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4 game observations and surprises


slu72
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Just curious as to which players have surprised or performed as you expected so far. 
Gibby- pleasantly surprised at his going to the hoop to score. A little disappointed in his 3 pt shooting. 
TJ- All around improvement comes faster than expected. 3 pt shooting a surprise. 
Okoro and Linssen- Better inside play than expected from both at this point. Okoro could be a real force as season progresses. 
Yuri- as expected. Hoping his shooting would have improved. But he’s gotten bolder taking it to the jar. 
Nesbitt- A little better than expected. He’s a FR so figured there’d be ups and Downs. More ups so far. 
Fred- Great Fred last night after 3 lackluster games. Expected more consistency. Hopefully, we get Good Fred going forward. None of us, however, know what he’s dealing with in terms of medications. He’s earned our respect. 
Other: 

Traore- pleasant surprise

Williams- mystery abounds

Strickland- hopefully gets more minutes. 
Jones- capable PG backup. Expected. 

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I too like GJ going to the hoop.  that will eventually pay dividends at the arc.  Would like him to do more of the little things.   Should be averaging more than 1 rebound and 0 assists.

Amazed at Franco's free throw shooting.   With Martin's solid FT%, we don't have any hack-a-shaq candidates.

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2 hours ago, Dr Bird said:

I too like GJ going to the hoop.  that will eventually pay dividends at the arc.  Would like him to do more of the little things.   Should be averaging more than 1 rebound and 0 assists.

Amazed at Franco's free throw shooting.   With Martin's solid FT%, we don't have any hack-a-shaq candidates.

Who is Franco and Martin?

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1 hour ago, cheeseman said:

Who is Franco and Martin?

Franco was the double action center fold in this week's Fascist Dictator Monthly.  Martin is rat pack member Dean Martin......always a cut up until he starts to sing and then babies start to cry......

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40 minutes ago, Billiken Rich said:

Franco was the double action center fold in this week's Fascist Dictator Monthly.  Martin is rat pack member Dean Martin......always a cut up until he starts to sing and then babies start to cry......

It was a serious question 

Franco is someone’s attempt to. Be cute with Francis Okoro.

Martin is Linsen’s first name

mhg

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1 hour ago, Billikenbooster said:

It was a serious question 

Franco is someone’s attempt to. Be cute with Francis Okoro.

Martin is Linsen’s first name

mhg

Of course it wasn't a serious question. Maybe some should go back to using initials. 

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22 hours ago, slu72 said:

Just curious as to which players have surprised or performed as you expected so far. 
Gibby- pleasantly surprised at his going to the hoop to score. A little disappointed in his 3 pt shooting. 
TJ- All around improvement comes faster than expected. 3 pt shooting a surprise. 
Okoro and Linssen- Better inside play than expected from both at this point. Okoro could be a real force as season progresses. 
Yuri- as expected. Hoping his shooting would have improved. But he’s gotten bolder taking it to the jar. 
Nesbitt- A little better than expected. He’s a FR so figured there’d be ups and Downs. More ups so far. 
Fred- Great Fred last night after 3 lackluster games. Expected more consistency. Hopefully, we get Good Fred going forward. None of us, however, know what he’s dealing with in terms of medications. He’s earned our respect. 
Other: 

Traore- pleasant surprise

Williams- mystery abounds

Strickland- hopefully gets more minutes. 
Jones- capable PG backup. Expected. 

Hargrove led the team in 3pt % last season (14/33, 42.4%).  Sure it wasn't the same volume as Jimerson (37/94, 39.4%) or Perkins (38/101, 37.6%), but TJ's 3 point shooting shouldn't be a surprise at this point.  He's put in a ton of work on shooting & he's more than capable of knocking them down at a good rate.

Yuri is 3/8, 37.5% on 3 pointers this year.  That's what I'm looking for in terms of outside shooting.  If anything I'd like to see him pop a 3 more often if he's being left wide open and can knock them down at 35%+.  There was at least one occasion where Mercer went under a screen and Yuri had a ton of space to shoot a 3, but appeared completely uninterested in taking it.  He needs to take & make those to keep defenses honest.  It has really his mid-range game and finishing at the rim that has been a little disappointing though.  He needs to be better than 38% on 2s.  

