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GDT: Beat VCU

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You say tomato, I say tomatoe ...... I think we all agree that Yuri needs to and will get better in some aspect of the game.  Maybe he finishes at the rim ala Jett come his senior year.  Maybe he is more a shooter and distributor ala Mitchell.  Maybe he makes my head spin with insane passes  as Waldman used to.  Whatever.  I am not dinging him for anything, just pointing out that improvement is needed.  We all could use some of that.

A long time ago, I engaged in an improvement debate with kshoe.  Somewhere along the lines that guys get better just by being in the system another year or two.  That's what I recall but I'm not here to rehash that debate.  I believe my argument, right or wrong, was that just because you are in the system for two, three, five years, that doesn't mean you get automatically better.  Cases in point = Justin Johnson, Bryce Husak, Dwayne Polk, etc.  I am asking only if player development is one of Coach Ford's strong points.  Frankly, I don't know and when I see it in one (Bess' shooting), I don't see it in another (French's FT shooting).  I laughed heartily when on Friday night's broadcast, Mark Plansky said he talked to Ford about French and Ford said he makes 80 out of 100 in the gym each day.  Plansky bet $1 against that and went on to describe Perkins form as perfect, repetitive, balanced and so on where as French is just all over the place.  I want all our guys to get better --- including more improvement from Goodwin.  Of course, I don't know how that happens.  More mid-range?  More threes?  His desire can't go up, can it?  

What I really want is for Bell and Diarra to improve.  I want Jimmy Bell taking passes in the low block and just rising up to destroy backboards and rims.  He plays too soft right now.  I also want Diarra to become a complimentary piece to Bell ---- at least to the point where when we play Umass, Ford says "Here you go Madani, use your five fouls discreetly and make them count."  Outside of Osunniyi, Hughes, Mitchell and Tshimanga, there isn't a team that has two players of that nature as we do.  

The dunks are great but I want to see Terrance Hargrove become more rounded.  Understand defense, hit some mid-range jumpers, maybe a three or three.  His athleticism reminds a lot of Obi Toppin right now ---- his overall game does not.  

Let me go back and do the apg numbers on those listed above:  Chatman 3.3 apg (Crutcher leads team at 4.9).  Dowtin 3.2 (Russell leads team at 4.6).  Lofton 6.1.  Gilyard 5.5.  Carry 5.0.  Gudmundsson 4.6.  Evans 2.9 (Hyland only at 1.7).  Potter 5.7.  East at 4.7.  La Salle's Hikim leads their team at 3.5 apg.  Cobb 2.3 and Daly at 4.3.  Neither of Mason's de facto PGs leads their team in assists as that honor goes to Javon Greene at 2.7 apg. Yuri is at 5.3 apg, fourth in the A10. 

I think Yuri's cotinued development will add to both his ppg and apg totals.

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57 minutes ago, Taj79 said:

I only listed what other PG’s are scoring PPG nothing more.  Every one of them scores more than Collins.  Not many eclipse his APG.  To fully appreciate a PG you need to do math on the tangible numbers (ppg, APG, topg, steals) and then some intangibles like defense and game control.  Yuri will likely be the best SLU PG ever.  Still, he needs a pull-up jumper and better FT % going forward.  Anyone disagree?

We can't read offensive stats like dinosaurs anymore. Teams average roughly 1 point/possession. Missed shots, turnovers and missed FTs are all zeros. Made FTs and FGs are all 1s, 2s, and 3s. If you're shooting, you need to be averaging more than one point/shot. Our offense has gotten much better. We average 1.05 points/possession, and are now cresting top 100 in KenPom. 

Yuri doesn't need to score more; he needs to score more efficiently. He's 38/30/55. That's not great. If he's something like 42/35/70 next year, that will be a solid improvement. So too if Jimmy Bell can get his FG% up from 43 to 55. 

Yuri will develop a jumper, and doing so will make things easier. But there are other ways to have an efficient offense. Last year's team was 214 in KenPom, but 40th in defense. This years team is 106/70. I don't know how anybody doesn't see Yuri's fingerprints all over that offensive improvement. 

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56 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

We can play this game of "what he needs to improve" with every freshman/transfer that comes through.  My assumption is that every talented player will improve their game over four years.  Isn't it yours?

I'm going out on a limb here, going into uncharted territory.  But, I'm thinking French needs to improve on his FT's this off season.  I'm open for alternate opinions.  

