I am reading a few posts insinuating that this year’s team underachieved. That because of the seniors we should have done better.
The truth is, IMO, this team just wasn’t very talented. We had a grand total of TWO legit scorers on the team. Two. Now, those two were really good…but they were both guards. We had no reliable inside scoring presence. Gafford wowed us all at times. But he was not/is not consistent. He may or may not become a scorer in the NBA. On a team of scorers he wouldn’t have to be. But we needed him to score…and he sometimes delivered…sometimes he didn’t.
We had impressive offensive numbers because of those three…mainly Barford/Macon.
But how many times this year did we have long scoring droughts? Just like yesterday.
Beyond those three we had kids that had abilities…but not in the scoring area.
And…Barford and Macon…gifted as they are…are average defense players. They are not terrible by any means. But they are better on the offensive end than defensive. We had major problems with dribble penetration. All year long.
Am I making excuses for Mike? Nope. He recruits his own roster.
Just saying that this year’s team was not an especially talented team. I would argue the Portis team underachieved. Not sure this one did.
That said yesterday was embarrassing. Not the loss. The margin.
I have said on here before that this was an above average team capable of being good but never great. 2 scorers that can create for themselves but not others makes you much easier to defend. The guard position was our strength but also our weakness on defense. As stated above, I was disappointed we lost but not surprised. It was still a good year,all things considered.
Maestro, my sentiments as well. You are right on with your assessment. If Macon AND Barford were not on, we struggled mightily all year long. Only Barford had any skill at driving to the basket and we had very little bench scoring at all. As I posted earlier, thanks to all the seniors for representing the Hogs and best of luck to all…
This group of seniors had glaring weaknesses. They made the same mistakes from the first time they took the floor until it ended yesterday. They never made good decisions especially on the break and more times than they got the score they would turn it over or just air mail a horrible shot! They could not feed the post and were too hard headed to pass and move without the ball. Too much standing and watching! When they hit shots they could win! When they struggled their defense was so horrible they got blown out! I’m glad they are gone!
We will have a point guard next year and a forward that can score! If Gafford comes back they may be better than this years team.
Would have been nice if Bailey, Jones, or Cook had shown any signs of improvement from last year. I can only hope that at some point in time we see a point guard like the Buffalo player, Clark, the Missouri transfer. We seem every year to get two or three legit players, but can’t fill the roster with other capable players. (Portis, Qualls) (Barford, Macon, Hannahs) ( Barford, Macon, Gafford)
I think Bailey did improve this year, despite missing a couple of weeks during conference when he got the flu. He needs to have a great summer because we need that physical athletic presence inside, whether Gafford comes back or not.
CJ is at a point where he is either going to get quite a bit better or the new arrivals are going to take most of his minutes. He flashed the scoring potential several times this year, and towards the end of the season occasionally acted like he at least wanted to play defense. If he does not come back stronger and more consistent he is going to be doing the same thing he did this year, come off the bench as a scorer for the second unit.
Cook was a non-contributor until the last four or five games, but was an adequate role player at the end. I think the newcomers will be a talent upgrade at forward as compared to Cook and Thomas.
The missing piece was Garland. He was the best and most ready of the freshman group coming in this year from Gafford, Hall, Osabuohein and Garland.He would have reduced Beard minutes and allowed Mike to have some length in guarding a 6-7 SF. Legit SFs ate Barford’s lunch all year. Barford-Macon-Beard is just a small perimeter defensive group.
When, we talked about this year’s team having many interchangeable parts, we were talking about Garland, Hall and CJ. Sadly only Hall came through.
To me the big disappointments for the year are Garland (not his fault), Thomas, CJ and Cook in that order.
Can’t wait to see how 6-6 Jordan Phillips plays out as a legit 3. And if Hall can truly improve his ball handling and become a legit 3.
Got to become taller at 3 to improve rebounding. Can’t believe we did as well as we did in rebounding. Believe it or not, we were outrebounded on the season by just 1.6 rebounds per game.