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It has been a refreshing start to the season.  Mercer could have easily been an L if Ford doesnt make the defensive adjustment to contain the pick and pop center. 

I was a little frustrated when we didnt push the ball up the court against Mercer.  I know we have 1-2 turnovers doing it every game but the breakneck pace after a defensive board really helps fuel our guys and decimate the opponent's will.  The Yuri push to Nesbitt, then Nesbitt no dribble cross court to Jimmer for corner 3 was the turning point in the game.  It gives our guys the notion that we are superior and our opponents start thinking....oh man these guys are good....then they tend to play a little tighter.  

Every win is a good win after watching the absolute dumpster fire going on in the rest of the A-10 non conference.  We cannot overlook anyone, including illinois st.  

I think it is a fantastic luxury that if any one Bill decides to take the night off, then there are 4 hungry bench players ready to come in and perform.  I thought Nesbitt playing bad defense and sitting for long stretches is really good for the overall team performance.  if you want to play, you cant take a minute off or Thatch/Traore/Williams is going to come in and prove that they should be in the rotation.  I expect Nesbitt to bounce back tomorrow night and be much more focused.  It honestly would not shock me if he scored 25+

 

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23 hours ago, slu72 said:

Just curious as to which players have surprised or performed as you expected so far. 
Gibby- pleasantly surprised at his going to the hoop to score. A little disappointed in his 3 pt shooting. 
TJ- All around improvement comes faster than expected. 3 pt shooting a surprise. 
Okoro and Linssen- Better inside play than expected from both at this point. Okoro could be a real force as season progresses. 
Yuri- as expected. Hoping his shooting would have improved. But he’s gotten bolder taking it to the jar. 
Nesbitt- A little better than expected. He’s a FR so figured there’d be ups and Downs. More ups so far. 
Fred- Great Fred last night after 3 lackluster games. Expected more consistency. Hopefully, we get Good Fred going forward. None of us, however, know what he’s dealing with in terms of medications. He’s earned our respect. 
Other: 

Traore- pleasant surprise

Williams- mystery abounds

Strickland- hopefully gets more minutes. 
Jones- capable PG backup. Expected. 

Okay, this is my elevated expectations, but I was expecting French II with Okoro.  So far, that hasn't happened.  Okoro just can't get the 'and one's down.  Sure he is hitting his FT's, but I was hoping for a little more of an offensive game besides at the rim.  Okoro has taken 26 shots and made 13.  All of these shots have been within 5 feet of the rim.  I remember one mini-hook, but it was 5+ feet out.  With his strength, he needs to overpower the opponent and get those 'and one's'.

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3 minutes ago, HoosierPal said:

Okay, this is my elevated expectations, but I was expecting French II with Okoro.  So far, that hasn't happened.  Okoro just can't get the 'and one's down.  Sure he is hitting his FT's, but I was hoping for a little more of an offensive game besides at the rim.  Okoro has taken 26 shots and made 13.  All of these shots have been within 5 feet of the rim.  I remember one mini-hook, but it was 5+ feet out.  With his strength, he needs to overpower the opponent and get those 'and one's'.

He's not the beast that French was and he doesn't have the same low-post moves, but at least he can hit a free-throw.  

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3 minutes ago, HoosierPal said:

Okay, this is my elevated expectations, but I was expecting French II with Okoro.  So far, that hasn't happened.  Okoro just can't get the 'and one's down.  Sure he is hitting his FT's, but I was hoping for a little more of an offensive game besides at the rim.  Okoro has taken 26 shots and made 13.  All of these shots have been within 5 feet of the rim.  I remember one mini-hook, but it was 5+ feet out.  With his strength, he needs to overpower the opponent and get those 'and one's'.

Hoosier,  I completely disagree here.  Okoro is in fact better than French for the overall team performance in that he lets the offense run through the guys who actually have a semblance of scoring ability from 3 feet away from the basket.  All we need him to do is guard the rim and rebound.  Him hitting 80% of his free throws may be the thing that propels us to the NCAA tournament.  French lost multiple games last year with his lack of FT shooting.  Okoro is so valuable for us right now in that he can succeed without the ball in his hands.

