Went to the game Saturday...my thoughts

It was kind of strange being at a Hog game without CMA coaching. I’m good friends with Scotty Thurman and always visited with him after every game. Kind of sad not being able to see him…plus I had to pay for tickets for the first time in a long time…lol

We are very small and don’t have a post presence at all. As of right now we have nobody to throw it down on the block to that can score in that fashion. Sooner or later that will hurt us.

I’m 52 and I have seen some ugly shots in my lifetime but let me tell you, there is not an uglier jump shot than Jimmy Whitt’s! In warm ups he was shooting 3’s and I felt so bad for him. His free throw form is very hard to watch. For some reason every shot he takes he fades away and also double pumps it. I remember he used to fade away when he was a freshman but I never remember the double pump or the ugly form. I love the dude but I just can’t believe how bad his mechanics are. Against better teams they will never guard him until he gets inside the free throw line. I’m really worried about “hack a Jimmy” in a close game. Why in the world would someone at SMU not correct all of this in 4 years?

Our offense runs a lot of set plays at the first of the shot clock. If it doesn’t work we usually go high screen and roll. Mason was terrific at it Saturday. I think our offense will get better as the weeks go by. Its got to be hard going from a motion offense to running lots of sets. That being said Muss doesn’t seem to care if they free lance a little.

Muss is not afraid to get in someones tail. He got Mason twice during the first half. Walking out on the court to rip him hard. The best part was that Mason took it and fixed what he did wrong. Never pouted or talked back.

Our defense(so far) is outstanding. You can tell they are very prepared and take a lot of pride in getting stops. One thing I didn’t like about CMA’s teams was he always went 2-3 zone under the goal on an inbounds play. Almost every time somebody would be wide open for a corner three. Muss stays man to man and they deny hard.

Bailey really played hard Saturday. For years now he has started strong in non conference but laid down when conference season came. I hope this year is different because we are going to need him.

Isiah was off Saturday and seemed to get his head down a little. I love Isiah and the way he just goes about his business. I really don’t think he is NBA ready just yet. He’s got to get better with his ball handling and his defense. I hope he stays for next year but if he is promised first round I bet he’s gone.

Sills is my favorite player on this team. That dude is not scared of anything. I think at the end of his career we will be talking about him in the same way we talk about Clint McDaniel. When his 3 starts falling he is hard to deal with. He has a quick first step and he’s left handed. Love the dude!

Mason Jones is my wife’s favorite player. Such a cool demeanor on the court. He’s very crafty with the ball and has a very good feel for whats going on. When his step back in going in he’s hard to guard.

We aren’t world beaters but we are scrappy and very well coached. If KK and Williams sign on next year will be fun to watch.

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Nice post and spot on, in my view. This year is going to be a difficult one due to our lack of post presence. Maybe, Reggie Chaney will make a big difference, but next year will be the year we start to take the big step back to the NCAA’s unless Coach Mussleman just squeezes every drop out this team has to offer.

Jimmy Whitt is a good player. It is a shame he never got his shooting technique straightened out. Even his mid range shots are suspect because he shoots the ball with a low trajectory. He is a good defender with those crazy long arms. He might have been an NBA prospect had he gotten that technique re-built a couple of seasons ago.

If our coaching staff can work their magic on Chaney as they have on Bailey, we might squeeze into the NCAA’s. It is too early for that talk, but we probably aren’t getting there without a much improved Chaney.

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thanks for the update, glad you had a good time. And i agree with everything you said.

GHG

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What post presence besides Chaney are you projecting for next season? A prospect to be signed?

Also do you not recall that Mike and staff tried to change his shooting motion, but Whitt resisted that? Also his shooting technique is so awkward and he has played with it so long that he would have to sit our a year to really change it. But looks like Larry Brown and his staff either didn’t try or were unsuccessful at it while Whitt was sitting out at SMU.

Vanover will be a post presence…he can’t help but be one at 7 foot whatever he is now.

I’ve watched Mike Anderson closely for years, beginning in his Tulsa days. Back then, I was courtside. I could not be prouder of his and Nolan’s contributions to our program and state. And, their names are a bit like “Broyles” to me.

