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4 game observations and surprises


slu72
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2 hours ago, 3star_recruit said:

 

During his junior year, his scoring, rebounding, assists and shot blocking all increased, on a per minute basis, and in total.  The only thing that didn't increase was his shooting percentage.  But I notice when most people mention improvement on this board, it's really a euphemism for shooting percentage.

You beat me to this. Absolutely no argument that French didn't become a better shooter. However, he was the same player his Jr year as he was his Fr year is wrong. We forget that French wasn't a 6'10" center. He was 6'7" at best. I'll repeat French's Jr year stats as some aren't grasping where French fits in as a Billiken big over the last 50 years. I'll say #2 behind Bonner. 12.4 / 10.4 / 2.3 as / 2.6 blk while shooting a respectable 52% from the field. 

I hope Francis Okoro becomes this. But to make statements calling Okoro better after watching him for 5 games 3 of which were against really bad teams and a 4th against a team that I'd be surprised to see make the NIT just seems a little premature to me and disrespectful to French

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Just now, slufanskip said:

You beat me to this. Absolutely no argument that French didn't become a better shooter. However, he was the same player his Jr year as he was his Fr year is wrong. We forget that French wasn't a 6'10" center. He was 6'7" at best. I'll repeat French's Jr year stats as some aren't grasping where French fits in as a Billiken big over the last 50 years. I'll say #2 behind Bonner. 12.4 / 10.4 / 2.3 as / 2.6 blk while shooting a respectable 52% from the field. 

I hope Francis Okoro becomes this. But to make statements calling Okoro better after watching him for 5 games 3 of which were against really bad teams and a 4th against a team that I'd be surprised to see make the NIT just seems a little premature to me and disrespectful to French

skip why do you think some of us are either believing this or at the very least asking ourselves the question?  

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1 minute ago, billiken_roy said:

skip why do you think some of us are either believing this or at the very least asking ourselves the question?  

Because you can't get his F/T shooting out of your head and it's clouding your ability to see the entire picture

And because Okoro has the potential to be really good, possibly better than French down the road but as of yet that's just potential and want by a lot of fans. I can name a pretty long list of "gonna be really good players after 5 games" over the last 30 years of watching SLU

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32 minutes ago, slu72 said:

My take on the Franco v Has debate is Franco’s the better athlete and appears to have more skills. Has was a great player here but kind of a one trick pony, ie a true Bully Baller who would outmuscle his opponent. If he had ever developed that 10-15 foot jumper and improved his FT’s he would have been compared favorably to Bonner. Still haven’t seen Franco take any little jumpers but am hoping he just hasn’t shown us yet. 

I agree that Okoro will eventually be the more productive player based on having French-level athleticism in a longer body.  But other than free throw shooting, what "more skills" does he possess?

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Going player by player based on the OP:

Jimerson - He's expanded his game to be more effective on nights when his shot isn't falling. He's a threat from everywhere now. I want to see his 3P% above .400 (currently .375) and I'd also like to see him getting more attempts (currently 4.8) but I think opponents have really focused on taking that away from him. Both of those stats could also be erased by a game where he just goes off from deep, and we haven't seen one of those yet.

Hargrove - He's taken another step in his development. His shot looks excellent and he's taking It more often, although I would add the caveat that he already had it last year (.424 from 3) but just not in high volume. He's much more efficient overall and I'm interested to see if it holds up as the level of competition continues to generally trend upward. He's more assertive at both ends. I wouldn't mind seeing him get to the line more often and then be consistent with them.

Linssen - Technically our third-leading scorer at the moment. His efficiency is great, and he's smart about drawing fouls and hits his FTs. He's not much of a rebounder for his position but slightly improved on the offensive glass. He's also been creating more turnovers. Would like to see him be smarter defensively, especially in avoiding fouls. I'm comfortable with who he is as a player and what he's doing.

Okoro - Better rebounder and FT shooter than I expected. Still more raw offensively than I expected. He doesn't have a pass button when he gets the ball down low and needs to give himself that option. Good shot blocker, basically in line with French so far. I'm curious to see how he does when and if he starts playing more minutes. I worry about foul trouble, averaging 3.2 per game despite playing under 20 MPG.

