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1 hour ago, DOC said:

Let’s just hope they have few open practices. I would let only season ticket holders in for the first one and treat them to an entertaining evening. Let them know they matter. Make it festive. Bring in some legends to push NIL and talk old times. Have a dunk contest. Give us a proper introduction to the team. Let them talk. Let’s hear from Schertz. Play some ball and build on the excitement. 2nd one is for everyone. Hopefully, we continue to see the momentum grow as 2000 people show up to see what this SLU basketball team is all about. Is that number possible? Are 7000 season ticket holders within reach next year? Will there be an immediate impact or will people wait and see?

Bunch of hoopla, just win baby.

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1 hour ago, DOC said:

Let’s just hope they have few open practices. I would let only season ticket holders in for the first one and treat them to an entertaining evening. Let them know they matter. Make it festive. Bring in some legends to push NIL and talk old times. Have a dunk contest. Give us a proper introduction to the team. Let them talk. Let’s hear from Schertz. Play some ball and build on the excitement. 2nd one is for everyone. Hopefully, we continue to see the momentum grow as 2000 people show up to see what this SLU basketball team is all about. Is that number possible? Are 7000 season ticket holders within reach next year? Will there be an immediate impact or will people wait and see?

St Louis people are notorious wait and see / show me 

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Looks like a top 4 A10 team. Other 3 looking like UD, Loyola, and ???. Looking forward  Taj Mahal 79’s and the Wiz’s A10 analysis once all the dust settles. Looking like VCU is having portal problems. 

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As of today, the whole A10 is a crapshoot.  It will all become a matter of chemistry as teams move forward.  Davidsonhas 9 scholarship players.  Dayton has 11 but that counts Homles as staying (Sources in Dayton say they have offered him $1 million to stay; Santos got $300k).  Duquesne has 11, Fordham has 11.  Mason has 12.  Geedubya has a full 13.  La Salle has 12.  Loyola actually has 14.  Umass with 11.  Rhodey has 9.  Richmond has 14.  The Bills with 11.  The Bonnies low man on the totem pole with 8.  The Joeys have 12.  And VCU has 9 but that includes Joe Bamisile who I have no clue what he's up to or if he has another year.

Right now, just looking at numbers and starters lost, I'd rank Dayton and Loyola as the top dogs as we sit here in May.  Indications are good for us but the rest remains a total scramble.  Chemistry and coaching will turn the tide.

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Question for everyone:  Is next season's Billiken team the same, worse or better than last year's ISU team?  Please give reasons for you answer.  At this point, I'm not sure we are better than last year's ISU team on paper.  The only way we would be better is if the guys we kept and the guys we brought in perform better than they did last year now that they are in Schertz's system.

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1 minute ago, cgeldmacher said:

Question for everyone:  Is next season's Billiken team the same, worse or better than last year's ISU team?  Please give reasons for you answer.  At this point, I'm not sure we are better than last year's ISU team on paper.  The only way we would be better is if the guys we kept and the guys we brought in perform better than they did last year now that they are in Schertz's system.

Without knowing how much guys will improve, I'd say that last year's ISU team was slightly better.  However, this Billiken team has much more depth.  The starting 5 for ISU last year was crazy good and I don't think this year's SLU team quite matches it.  However, ISU really only went 7 or 8 deep.  Bledson was the only guy outside of the starting 5 to play more than 23.3% of the team's minutes.  They were really fortunate to not have any injuries so the lack of depth didn't hurt them.  High ceiling / low floor team based on injuries and they were pretty close to the ceiling.  This year's SLU team has a much higher floor because of depth.  It wouldn't surprise me if SLU ends up in a similar spot on the bubble at year end, but either wins the A10 tournament or makes it as an at-large because A10 is a stronger conference than MVC.

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22 minutes ago, cgeldmacher said:

Question for everyone:  Is next season's Billiken team the same, worse or better than last year's ISU team?  Please give reasons for you answer.  At this point, I'm not sure we are better than last year's ISU team on paper.  The only way we would be better is if the guys we kept and the guys we brought in perform better than they did last year now that they are in Schertz's system.

When we learned that we would get two starters from last year's team instead of four, I predicted that the preseason outlets would rank us as a top four A10 team.  Four returning starters plus Jimerson would have made us a top 25 team in eyes of the media.  That's how the preseason Olympics works.  It's largely based on returning a bunch of starters and high profile recruiting classes.  We have neither.

