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About this Page -- This is a discussion on Attempt at level-headed review of the bball team. within the forum Tennessee Vols Basketball. It's hard to describe this team in one word. Roller-coaster is the best I can come up with. So far, ...

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Old 01-16-2013, 01:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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hoops Attempt at level-headed review of the bball team

It's hard to describe this team in one word. Roller-coaster is the best I can come up with.

So far, this season has been disappointing. We have a hard time producing what is expected of us sometimes. IMO, you have to think about what you can reasonably expect, and, importantly, reasonably analyze what actually happens.

PROBLEMS:
Coaching - It seems like Martin is having a hard time figuring out what to do. I don't blame him, his assignment for this season is tough. To point out the obvious, he needs to be more liberal with his timeout usage. He has been struggling making use of his timeouts as well. We don't seem to be good at running efficient and concise plays coming out of timeouts. I recall several where we carelessly turned the ball over.

-I often wonder what they work on in practice as the season progresses. Possibly the biggest problem I have with Martin is that the team is still struggling bringing the ball up the court against the press. We've been so incredibly burned, I don't understand why it doesn't look like we've been working on it. Yes, our lack of a good handler is hurting us in that regard, but Martin needs to draw up some passing schemes to relieve the pressure. Granted, I remember some screens being set a few times last night, so maybe he's trying.

-Along the same lines, I wonder how they coach Stokes in practices. Seems like the thing they should spend the most time on with Stokes is posting against the double team. When he touches the ball, it's an automatic double. IMO, he handles the ball while moving his feet pretty well. He doesn't show it often, but maybe creating team plays against the double with Stokes handling in the post would help. Conversely, Stokes needs to be practicing his passes out of the double 24/7. If he can improve his vision and passing, I know we're capable of at least producing high-percentage shots if we could just prepare situational around Stokes being doubled IMO.

Players - Plenty to complain about. Stokes has been mostly disappointing. I don't know what the hell is going on with Trae. I personally think it has to do with a physical injury. He was pretty consistent from last season until the beginning of this one, but he looks like a totally different player now. McBee is just getting exposed for his lack of athleticism. It's hard to figure out how he wasn't too terrible last season, and how he can't seem to do anything right this season.

-We are really missing Maymon and Miller. This argument needs to be put to rest. It is virtually impossible to imagine a scenario with a healthy Miller and Maymon and an 8-7 record. Case closed.

-Kenny Hall is ultimately a perpetual disappointment, but he plays well sometimes. Again, I think things would be different if he could find a medium between his good and bad play and play like that consistently. I would honestly take an 5 pt, 5 rbd line over his streakiness.

-Free throw practice is apparently an unacceptably low priority for this team, but what's new?

THE GOOD
-McRae and Richardson. So impressed with their improvement. They play tough and smart. It would be huge if we lost either to injury. The thing I like the most about McRae's new game is that he doesn't seem to have a million things running through his mind. He makes deliberate and crisp moves now, much more under control. That's how he was able to make so many of those jumpers last night. This has also helped him tremendously with his driving abilities. He knows where to go and what to do now - he's thinking clearly.

-Reese has been playing well in his first games. He makes me nervous because I don't want to get my hopes up, but his bball IQ impresses me. Like McRae, he makes deliberate and concise moves. He has shown that he has a good sense of shot selection and that he's a capable passer. As another poster pointed out in another thread, he has the mental tenacity to step up and take a good shot when he's on the spot (specifically with his 3s). He also had a nice finish at the basket in transition last night, which was great to see. He is known for being a good rebounder, and that is the only thing I wish he would produce more of.

-Yemi is showing promise. He's a project for sure, but I think we have more reason to believe that he will be an efficient starter at some point in his career.

-Martin is trying. Our offense was not getting it done by the time the Georgetown and UVA games came around, so we have been adjusting since. Some stuff did not work, so we stopped using it. McRae and Reese are getting more minutes, McBee is getting less. We still need to nail down a rotation, but I think we're getting there.

BOTTOM LINE:
This team has been playing ugly. We know that we are capable of making plays, but we have to cut out the sloppiness. We need to take EVERY POSSESSION as seriously as if it were for the win.