Nesbitt - Every bit the talent I thought he was, and every bit the up-and-down season I expected. Coming off a down game, I'm a little worried about him being buried on the bench in the second half against Mercer. Ford seems to base playing time more on defense than offense and he's got a lot to learn on that end. Raw, and we all see the star potential. I hope that even with an inconsistent season he's still way better off in March than now.

Thatch - I was worried like everyone else after the first four games and I'm hoping Mercer was a sign of him just shaking off rust and figuring it out and not just a hot night. I'd still have to say below expectations on the season but cautiously optimistic.

Collins - The general. Keeps getting better as a leader and has built out his offensive game. Too many turnovers in the past two games but I'm not worried about that. Also too many misses against Mercer but he wasn't taking bad shots. I predict a very good game tonight.

Traore - Further along than I expected. I'm not worried about plugging him in when Linssen and Okoro get in foul trouble or need more rest. Still raw but seems to have a good feel for the game.

Williams - Must be defense with him because I thought we'd see more of him by now. Clearly he can shoot. Has to show what else he brings to the table.

Jones - He didn't score but I liked how he played vs. Mercer. I saw him as a 10-15 MPG guy who could run the offense when Yuri was out and hit open threes. That's basically who he is, and it's just taking some time for him to get used to things here.

Strickland - Seems to have picked up where he left off at the end of last year instead of developing much over the offseason. Hard not to see his size and athleticism and think about his potential but he needs to show more.

Lorentsson - I've actually really liked what I've seen in his limited minutes this year. He's taken a step but hasn't had a chance to show it much. If he's willing to stick it out I see him as a solid role player next season and beyond.

So if we're keeping score, I think only 3 guys haven't met or exceeded expectations so far - Thatch (who might be breaking out of that), Strickland, and Williams.

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I don't know about Nesbitt.  Against the best competition of the year, so far, he hasn't shined.  His Memphis game was a disappointment when the game was still within reach.  His box score didn't look terrible, but that isn't truly reflective of the performance.  The Mercer game had him on the bench due to his defense. 

I expected A LOT (too much, seemingly) from him, and I'm coming back to Earth.

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3 minutes ago, someoneelse said:

I don't know about Nesbitt.  Against the best competition of the year, so far, he hasn't shined.  His Memphis game was a disappointment when the game was still within reach.  His box score didn't look terrible, but that isn't truly reflective of the performance.  The Mercer game had him on the bench due to his defense. 

I expected A LOT (too much, seemingly) from him, and I'm coming back to Earth.

He was only on the bench because Thatch had the best game of his career

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21 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

I agree that Okoro will eventually be the more productive player based on having French-level athleticism in a longer body.  But other than free throw shooting, what "more skills" does he possess?

totally agree.  his offense consisted of that little 3 foot jump hook and slam dunks.   nothing more imo.   

oh he was an imposing physical specimen and played extremely hard and with such enthusiasm.   as someone above pointed out, the picture of billiken bully ball.   and i totally agree he is a billiken hall of famer.   

but imo he coulda shoulda been so much more by career end.   just shoot 55%+ on free throws and develop a mid range jumper.   bam.   he would have become the next coming of anthony bonner.   still i agree he was a fabulous billiken just felt he could have been a lot more had he developed more of a diversified game.  

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16 minutes ago, Pistol said:

Going player by player based on the OP:

Jimerson - He's expanded his game to be more effective on nights when his shot isn't falling. He's a threat from everywhere now. I want to see his 3P% above .400 (currently .375) and I'd also like to see him getting more attempts (currently 4.8) but I think opponents have really focused on taking that away from him. Both of those stats could also be erased by a game where he just goes off from deep, and we haven't seen one of those yet.

Hargrove - He's taken another step in his development. His shot looks excellent and he's taking It more often, although I would add the caveat that he already had it last year (.424 from 3) but just not in high volume. He's much more efficient overall and I'm interested to see if it holds up as the level of competition continues to generally trend upward. He's more assertive at both ends. I wouldn't mind seeing him get to the line more often and then be consistent with them.

Linssen - Technically our third-leading scorer at the moment. His efficiency is great, and he's smart about drawing fouls and hits his FTs. He's not much of a rebounder for his position but slightly improved on the offensive glass. He's also been creating more turnovers. Would like to see him be smarter defensively, especially in avoiding fouls. I'm comfortable with who he is as a player and what he's doing.