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1 hour ago, Taj79 said:

A long time ago, I engaged in an improvement debate with kshoe.  Somewhere along the lines that guys get better just by being in the system another year or two.  That's what I recall but I'm not here to rehash that debate.  I believe my argument, right or wrong, was that just because you are in the system for two, three, five years, that doesn't mean you get automatically better.  Cases in point = Justin Johnson, Bryce Husak, Dwayne Polk, etc.  I am asking only if player development is one of Coach Ford's strong points.  Frankly, I don't know and when I see it in one (Bess' shooting), I don't see it in another (French's FT shooting).  I laughed heartily when on Friday night's broadcast, Mark Plansky said he talked to Ford about French and Ford said he makes 80 out of 100 in the gym each day.  Plansky bet $1 against that and went on to describe Perkins form as perfect, repetitive, balanced and so on where as French is just all over the place.  I want all our guys to get better --- including more improvement from Goodwin.  Of course, I don't know how that happens.  More mid-range?  More threes?  His desire can't go up, can it?  

Taj

Good points.  Good discussion.   Maybe the line is not as clear as I have in my head, but I do draw a line between development from the coach vs. the player.  In contrast, Skip appears to take a different approach (which may be equally valid or more valid) of not drawing a line at all but instead assessing a percentage as to what is on the kid vs. what is on the coach.   Now, as far as Skip's argument is concerned, an 80-20 split is not all that unreasonable.   Different figures can be thrown out - though I do believe with Skip's main point:  most of the credit/blame belongs on the player.

With that said, here's an attempt to draw a line as to what is on the player vs. what is on the coach.    To me, a coach can greatly improve/destroy a kid with playing time (or the lack thereof), by asking him to do too much/too little (expose him and destroy confidence), put him in a position to succeed (or fail) and give him proper/needed verbal and demonstrative support (or ignore him).   A player, alone,  must improve his skills to make the shot in the game, to dribble/pass effectively in the game, to get stronger, quicker, lighter, etc., to execute in the game as instructed...

A few examples:  Coach Ford, by all accounts, has worked extensively with our guys shooting FT's.   Yes, not every great player is a a great coach, but Coach Ford was a great player and an even better FT shooter and I have to believe that Coach Ford and staff have done all that they (or anyone can reasonably expect from a coaching staff) can do with the guys.   Their current level of performance is all on them - not Coach Ford.  And any Improvement, or lack of improvement, is all on them.   Coach Ford gets very little credit from me for Perkins and Jimerson's success at the  line just as he and staff get very little blame from me for the successes/failures of the others at the line.   If French and Yuri develop a mid-range game is all on them.  If Yuri finishes at the rim is all on him - or as Skip might say, is 80% on them.  The improved shooting of Bess was mostly (80%?) all on him - though Ford gets some credit for basic instructions, reminders and giving Bess freedom and confidence (20%?).   And yes, the guys you mentioned who mostly did not turn out to be the players we had hoped they would - and yes, that was largely due to them (80%) - their lack of initial talent and their lack of extreme dedication to get bigger, stronger, quicker and better - which ultimately is on the player - not just the system (20%?).

.Now, in my examples, I give Coach Ford little credit for Jimerson being an excellent shooter - that was done by him prior to arriving at SLU.   But what I meant and what I give credit for with Ford is that he did not give up on Jimerson, he stuck with him, he gave him more and more opportunities, our offense ran some screens - and the shot started to fall.   Also, Jimerson and Perkins played some of the very worst defense I had ever seen when I first watched them.   Both truly improved their games defensively.   Jimerson initially ignored the pick being set for him.  Our offense, though, generally was bad and therefore it is tough to say we tried to run screens for anyone as I suspect we meant to run screens for everyone from day 1 but we just weren't very good at things yet.  Later he started to use them - but frankly, he got injured too soon.   Perkins?  He took not only alot of shots from the very beginning (but the shots he took were bad shots) - not part of the offense, at the wrong time...  but all of that changed. Do I give credit Ford credit for Perkins' being an extremely good offensive talent?  No, but I give credit for providing him with structure for his talents to shine, for making him be a more team player and for his defense.   Hargrove?  well that is simply a more difficult challenge for Coach Ford - though I see alot of improvement to date.  Jacobs?   yes, I give Ford alot of credit - simply not the same kid as last year.  Yuri?   Again, Ford gets very little credit for Yuri's raw talents, vision and effort... though I do see improvement from Yuri in the form of smarter choices, less errant passes, more pulling the ball back when the numbers/situation is not present vs. full speed no matter what, and a much more clean version of the offense/structure.

But most importantly, I give credit to Coach Ford for molding all this new, raw talent together.   Again, look around the league and D1 generally.    I keep pointing to MO State - but it's true.   Our guys have bought in.    I have never seen Coach Ford players quit or give up.   And most importantly, I heard no complaints and saw no signs of real frustration, sulking, anger, etc. when Perkins sat the bench and played only 2 minutes per page - or never got off the bench.   Same with Hargrove.   Same with Diarra.  Same with Bell who played the first 4 minutes and then sometimes sat the next 36 minutes.   To me, that has been the best part of this year.