Thanks for your take. And, yes we do not appear to be world beaters. But, I only wonder what they coud have looked like with a Gabe on the team…or Gafford should he have tarried. We seem to always fall a buck short.

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That will be interesting. I didn’t see him do that in high school. Maybe he is beginning to like physical contact.

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I see Vanover as a perimeter guy, and slasher, and not much of a slasher. I do not see him as a guy who will set up on the low block. Could he add about 20 pounds and perhaps be a guy who goes to the block some? Yep. It’s fun to think about the possibilities if that happens.

Enjoyed reading this, Razorblack. Good stuff.

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This is what I don’t get. I read and hear about all the improvements in fundamentals, shooting techniques, defensive stances and other stuff that Muss has implemented. And add to that the analytics, game prep that supposedly we never had before.

Given all that, it should lead one to conclude that they are a lock to make the NCAAs.

Last year with eight newcomers plus only one returning player that had contributed significantly the previous year in Gafford, the guy who cannot coach sound basketball had us sitting on the bubble going into the SECT. So by replacing Gafford with Whitt and Cylla, not losing anyone that contributed a lot the previous year and the newcomers from prior year adding a year of experience and adding what most consider a real coach, it stands to reason that NCAA is there for the taking barring injuries.

Or was Gafford that big of a difference that he overcame inexperience of the team and coaching deficiencies?

Hmmm…arms getting tired from al the stirring :wink:

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You guys might want to pump the brakes a little on Whitt and his shot. Not sure what he did at SMU but for the small sample we have he is over 46% from the field and 71% from the line. His mid range jumper in the lane has been spot on…So he has an ugly shot, who cares as long as it goes in the hole. His fall away jumper in the lane looks pretty good. Three point shooter never but that pull up jumper in the lane is a killer.

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PJ, Whitt has been a major part of this team. I don’t want to be mean, but he is light years better at the point than Harris was last year. I firmly believe if we had Jimmy on last year’s team, we would have made the NCAAs, and maybe the sweet sixteen. Mike would still probably be here. And, of course, if Gafford were here now, on this team, I believe we’d be a lock for the tournament and probably have a great shot at the 2nd week end.

I believe we miss Gabe in a huge way. Would have been his junior season, too.

I don’t know if we’ll make the NCAA tourney, but anybody watching this team can see a major difference in the coaching basics (even the players are outspoken about it) vs. what we had. And yes, that young team from last year would be better by pure maturation but we’re without one of the best centers in the country and the only other decent sized interior player because of suspension. Now, the recruiting will be the long term determining factor on how far we go in the future vs. Anderson’s style/coaching/recruiting success but this early sample seems to provide a pretty clear take on what the Hogs should be under Muss surrounding the NCAA down the line.

Another way of asking the question is would we have made the tournament last year if Muss was coaching instead of Anderson, since the general feeling is that Muss is a huge upgrade over Anderson’s lack of skills.

I think people are dishonest if they think Coach Anderson is not a good coach. You don’t put together his kind of resume without being a “good coach”. Of course average, good and great are subjective and in the eye of the beholder.

I would have liked to have seen more pick and roll action with Macon/Barford and Gafford, and in case of last year the guards and Gafford. It’s my opinion that Muss would have better utilized Gafford in this type of action.

My 2 cents.

There is something about Whitt’s shooting motion that reminds me of a low post player. A lot of times their shots are elevated and delayed to try to get over the top of a shot blocker. But it doesn’t have to be pretty to be effective. Ronnie Brewer showed that, too.

Yes, we need to sign a guy who has size and can play inside. I have no clue who that might be, but for us to be a force in college basketball we are going to need one or two inside studs. It is pretty obvious we need an inside presence. When we play those good SEC teams, their size will really hurt us. Next year without a couple of these guys, we are going to face the same problem. This isn’t news to anyone.

Yes, with Gafford here this year…it would have been a very good team. Really good. I would have loved to have seen Gafford after a year with this staff. He would have only been a junior.

I believe Chaney can provide post presence. Mike was grooming him to take over from Gafford. That is why he did not play him full time at the 4.

I loved Clint McDaniel, he had such tenacity and heart. It would be great to see a re-incarnation of him on this squad!