Okoro - Better rebounder and FT shooter than I expected. Still more raw offensively than I expected. He doesn't have a pass button when he gets the ball down low and needs to give himself that option. Good shot blocker, basically in line with French so far. I'm curious to see how he does when and if he starts playing more minutes. I worry about foul trouble, averaging 3.2 per game despite playing under 20 MPG.

Nesbitt - Every bit the talent I thought he was, and every bit the up-and-down season I expected. Coming off a down game, I'm a little worried about him being buried on the bench in the second half against Mercer. Ford seems to base playing time more on defense than offense and he's got a lot to learn on that end. Raw, and we all see the star potential. I hope that even with an inconsistent season he's still way better off in March than now.

Thatch - I was worried like everyone else after the first four games and I'm hoping Mercer was a sign of him just shaking off rust and figuring it out and not just a hot night. I'd still have to say below expectations on the season but cautiously optimistic.

Collins - The general. Keeps getting better as a leader and has built out his offensive game. Too many turnovers in the past two games but I'm not worried about that. Also too many misses against Mercer but he wasn't taking bad shots. I predict a very good game tonight.

Traore - Further along than I expected. I'm not worried about plugging him in when Linssen and Okoro get in foul trouble or need more rest. Still raw but seems to have a good feel for the game.

Williams - Must be defense with him because I thought we'd see more of him by now. Clearly he can shoot. Has to show what else he brings to the table.

Jones - He didn't score but I liked how he played vs. Mercer. I saw him as a 10-15 MPG guy who could run the offense when Yuri was out and hit open threes. That's basically who he is, and it's just taking some time for him to get used to things here.

Strickland - Seems to have picked up where he left off at the end of last year instead of developing much over the offseason. Hard not to see his size and athleticism and think about his potential but he needs to show more.

Lorentsson - I've actually really liked what I've seen in his limited minutes this year. He's taken a step but hasn't had a chance to show it much. If he's willing to stick it out I see him as a solid role player next season and beyond.

So if we're keeping score, I think only 3 guys haven't met or exceeded expectations so far - Thatch (who might be breaking out of that), Strickland, and Williams.

This is a fantastic breakdown. I don't believe I could even find anything to nitpick. Very well said. 

With Jimerson, as you stated teams are taking away the 3, but he's done a great job of showing us that the 3, isn't all he's got. As he continues to do damage from the midrange and getting to the rim (He has done a great job on back door cuts. He seems to have a connection with Yuri) I believe it will eventually cause teams to quit overplaying the 3. 

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18 minutes ago, Billiken Rich said:

When Luke Meyer flashed a smile with dimples, birds used to sing .........but that might before your time.....

I came to SLU fall of '08, so just barely before my time.

Quick google image search, I get it, but still maintain my earlier statement. Warning that the below image is borderline NSFW:

saint-louis-university-billikens-luke-me 

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2 minutes ago, rgbilliken said:

I came to SLU fall of '08, so just barely before my time.

Quick google image search, I get it, but still maintain my earlier statement. Warning that the below image is borderline NSFW:

saint-louis-university-billikens-luke-me 

hahahahahaha

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1 hour ago, Old guy said:

Back to French, I have watched a game he played for his Czech/Slovenian team (I am not clear what country he is at), and he plays very much the same way. He still fails to make FT throws, but physically he just cannot be stopped by that league, he just goes through them. I think French has a great future in foreign league play and may indeed make a lot of money doing so.

Hope  he makes  a lot of $$$ wherever he goes.

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8 minutes ago, rgbilliken said:

I came to SLU fall of '08, so just barely before my time.

Quick google image search, I get it, but still maintain my earlier statement. Warning that the below image is borderline NSFW:

saint-louis-university-billikens-luke-me 

Ah the infamous Luke Meyer nip slip.........admittedly Luke was more boy band than Greek god  

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1 hour ago, Taj79 said:

Has is one of the greatest Billikens of all time.

I'm not trying to knock Has.  He was a great Billiken, but "one of the greatest" seems overboard based on how I'd define that. 

What is "one of the greatest"?

Top 5? Top 10?  Top 20?  Top 50?

I can pretty easily think of 20 guys I'd say had better Billiken careers than Has.