With so many small problems, I want to believe we can improve and not continue losing games. At the same time, when 3 of your top 5 players either not playing or not producing, it's concerning. In order for this team to be successful, we absolutely need Golden to be his usual self and for Stokes to be more productive on offense IMO. It's really difficult for me to predict how the rest of the season will go because Martin's teams have shown resilience in the past. That's obviously what I'm hoping for, but it'd be unreasonable to expect it.

I also wanted to say that I absolutely love our basketball team. I can't relate to a lot of posters because they get so bent out of shape when we suck. Yeah, I don't like it when we suck, but I'm not going to sit here and just complain and talk trash about the team. I love watching every second of every game, win or lose. There are few things I find in this world more enjoyable than cheering for our basketball team. You make your own experience when you're a fan, and I think cheering your team on through thick or this is a lot more enjoyable than becoming manic depressive after every turnover.

Thanks for reading guys. GO VOLS!!!
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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-its hard to learn to play good D at the guard position in games because our guards are too easy to cover in practice. Get on Mcbee and make Trae go left. That's easy.
-CM is failing with the timeouts and subs, but his assistants are as well. Somebody needs to have the balls to step up during the game and remind him. It's tough as an HC as you are looking at everything, and the assts need to help him.
-I think they practice too hard on D in practice, and it wears them down, and they don't practice enough O
-you can practice ft shooting all day and most players nail them in practice. Games are different. Always have been.

I look forward to see what pg we get, our spacing next year, and see how the team looks before writing CM off. He isn't doing well, imo, but players also have to play ball and we only have a couple playing ball. Is that on the coaches or players? Both.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Valid points.

Yeah, I'd say that Martin will be coaching for his job next year.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartacavolus View Post
-its hard to learn to play good D at the guard position in games because our guards are too easy to cover in practice. Get on Mcbee and make Trae go left. That's easy.
-CM is failing with the timeouts and subs, but his assistants are as well. Somebody needs to have the balls to step up during the game and remind him. It's tough as an HC as you are looking at everything, and the assts need to help him.
-I think they practice too hard on D in practice, and it wears them down, and they don't practice enough O
-you can practice ft shooting all day and most players nail them in practice. Games are different. Always have been.

I look forward to see what pg we get, our spacing next year, and see how the team looks before writing CM off. He isn't doing well, imo, but players also have to play ball and we only have a couple playing ball. Is that on the coaches or players? Both.
Best in the BB forum in a long time, couldn't agree more.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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wtfl;dnatr
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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McBee must be a helluva practice player because Pearl and Martin both like him. Two coaches whose style is completely different have given him minutes that most people wouldn't give.

I think once Hall's lazy ass leaves and we upgrade McBee's position then we'll be better. Those two players would be bench players on most people's team. They are starters for UT. Says a helluva lot.

We are a PG away and improving our ball handling next year to being a pretty good team. If Hubbs can shoot like they say, he'll help McRae out. Maymon will do his work on the inside which should free Stokes up. I think Stokes is thinking too much. He said in an interview that he has been told to be aggressive and then been told to be patient and it probably is confusing him. He's thinking too much and doesn't seem to be having fun because he's struggling and it has affected his confidence. Once he settles down and lets the game come to him then he'll probably start showing improvement. Unfortunately, I don't know if we'll see it this year.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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For those interested, we're going to find out how much stock we need to put in these possession efficiency stats that have told us recently that we don't have now and never did have a good defensive team.
Hold on now, for those saying look at all the good wins we had last season. For every good win we had, we had numerous bad losses.
Just looking at SEC conference games, because that will give a good look at everyone's most recent history:

Points per Possession

1.22 Texas A&M
1.22 Florida
1.14 Ole Miss
1.08 Auburn
1.04 Alabama
1.04 Kentucky
0.99 Tennessee
0.98 Missouri
0.96 South Carolina
0.92 Mississippi State
0.85 LSU
0.84 Vanderbilt
0.84 Arkansas
0.81 Georgia

Points Allowed per Possession

0.77 Florida
0.8 Arkansas
0.83 Mississippi State
0.94 Ole Miss
0.97 Missouri
0.98 Texas A&M
1.0 South Carolina
1.01 Vanderbilt
1.02 Auburn
1.04 Kentucky
1.05 LSU
1.14 Tennessee
1.14 Alabama
1.16 Georgia

If they hold true, could we be looking at a loss Saturday?
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If UT loses to a bad Miss St team Sat at home then there might be some people jumping off bridges.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Good write up
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