Pretty sure my opinion doesn’t merit more than 2 cents, but here it is anyway. I’m very disappointed in how we defended the last 2 road games with all we had to play for. We are no longer the best 3 point defense in the NCAA. We can blame a few loses on not having Joe for 5 games, but he was rested and healthy the last 2 Saturdays. In my opinion, Muss still has a lot to learn about being a head coach in the SEC. I love his grit, but he ain’t perfect. Hoarding time outs and playing 7 players will not work in this conference. The SEC is too athletic top to bottom. Granted, he had the roster he had this season, and help is on the way, but I don’t give him a pass on how this season ended. There is no way I can. He has to own his share of the blame for our finish, and I have no doubt he will. We fired a coach, with great ties here, that just won 4 games against ranked teams in a conference far superior to ours. Still, not a losing season for Coach A. I’m not advocating that Coach A should still be here, and I get why he’s not, but I’m pretty sure he would have the same record here this season that Muss has with the same players. For me, it’s all about year 2, what Muss has learned and will do with an influx of talent that Coach A absolutely was not going to assemble. This Fantastic Four would not be if Coach A was still here. No doubt in my mind. The thing that always upset me was that he was very lax in recruiting. That changed when he elevated Scotty, but it was too little, too late. That said, I hope we get a couple of home games in the NIT, and that Muss will use this season as fire to never be left out of the tourney again.
Before the NIT, I think we get 2 wins at the SEC tourney. GHG!
So a guy that has coached in the NBA has to learn to coach in The mighty SEC with its 4 or 5 possible tourney teams and 9-10 average teams? Not buying it.
I actually agree with you tthog, but I don’t think it’ll get us in. Think we need to make the finals (possibly the semis, 3-4 wins) to get into the dance. While, I can’t say it’s impossible, I think it’s not very likely with the short bench. Think our guys may get tired after the second game.
Against Georgia Muss called TOs at the 17:02 and the 16:04 mark, while Georgia was in the midst of that huge early run. That left him with two for the rest of the game. Against A &M he called a TO after A & M went up five at the 13:42 mark. He called another one when A&M went up ten at the 8:54 mark. Now that left two to go into the last few minutes of a close game. Where’s the TO hoarding in those two games?
Maybe next year, if we only play seven, the argument would be more persuasive. But this year we’ve had trouble finding seven that should be out there. Who exactly would be the guys who should have been getting more minutes?
Henderson early in the year was terrible. He got a little better, so now he’s getting most of Chaney’s minutes. But do you really want Chaney and Cylla on the floor more? I would argue that we really don’t even have a solid seven-some of the minutes are by default.
The biggest mistake Muss made, IMO, was bringing in Cylla. He owns that one. So he went 1-2 on the grad transfers.
Not impressed by this hero ball at all. How many games did dribbling out the clock with a slim lead cost us? How many victories did we get by playing iso ball and letting mason jones rack up 30 points? Pace and space was just a bunch of false advertising to me. More like Milk the clock and go one on one …
A guy that had a losing record in the NBA. Please don’t forget that. He has as much to learn as these players do. 10 years from now we might not be having this same discussion, and I am very happy that we have Muss, but his college record is very much a work in progress.
A &M plays a slower pace to be sure. In the four games prior to A &M we scored 78,86, 89 and 99 points. So the pace is there for full games.
I do think we’ve slowed it down too soon in a couple of games lately. It does tend to take a team out of offensive rhythm. It would work better if we had more legit penetrators among the guards, and if we had any kind of scoring threat down low.
I get why Muss does it - our best scorers have played a lot of minutes at that point, and most of our scorers do most of their damage on threes or Whitt hitting mid-range jumpers-which is hard to do with tired legs. At this point in the year you would expect any coaching staff to know how much guys have left in the tank late in games.
We’ve got one guy that consistently gets to the basket and scores/gets fouled-Jones. He has more trouble finishing late in games as he gets tired, but he still is probably a better option on penetration than the other guards. Sills is game as hell, but he’s small and he lacks a floater so he has to go in deep to score. Harris has the body to do that kind of work, but not the skills. Joe is trying to drive a bit more, but again, the body strength/handle combo makes him a less than ideal option to go up strong into traffic in late game situations. Whitt does not attack the basket often or well, he lives off of making guys track him moving laterally.
