So true! It seems like many posters didn’t really see or comprehend what Mason accomplished this past season.
As far as your question, I don’t see an already proven replacement for what Mason did for us. Of course, you usually don’t have a replacement for the SEC’s leading scorer when he leaves.
The more I research Jackson, the more I’m getting the feeling that he may be the most likely prospect to assume that role. A few reasons why I’ve come to that conclusion"
Of all our transfers, he was the only one who was a solid 4-star player coming out of high school.
He has, on multiple occasions, shown the talent and ability to take over a game.
He destroyed CEM’s defensive scheme to stop him.
I believe CEM has the ability to get the best out of a talented player (see Mason) who has a burning desire to play at a higher level.
It may come down to whether Vance wants to work hard enough to be able to play at a level he has not yet achieved. Does he have that “burning desire” and work ethic that Mason displayed last year? Only Vance knows.
You mentioned Jalen Tate. I loved that Muss was able to sign him. I think he’s going to be our defensive MVP next year. A solid offensive player and a great defender. I’m just not sure he has the scoring or shooting ability to take on the offensive role to replace Mason in, as you described, crunch time.
I don’t believe there is anyone on our team, including Joe, that will replace Mason’s scoring, but that is not what we need. If we are to burst onto the national scene, we need each returning player and each new player to improve their overall game and as a group, replace Mason’s 22 ppg.
Obviously, if Joe doesn’t return, we will be in a “wait and see” mode if we will have adequate 3-point shooting. Moody has proven to be an excellent 3-point shooter in High school, but he’ll have to prove if that will hold up with the now much deeper college 3 point line. Even Joe had a drop in his 3-point shooting percentage with the deeper line.
Vanover, Notae, and Jackson have nearly identical 3 point shooting percentages (35%). The reason I have more confidence in Jackson’s 3-point shooting is he showed a slightly improved percentage at the deeper 3-point line this last season. Neither Vanover nor Notae have last season’s 3-point percentage included in their average.
Going into this season I feel comfortable that, in order, Joe, Jackson, Sills, Moody, Vanover, and Notae will be good to great 3-point shooters.
By the way, I am so excited about Moody this year. He has improved every facet of his game these last 2 years playing for that amazing high school team. He undoubtedly will be a star before he’s finished at Arkansas.
This season will be night and day different with the infusion of length. When Vanover goes outside on offense, the stunning mismatch will give the opposition a big problem. Send their big man out to try to defend, leaving the basket defended by smaller forwards and guards, or just harrassing him with said forwards and guards. He can shoot, pass to an open 3-pt shooter, or pass to a cutter to the basket. The days of us being outrebounded by double digits should be over. And that’s just one new option for initiating chaos for a defense. It’s going to be fun. I hope they catch on quickly and mesh easily.
I am glad he has brought many more weapons from the perimeter, and several of those are drive it guys as well. This will much more of a team than last season. Very versatile bunch.
He also, besides perimeter players, brought in experience, defenders, rebounding, speed and quickness. This bunch will play at great pace with many weapons.
I don’t see this team, in a comparison to last seasons team, being anything like last seasons team. It’s a whole new look. He we coach different, more to his true self as a coach, play way more people. And hopefully and I think, be more successful. I don’t think they compare much at all.
Agree w Gas. I think it will take a while to gel, w or wo Joe. Lots of new players w different abilities. Defensively and rebounding we should be much better, especially rebounding. We should be more versatile but it might be a situation of finding hot player or combos each game. Jones was good going one on one and taking and making a difficult shot or get fouled. Remember the freshmen are rookies but talented. Will take a bit for them to see and execute what coach muss wants to do.
But there is talent across the board and a ton more depth. Will be fun to watch. This team will get better and better as the season progresses. Let’s just hope we have a season.
I don’t see us being in that position next year, we will have multiple players that can take the last shot I believe… so I don’t see us going to that particular set, KK and devonte both can drive and dish to several players who can hit the 3.
From Muss’s comments, if Joe comes back, Muss would like Joe to become the go-to-guy. Not sure if that will work like it did with Mason, but he is the one Muss will go with.
If Joe does not come back, no one on the roster jumps out to me to be that guy at this point. Without Joe, we will have 10 newcomers and none of them have been go-to-guys at this level.
There are some who say that we will have balanced scoring and multiple options and don’t need a go-to-guy. But I have not seen a team that does not have one. No matter how balanced you are, it always comes to down to one guy who is willing to put everything on the line, be a goat or a hero, and try to make it happen.
It is possible Sills could be that guy. He has shown ability to hit a 3 or drive to the hoop and the guy is definitely not scared to put it up. Clay said that we didn’t know Mason would be that guy before the season started. So, there will be someone who steps up. Could be Moody. Someone has to.