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I wait n see what his height is once we see what SLU publishes and we see him standing next to other Billkems. He is likely a better scorer than Bell,but defense remains to be seen, especially if he is more like 6,7.  Bells size disrupted a lot on defense 

 

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In 19 games, Bell averaged 2 ppg.  In those same 19 games, Bell blocked 5 shots .... one every four games.  In those 19 games, Bell got less than one offensive rebound per game and just over one defensive rebound per game.  Losing Jimmy Bell and/or replacing him with anyone other than a practice player seems pretty much a wash to me.  Potential or not, Bell was moved on after two years in the program.  I expect as much from Traore this year as we got from Diarra in his one year.  Anything else will be gravy.  I'm more happy to have the body more than anything else.

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Let’s wait and see, which is the case for most FR bigs at the D1 level. Besides in today’s guard dominated game bigs are mostly used as disruptors on D. Very few rise to the level of a Davis at UK or the Iowa big from last year, whose name escapes me. That said, I am hoping Okoro can avg a double double ala French. 

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16 hours ago, Taj79 said:

In 19 games, Bell averaged 2 ppg.  In those same 19 games, Bell blocked 5 shots .... one every four games.  In those 19 games, Bell got less than one offensive rebound per game and just over one defensive rebound per game.  Losing Jimmy Bell and/or replacing him with anyone other than a practice player seems pretty much a wash to me.  Potential or not, Bell was moved on after two years in the program.  I expect as much from Traore this year as we got from Diarra in his one year.  Anything else will be gravy.  I'm more happy to have the body more than anything else.

Are you saying Ford told bell to leave?

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@dennis --- I have no inside knowledge on if Ford told Bell to leave or what Ford told him otherwise or if Bell came to the conclusion his fit was off.  What I am saying is that after two years, the second of which was not as substantial as the first, Bell was not seen as a major player in the program.  Maybe Jimmy saw that.  Maybe the staff did.  In a four-year shelf life, you have to be doing your part by at least year three.

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The only undeniable advantage Traore contributes to the Bills is his height. For his first season, I think we should expect him to become someone to spell other players when needed, and to learn about D1. If he manages to score better than Bell did last year, or can block and rebound well, we will be ahead of my expectations for him for his first season. We will see. I think he can become a solid contributor in time.

 

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I love this pick up. The main thing that jumped out with the Bell and Diarra players, was the inability of those players to develop into a 4, or provide any versatility as a 4. In the modern game, the giant center is limited in its usefulness. In short, I would pick a Cory Remekun over a Jimmy Bell, just because Remekun could defend more positions and be more versatile. I really like this direction for our front court.
 

Also, FYI, the highlights suggest this is a better overall player than Cory Remekun.

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8 hours ago, AnkielBreakers said:

I love this pick up. The main thing that jumped out with the Bell and Diarra players, was the inability of those players to develop into a 4, or provide any versatility as a 4. In the modern game, the giant center is limited in its usefulness. In short, I would pick a Cory Remekun over a Jimmy Bell, just because Remekun could defend more positions and be more versatile. I really like this direction for our front court.
 

Also, FYI, the highlights suggest this is a better overall player than Cory Remekun.

Remekun came in as a defensive specialist.  In fact he was his high school district's Defensive Player of the Year in a district filled with D-1 players.  It remains to be seen what Traore is good at in a real basketball game.

Victory Rock Prep attracts many foreign players from remote locales who are looking to hone their game.  By definition, their roster is filled with athletic projects.  If we can develop one of these projects into a viable rotation player, it's a win-win for both sides: VRP raises its profile and they may send us even better players in the future.

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I've said this before and I'll ask it again, what makes us think we can develop a "big" of any sort?  Who on our staff if a big man developer?  Ford?  A point guard.  Tate?  A guard.  Forte?  A guard.  And I don't think it's Giacoletti.  I guess the best we can hope for is going head-to-head with the likes of French, Okoro and Linssen is what get's Traore there.  I thought the same of Bell and Diarra when both were freshmen and that did not happen.  So I don't know.  Let's face it, Hasahn never developed much more over his freshmen year in terms of expanding his offensive game.  But we can wish for success, I guess.

Traore's highlight video is from an open gym.  I don't know how well to take that vis-s-vis a structured setting.  

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I’ll say it again, most bigs entering D1 programs are projects.  My guess is that their skills have not kept pace with their growth spurts. But that’s just a guess. Still, really talented big frosh are exceptions rather than the rule.  So coaches who have the room and the luxury for giving a scholarship to a project big, they are likely to roll the dice, ie you can’t teach + 6’10”. 

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8 minutes ago, Taj79 said:

I've said this before and I'll ask it again, what makes us think we can develop a "big" of any sort?  Who on our staff if a big man developer?  Ford?  A point guard.  Tate?  A guard.  Forte?  A guard.  And I don't think it's Giacoletti.  I guess the best we can hope for is going head-to-head with the likes of French, Okoro and Linssen is what get's Traore there.  I thought the same of Bell and Diarra when both were freshmen and that did not happen.  So I don't know.  Let's face it, Hasahn never developed much more over his freshmen year in terms of expanding his offensive game.  But we can wish for success, I guess.

Traore's highlight video is from an open gym.  I don't know how well to take that vis-s-vis a structured setting.  

