2023-24 Roster

#1

Thunder Good-Oil

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#1
What can be better?

Last year Uros added intimidation and size at post defense, but his free throw shooting was atrocious.

There wasn’t a true PG backup.

Often opponents could shut down the primary scorer and UT was in deep trouble.

JJJ and/or Olivier were needed to score if Santi was shut down.

Players getting into foul trouble (or sustaining injuries/illnesses) created deficiencies.

It seems like this year the weaknesses aren’t as glaring.

Possibly Knecht’s defense. Wisconsin attempted to exploit that early, but it didn’t last. However if they could have made free throws it would have been much more challenging.

So …
Depth - check
Free throw shooting - check
Perimeter shooting - check
Multiple scoring threats - check

There isn’t a true PG other than ZZ, but Gainey, Santi, Mashack, JJJ, and maybe Dilione provide many options.

Rebounding. Awaka keeps on excelling. JJJ will get a good chunk. Aidoo is getting better. Phillips is being pushed to be a great rebounder. I don’t know what Estrella will bring.

Breaking presses / dealing with high pressure defenses. ZZ. SV. JJJ. JM. Knecht isn’t a liability. Dilione can develop - he needs to overcome being a freshman.

Free throw shooting. Is anybody a liability? Awaka looks like he’s worked on his. No issues with Aidoo, Knecht, Gainey, Santi, ZZ, JJJ, and Mashack is looking solid. Hopefully Estrella and Phillips aren’t brick layers. I would expect that Dilione I’ll be good once he has adjusted to the high pressure of this level. DJ has a good outside shot, that ought to translate to being a reliable free throw shooter. Carr - might be redshirting or won’t have a huge role if not.

Defense. Mashack and JJJ can defend all over the court. SV is solid. ZZ isn’t talk, but has shown that he isn’t a liability. Aidoo protects the rim very well. So my only concern is if Knecht plays 30+ minutes, will he be able to not be a defensive liability? Freshmen are going to freshmen. Whoever develops his defense the fastest will probably be the freshman that gets the mist minutes (Estrella, Phillips, Dilione, DJ).

So if we could upgrade anywhere, where would it be? More experienced inside depth? Estrella and Phillips could help out a lot inside.
 
#2
#2
Options:
1-PG: ZZ, Gainey, SV, Mashack, JJJ, Dilione

2-SG: Santi, Gainey, Mashack, Knecht, Dilione, JJJ, DJ

3-SF: Knecht, JJJ, Mashack, DJ

4-PF: JJJ, Awaka, Knecht, Mashack, Phillips, Aidoo, Estrella, DJ

5-C: Aidoo, Awaka, Estrella, Phillips, JJJ
===================================
Best spots?
SV: 2/1
JJJ: 4/3/2/1/5
Knecht: 3/2/4
ZZ: 1
Aidoo: 5/4
Awaka: 4/5
Gainey: 2/1/3
Mashack: 3/2/4/1
Dilione: 2/1/3
Estrella: 5/4
Phillips: 4/5
DJ: 3/2/4
Carr: ???
 
Last edited:
#3
#3
What can be better?

Last year Uros added intimidation and size at post defense, but his free throw shooting was atrocious.

There wasn’t a true PG backup.

Often opponents could shut down the primary scorer and UT was in deep trouble.

JJJ and/or Olivier were needed to score if Santi was shut down.

Players getting into foul trouble (or sustaining injuries/illnesses) created deficiencies.

It seems like this year the weaknesses aren’t as glaring.

Possibly Knecht’s defense. Wisconsin attempted to exploit that early, but it didn’t last. However if they could have made free throws it would have been much more challenging.

So …
Depth - check
Free throw shooting - check
Perimeter shooting - check
Multiple scoring threats - check

There isn’t a true PG other than ZZ, but Gainey, Santi, Mashack, JJJ, and maybe Dilione provide many options.

Rebounding. Awaka keeps on excelling. JJJ will get a good chunk. Aidoo is getting better. Phillips is being pushed to be a great rebounder. I don’t know what Estrella will bring.

Breaking presses / dealing with high pressure defenses. ZZ. SV. JJJ. JM. Knecht isn’t a liability. Dilione can develop - he needs to overcome being a freshman.

Free throw shooting. Is anybody a liability? Awaka looks like he’s worked on his. No issues with Aidoo, Knecht, Gainey, Santi, ZZ, JJJ, and Mashack is looking solid. Hopefully Estrella and Phillips aren’t brick layers. I would expect that Dilione I’ll be good once he has adjusted to the high pressure of this level. DJ has a good outside shot, that ought to translate to being a reliable free throw shooter. Carr - might be redshirting or won’t have a huge role if not.

