- Joined: Aug 25, 2013
- Last Login: Nov 11, 2021, 11:08pm EST
- Comments: 334
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Comment 2 recs
Not sure about that
I get that the hype was enough to build a case for him but when you get down to the substance of it, I’m not so sure he would’ve tested well enough athletically to get consideration for being a Top 50 pick if he even ended up being drafted. Hunter has said he compares his game to Jokic and Brook Lopez but I think he comp’s more out at a Miles Plumlee type at best at the pro level. I know Miles was a 1st round pick but he was drafted into a much different NBA than we have now. Nothing about how Hunter’s range shot is looking or developing makes me believe he can expand much further on that. He’s going to lack the agility and speed to defend at the pro level as well. His most intriguing asset is that he’s a smart passer out of the post but it’s questionable if that’s valuable enough to get him a role in the league.
Comment 1 reply, 2 recs
Could see it coming
Not sure I expected Michigan to struggle this much in Conference play but people really underestimated just how much Michigan lost from last year. Wagner, Livers and Smith are all high impact players outgoing and they just have not even come close to replacing that production and clutch-time play. Media hype was focusing on Hunter essentially being the centerpiece of a Top 10 team which is just something he’s not equipped to do. He’s a very good player but he lacks in offensive versatility and is honestly not a high impact post defender. Great piece to have, wish we had him (minus his dogs**t attitude) but he’s not an all-american type player unless he works on a few things.
Comment 1 reply
I fully understand after 4 years of role playing for him seek out a larger offensive role in his final year of eligibility (nearly +3 FGA over his career high). I feel like he would’ve probably come back if we weren’t assuredly going to seek out transfers to play starter minutes.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
Career nights to opposing players
It’s been a slowly inching up trend the last 3-4 seasons and has come to a head in a big way this year. Our defense "does what it does" 98% of the time and rarely accounts for what the opposing offense is doing and their personnel. Under very rare occasions would/do we ever switch up our defense whether that’d be opt-out switching (ie: our 5 cannot switch off their 5 under any circumstance) or going into a different scheme (ie: zone). Normally, coaches will account for and at least attempt to make adjustments when a player is clearly the hot hand and/or holes and tendencies in our defense are exposed (ie: 5 token help on the ball as offense initiates offense which has lead to easy rim buckets). That has not been the case here. It’s just bad coaching. There’s no two ways about it.
Comment 3 recs
2:08 of 1st half - Our best single offensive play of the season
Green dumps an entry pass down to Q who is double teamed. Q passes back out to Green taking the 2nd defender back out and Green dumps it right back into Q who makes a QUICK move to the basket. Didn’t get the shot to fall but earned 2 free throws without dribbling into or pushing himself directly into/through a double team. That play is everything I’ve been banging my head against the wall hoping to see more of from Q and was a basic but high IQ play by Green.
Comment 1 rec
I know once I get into a 2nd paragraph...
95% of people won’t read it anyways. When I post anything of length it’s just an exercise for myself since I actually still give a hoot about the season haha.
I hear that
Wins/losses aside, the biggest red flag regarding Manning is what is going on with our bigs. He was brought in basically just for that and has almost exclusively worked with Reese and Q since he was brought on to the staff. For them to be struggling this bad (especially Q) is unacceptable. I’d like to be a fly on the wall when our next coach comes in and has his first sit down with Reese (since Q will likely transfer out) about what the prior coaching staff did wrong with him in his Frosh year.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
Coaches comments + Player observations
"We could have handled some things better, but you got to give Northwestern credit too," Manning said about the end of regulation. "I mean, they got guys on scholarship as well… and well-coached so they made some plays." – People like to give Turge guff for his post-game comments (and rightfully so) but those comments are extremely discouraging. Not breaking the mold of superficial like Turge and lacking any real insight/accountability on what transpired.
I think it’s been clear Danny is way out of his depth but the most discouraging thing has honestly been how little impact he’s had on our two bigs. Reese has hit the freshman wall which was to be expected but Q is an absolute zero net guy on the court. I hesitate to simply blame the kid because he’s still in the highly moldable portion of his basketball career but it’s clear that he’s either not being coached up or what’s being said is just not getting through. Both Q and Reese are so focused on "arms up, arms up" that they are getting bullied on stop > push post moves (high center of gravity) or getting abused and fouling on simple stop > shot fakes. Having your arms up is all well and good but if your feet are stapled to the floor you are committed to defending one single shot angle unless you move your feet. Never in a million years would I have expected our 5 situation to be a bigger headache now (short term, Reese has unreal potential still) with those two than with Galin, the occasional Chol and Scott playing the 5 last year.