The boosters have invested in long-term program-building rather than gambling on a quick fix.  Schertz's track record at D2 and D1 suggest that we will be a top two conference team within 3 years.  If all the pieces magically blend together in a single year, awesome.

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30 minutes ago, cgeldmacher said:

Question for everyone:  Is next season's Billiken team the same, worse or better than last year's ISU team?  Please give reasons for you answer.  At this point, I'm not sure we are better than last year's ISU team on paper.  The only way we would be better is if the guys we kept and the guys we brought in perform better than they did last year now that they are in Schertz's system.

I mean, more likely than not its worse. ISU was a t40 team, and had they not been in the MVC,  they would have gotten an at large bid.  We have too many unknowns to predict what we will have next year with much confidence, im guessing somewhere between 50-75, but this is going off of the fact we have Avila, Swope, and Gibby.  If Anya or AJ breakout, we could be much higher.  If Anya or AJ and one of the new guards Johnson or Dotzler are legit, it could approach ISU this year. 

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1 hour ago, cgeldmacher said:

Question for everyone:  Is next season's Billiken team the same, worse or better than last year's ISU team?  Please give reasons for you answer.  At this point, I'm not sure we are better than last year's ISU team on paper.  The only way we would be better is if the guys we kept and the guys we brought in perform better than they did last year now that they are in Schertz's system.

Aren't players supposed to improve every year? 

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1 hour ago, cgeldmacher said:

Question for everyone:  Is next season's Billiken team the same, worse or better than last year's ISU team?  Please give reasons for you answer.  At this point, I'm not sure we are better than last year's ISU team on paper.  The only way we would be better is if the guys we kept and the guys we brought in perform better than they did last year now that they are in Schertz's system.

Last year's ISU team was 13th in offense and 114th in defense. I don't think the offense will be quite as good, but with Thames, Casey, Anja, and Johnson, the defense has a chance to be much better, especially with an offense that scores a lot and rarely gives up live ball TOs. 

I would expect this team to end up better than 38th in KenPom. Most prognosticators have them scratching at the top 25. That seams reasonable, even though there's a lot that could go wrong. 

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1 hour ago, cgeldmacher said:

Question for everyone:  Is next season's Billiken team the same, worse or better than last year's ISU team?  Please give reasons for you answer.  At this point, I'm not sure we are better than last year's ISU team on paper.  The only way we would be better is if the guys we kept and the guys we brought in perform better than they did last year now that they are in Schertz's system.

Talent level and depth is better on the current Billiken squad.  Which is the better team?  That depends largely on Schertz's ability to create chemistry with his new team.  Right now last's year's ISU team is better.  The better team on 11/1/2024 depends on how the roster is completed, and if Schertz can create a cohesive unit somewhat comparable to the amazing chemistry the ISU team had last season.

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I enjoyed watching Kent play for ISU in the NIT and wanted to see him play for the Bills. However, I think he is an undersized 4 and I had concerns about him being able to defend the 4. He was listed at 6'8"205. My eyeballs thought his height was stretched a little bit, but even if not, 205 is really lite for defending a lot of 4s.  I think French for instance would have been a problem for him.  Texas is probably looking at him as a wing.  Casey at 6'9" 220 has legit 4 size and Anya at 6'8" 215 is also bigger than Kent. Behind them is the freshman Pikaar who is listed as 6'11", 205. He is more than tall enough and moves well, but he is going to have trouble with heavier guys who will push him around. I think Casey has higher potential than Kent, though right now he also has a lower floor. We will just have to see if the new guys rise to the occasion. 

ISU demonstrated that they could beat bubble teams in their NIT run, however an NCAA run generally means they would typically have to defend against bigger, better, forwards and I am not sure they would have been able to do that. I think we have a chance to be a better team. 

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I guess old habits are hard to break.   Schertz doesn't use the old player position terms anymore.  In several of his intervals, he has said he has a Center + four positionless players.  He uses Creators, Shooters, Swings, Hybrids and Bigs as his terms.  The old 1-4 are interchangeable players.  His Center, Avila, is the decision maker. 

He wants 5 who can handle the ball.  If you have those on the floor, it is hard to press you.

Handle, Pass, Shoot -those are the qualities that will get you on the floor. 

On misses, he wants everyone able to bring up the ball.  He really wants it thrown ahead and attack, with fewer defenders to deal with.  He doesn't want his team to look for the point guard.  He wants them to go.