I agree that we don't have a track record of developing project bigs.  Then again, we don't have a track record of 6'9 run and jump athletes on the roster either.  Traore is our first one.  Allotting our 13th scholarship to such a player is a low-risk, medium reward proposition.

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I will be really happy if he develops into a serviceable backup/role playing big.  You need those types of players. I don’t think we really should expect much more development than that from a “kid” that is already 21.

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5 hours ago, Taj79 said:

I've said this before and I'll ask it again, what makes us think we can develop a "big" of any sort?  Who on our staff if a big man developer?  Ford?  A point guard.  Tate?  A guard.  Forte?  A guard.  And I don't think it's Giacoletti.  I guess the best we can hope for is going head-to-head with the likes of French, Okoro and Linssen is what get's Traore there.  I thought the same of Bell and Diarra when both were freshmen and that did not happen.  So I don't know.  Let's face it, Hasahn never developed much more over his freshmen year in terms of expanding his offensive game.  But we can wish for success, I guess.

Traore's highlight video is from an open gym.  I don't know how well to take that vis-s-vis a structured setting.  

Not arguing that we haven’t developed great bugs but the idea that you needed to have been a big to develop one is false. Coaching across all sports is filled with examples of coaches teaching things they themselves weren’t great at. 

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7 hours ago, Taj79 said:

I've said this before and I'll ask it again, what makes us think we can develop a "big" of any sort?  Who on our staff if a big man developer?  Ford?  A point guard.  Tate?  A guard.  Forte?  A guard.  And I don't think it's Giacoletti.  I guess the best we can hope for is going head-to-head with the likes of French, Okoro and Linssen is what get's Traore there.  I thought the same of Bell and Diarra when both were freshmen and that did not happen.  So I don't know.  Let's face it, Hasahn never developed much more over his freshmen year in terms of expanding his offensive game.  But we can wish for success, I guess.

Traore's highlight video is from an open gym.  I don't know how well to take that vis-s-vis a structured setting.  

That's just silly.  There are many great coaches who have never played the game at a high level that can develop all types of players.  I do not buy it at all that you have to be a big to develop a big.  The hardest position to recruit if you are a mid-major like SLU are bigs.  Sure there are lots of big bodies out there but very few of them are big and great athletes.  And those guys go to the power teams.

Name several mid-major teams that have developed a diamond in the rough big that turned out to be a top of the rotation player.  Maybe you can, but it will not be easy.  Scarcity of quality big athletes is the problem, not development skills of our staff IMO.  Our new big looks like he might be a higher level athlete than Bell, Diarra, etc.  Let's see what happens.  And I am sure Ford is smart enough to call in some favors and get some development advice from past players and connections.

 

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Look, I'm just talking unemotionally, no skin in this game.  And as brian noted, our developmental kid is 21 years old.  If this "kid" gives us any more than what we saw from Anthony, or from Diarra, or from Husak, or Austin Gillmann, I'll be stunned.  The bar is really not that high .....Jimmy Bell's carrer stats were 50 games played (I doubt we see that from Traore even over four years), 154 total points, 3.0 ppg, 130 total rebounds, 2.6 rpg.  

I will also say over time, I thought Cory Remekun had a disappointing career.  I guess I just expected more.  His upside was 133 games played.  And he had a career FG% of over 50%.  But only 400 points for a ppg of 3.0 left me craving something more.  He did get his fair share of blocked shots. 

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34 minutes ago, Taj79 said:

Look, I'm just talking unemotionally, no skin in this game.  And as brian noted, our developmental kid is 21 years old.  If this "kid" gives us any more than what we saw from Anthony, or from Diarra, or from Husak, or Austin Gillmann, I'll be stunned.  The bar is really not that high .....Jimmy Bell's carrer stats were 50 games played (I doubt we see that from Traore even over four years), 154 total points, 3.0 ppg, 130 total rebounds, 2.6 rpg.  

I will also say over time, I thought Cory Remekun had a disappointing career.  I guess I just expected more.  His upside was 133 games played.  And he had a career FG% of over 50%.  But only 400 points for a ppg of 3.0 left me craving something more.  He did get his fair share of blocked shots. 

Taj, I see your point. And you’re probably not wrong. But I guess I just don’t see the point of putting ceilings on guys that have been on campus for all of about a week. 21 isn’t 51. Especially, for a kid from Africa who may have gotten a late start developmentally. Let’s see what the kid’s got. Then make our assessments.

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4 minutes ago, Reinert310 said:

Taj, I see your point. And you’re probably not wrong. But I guess I just don’t see the point of putting ceilings on guys that have been on campus for all of about a week. 21 isn’t 51. Especially, for a kid from Africa who may have gotten a late start developmentally. Let’s see what the kid’s got. Then make our assessments.

Okoro just turned 22.  So I guess he is at his peak, too old to develop any further?

It isn't about how old a college athlete is.  It's more about how long the athlete has played the game and the quality of his coaching through his career.  

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1 hour ago, HoosierPal said:

Okoro just turned 22.  So I guess he is at his peak, too old to develop any further?

It isn't about how old a college athlete is.  It's more about how long the athlete has played the game and the quality of his coaching through his career.  

He was 21 in high school and couldn’t dominate.  Okoro at 18 was one of the most dominate bigs in the country at the high school level. Okoro at 22 is working on developing upon a base of talent and skills that is light years ahead of Traore. 

Sure, Traore can still develop. That said, any expectation that he will develop beyond a role player level are most likely misplaced.

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