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And some people think about four or five things in complete detail, while others can say everything they are thinking in a single sentence, without any clauses.

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5 hours ago, Clock_Tower said:

Taj

Good points.  Good discussion.   Maybe the line is not as clear as I have in my head, but I do draw a line between development from the coach vs. the player.  In contrast, Skip appears to take a different approach (which may be equally valid or more valid) of not drawing a line at all but instead assessing a percentage as to what is on the kid vs. what is on the coach.   Now, as far as Skip's argument is concerned, an 80-20 split is not all that unreasonable.   Different figures can be thrown out - though I do believe with Skip's main point:  most of the credit/blame belongs on the player.

With that said, here's an attempt to draw a line as to what is on the player vs. what is on the coach.    To me, a coach can greatly improve/destroy a kid with playing time (or the lack thereof), by asking him to do too much/too little (expose him and destroy confidence), put him in a position to succeed (or fail) and give him proper/needed verbal and demonstrative support (or ignore him).   A player, alone,  must improve his skills to make the shot in the game, to dribble/pass effectively in the game, to get stronger, quicker, lighter, etc., to execute in the game as instructed...

A few examples:  Coach Ford, by all accounts, has worked extensively with our guys shooting FT's.   Yes, not every great player is a a great coach, but Coach Ford was a great player and an even better FT shooter and I have to believe that Coach Ford and staff have done all that they (or anyone can reasonably expect from a coaching staff) can do with the guys.   Their current level of performance is all on them - not Coach Ford.  And any Improvement, or lack of improvement, is all on them.   Coach Ford gets very little credit from me for Perkins and Jimerson's success at the  line just as he and staff get very little blame from me for the successes/failures of the others at the line.   If French and Yuri develop a mid-range game is all on them.  If Yuri finishes at the rim is all on him - or as Skip might say, is 80% on them.  The improved shooting of Bess was mostly (80%?) all on him - though Ford gets some credit for basic instructions, reminders and giving Bess freedom and confidence (20%?).   And yes, the guys you mentioned who mostly did not turn out to be the players we had hoped they would - and yes, that was largely due to them (80%) - their lack of initial talent and their lack of extreme dedication to get bigger, stronger, quicker and better - which ultimately is on the player - not just the system (20%?).

.Now, in my examples, I give Coach Ford little credit for Jimerson being an excellent shooter - that was done by him prior to arriving at SLU.   But what I meant and what I give credit for with Ford is that he did not give up on Jimerson, he stuck with him, he gave him more and more opportunities, our offense ran some screens - and the shot started to fall.   Also, Jimerson and Perkins played some of the very worst defense I had ever seen when I first watched them.   Both truly improved their games defensively.   Jimerson initially ignored the pick being set for him.  Our offense, though, generally was bad and therefore it is tough to say we tried to run screens for anyone as I suspect we meant to run screens for everyone from day 1 but we just weren't very good at things yet.  Later he started to use them - but frankly, he got injured too soon.   Perkins?  He took not only alot of shots from the very beginning (but the shots he took were bad shots) - not part of the offense, at the wrong time...  but all of that changed. Do I give credit Ford credit for Perkins' being an extremely good offensive talent?  No, but I give credit for providing him with structure for his talents to shine, for making him be a more team player and for his defense.   Hargrove?  well that is simply a more difficult challenge for Coach Ford - though I see alot of improvement to date.  Jacobs?   yes, I give Ford alot of credit - simply not the same kid as last year.  Yuri?   Again, Ford gets very little credit for Yuri's raw talents, vision and effort... though I do see improvement from Yuri in the form of smarter choices, less errant passes, more pulling the ball back when the numbers/situation is not present vs. full speed no matter what, and a much more clean version of the offense/structure.

But most importantly, I give credit to Coach Ford for molding all this new, raw talent together.   Again, look around the league and D1 generally.    I keep pointing to MO State - but it's true.   Our guys have bought in.    I have never seen Coach Ford players quit or give up.   And most importantly, I heard no complaints and saw no signs of real frustration, sulking, anger, etc. when Perkins sat the bench and played only 2 minutes per page - or never got off the bench.   Same with Hargrove.   Same with Diarra.  Same with Bell who played the first 4 minutes and then sometimes sat the next 36 minutes.   To me, that has been the best part of this year.

No coach can improve a players skill level. He/she can only show, demonstrate, correct, demand, etc ... the player has to have the desire and the will to improve. To become good you have to work on your own

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6 hours ago, Sheltiedave said:

And some people think about four or five things in complete detail, while others can say everything they are thinking in a single sentence, without any clauses.

Are the streets talking today?

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Torch, everyone listens to the wrong street at some time in their life. I was foolish/excited and didn’t check this with the known inside scoop, Earl. Mea culpa.

 We hope the love grows between SLU and Kern.

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