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26 minutes ago, Crewsorlose said:

Last year's ISU team was 13th in offense and 114th in defense. I don't think the offense will be quite as good, but with Thames, Casey, Anja, and Johnson, the defense has a chance to be much better, especially with an offense that scores a lot and rarely gives up live ball TOs. 

I would expect this team to end up better than 38th in KenPom. Most prognosticators have them scratching at the top 25. That seams reasonable, even though there's a lot that could go wrong. 

The top 3 in minutes are more than likely going to be Avila, Jimerson and Swope.  None of those 3 guys are known as defensive stalwarts.  Thames and LHJ seem to have good defensive tools, but both are coming off a season where they were rotation players for one of the worst defensive teams in the nation.  Casey didn't play a ton & Miami was 112 defensively.  Brown was 183 and Anya was one of their better defensive players based on stats.  WV was 178 and Johnson played a lot for them without great defensive stats.  He seems to have good tools with with the big wingspan.

I'm not sure that adds up to the defense being better than ISU was last season.

On defense, Schertz teams:

  1. Rarely give up 2nd chance points (his ISU teams were 13th, 9th, and 6th in the nation in defensive rebounding)
  2. Rarely foul a lot / give teams FTs (his ISU teams were 73rd, 162nd, and 27th in FT attempt per FG attempt)
  3. Largely force teams to win playing one on one / don't give up a lot of assisted buckets (112th, 7th, and 4ht in assists per field goal allowed)

Given the make up of this SLU team I'd expect these 3 to continue.

On the down side, Schertz teams won't force a lot of TOs (310th, 235th, and 283rd in TO%) or block a lot of shots (350th, 344th, and 359th in block %).

All that adds up to a solid, but unspectacular defense.  If the D can limit good looks / hold FG% down, it will be good, if not it'll just be ok.  Since our offense should be really really good, that'll be the difference between a really good team and a great team.

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29 minutes ago, HoosierPal said:

I guess old habits are hard to break.   Schertz doesn't use the old player position terms anymore.  In several of his intervals, he has said he has a Center + four positionless players.  He uses Creators, Shooters, Swings, Hybrids and Bigs as his terms.  The old 1-4 are interchangeable players.  His Center, Avila, is the decision maker. 

He wants 5 who can handle the ball.  If you have those on the floor, it is hard to press you.

Handle, Pass, Shoot -those are the qualities that will get you on the floor. 

On misses, he wants everyone able to bring up the ball.  He really wants it thrown ahead and attack, with fewer defenders to deal with.  He doesn't want his team to look for the point guard.  He wants them to go.

He also said the longer the time of possession goes, the less likely the possession will result in a basket. Memories of Ford, Yuri, weave, hero ball, etc....

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33 minutes ago, HoosierPal said:

I guess old habits are hard to break, @Aquinas.  Schertz doesn't use these terms anymore.  In several of his intervals, he has said he has a Center + four positionless players.  He uses Creators, Shooters, Swings, Hybrids and Bigs as his terms.  The old 1-4 are interchangeable players.  His Center, Avila, is the decision maker. 

He wants 5 who can handle the ball.  If you have those on the floor, it is hard to press you.

Handle, Pass, Shoot -those are the qualities that will get you on the floor. 

On misses, he wants everyone able to bring up the ball.  He really wants it thrown ahead and attack, with fewer defenders to deal with.  He doesn't want his team to look for the point guard.  He wants them to go.

Actually, Schertz uses numbers, especially when talking about defense.  The following Schertz quote is on the Billikens BB site about Casey says: "He’s a true hybrid, which means offensively he can play with a big and also operate as a small-ball 5. Defensively, he has the quickness, length, strength and lateral quickness to guard 1-5." In an interview, he said Pikaar doesn't weigh enough yet to guard a 5. He also said Avila isn't quick enough to guard 1-4. In another interview he said he uses a more typical point guard to handle the ball in the last few minutes of a close game with a lead.

His discussions of positionless basketball are in reference to his offense, where size doesn't matter much, because everyone starts at the 3-point line, though he also says he likes to run offense through the 5. If you didn't have to play defense you could probably play the game with 5 guards and because Schertz gets most attention for his offense, he is asked about it and talks about it more, but when he talks about defense, he talks numbers. 

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Analysis below to answer @cgeldmacher's question.