Defense. Mashack and JJJ can defend all over the court. SV is solid. ZZ isn’t talk, but has shown that he isn’t a liability. Aidoo protects the rim very well. So my only concern is if Knecht plays 30+ minutes, will he be able to not be a defensive liability? Freshmen are going to freshmen. Whoever develops his defense the fastest will probably be the freshman that gets the mist minutes (Estrella, Phillips, Dilione, DJ).

So if we could upgrade anywhere, where would it be? More experienced inside depth? Estrella and Phillips could help out a lot inside.
Backup PG is the one that keeps sticking out to me. It's been the biggest red flag to this point.
We should be able to scheme help for Knecht on defense. We gave up baseline easily to Wisconsin some.
 
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#4
#4
What can be better?

Last year Uros added intimidation and size at post defense, but his free throw shooting was atrocious.

There wasn’t a true PG backup.

Often opponents could shut down the primary scorer and UT was in deep trouble.

JJJ and/or Olivier were needed to score if Santi was shut down.

Players getting into foul trouble (or sustaining injuries/illnesses) created deficiencies.

It seems like this year the weaknesses aren’t as glaring.

Possibly Knecht’s defense. Wisconsin attempted to exploit that early, but it didn’t last. However if they could have made free throws it would have been much more challenging.

So …
Depth - check
Free throw shooting - check
Perimeter shooting - check
Multiple scoring threats - check

There isn’t a true PG other than ZZ, but Gainey, Santi, Mashack, JJJ, and maybe Dilione provide many options.

Rebounding. Awaka keeps on excelling. JJJ will get a good chunk. Aidoo is getting better. Phillips is being pushed to be a great rebounder. I don’t know what Estrella will bring.

Breaking presses / dealing with high pressure defenses. ZZ. SV. JJJ. JM. Knecht isn’t a liability. Dilione can develop - he needs to overcome being a freshman.

Free throw shooting. Is anybody a liability? Awaka looks like he’s worked on his. No issues with Aidoo, Knecht, Gainey, Santi, ZZ, JJJ, and Mashack is looking solid. Hopefully Estrella and Phillips aren’t brick layers. I would expect that Dilione I’ll be good once he has adjusted to the high pressure of this level. DJ has a good outside shot, that ought to translate to being a reliable free throw shooter. Carr - might be redshirting or won’t have a huge role if not.

Defense. Mashack and JJJ can defend all over the court. SV is solid. ZZ isn’t talk, but has shown that he isn’t a liability. Aidoo protects the rim very well. So my only concern is if Knecht plays 30+ minutes, will he be able to not be a defensive liability? Freshmen are going to freshmen. Whoever develops his defense the fastest will probably be the freshman that gets the mist minutes (Estrella, Phillips, Dilione, DJ).

So if we could upgrade anywhere, where would it be? More experienced inside depth? Estrella and Phillips could help out a lot inside.
To me, it’s post depth. We don’t appear to have an answer if Aidoo gets injured and we’re going to be challenged to defend big powerful post guys. No team can lose their starters and not feel it, but it seems like we have options everywhere besides post. I’d hate to have to battle top competition with our freshmen posts playing significant minutes - sort of like starting true freshmen on the line in football. JMO
 
#5
#5
If Knecht becomes the center of the offense they will build a game plan around attacking his defense. Even if he's not a liability they will seek to use screens and drives to tire him out.
 
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#6
#6
What can be better?

Last year Uros added intimidation and size at post defense, but his free throw shooting was atrocious.

There wasn’t a true PG backup.

Often opponents could shut down the primary scorer and UT was in deep trouble.

JJJ and/or Olivier were needed to score if Santi was shut down.

Players getting into foul trouble (or sustaining injuries/illnesses) created deficiencies.

It seems like this year the weaknesses aren’t as glaring.

Possibly Knecht’s defense. Wisconsin attempted to exploit that early, but it didn’t last. However if they could have made free throws it would have been much more challenging.

So …
Depth - check
Free throw shooting - check
Perimeter shooting - check
Multiple scoring threats - check

There isn’t a true PG other than ZZ, but Gainey, Santi, Mashack, JJJ, and maybe Dilione provide many options.

Rebounding. Awaka keeps on excelling. JJJ will get a good chunk. Aidoo is getting better. Phillips is being pushed to be a great rebounder. I don’t know what Estrella will bring.

Breaking presses / dealing with high pressure defenses. ZZ. SV. JJJ. JM. Knecht isn’t a liability. Dilione can develop - he needs to overcome being a freshman.

