Goods and Bads vs Missouri Western


  • Barford 3 pt shot looks much improved and he is still a force going to the rim. Has uncanny ability to take contact, hang and convert.
  • if Barford wasn’t MVP then it would be Gafford. It’s a different team when he is in the game. The energy, rebounding and interior defense all improve. Looked good at the FT line, and he is going to have to be good because he is going to be fouled a lot.
  • Darius Hall arms are incredible. Looks like a spider on defense with how he scoots along the floor with those long arms. Had 3 blocks and was close on a couple inside. Made a couple smooth drives to the rim that looked very natural. He will start, or play a lot at the 4 this year.
  • Macon was good, but forced a couple. I’d didn’t mind though because you have to let a shooter “shoot”.
  • Thompson, Beard and CJ were alright, nothing great and nothing terrible. CJ missed a couple shots that were in an out. He is going to have games this year where he is 4-5 from 3, and others where he is 1-5 but that shot is pure.


  • Bailey has been bad in his 2 game audition for the 4. You can see the struggle in his head when he gets the ball (do I shoot, do I dribble, etc), nothing is natural right now. Had a couple of bad turnovers and was lost on D. CMA had a very short hook with him tonight. We really need Dustin Thomas back in a bad way to play this spot. Trey also played the 4 alongside Gafford, and as Trey does, made a couple nice feeds (including one to Hall who missed the monster dunk)
  • THE DEFENSE. I don’t know what was wrong, but the perimeter defense was atrocious. To their credit they could stroke it, but we weren’t close on most. I get that it’s an exhibition game, and that we are experimenting with line ups, but it was bad.

Best lineup IMO

Hall or Thompson

By the field goal percentages there was no defense.
The turnovers need to come down.
The team needs Thomas and Cook back.

Great analysis Navy, I agree with everything that you said.

I’m going to piggyback on a few points you made…

First off, Daniel Gafford looked great, we are a completely different team when he’s in the game. He’s long, athletic, has a high basketball IQ, there’s no way there are 30+ freshmen better than him, if he would have signed with Kentucky he would have been ranked as a top 15 recruit. I was so happy when CMA started him the second half, I hope he continues to start for the rest of the season, he’s BY FAR the best forward on the team and it’s not even close.

Darious Hall was also very good, if CMA went to pick the perfect player to fit his system Darious would be it. He’s just so active and athletic. And his ball pressure with those long arms are a nightmare for the other team. He had a few freshman mistakes and gave the ball up a couple times, but you could see the potential with him he’s going to be a good player for us. I don’t think he’s going to score much, but he’ll be a stat stuffer type of player.

And as you said everyone else was as expected and had a solid game, expect Adrio Bailey. Coach Anderson didn’t sugarcoat it at the post game press conference either about Bailey, he didn’t have a good game at all and like you were saying he looks really uncomfortable doing anything outside of grabbing a rebound. He’s probably played himself as the last man in the 8-man rotation right now, if he doesn’t step it up, Dustin Thomas is going to take all his minutes when he returns.

Touched on most of this in more detail in observations, but…

— Gafford played 26 minutes tonight. Think he’s gonna have to get at least 25 a game if he isn’t in foul trouble. His impact is huge. They ran one play for him all game and he scored 15, just off his athletic ability and being available. His rim protection is a game-changer.

— Hall was all over the place defensively. Had 4 steals and 3 blocks. Isn’t going to do a ton offensively, but did have a nice straight-line drive. Needs to take and make a few 3s early in the conference season to get his confidence up. Played 16 minutes tonight. I’d imagine that goes up with

— Jaylen and Daryl combined for a pretty nonchalant 45, if that’s possible. Could be plenty of 40-plus nights for them.

— Pace. They’re playing incredibly fast right now. Will probably slow down some against better competition, but I think the pace suits the team’s athleticism and is good when factoring in they don’t have a ton of high-level shot creators when they’re in the halfcourt.

— Their small-ball and super-big lineups were both +9 in significant minutes. The lineup with Dan and Trey was solid in the first half and Mike went to it early in the second, then went small the final 12:52. Asked Daryl about it after and he affirmed what I saw as far as much better spacing and ball movement.