Stats are from KenPom

ISU contributors (% of possession used) in order were:

Over 24%

Avila

20-24%

Conwell

Swope

Bledson

16-20%

Larry

Kent

 

Lineup projected Starters in Bold:

G Hughes, Dotzler

G Swope, McCottry, Johnson

G/SF Jimerson, Thames

PF Anya

Avila, Casey, Pikaar

Swope took the most 3PA on ISU at 302 making 108

Gibson took the most 3PA on SLU at 214 making 74

Avila is the key to the offense. He is now a JR and gets to eat/workout at the O'Laughlin Champion Center so he should improve.

Swope see above. He can improve.

Is Jimerson better than Conwell? He is equal in 3PT shooting but less of a rebounder. Edge Conwell but Jimerson will improve in a better offense. Push.

Is Anya better than Kent? Anya has better OR & DR% but a lot less 3PT shots/makes. Push.

Can Hughes, Dotzler, Mccottry, Johnson be better than Larry in year one with Schertz? Probably not. Edge Larry.

Cumulative we have 2 improves, 1 push, and 2 likely less effective starters. That equals a push.

But I speculate that we'll have a deeper, more talented bench than ISU to withstand injuries etc.

So, yes, SLU can be better than ISU last season. Expect a top-3 A10 finish, 40 KenPom and a NCAA bubble season.

The prediction is that the offense is not at last year's ISU levels (that's hard to replicate) but still very effective, and the defense has slightly improved. 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, TheA_Bomb said:

Analysis below to answer @cgeldmacher's question.

Stats are from KenPom

ISU contributors (% of possession used) in order were:

Over 24%

Avila

20-24%

Conwell

Swope

Bledson

16-20%

Larry

Kent

 

Lineup projected Starters in Bold:

G Hughes, Dotzler

G Swope, McCottry, Johnson

G/SF Jimmerson, Thames

PF Anya

Avila, Casey, Pikaar

Swope took the most 3PA on ISU at 302 making 108

Gibson took the most 3PA on SLU at 214 making 74

Avila is the key to the offense. He is now a JR and gets to eat/workout at the O'Laughlin Champion Center so he should improve.

Swope see above. He can improve.

Is Jimmerson better than Conwell? He is equal in 3PT shooting but less of a rebounder. Edge Conwell but Jimmerson will improve in a better offense. Push.

Is Anya better than Kent? Anya has better OR & DR% but a lot less 3PT shots/makes. Push.

Can Hughes, Dotzler, Mccottry, Johnson be better than Larry in year one with Schertz? Probably not. Edge Larry.

Cumulative we have 2 improves, 1 push, and 2 likely less effective starters. That equals a push.

But I speculate that we'll have a deeper, more talented bench than ISU to withstand injuries etc.

So, yes, SLU can be better than ISU last season. Expect a top-3 A10 finish, 40 KenPom and a NCAA bubble season.

The prediction is that the offense is not at last year's ISU levels (that's hard to replicate) but still very effective, and the defense has slightly improved. 

 

 

My working assumption at the moment was that the projected starting lineup would be Avila, Johnson, Swope, Gibby, and Casey/Anya.

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3 hours ago, Aquinas said:

Actually, Schertz uses numbers, especially when talking about defense.  The following Schertz quote is on the Billikens BB site about Casey says: "He’s a true hybrid, which means offensively he can play with a big and also operate as a small-ball 5. Defensively, he has the quickness, length, strength and lateral quickness to guard 1-5." In an interview, he said Pikaar doesn't weigh enough yet to guard a 5. He also said Avila isn't quick enough to guard 1-4. In another interview he said he uses a more typical point guard to handle the ball in the last few minutes of a close game with a lead.

His discussions of positionless basketball are in reference to his offense, where size doesn't matter much, because everyone starts at the 3-point line, though he also says he likes to run offense through the 5. If you didn't have to play defense you could probably play the game with 5 guards and because Schertz gets most attention for his offense, he is asked about it and talks about it more, but when he talks about defense, he talks numbers. 

The Slaten interview last week was an excellent in depth explanation by Coach Schertz of how he views his roster.  He called Pikaar a swing but someone who could eventually be a Hybrid.  He called Avila his center and the hub of the decision making (rather than a typical point guard).  Let's call him a Point Center 😃.  In tight games he used Ryan Conwell and Avila to close out games with a two man game.  Neither would be what some would call a typical point guard.

He said "Last year we played with two creators, a shooter, a swing and a big".  He did not say that is what he would like for his new team.

I'm going with Coach's labels.  Others can stay with what they are comfortable with.  It's all good.

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55 minutes ago, TheA_Bomb said:

Analysis below to answer @cgeldmacher's question.