Free throw shooting. Is anybody a liability? Awaka looks like he’s worked on his. No issues with Aidoo, Knecht, Gainey, Santi, ZZ, JJJ, and Mashack is looking solid. Hopefully Estrella and Phillips aren’t brick layers. I would expect that Dilione I’ll be good once he has adjusted to the high pressure of this level. DJ has a good outside shot, that ought to translate to being a reliable free throw shooter. Carr - might be redshirting or won’t have a huge role if not.

Defense. Mashack and JJJ can defend all over the court. SV is solid. ZZ isn’t talk, but has shown that he isn’t a liability. Aidoo protects the rim very well. So my only concern is if Knecht plays 30+ minutes, will he be able to not be a defensive liability? Freshmen are going to freshmen. Whoever develops his defense the fastest will probably be the freshman that gets the mist minutes (Estrella, Phillips, Dilione, DJ).

So if we could upgrade anywhere, where would it be? More experienced inside depth? Estrella and Phillips could help out a lot inside.
I'm not sure about an upgrade, but maybe more true PG depth behind ZZ along with a big burly 7' corn fed white boy to bang when we cross paths with a team like....say Purdue for instance? Other than that, this roster is stacked. Right now I just want health for the entire season. Bumps and bruises are one thing. Just need to avoid season enders to critical players....cough, cough...zz and knecht.
 
#7
#7
I don't know if post depth is a weakness or a liability. I do think it is an unknown.

I think Gainey has enough speed to break the press, so with ZZ we have two guys that can do it. That is what you need to reliably break it.
 
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#8
#8
What can be better?

Last year Uros added intimidation and size at post defense, but his free throw shooting was atrocious.

There wasn’t a true PG backup.

Often opponents could shut down the primary scorer and UT was in deep trouble.

JJJ and/or Olivier were needed to score if Santi was shut down.

Players getting into foul trouble (or sustaining injuries/illnesses) created deficiencies.

It seems like this year the weaknesses aren’t as glaring.

Possibly Knecht’s defense. Wisconsin attempted to exploit that early, but it didn’t last. However if they could have made free throws it would have been much more challenging.

So …
Depth - check
Free throw shooting - check
Perimeter shooting - check
Multiple scoring threats - check

There isn’t a true PG other than ZZ, but Gainey, Santi, Mashack, JJJ, and maybe Dilione provide many options.

Rebounding. Awaka keeps on excelling. JJJ will get a good chunk. Aidoo is getting better. Phillips is being pushed to be a great rebounder. I don’t know what Estrella will bring.

Breaking presses / dealing with high pressure defenses. ZZ. SV. JJJ. JM. Knecht isn’t a liability. Dilione can develop - he needs to overcome being a freshman.

Free throw shooting. Is anybody a liability? Awaka looks like he’s worked on his. No issues with Aidoo, Knecht, Gainey, Santi, ZZ, JJJ, and Mashack is looking solid. Hopefully Estrella and Phillips aren’t brick layers. I would expect that Dilione I’ll be good once he has adjusted to the high pressure of this level. DJ has a good outside shot, that ought to translate to being a reliable free throw shooter. Carr - might be redshirting or won’t have a huge role if not.

Defense. Mashack and JJJ can defend all over the court. SV is solid. ZZ isn’t talk, but has shown that he isn’t a liability. Aidoo protects the rim very well. So my only concern is if Knecht plays 30+ minutes, will he be able to not be a defensive liability? Freshmen are going to freshmen. Whoever develops his defense the fastest will probably be the freshman that gets the mist minutes (Estrella, Phillips, Dilione, DJ).

So if we could upgrade anywhere, where would it be? More experienced inside depth? Estrella and Phillips could help out a lot inside.


This is a very deep and talented roster where the bench players will push the starters to get better over the course of this season.
 
#9
#9
I'm not sure about an upgrade, but maybe more true PG depth behind ZZ along with a big burly 7' corn fed white boy to bang when we cross paths with a team like....say Purdue for instance? Other than that, this roster is stacked. Right now I just want health for the entire season. Bumps and bruises are one thing. Just need to avoid season enders to critical players....cough, cough...zz and knecht.

I actually want to play Purdue in Maui. I think it would help our bigs later in the season.
 
#12
#12
To me, it’s post depth. We don’t appear to have an answer if Aidoo gets injured and we’re going to be challenged to defend big powerful post guys. No team can lose their starters and not feel it, but it seems like we have options everywhere besides post. I’d hate to have to battle top competition with our freshmen posts playing significant minutes - sort of like starting true freshmen on the line in football. JMO
I think Aidoo is the most important player on this team. Not only is he our best big but he has no true backup for what he brings to the table.
 
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