I was there....

  • disjointed on both offense and defense
  • at one point we were 45% from 3pt line and 44% OVR.
  • we have no post game. Thompson missed badly inside on a couple shots. Gafford scored 9 in the 2nd half. Mostly on put backs.
  • Bailey hit one 10 footer from the baseline and didn’t do much else on offense.
  • Macon and Barford were good as advertised. Beard missed a lot of drives to the hoop (not bad shots, just didn’t convert).
  • CJ Jones is still shaky off the bounce, but that outside shot is pretty. Very confident in his shot when he is squared up from 3.

It was a small crowd, the opponent was DII and we were missing 2 key contributors. With that said it was slightly discouraging. There is room for growth and we have some potentially dominate guards. Gafford is coming along and we know Thompson will make smart BB plays (disappointed he still has that spare tire dragging him down). It’s what we get at the 4 that will define this teams success.


I agree with those points.

Mike talked about them running out of gas a bit after getting a big lead. Probably a little something to that. Four guys played 30+.

I was also at the game I agree with most of your points Navy.

The biggest thing that troubles me looking at that box score in Anton Beard playing the most minutes and taking the most shots. IMO, if that’s the case we are in for a long season. I like Anton as a hustle player and his leadership qualities, but he’s gotta understand he’s not an efficient scorer on this level, never has been. He’s not really quick or athletic enough to get to the rim, yet he attacks it a lot and just throws up a lot wild shots that have no chance of going in, and he doesn’t shoot well enough to take as jump shots as he does. I really wish he’d embrace a “Manny Watkins” role and just be a glue guy, rather than looking for his shot as much as he does.

Also, I love CMA as a coach, but one of the things that kinda irritates me some time is he leans on his upperclassmen a little too much. For example, Trey Thompson playing more than double the minutes of Daniel Gafford, and Gafford had better stats than Thompson in the limited time he did played. Gafford lead a run in the second half, he was taken out and never returned to the game, I don’t understand that. Gafford also looks like he’s in better shape than Thompson, it was several times Thompson look absolutely gassed.

The good thing about this is CMA usually makes adjustments, I’m hoping for little less Beard and Thompson and more of Jones and Gafford in the next exhibition. I’m not saying they should play more than those guys, but they shouldn’t be doubling their minutes when those guys were more efficient.

17 out of 27 from the charity stripe won’t get it done.

To add some thoughts, Beard is now 11 for 34 in the Red-White game and tonight. Obviously one was a scrimmage in which he was the only primary ballhandler and the other was an exhibition, but he has taken a lot of bad shots. He played great last year up until about mid-January and then went into a funk. Hasn’t been a great start to this season. I like that he’s shooting the 3 more, but some of the mid-range shots he’s forcing up are awful and the post-up he tried and had blocked tonight was a head-scratcher. He needs to be a good decision maker because he’s going to have the ball in his hands a lot.

Offensively, I’ve got a a big story written about the system they play with quotes from Jaylen about how they’ll be better in year two. Tonight, there was a lot of standing around. Barford and Macon were great, but the off-ball motion was lacking and they didn’t set solid screens often, which was one of my big gripes last year. Willing to overlook some of it because it was an exhibition with limited depth and they had to pace themselves, but not everything I’d hoped to see.

Trey has obviously never been svelte, but he looked noticeably slow and labored tonight. Wasn’t a fan of posting him as much as they did. It’s just not his game and he doesn’t look comfortable. Put him in the high post and let him operate. Guys will cut when he has the ball.

Defensively, I thought they were solid against an athletically overmatched but veteran opponent. Had some trouble with the flare screens UCO was setting. Gafford played the pick-and-roll really well.

In Kingsley’s first audition as starting center in an exhibition against Southwest Oklahoma St. he went 2 for 10. There was a lot of teeth gnashing after the game that he hadn’t improved at all in three years. He was on the watch list for best center in the nation by the end of the season. I’d be careful about drawing sweeping conclusions about one exhibition. You get some non-characteristic results in both directions.

