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Madani Diarra

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Being an out of town Billiken fan I very much appreciate the information this board provides.  I see virtually every game on TV and a live game most years.

Since we haven't seen Diarra but briefly in one game curious if those who are more in the know, or are lucky enough to have seen some of the practices, think he will be a rotation player next season?  How does he look physically, is he 100%?  Can he eventually be a major factor?  

Just looking for opinions.  It behooves SLU to get a 2020 big.  If that doesn't happen Diarra progressing to a contributor stage is a must for next season.

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The only time I saw Diarra (in open practice) he looked clumsy. I think he still has to practice a lot before playing significant minutes. However, this is just my uneducated (basketball wise) opinion.

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New to the board. Greetings. 
 

We need a big man so bad. Bell is coming along but we need more than him and he actually has a long way to go. I know it’s been talked about a lot but French’s free throw shooting is beyond belief. I really respect Ford but I saw an article a month or so ago where he said French consistently hits 80-100 in practice. Dude. Absolutely no way I’m buying that!!  No way. 

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9 hours ago, FanMan said:

New to the board. Greetings. 
 

We need a big man so bad. Bell is coming along but we need more than him and he actually has a long way to go. I know it’s been talked about a lot but French’s free throw shooting is beyond belief. I really respect Ford but I saw an article a month or so ago where he said French consistently hits 80-100 in practice. Dude. Absolutely no way I’m buying that!!  No way. 

Go to practice and watch him do it.

Report back.

There are many sales pitches in life, but knowledgeable and accurate assessments are always appreciated.

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I've said before, I'd call Diarra a work in progress.  Every time I've seen him, he is banging away at Bell, so they are getting better against each other in effect.I want to emphasize how important it is to have strong bench/practice guys for everyone to match up with, every day.   In that sense, he is already quite valuable.  He's a hard worker and a physical specimen, but he seems like one of those late bloomers that is still learning about the game IMO.  I'm not convinced he can be a rotation player next year, given our roster.  But his final 2 years will present more opportunities and he will progress a lot more by then.  Overall: I'm extremely glad he is on the team, even if he doesn't play at all this year, or even next.

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Too much is made of our FT shooting. Yes, it’s bad not our biggest concern.  Easy comment though to suggest what’s wrong with our team.  

And mostly French brings our FT percentage down.  4-10.  Goodwin made 1 of 2 vs Duquesne and our best FT shooters inexplicably went 0-1 (Perkins) and 0-2 (Hargrove).  Jacobs also went 0-1 - go figure while Bell made both of his attempts.

Get me shooting guard who wants to shoot and that will greatly help us. Get me someone who likes to play with his back to the basket so we stand a chance.   If not,  and if we run 4 guards, then our guards will need to shoot and score.  4 guards should result in a better shooting team while we give up interior defense and rebounding - but it doesn’t.

And being a poor interior big does not make that person a stretch 4. Enough already about Hankton. He played 1 minute for a reason. No. We are looking at 2 fails at the “big” position and have no choice to play French 37 minutes.  And his FT percentage will not increase.  We either live it or replace him in the lineup - an easy choice.

But sure, let’s keep complaining about French’s FTs as we keep pointing out faults in Bell’s game.  Such is the life of a team’s message board. 

 

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48 minutes ago, Clock_Tower said:

Too much is made of our FT shooting. Yes, it’s bad not our biggest concern.  Easy comment though to suggest what’s wrong with our team.  

And mostly French brings our FT percentage down.  4-10.  Goodwin made 1 of 2 vs Duquesne and our best FT shooters inexplicably went 0-1 (Perkins) and 0-2 (Hargrove).  Jacobs also went 0-1 - go figure while Bell made both of his attempts.

But sure, let’s keep complaining about French’s FTs as we keep pointing out faults in Bell’s game.  Such is the life of a team’s message board. 

 

Perkins and Jacobs both missed the front end of 1 and 1's. Effectively, that's 4 missed free opportunities.  If/when French gets to a 50% FT average, I will rejoice.  I'll take a 38% FT French over no French at all.

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French is what he is.  I too would accept 50%.

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On 1/4/2020 at 9:59 PM, Old guy said:

The only time I saw Diarra (in open practice) he looked clumsy. I think he still has to practice a lot before playing significant minutes. However, this is just my uneducated (basketball wise) opinion.

Most big men who aren't top 100 recruits are major works in progress. The game is so hard for 18 year-olds still getting used to their 7 foot bodies. Diarra would probably look terrible in a game now. But he can work hard in the weight room, and put on the needed muscle with added agility to become a valuable player, if not next year, then his 3rd and 4th years. We don't know what's in his heart, and we also don't know about his body (bigs get injured very easily; the speed of the game and the physicality make it perilous for guys with that kind of frame, esp. on their lower bodies). But if you're an A-10 coach, you have to take a chance on guys with that kind of size and potential. You know what you're getting early with guards and wings. Bigs are a different story.

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2 hours ago, Clocktoweraccords2004 said:

Recruiting a guy who is a hefty work in progress is like dating Someone thinking that you can fix them. Ford should be refining, not teaching. 
 

He will not finish his career a Billiken 

Haha Cause you have been spot on with your predictions on transfers in the past.

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From all accounts Diarra is a standout teammate and good contributor in practice. We have zero big man depth, and no big men committed for next year. If he keeps working hard I’m confident he develop into a backup Big at the least. I am grateful to have him as a Billiken.

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2 minutes ago, Clocktoweraccords2004 said:

Where have I been wrong? 

besides posting on the board?

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2 minutes ago, Clocktoweraccords2004 said:

Where have I been wrong? 

You were pretty adamant Jacobs and Hankton were gone after last year. Or that may have been Glory days. Or T ravs. 

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11 minutes ago, RiseOfTheBillikens said:

You were pretty adamant Jacobs and Hankton were gone after last year. Or that may have been Glory days. Or T ravs. 

Same difference. 

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1 minute ago, RiseOfTheBillikens said:

Ya that was supposed to be the joke. Guess it didn't hit properly.

Ha I’m sleepwalking today.

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Diarra is quicker than Bell and appears to have better co-ordination.  What he lacks is strength and confidence.  Hopefully that will improve in the next year or two.

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4 minutes ago, papal said:

Diarra is quicker than Bell and appears to have better co-ordination.  What he lacks is strength and confidence.  Hopefully that will improve in the next year or two.

banging against Slim Bell and French at his day job in season will help. Bet we see a lot of him in his junior year.

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2 minutes ago, Clocktoweraccords2004 said:

KC Hankton staying around would surprise me. 
 

We need players who can come in freshmen year and contribute. Recruiting a guy to gamble he might play Junior year is dumb as hell 

You know if you name everyone on the roster you might end up being right once. 

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2 hours ago, Clocktoweraccords2004 said:

KC Hankton staying around would surprise me. 
 

We need players who can come in freshmen year and contribute. Recruiting a guy to gamble he might play Junior year is dumb as hell 

You are never going to be able to recruit a team of 13 guys who can come in freshmen year and contribute. Literally not a single team in the NCAA does this. 

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