— The 3-point defense was brutal. You can’t dictate whether a 3 goes in, but you can try to limit how many they take. MWU got up 27 and they were mostly good looks. A lot of corner 3s as a result of the defense breaking down and guys maybe over helping. Gafford left the strong-side corner wide open once and paid for it. The weak-side help sank down too far a number of times.

Teams didn’t shoot it great against them last year, but teams were able to get off an above-average amount, so it’s not a one-time thing. Mike loves to double post-ups and hedge/trap on screens, which can lead to open 3s, but I thought a lot of the ones they gave up tonight were the result of over-helping.

— Turnovers. This may be somewhat a result of playing as fast as they are. You can live with some of them, but they’ve been sloppy. Not too unexpected early in the year. Mike’s teams are generally good about taking care of the ball.

— Depth is an issue at this point. Jaylen played 36, Daryl and Anton 32. They had a 5-guard rotation last year, but everyone played at least 20 most nights. Darious and C.J. have to earn the trust to be out there more. Playing small-ball also means more minutes for the guards. Safe to assume Gabe isn’t getting regular rotation minutes at this point.

— Adrio was bad. Had no impact on the defensive end and was timid on offense. Played less than a minute in the second half and was called for a charge and then ruined another possession by turning down an open shot and dribbling the air out of the ball. Has to be decisive and use his athleticism. This is a big opportunity for him and right now he isn’t inspiring a lot of confidence.

— Anton has played great defensively, but struggled on offense all preseason. Hit a few shots late that made his line look good, but had some sloppy turnovers. They really need him to be smart with the ball.

— Trey made some typical, smart plays, but he looks very cumbersome, more so than usual. Doesn’t help that it’s juxtaposed with Gafford. Played 25 minutes, so hopefully he’ll be able to play his way into better shape early in the year.

— The starting lineup was a net negative in the two games. I like the idea of a Barford-Macon-Hall-Bailey-Gafford group or replace Hall with Jones. Use the small-ball group with Barford, Macon, Jones, Hall and Gafford/Thompson a bunch. I imagine Thomas will return to the starting lineup once he gets back in the swing of things.

That post was way longer than I intended it to be haha.

Our 3 point D is garbage. Has been for years now. It seems to be a product of the system, which I’m a huge fan of and usually the pros out weigh the cons. But why can’t we slow down the three ball? That would really get us to another level. Is it a lack of length in our back court defenders or what? This was never such a disgusting flaw on Nolan’s teams so I can’t totally blame the system. Man I really hope we find a way to fix this thing before we suffer a repeat embarrassment of a miss st or mizzou blowout from last year. We are too good for that smh

Last night, it had a lot to do with MW’s offensive scheme. They are a Spread Pick and Roll offense. CMA’s teams have always struggled defending the middle high ball screen with a spaced out players. Every year, we get killed by a team or two until CMA puts more emphasis on it. We didn’t defend the ball screen effectively and we after, we didn’t play help defense with proper discipline.

There are a lot of kinks to work out due to new players playing with each other and we’re missing a few players. But, we’ll see struggles against teams that execute the spread PNR offense, too.

Even though, CJ had an off night shooting, I love his confidence. He’s ultra confident in his jumper. And, he should be. Every shot looks like it’s going in.

Great assessment to the point and brief, I know it’s very very early. My concern with this team is the same as every year our defense, some nights your offense is not going to gel but that shouldn’t happen with your D. Hope to see our D become our strength if it doesn’t we will struggle at times while be loaded with talent. Wishing MA and this team the best ! WPS

When have we been able to defend the pick & roll?

Beard played much better on O in the second half. I think 4 of his TOs were in the first half. The radio announcers also implied that the refs were overly sensitive to walking. That said, this team has to get TOs under control, but some sloppiness is expected with new faces learning the motion offense.

The three-point defense is a major concern, but MW didn’t do much on twos. Even when the defense has turned out to be good in this system, it has struggled early as the rotations are learned. The matchups will look a lot different when we aren’t playing a four-guard lineup, though I was encouraged that we turned over a bunch of guards frequently.

This team has to find a third scorer on the perimeter so that our O is not so dependent on Macon and Barford. I’d like to see Jones bust out with a big game early. Once he gets comfortable, the floodgates may open. We got what we needed out of Beard in the second half.

Judging by how many NBA teams rely on it, when has ANYONE been able to defend the pick and roll?