Has had shortcomings.  FT shooting is the obvious one, but he also just wasn't that great on offense overall.  He was a good passer, but also somewhat turnover prone.  He wasn't very efficient scoring which I think is mostly due to his poor FT shooting allowing guys to be super physical with him around the rim, but also because he couldn't score more than 5 feet away from the basket.  Has largely made up for that by being excellent on defense.  So far Okoro has been a better shot blocker on a rate basis (small sample size), but based on what I've seen so far Has was a better defender overall.  There is a lot more to defense than shot blocking.

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8 minutes ago, RUBillsFan said:

I'm not trying to knock Has.  He was a great Billiken, but "one of the greatest" seems overboard based on how I'd define that. 

What is "one of the greatest"?

Top 5? Top 10?  Top 20?  Top 50?

I can pretty easily think of 20 guys I'd say had better Billiken careers than Has.

Has had shortcomings.  FT shooting is the obvious one, but he also just wasn't that great on offense overall.  He was a good passer, but also somewhat turnover prone.  He wasn't very efficient scoring which I think is mostly due to his poor FT shooting allowing guys to be super physical with him around the rim, but also because he couldn't score more than 5 feet away from the basket.  Has largely made up for that by being excellent on defense.  So far Okoro has been a better shot blocker on a rate basis (small sample size), but based on what I've seen so far Has was a better defender overall.  There is a lot more to defense than shot blocking.

top 10-20 all time, four-year Billikens, without question in my opinion.  I'd call him one of the greatest......

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56 minutes ago, rgbilliken said:

Just want to throw out there that French is easily the most physically attractive Billiken in my memory. Really hard to replace that.

I've been on record saying that Okoro looks more like a basketball player than any Billiken in my lifetime, the only person really having an argument being Willie Reed. 

Side by side comparison pics for the Rachels of the board:
image.png.2cbfded2d8c6444ff7101d1e036145ae.pngimage.png.3e779d55cae8f7b045d6cff5686a2759.png

 

Has is obviously a freak athlete but he looks like a football player. Okoro looks like an NBA big man. 

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2 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

Has is clearly one of the top 5 big men we've had in the last 50 years.  That has to count for something.

I'd like to clarify that I recognize him as exactly that, one of the best Billikens of all time, but how exciting is it to have someone that stands to compare to him as his immediate replacement?  

 

Also --- how nice would it've been to have those two playing together?? Dream front court. 

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7 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

Has is clearly one of the top 5 big men we've had in the last 50 years.  That has to count for something.

Easily. In my 30+ years and I'll count Bonner in that as I caught the very end of his career

Unless I'm forgetting someone it's

1. Bonner

2. French

3. Vouyoukas

3. Dobbs 

5.  Robinson

5. Heinrich

Just off quick memory. I've probably forgotten someone though

 

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while dobbs played the charles barkley undersized power forward role, i dont know if i would include him on my best billiken bigs list simply because he wasnt a true big.   

it also speaks volumes about the billikens lack of quality bigs throughout history.

imo it is a good list, but it doesnt speak to the gaps in shear greatness between bonner and french.   and the fact big mel and heinrich even make the list is a little telling.  

when throwing around "great" probably it is bonner, maybe french and a stretch to include ian imo.   

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19 minutes ago, SLU_Nick said:

A+ contribution Rachel.  Keep the content coming :D

Hey man, I'm just trying to keep things equitable around here. You know, gender equality. 

 

2 minutes ago, Bills By 40 said:

I've been on record saying that Okoro looks more like a basketball player than any Billiken in my lifetime, the only person really having an argument being Willie Reed. 

Side by side comparison pics for the Rachels of the board:
image.png.2cbfded2d8c6444ff7101d1e036145ae.pngimage.png.3e779d55cae8f7b045d6cff5686a2759.png

 

Has is obviously a freak athlete but he looks like a football player. Okoro looks like an NBA big man. 

Getting guys on the boards to post thirst traps is maybe my greatest accomplishment. You have no idea how happy this made me.

Body they are both 10/10. French has the slight edge in face. 

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24 minutes ago, Bills By 40 said:

I'd like to clarify that I recognize him as exactly that, one of the best Billikens of all time, but how exciting is it to have someone that stands to compare to him as his immediate replacement?  

 

Also --- how nice would it've been to have those two playing together?? Dream front court. 

This completely.  We went 3 decades waiting for another traditional big like Bonner.  We don't know how to react when we don't have to wait.

 

All apologies to Jamal Johnson who was only here for one season and unfortunately for him what turned out to be a disappointing for the program.

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