Speaking of Donta, he certainly did not end the game well and could’ve cost us the game. I will say though that it was pretty clear from his reactions that he knew exactly what he did wrong and I’d bet nothing like that happens again. Can’t give a pass to him for it but at least the kid seems to understand his actions. Strictly on the court, I honestly hate that a talent athlete like Donta is kind of caught in this limbo positional area. Since his frosh year he has been caught between positions based on his body, skillset and our team needs just not keeping things consistent for him but I feel like it’s coming to a head this year. He’s not big enough to match up with the "thicker" 4’s and he’s not agile enough laterally to match man-to-man against the stretch 4’s or the typical 3’s we will face in B1G play. His best matchups have honestly been defending 5s (with post crash help) and on offense, forcing 5s to defend perimeter or forcing opposing coaches to make tough switch calls/play zone against our lineup with him at the 5. It’s a lot to ask of him now and puts pressure on him especially since he’s down in weight but with Q becoming deadweight, Reese struggling and our general need for a spark, I’d embrace the smaller lineup and roll with it as much as possible.
Ayala, Keem and Fatts were pretty much the engine. Aggressive to the rack Ayala is the best version of him. I’d like to see that happen more but that takes a level of cooperation with our bigs position down low that we just don’t have consistently right now. Keem was one of the few bright spots on defense and his discovery that "oh snap, I have long ass arms" is eerily reminiscent of when we saw Wiggs discover that back late in his soph year. After that, Wiggs become a much more viable iso drive threat and was able to probe for and find body positioning for layups. I hope we see Keem continue down that road. Fatts seemingly fights through 1st half ticky tack foul calls every game now which is disappointing. Some are legit, some are questionable and some have just been straight up garbage calls. Good on him for fighting through it and playing late 4th quarter and 10 minutes of OT without fouling out.
Xavier Green played a lot of valuable minutes again and was mostly a net plus on the court. He had issues finishing off some high quality looks but he was solid on defense and pretty much the only player on our side who could figure out how to track a rebound. For comparisons sake, I look at Green’s role very similarly to Dino Gregory’s senior year with us. He’s got that baseline 2pt jumper in his arsenal just like Dino and I would like to see more drive > baseline kicks from Fatts/Hart to Green for that 2pt jumper. If he drains a couple of those, it could be an in game situational advantage for what it would do in effecting the tendency of his assigned defender deciding to or not to help on drives.
Comment 1 reply
Suns are a joke
Don’t let the on court success of the last 1 1/2 years fool you – that organization is a clown show. Drafting Stix to begin with was a horrible move with the logjam of 4’s/5’s ahead of him on the roster already (of which they moved none) and somehow end up disappointed in him when he doesn’t impress with almost zero opportunity. Makes sense right? I’m glad they were forced into playing him due to roster crunch because now Stix has earned himself (at minimum) a chance to compete for first-off-the-bench minutes elsewhere.
Phoenix has literally lucked into Booker who they let meander with minimal support during his cheap $ years and Ayton who they were supposedly down on after his rookie year and now is bordering on elite…but they don’t want to pay him! That doesn’t even take into account the allegations at the owner. Once CP is gone and assuming they continue to bungle the Ayton contract, they will be back down in the lottery right quick.
Comment 2 replies, 1 rec
Can't look to the bench for that spark
My biggest gripe over the last handful of years has been the lack of involvement by our bench in the early portion of our non-conference schedules. Players like Dockery, Cornish, Pavlo, Revaz and JGIII (when he was here) should each have been playing double digit minutes each multiple times during non-conference play to build chemistry and confidence. You absolutely cannot throw these kids into the deep-end during conference play having to (likely) play with 3-4 of our starting five who they will have no chemistry with since they essentially play 30+ minutes a night together as a single lineup. How does any coaching staff really know what they have in kids just by practice? They needed to get heavy game action early on which they didn’t and has led to the consequence of us basically having 2 guys viable off the bench now.
Our lack of success boils down to many issues but I’d definitely hone in on people vastly overlooking the on-court value lost after last season and how our transfers just have not been able to replace it.
Comment 2 recs
Straight trash homie
Q has to realize that it doesn’t matter if you’re hands straight up if you don’t move your feet. Stone footed Kofi Cockburn is putting him through the ringer because Q is either a) not athletic enough to move into position or b) isn’t being coached up to do so. Either way, the flaws in Q’s game and some of the things Reese has not progressed on yet is a direct reflection on Mannings inability to coach up the specific kids he was brought in to coach up.
Scott, Ayala and Fatts
Love the effort and energy those last 10ish minutes or so! I have not seen Scott this engaged all season long and I don’t think it’s coincidence that it’s happening with our smaller lineup out there. Even if Kofi were on the floor, having him at the 5 should be in consideration since it would either force Kofi to defend him on the perimeter or open up chances to drive and score/accumulate more fouls on Kofi.