Maybe you just let the guards keep shooting threes in a normal offensive rhythm and hope for the best.
Cheap shot Jeremy on the nba record and I’m sure you know this, that era warriors and kings were 2 of the worst nba teams in the era. I know because I live in sac and 70 miles from Oakland, had kings season tickets and went to my fair share of warrior games
Not trying to take cheap shots, Sach. I am a Muss fan. I just wish he wouldn’t be so rigid in his approach to the college game. While his team is technically “kids,” and should be able to physically handle playing extensive minutes with a short roster, how has that turned out for us? I love the straight up man to man defense, but throwing in a junk zone now and then might have given this short bench a bit of a break. Especially at the end of the season. Again, I’m not a coach, but I am an extremely interested observer. I love my school, and I want the Hogs to be relevant in basketball again. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I absolutely agree with you on this
I was just referring to the nba part of your post. Look we’re all gonna see how good he is in the next few years. This years roster played way above there weight imo and of the 7 man rotation not sure how many minutes 4 of them would get on other teams, Jones, Joe, Whitt were the glue. Also hard to compare what he did at Nevada (playing 7)due to league, school and possible player pools. I believe he made mistakes along the what but I kinda throw out this year.
While the worry warts on message boards are worrying about the previous game and the next 15 minutes, a good coach is working a narrative that extends several years into the future.
In year one, we saw that Muss’ system works and that the players responded to it. We also saw our shortcomings exposed by good coaches. Then, we saw Muss tweak and coach the team to more good things.
I am not one to sacrifice wins in year two and beyond just to try and win an extra one this year. My support for Muss has never been higher…precisely because of how he has coached this year, especially late this year.
Since we replaced Nutt with Petrino I have watched the fundamentals of recruiting improve with the football program. Slowly, but surely, we move forward, with each subsequent coach doing a better job than the one they replaced. I see us going from zero to 60 with Muss. The problem is that the players are limited in number, and limited in size. They are more than talented enough to win a boatload of games if they had an extra contributor (we see names named, often) or just a smidge more height in the paint, and Muss has maxed what they can do.
Color me amused at the negative nancies and pleased with the program.
Oklahawg, I could not agree more!!
Lon Kruger, Darrell Walker,Tim Floyd, Leonard Hamilton, Rick Pitino and John Calipari are just a few off the top of my head who have losing records in the NBA. That argument doesn’t hold water. Cheap shot or not, it is not relevant.
it amazes me that a lot of posters complain about this and that and how sorry we are or how much better coach Anderson would had been with these same players or how much coach Musselman has to learn about the SEC…i’m no expert at all…just a fan…tired all of the coach 2nd guessing after 1 year?can’t wait til see how long it takes before the Pittman hanging takes place in football…just enjoy the season’s successes and roll with the bad…we are not the Arkansas of the mid 1990s when we were 1 of the top 5 programs…good things are coming if the "experts"don’t run Musselman off …just my opinion…and I don’t give a rat’s back end if you disagree
I can answer the question about Pittman now: the first loss.
Back when Mike Anderson was hired, I said the fans would turn on him, was told it would never happen. It did. Then said the same thing with Bret, again those supporting him the most turned. It happens with every coach, and it’s already starting with Musselman. If something happens next year and we lose games it’ll be 10 times worse, because half the people defending him and saying their tired of people complaining will be the first ones saying to “Fire him now.”
You are right Bake. So without looking back, what’s your take so far on the Pitt & Muss hires?
I think space and pace would be much more recognizable with a post player. Really wasn’t one. They did show better spacing when Joe was healthy. Not so much when he went out. But the spacing was there, and that’s how they got so much mileage out of penetration with Mason driving.
As far as pace, I don’t think the team was able to play transition basketball as much as wanted with a limited bench. They did well in that area early, but I don’t think playing such a short bench as far as numbers allowed for that.
I give the coach credit for adapting to the players that were available.
Most here did not mention the number one thing this team did well and that’s play hard.
That is the essence of coaching, to get your players to play with maximum effort. There were a few stinkers in that regard, probably Tennessee comes to mind. But mostly, they played hard.