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29 minutes ago, SLU_Nick said:

Hoosier,  I completely disagree here.  Okoro is in fact better than French for the overall team performance in that he lets the offense run through the guys who actually have a semblance of scoring ability from 3 feet away from the basket.  All we need him to do is guard the rim and rebound.  Him hitting 80% of his free throws may be the thing that propels us to the NCAA tournament.  French lost multiple games last year with his lack of FT shooting.  Okoro is so valuable for us right now in that he can succeed without the ball in his hands.

If you compare Okoro's skillset and the variety in which he contributes to the team's overall performance, no, he's not French 2.0. But that's not how we should compare the two. 

Okoro's net value to this team is greater than that of French's and it is already showing in practically every stat category if you factor the difference in MPG. 2020-2021 French vs. 2021-2022 Okoro (so far):

  • French 24.9 MPG vs. Okoro 18.6 = 6.3 MPG in favor of French. 
  • 4.2 FGM vs. 2.6 FGM = 1.6 FG in favor of French, IMO a wash if minutes are equal. 
  • French shot 53% on the season, Okoro shooting 50%. Very close, slight edge to French - this is where the ability to finish those and-one's is highlighted
  • French 32.6% FT, Okoro 80.8% and he has already taken 26 FTA compared to French's 43 total last year. HUGE edge for Okoro. 
  • I acknowledge the sample size, but French 9.2PPG versus Okoro's 9.4 is a slight edge for Franco. 
  • French 7.4 RPG vs. Okoro 9.0, including 2.4 ORG (HF) to 4.4 ORG (FO). Significant edge for Franco. 
  • Fouls Against is very similar with 2.7 vs. 3.2, but given minutes difference Okoro is slightly more at fault here. 
  • French TOPG 1.63 vs. Okoro .8. Big W for Okoro there and likely because French was often who the offense ran through - which was a bad idea IMO.
  • French 1.36 BPG vs. Okoro 1.8. If anything, I expect Okoro's blocking #s to increase as play continues. 
  • French .74 SPG vs. Okoro 1.0 SPG.

Final Score: French 3 - Okoro 6. Not an apples to apples comparison due to minutes and games played but I appreciate how Okoro plays because it enables our better offense-initiators to do what they do and he's shown improvement with each game so far. I think we've got our hands on someone who can prove to be more valuable than one of the best SLU players in the program's last few decades.  At the end of the day, Okoro has a much better basketball body than French and that is something you can't teach. Including the performance at the charity stripe and I think there's an objectively higher ceiling for Franco than there ever was French - and I'm by no means a French hater. 

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21 minutes ago, Bills By 40 said:

 

  • French 32.6% FT, Okoro 80.8% and he has already taken 26 FTA compared to French's 43 total last year. HUGE edge for Okoro.

Okoro has already MADE 21 FTs this season in just 5 games.  Last season French MADE just 14 FTs in 19 games.  After looking at Okoro's sub 50% FT shooting stats at Oregon, I thought he'd be marginally better than French (career 34%), but still a liability at the end of games.  So far Okoro's FT shooting has been pretty remarkable and I don't think the improvement over Has can be overstated.

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9 minutes ago, RUBillsFan said:

Okoro has already MADE 21 FTs this season in just 5 games.  Last season French MADE just 14 FTs in 19 games.  After looking at Okoro's sub 50% FT shooting stats at Oregon, I thought he'd be marginally better than French (career 34%), but still a liability at the end of games.  So far Okoro's FT shooting has been pretty remarkable and I don't think the improvement over Has can be overstated.

Not to mention his higher rebounding rate, Okoro is the FAR better choice to close out a game. Maybe not the entire game, but that's why we play a rotation. And to that point I think Okoro will continue showing improvement game over game until at least conference play. 

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42 minutes ago, Bills By 40 said:

If you compare Okoro's skillset and the variety in which he contributes to the team's overall performance, no, he's not French 2.0. But that's not how we should compare the two. 