Stats are from KenPom

ISU contributors (% of possession used) in order were:

Over 24%

Avila

20-24%

Conwell

Swope

Bledson

16-20%

Larry

Kent

 

Lineup projected Starters in Bold:

G Hughes, Dotzler

G Swope, McCottry, Johnson

G/SF Jimmerson, Thames

PF Anya

Avila, Casey, Pikaar

Swope took the most 3PA on ISU at 302 making 108

Gibson took the most 3PA on SLU at 214 making 74

Avila is the key to the offense. He is now a JR and gets to eat/workout at the O'Laughlin Champion Center so he should improve.

Swope see above. He can improve.

Is Jimmerson better than Conwell? He is equal in 3PT shooting but less of a rebounder. Edge Conwell but Jimmerson will improve in a better offense. Push.

Is Anya better than Kent? Anya has better OR & DR% but a lot less 3PT shots/makes. Push.

Can Hughes, Dotzler, Mccottry, Johnson be better than Larry in year one with Schertz? Probably not. Edge Larry.

Cumulative we have 2 improves, 1 push, and 2 likely less effective starters. That equals a push.

But I speculate that we'll have a deeper, more talented bench than ISU to withstand injuries etc.

So, yes, SLU can be better than ISU last season. Expect a top-3 A10 finish, 40 KenPom and a NCAA bubble season.

The prediction is that the offense is not at last year's ISU levels (that's hard to replicate) but still very effective, and the defense has slightly improved. 

 

 

Gibson Jimerson is going into his sixth year.  Can we please spell Jimerson's name correctly?  Show the man some respect. 

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4 hours ago, Aquinas said:

Actually, Schertz uses numbers, especially when talking about defense.  The following Schertz quote is on the Billikens BB site about Casey says: "He’s a true hybrid, which means offensively he can play with a big and also operate as a small-ball 5. Defensively, he has the quickness, length, strength and lateral quickness to guard 1-5." In an interview, he said Pikaar doesn't weigh enough yet to guard a 5. He also said Avila isn't quick enough to guard 1-4. In another interview he said he uses a more typical point guard to handle the ball in the last few minutes of a close game with a lead.

His discussions of positionless basketball are in reference to his offense, where size doesn't matter much, because everyone starts at the 3-point line, though he also says he likes to run offense through the 5. If you didn't have to play defense you could probably play the game with 5 guards and because Schertz gets most attention for his offense, he is asked about it and talks about it more, but when he talks about defense, he talks numbers. 

Excellent points.  Every coach refers to positions when it comes to defense because they have to.  You need to have the personnel to defend traditional position players even if your personnel doesn't function the same way on offense.

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1 hour ago, HoosierPal said:

Gibson Jimerson is going into his sixth year.  Can we please spell Jimerson's name correctly?  Show the man some respect. 

Did SBU-Unfurled post that first?

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6 hours ago, RUBillsFan said:

The top 3 in minutes are more than likely going to be Avila, Jimerson and Swope.  None of those 3 guys are known as defensive stalwarts.  Thames and LHJ seem to have good defensive tools, but both are coming off a season where they were rotation players for one of the worst defensive teams in the nation.  Casey didn't play a ton & Miami was 112 defensively.  Brown was 183 and Anya was one of their better defensive players based on stats.  WV was 178 and Johnson played a lot for them without great defensive stats.  He seems to have good tools with with the big wingspan.

I'm not sure that adds up to the defense being better than ISU was last season.

On defense, Schertz teams:

  1. Rarely give up 2nd chance points (his ISU teams were 13th, 9th, and 6th in the nation in defensive rebounding)
  2. Rarely foul a lot / give teams FTs (his ISU teams were 73rd, 162nd, and 27th in FT attempt per FG attempt)
  3. Largely force teams to win playing one on one / don't give up a lot of assisted buckets (112th, 7th, and 4ht in assists per field goal allowed)

Given the make up of this SLU team I'd expect these 3 to continue.

On the down side, Schertz teams won't force a lot of TOs (310th, 235th, and 283rd in TO%) or block a lot of shots (350th, 344th, and 359th in block %).

All that adds up to a solid, but unspectacular defense.  If the D can limit good looks / hold FG% down, it will be good, if not it'll just be ok.  Since our offense should be really really good, that'll be the difference between a really good team and a great team.

I will never forget that LA Tech game last year.  Most ridiculous ending I’ve witnessed in person.  Which was preceded by a team that forced ZERO turnovers!  I’ve never even heard of that happening before.

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