5 observations (really a lot more) with a ton of video

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— Close look at Mike’s rotations and lineups. A lot of shuffling as a result of foul trouble.
— Study of 3-point defense issues. There were a lot of fixable miscommunications on switches and rotations. Stuff that you’d expect to see in a season opener. Some of the looks are just ones you have to live with when you show on pick-and-rolls. Hogs were fortunate Fort Wayne didn’t have a better shooting night.
— Rebounding/foul issues both stemmed from being out of position a lot, I thought. Some questionable calls, but a lot of the fouls were the result of players getting beat off the dribble and bodying the offensive player trying to recover. Beard said as much after the game. They did a pretty poor job finding bodies and boxing out on the defensive glass.
— Dusty looked like a go-to scorer. Made plays off the bounce. Finished in transition. Continues to flash some nice passing.
— Anton came off the bench and was a big spark in the game-shifting run, along with Dusty. Got in foul trouble, but played really well in his time.
— Lot more.

Very good post. On rotations, you could pull up video on any of his years here and find the same shortcomings. My take is when you overplay to get steals you leave yourself open to a drive, therefore help is needed, consequently someone is open on a kick out for a three. Also leaves a man uncovered to crash the boards. Same with the traps. When working a thing of beauty but it does leave defense vulnerable. It’s like aunt bea’s pickles, you just have to accept it’s not going to change and learn to grin and bear it when watching games. When it works it is awesome, but when you have a well coached team they are going to move the ball and get good looks. On a positive note, with the depth we have, it wears on the other teams legs and poor decisions and short shots occur. Lastly, my eyes didn’t deceive me. Played woefully when cook was in game, let’s hope it just the juco learning curve. I was pleased they didn’t panic, however I wish we would play with less fouls but that is also a characteristic of an Anderson coached team. Good win against a decent opponent. Cudos to Anderson for scheduling someone that put a little pressure on them.

First, Jimmy, you do a really good job, man. I’ve been constantly impressed with your knowledge.

Second, and Dudley has heard/seen me whine about this since CMA has been here, CMA has to demand that his guys fight over screens, show hard and retreat quickly, allowing the help man to stay closer to the three point shooter that flashes high.

We have been susceptible to Spread PnR offense. Two years ago, our team changed their approach by stopping the switch-everything approach and it was the key to a successful season. It took some bad losses for that to happen, though.

I’m giving some benefit of doubt in the fact that we have 7 new players, but it’s clear that CMA has shown to be too loose with this characteristic. Need to adjust now rather than wait for us to get beat a few times by it.

Great observations Jimmy. Always enjoying reading your articles.

Some things that caught my eye… first I was pleasantly surprised with with Trey Thompson, I’ve been skeptical of how much of an impact he would have this year. I thought when Kingsley picked up that second foul we were in big trouble, Trey played very well, and I was happy to see him aggressive under the basket and get a couple of and 1s.

Second, Dustin Thomas is the perfect 4 for this system, was very impressed with the way he played. Up to this point, many would probably say Coty Clarke is the best 4 we’ve had since CMA has been here. Thomas has that ability to be just as good as Clarke was. He’s just gotta cut down on the silly fouls, which I think will come.

And last, I said this a couple weeks ago, but when the season ends we may be arguing that Daryl Macon is the best player on the team. He looks like a vet out there, CMA played him 33 minutes in his first ever game, that’s how much of an impact he has.

Jimmy, this horse has already left the barn and galloped down the road, but it’s Mastodons.

Jimmy, like your feedback on two concerns.

This was my first look at Barford other than watching recruiting highlight videos. He looked a lot different including lack of aggressiveness. Was he 100% healthy? I am hoping that was the reason, otherwise there are some warning signs there.

As someone said, Dusty’s three point jumper looked different on most the misses. Just wondering if the work he has done to add midrange game over the summer, has created some indecision on when to shoot deep and when to dribble penetrate. It seemed most of the misses were rushed making the shot look different than last year.

I only have two problems with the way MA coaches and that is the first one. The second one is I think he needs to cut down on the practices during the season after November. It hurt us I believe Bobby’s last year I believe and it is something that a lot of the NBA teams have done.

Exactly. It’s a give and take.