Q was brought here to play in games like this. Cockburn is no threat to shoot away from the basket and is essentially one move and go. This should be the type of matchups Q thrives in. Reese was not perfect defending Cockburn but he was lightyears better at moving his feet to prevent easy entries into Kofi and he was so much better cutting off his basket move on those two possessions. Plainly put, If Q can’t get on the court and stay there in games like this, he has no role here. Highly disappointing.
I’d like to see Martinez out there early in the 2nd half while the energy level is up. Slumping players can feed off of overall team energy and him out there with Fatts, Ayala and Scott like this could be enough to help get him rolling.
Xavier Green is playing solid defense again. Earning minutes.
Illinois is not even close to as good as last year
But this will still be a major uphill challenge. I don’t think we match up terribly against the current Illinois roster defensively but my main concern is going to be Q/Reese on Cockburn. They have got to both dog him down low before he gets entries and force him into uncomfortable angles and towards their help on those times they do get the entry in. Under no circumstance can either of those two leave him to help either. Whether it be against their half court sets or against the transition’s off of missed FG’s on our end where we usually see Q overhelping to the outside/preventing drivers…can’t do it against this squad. If they are incapable of playing disciplined D (and not fouling) I’d just assume we play more smaller lineups (Scott/Green/Hart/Ayala/Fatts) and drop into zone.
Comment 4 recs
Not wrong, but also wrong lol
I get the feeling about Hart on offense but you can’t narrow down his impact to 3 missed shots and overlook the rest. He is not a naturally gifted shooter (despite really solid efficiency statistics this season) but just look at things with some perspective. His initial expectations based on recruiting analysis would’ve basically had him as a kid who would likely cap out at making the starting lineup sometime within his 4 years at a mid major school. Here he is though, at a B1G school and playing (generally) well enough to earn a starting role. His hard work and defensive intelligence has earned him that court time and is generally a net positive for us when he’s out there. The fact that Hart has earned the court time should be celebrated and any issues about not having "greater" talent to push him should fall on the roster construction, not the kid.
Comment 2 replies, 1 rec
Encouraging, Discouraging and Tough loss
Was encouraging to see a sense of urgency from most of the kids on the floor for the majority of the 40 minutes (not withstanding two multi-minute Iowa throttling’s) with Fatts and Keem being the catalyst for most of that energy. I had been waiting to see where exactly Fatts was fitting in here in terms of his "role" which I think is now pretty apparent – he is the on-court leader. Whenever we needed energy and body language was low or effort not where it needed to be – Fatts was there and vocal. Highly impressed with Fatts lately.
Ayala and Scott both contributed to the game statistically but both of them were not working hard enough off the ball on offense or providing enough on defense. I saw too much standing around by Ayala on the perimeter with absolutely zero movement which makes him so easy to defend. I know we want Ayala taking our outside shots right now in this offense but he has got to move off the ball to create space and switches to create space and better perimeter matchups for himself. With Scott, his defensive effort last night was probably the worst I’ve seen from him since his Frosh year. Was extremely slow to react on drive moves and could not get in front of anyone. On switches, he would end up glued on the switch despite drives/movement taking his man into another defender to pick him up. Playing as the 4, he needed to be able to rotate back out (in particular, on Murray) off those switches once Wahab/Hart picked up the on ball movement. Really, really frustrating seeing that happen all night.
Xavier Green was low-key a big time player last night. He doesn’t have the offensive talent to make a huge impact there but his defense was outstanding and probably the best and most disciplined defender of the night for us. I know it’s tough having him on the floor offensively but if he can continue to defend as well as he has been, he needs to play 12-18 minutes a game.
Q is what Q is at this point. I am extremely disappointed with what we’ve seen from him nearly all season. Taking away his complete lack of agility and ridiculous overhelps on smaller defenders on defense, he has become basically our version of Andre Drummond with a lot of hollow box score production on offense. Once the ball gets to him down into the post, he becomes an energy vampire. The other 4 might as well go back to defend transition because there is a 99% chance he’s putting up a shot or turning it over since he does not ever pass out of double/triple/quadruple teams. I won’t even lay the blame on the kid himself because the fact that it continues to happen is a sign of poor individual coaching by the staff. He is not a euro big, he does not have the athletic ability for that. He is a dinosaur big and need’s to be coached to play as such. If he gets an entry pass and feels the urge to put the ball on the floor because he does not have a quick basket move, his IMMEDIATE reaction needs to be to pass that ball back out.
Comment 1 reply, 14 recs
With everything going on with covid outbreaks across the country I’m just thankful we found another school willing to play some ball. Hopeful the kids come out a lot less tense and looser now with expectations "adjusted" and having come off a nice long relaxing break.