It wasn’t good basketball last night. Not a lot of flow. Of course, that should be expected at some level with the new faces, roles and players out last night.

I will say that I liked the trapping and rotations in the halfcourt. They were well timed and crisp. Our fullcourt press wasn’t very effective, but I won’t judge that until we’re playing with more of a full deck.

Offensively, we were out of sync most of the night. We were efficient when we got transition opportunities, but struggled in the halfcourt. Cohesion was missing; I expect that to improve greatly. We posted Trey up quite a bit in the beginning, and I’m fine with that for emphasis early on; there will be times when we need that from him. But, he’s not going to be a consistent, reliable low post scorer. He’s best in the high post area where he’s proven to be an excellent passer.

It will be interesting to see how much CJ plays alongside Macon and Barford vs Beard. Anton looks great, as has been reported, and he creates and/or contributes to a lot of defensive turnovers. But, Jones may fit better offensively with Macon and Barford. We’ll see.

One other thing I was pretty disappointed in was offensive rebounding. We should’ve feasted all night; instead, we lacked the want-to.

Regardless of all of that, you can’t take much away from this game.

P.S. I haven’t posted much on the team over here yet, but I’m disappointed with Trey. He had a great opportunity in the offseason to prepare himself to take on a primary role this year. And, he goes and gains weight.

Did Trey really gain weight?

Agreed on most counts.

Thought the defense was sharp most of the night. Not a lot of mental mistakes. Mike doubling every post-up is going to lead to some scrambled rotations, but they handled it fairly well for the most part.

They were great in transition and pretty poor in the halfcourt. Lot of standing around, not much cutting and screening, which is fantastic because I have a story written about their motion stuff being better this year, how great it can be when it works and how they go about selling the program. Ha. Obviously it’s just one game and they were short-handed, so not the end of the world, but I’d hoped to see more.

Anton’s gotta cut out the contested long 2s and do a better job balancing being a scorer and playmaker. But he was solid defensively, you can tell he’s a fourth-year guy. I get what you’re saying about posting Trey up early, but those are wasted possessions to me and negate his real value on offense. He isn’t comfortable doing it. Think I posted it earlier, but his lack of quickness was as glaring to me last night as it’s ever been.

I’ve advocated for C.J.'s fit next to Daryl and Jaylen so he can be a spot-up shooter and benefit from the attention they command. I think Daniel eventually starts, so moving Anton to the bench with Trey makes sense because they have great chemistry.

Historically, offense for Mike’s teams In first seven to ten games has looked totally different from the latter 2/3 of the season. Let it develop.

Is Hall expected back for Saturday’s exhibition? I suspect he’ll make a huge difference. He’ll probably eat up another 20 MPG that will get some of those guys minutes down that will help them be more effective.

Sure. I don’t think either of us are saying that things should be better than what we saw. Just providing the observations.

Yes, he should be back. I think he’ll play a bunch this year.

Oh yea he will. I noticed CMA at the press conference say he’s a big part of what they do. Looking forward to seeing him out there next game. He’ll be able to give us some minutes at both the 3 and 4 spot.

Thompson didn’t make much of an impact against mid-major gnats last season, and many wrote him off. Against small teams he doesn’t have anybody to guard and bringing a big out of the lane doesn’t make much of an impact if no rim protectors are on the court. His four best games were all in conference last year.

Also, I doubt CMA is trying to optimize the offensive gameplan to the opponent in exhibitions. I’m sure shots are being taken that would result in pine time in the regular season.

Also, didn’t Trey start out on the heavy side and lost weight throughout the season?

Not this heavy

Nope, but good news, MA’s teams are statistically the best FT teams in the SEC.

The minutes were all messed up in that first game. I suspect that effected the free throw shooting. Fresher teams shoot free throws better.