Yeah, I don’t really love how they showed as nonchalantly as they did for as long as they did at times last night. Either blitz it, have the big hedge hard and retreat like you mentioned, switch it or have the big zone up and drop back.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched an overwhelming amount of Hog basketball the last few years. Enough to know he switched a lot with Portis, Harris and that group a few years ago. Has he ever experimented with having the big zone up and drop back while the guard fights over the screen? Basically the mid-PNR equivalent of ICEing the side. In theory, unless the guard can really hurt you from 3 off the dribble, that’s a lot easier coverage and keeps everything in front of the defense without forcing help. Being an NBA junkie, that’s the default PNR defense against most teams, unless someone like Steph is just going to burn that.

I guess that would go against the attacking/intense identity he wants his teams to have. But it’ll be interesting to see if he eventually does decide to tweak it if they just keep giving up open looks.

On Barford, Mike mentioned after I believe the second exhibition game that he’d told Jaylen he wanted him to be more aggressive, which he was in that second half. I don’t think he’s hurt. I will say, something I’ve thought since the summer, he isn’t just an incredible athlete. He’s not a bad one by any stretch, he’s good. But he isn’t just overwhelming, which was a misconception I think I had. He is very strong and very physical.

I think he’s kind of adjusting a bit. Macon looks far more assertive. There are times I’ve seen Jaylen dictate pace on his own and put a ton of pressure on the defense with his drives, whether in practice or in the second half of the second exhibition game. But he hasn’t been as consistently aggressive. He did miss some nice takes last night. For me, it’s not even as much about the scoring. He’s shown he can get into the paint and dish it to a big or kick to a shooter, but he didn’t do that much, if at all, last night. Obviously it’s one game. I’d expect him to get more aggressive as he gets more comfortable.

Dusty is going to have to deal with being the focal point of defenses even more now without Anthlon, at least early in the season. He may have rushed some last night. I know he was very frustrated with the misses and thought they were looks he should’ve made. I tend to think he’ll figure it out.

My brain at 2 a.m. isn’t the sharpest. :oops: :oops: :oops:

I recall that guards like BJ and Wade used to do exactly that. I think it is more of an individual player thing than a coaching philosophy. Over the last few years of Mike, our guards have not been as quick on their feet and may have had trouble with this. I may have to go watch the replay again, but I did not think this was problem last night.

If you go the press conferences, it is worth asking this question.

I think their guards this year could do it. With how they show, they’re typically gonna give up a lot of open weakside 3s, like they did last night, if they don’t hassle the ballhandler. They did switch some. Will be interesting to see how they vary coverages Monday.

No one problem was consistent through the whole game, except for defensive rebounding. Not everyone was screening off rebounders. No one was going hard to the rebound. That is why Fort Wayne got so many offensive rebounds. No unified approach to defensive rebounding. It was as though everyone was confused about what to do when the ball went into the air.

Whenever Fort Wayne had to shoot contested threes, they did not go down. After they got tired, even the uncontested ones were not falling. At least they had to work hard enough to wear down.

Agreed, Trey was assertive on both ends, I thought. Reliable bench guy.

Dustin had a decent game and I think he will wind up being at least as good as Alandise. He can do more than he showed the other night as far as playmaking, too. I hadn’t seen him make some of those post moves before. That was kinda intriguing.

I really like Macon, too. Plays with a lot of confidence and can do a lot of things.

Trey’s offensive game is looking super solid. I hope he is more and more assertive on that end. Hopefully his D and rebounding improves through the year too. Really all our guys need to get more confident and in attack mode, no more sitting around watching dusty like happened some games last year. Props to dusty tho hopefully his aggressiveness rubs off on teammates. Ditto for Macon’s defense aggressiveness. Glad to have him and Moses this year. Looking forward to watching our team respond to some real competition.

On Dusty’s 3-point shooting. I’ve been to the last 2 games and have watched Dusty intently in the shoot-arounds. He’s been near perfect and shooting with the exact same form he had all last year. I watched him make 8 in a row working from the corner to near the top of the key before the last exhibition game. Every one was all net, without so much as grazing the rim.

In the last 2 games, he hasn’t been near his normal form that he shoots with in the shoot-arounds. For whatever reason, he seems to be “guiding” his shot, which messes up his release. On one shot, he actually rolled his shoulder and hand to the left on his follow through. Since his shot is so pure in the shoot-arounds, I’ve got to believe he’ll get his “in game” shot corrected quickly.