SEC players starting to pull out of draft

It has begun.

Tolu Smith back to Miss State. We will have to deal with him one more year. Now they have most of the players in last year’s rotation back and have added some good talent in jucos, transfers and freshmen.

Matthew Murrell back to Ole Miss. If Beard can get transfers Murray and Cisse immediately eligible, Murrell return could be meaningful.

Here is an interesting one:

This means Bama loses the entire front court of Bediako, Clowney and Miller. They do not have a true Big left on the roster. Bama has been trying to pick up a Big from the portal but have not been able to. Now that Bediako is gone, they might be able to get one.

See my post from this past weekend


Not surprised by Mark’s returning to college. I think he got in the portal in the first place because he and his people knew he needed to be able to show more on offense to have a reasonable chance to get drafted, and Houston probably was not his best option to accomplish that goal.

I think Oats can adopt somewhat to the lack of size with his 3 point-centric system, and playing high tempo. They are going to have problems when they play teams that can defend the three, like Arkansas.

I think it depends on the dribble penetration of the guards. If Quinnerly and Sears come back, Alabama will get good shots from the three. Then it is a matter of whether next year’s team shoots threes well.

As far as Arkansas defense, in the Muss era, Arkansas opponents have been making 1 out of 3. That is decent defense but not lockdown defense.

Actually, In Muss’ 4 years here his average 3 point defense is 30.5%. Based on last seasons stats, that 30.5% average would be 24th in the country, tied with Duke. 1/3 or 33.3% would have been 144th in the country.

I admit, the Hogs were #1 in the country (27.2%) his first season here, and that skewers the percentages a bit. Muss has complained about his teams’ 3 point defense in the 2020-21 (33.7%) and 2021-22 (32.4%) seasons when they averaged 33%. Last season they were very good (not great) with 31.1% and tied with UCLA for 40th in the country. The added length on the perimeter helped last season and should do so again this next season.

I think that Muss’s three point defensive philosophy is more often than not driven by the numbers: he tries to keep the best three point shooters from getting clean looks. It’s generally worked pretty well.

I see the basic idea as being to use long, aggressive defenders on the best shooters, and then sag a step or two on everybody else until you get hurt from outside. That philosophy has proven to take some time for new guys to execute-we’ve had a number of games against okay to really good opponents before late January where the three point defense was awful.

It’s also harder to do that when the other team puts three guys out there at once who can really shoot, but we’ve managed it against several mid-majors the last few years, Even with the long teams we’ve fielded lately, the sagging defenders really have to work to learn the difference between not getting close enough and coming in too hard, too late, and fouling/giving up drives to the basket.

That strategy does leaves us vulnerable to one or two guys who don’t show up on the scouting report as quality three point shooters torching us until Muss tweaks the defense-and that has happened quite a times the last few seasons.

Overall, however, I think the Muss defense has let us play consistently good three point defense, and. more importantly, win a lot of games.

Great news. Really looking forward to watching Tramon on the court this season!