Okoro's net value to this team is greater than that of French's and it is already showing in practically every stat category if you factor the difference in MPG. 2020-2021 French vs. 2021-2022 Okoro (so far):

  • French 24.9 MPG vs. Okoro 18.6 = 6.3 MPG in favor of French. 
  • 4.2 FGM vs. 2.6 FGM = 1.6 FG in favor of French, IMO a wash if minutes are equal. 
  • French shot 53% on the season, Okoro shooting 50%. Very close, slight edge to French - this is where the ability to finish those and-one's is highlighted
  • French 32.6% FT, Okoro 80.8% and he has already taken 26 FTA compared to French's 43 total last year. HUGE edge for Okoro. 
  • I acknowledge the sample size, but French 9.2PPG versus Okoro's 9.4 is a slight edge for Franco. 
  • French 7.4 RPG vs. Okoro 9.0, including 2.4 ORG (HF) to 4.4 ORG (FO). Significant edge for Franco. 
  • Fouls Against is very similar with 2.7 vs. 3.2, but given minutes difference Okoro is slightly more at fault here. 
  • French TOPG 1.63 vs. Okoro .8. Big W for Okoro there and likely because French was often who the offense ran through - which was a bad idea IMO.
  • French 1.36 BPG vs. Okoro 1.8. If anything, I expect Okoro's blocking #s to increase as play continues. 
  • French .74 SPG vs. Okoro 1.0 SPG.

Final Score: French 3 - Okoro 6. Not an apples to apples comparison due to minutes and games played but I appreciate how Okoro plays because it enables our better offense-initiators to do what they do and he's shown improvement with each game so far. I think we've got our hands on someone who can prove to be more valuable than one of the best SLU players in the program's last few decades.  At the end of the day, Okoro has a much better basketball body than French and that is something you can't teach. Including the performance at the charity stripe and I think there's an objectively higher ceiling for Franco than there ever was French - and I'm by no means a French hater. 

1. You are using a Covid shortened season to compare French with Okoro. 

2. Unless you're using new math FGM category is not a wash. Okoro has played 75% of the minutes French played but is only at about 60% of the FG made. 

3. Okoro's fouls against are more than just slightly more. 

4. Did I miss where you looked at assists and compared French's 2.3 pg to Okoro's 0.4? 

I appreciate the work to put together the analysis though. Nice job

 

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Hargrove is allowed to get his feet set on 3’s - if you play up on him, he’s a threat to drive by you in a instant - GB is already on the opposition’s radar as our top 3 pt threat - fun to see how this plays out over the season 

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1 hour ago, SLU_Nick said:

Hoosier,  I completely disagree here.  Okoro is in fact better than French for the overall team performance in that he lets the offense run through the guys who actually have a semblance of scoring ability from 3 feet away from the basket.  All we need him to do is guard the rim and rebound.  Him hitting 80% of his free throws may be the thing that propels us to the NCAA tournament.  French lost multiple games last year with his lack of FT shooting.  Okoro is so valuable for us right now in that he can succeed without the ball in his hands.

We can agree to disagree, right?  Here is what I want to see out of Okoro...finish at the rim.  Show an ability to pass out of the double teams as French did.  I certainly hope he exceeds my expectations, but so far he hasn't.  Of course, the number of games Okoro has played for the Bills makes this all rather meaningless so far, right? 

French's FT's % doesn't even need to be discussed. I wonder how many more rebounds French would have grabbed if he didn’t have to ‘battle’ Goodwin for many of them. 

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6 minutes ago, slufanskip said:

1. You are using a Covid shortened season to compare French with Okoro. 

2. Unless you're using new math FGM category is not a wash. Okoro has played 75% of the minutes French played but is only at about 60% of the FG made. 

3. Okoro's fouls against are more than just slightly more. 

I appreciate the work to put together the analysis though. Nice job

 

1 - I'm comparing a season in which French started all 19 games played, to the current one in which Okoro has played 5 and started in none. It's not apples-to-apples but also not a favorable advantage to either man. 

2 - I'm using Common Core math ;) really I just think if he had 6 extra minutes per game we'd see an extra two or three buckets out of him and that's not mathematically accurate but we've seen how he runs the floor, or the block-to-fast break layup we saw yesterday...I can't help but think he'd get in a better rhythm with those extra minutes and we'd see 4 FGM per game.  

3 - This is something I hope levels out more as the season plays on. Maybe it's due to playing in a new system in a new state after a full year off and covid crazy?? We'll see, but yeah you're correct. 

Hard to objectively compare the two, but, SUBJECTIVELY, I'm taking FO 3/4 times.  

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