are kidding ourselves if we think we will get any benefit of the doubt from the tourney committee.  We have maybe 2-3 opportunities for good wins, and losses anywhere else for us are killers.  I think we have to have 26 wins to even be on the bubble given history.

There are just too many blue bloods who will find resume wins just solely on the fact that they get 12 chances at it.  The talking heads are already starting to talk about how Wisconsin “turned the corner” with their win over OSU.  Never mind that their 19 win resume at the end will include losses from NC St, Rutgers, and Richmond by 10 (!).  

Duquense is a bad loss bc in March, the Dukes will not be Q1.  If the goal is an at large resume, then all the middling teams in the A10 (Bonnie’s, GMU, Richmond, Duquesne) are essentially must wins unless we do something crazy like sweep Dayton.

I saw on twitter that the Bills called a players only meeting....I think they realized that Duquesne was trash too and the Bills should never have taken that L

They have a meeting the night before every game.

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I predicted 19-14 before the season and the kids are ahead of schedule.  Readjusting your expectations in the middle of the season based on early success is just a recipe for disappointment.  Young teams are experiencing everything for the first time, including playing on the road against a tough conference opponent.

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I still don’t see a quarterback on the floor controlling the tempo and the shot selection. A flashy pass here and there is not the answer. I’d like to see more of Weaver.

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Jimerson going down gave Weaver a big opportunity. He played 29 min last game. You will see plenty of Weaver.  That will do very little to alter the team's shot selection.  

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12 hours ago, Taj79 said:

One man's optimism is another's insanity.  As I said, "most of us are thinking next  year will be great." So I am there.  I think that optimism is defined for me by what I said .... who comes back with what.  I am asking others what thoughts form their optimism.

Sure, we'll likely  beat Umass and Geedubya, those are rather simple expectations against league bottom feeders and being at home.  The next three games after that define "the ledge."  See you there?

OK Taj, you want optimism, here it comes. Every single team has a night in which they can't get the balls to go in or so it seems. We played well against Duquesne, but for some reason we had one of those nights. Too bad, water under the bridge. Tomorrow is a new day and we will be at the Chaifetz cheering for the kids. Not to worry, no need to change my estimate for the season (no tournament included) from 25-6. We will do better.

The issue with Thatch and Ford's change of mind basically indicates that he has to deal with Fred's problems with a lot of care and finesse. Maybe they will find a way to have him play, maybe he will be able to play for a fair amount of time. It all depends on the supplements he takes and how much exertion he can take. This is not a shut and closed case, not yet anyways. Fred can always get his red shirt afterwards, if he really needs to stay out of play. But just think of this, why make the kid lose a full year that he can retain with a red shirt, if the most play he can do is a few minutes here and there. Would it not be a LOT better to really try him out fully for endurance, etc... before throwing him into play. By now, we all know this is not going to be Fred's breakthrough year, but would it be possible for him to get stable enough in coming years to get him his breakthrough year. I think it is worthwhile to try to get there if possible. I do wish the best to Fred, and I think the best is not to burn the option of a medical red shirt this year in exchange for a few minutes of play.

We will come back to  our  normal way of playing in future games. Even the market tends to regress to the mean (usual level) in a frequent manner. The game against Duquesne was an unfortunate outlier.

We know you can do it Bills, go get UMass tomorrow!

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Here's some good ol' fashioned Billiken optimism, old guy ---- Fred Thatch is done.  Why?  No reason, just because we are Billikens and things like this happen to us.  I feel really bad for the kid and hope I am wrong but that's the way this needle leans.  It's like finally getting a shooter and having him break a foot.  Or like getting talent only to have Title IX come along and sack the team.  Or having a HoF coach die on us.  We are Billikens!

As for optimism, my question was directed to what folks see next year, not today.  With no one but Weaver graduating, what is the standard(s) of improvement moving forward next year that makes us believe we are going to be that much better than this year?  With no recruits save Strickland on board?  Telling me "I told you so"  when we beat Umass and Geedubya is nothing more than Captain Obvious.  

Twenty-five and six?  That means only three more losses all year with two games against Dayton, one with VCU, one at Richmond, one at Davidson, one at Rhode island, and one at Mason.  Given what we saw in Pittsburgh, La Salle and Umass on the road now scare me.  Optimism is fine; blind optimism is being a horse soldier riding into the Valley of Death.  

Can't wait to see what today brings.

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I don’t want to give you a bad post but wow, eeyore. 
Have you not had coffee or carbs yet this morning? 
Im still on board with Thatch recovering. Don’t bring me down. 

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12 minutes ago, BilliKitty said:

I don’t want to give you a bad post but wow, eeyore. 
Have you not had coffee or carbs yet this morning? 
Im still on board with Thatch recovering. Don’t bring me down. 

Billy, Taj Retired Mahal 79 is a Billiken vet, like myself, and knows the Billiken's yellow brick road will always be spotted with pot holes and sink holes. The history is there, we are a cursed program. Every time we think we've taken 2 steps forward the fickle finger of fate flips us off. Jimerson and Fred being the latest to be hit by our curse. So, go easy on the newly retired Taj Mahal 79, he's just being his usual jaundiced realistic self telling it like he sees it. 

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Slu72, I’ve been here a while. I know he has too. That’s why I don’t usually use a bad post on anyone who isn’t a troll. Just voicing it wasn’t my favorite post. 

As much as we’ve had our downfalls, we’ve had lots of Pretty highs too. The road to the top has many pit stops. The blues finally pulled it off. I think we’re up next! 
I’m also an optimist. Call me a billiken fan.

 FYI, I’m Kitty.  Billi is for Billiken. Although now that I’ve been on here for close to a decade I’m probably more of a Kat now. 

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Glass half full vs Glass half empty, all of it. First, all team's, as well as every person's, yellow brick road is always full of potholes and splattered with disappointments and failures. I am not talking about blood here, but in a metaphorical sense it might contain that as well. No team's and no person's yellow brick road is smooth, and even, and none of the yellow brick roads go  in a straight line. Second, if you cannot get over some reversals in fortune, which always happen, how can you claim you (a person or a team) are a winner? If everything comes your way in life you either have a magical genie out of a bottle fixing things up for you, or you have been blessed with the luck that should have gone to lots of other people. These things do not happen in reality. Life is uneven, success is never guaranteed, luck never lasts. Both teams and people have to embrace these concepts and be ready to face various degrees of adversity throughout.

I believe that this is exactly what the Bills will do under Ford, if not under Crews (Crews being by himself a source of adversity).

I have gone through disappointments galore in my life, as well as periods of penury and hardship. What made me what I am is that I never retreated into a corner to cry or wail about my misfortune. We, all of us, will move forward and achieve our goals always through hard work and by facing the issues that come our way. No disappointment should be enough to crumble our spirit. I think the Bills are there in that same page with me, and will get there. Perhaps I am a fool, we will find out won't we?

 

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Taj. 
 

My optimism for next year is based upon more than just Markhi as a new face.  Tough but necessary decisions will need to be made but we need another shooter and another big who can play next year - not just bang in practice- and 2 to 3 more new faces is possible. 

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