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Thread: A little hoops speculation

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    STAFF HALL OF FAME MEMBER psychojoe's Avatar
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    Default A little hoops speculation

    Not a lot to talk about sports wise since our baseballers packed em up long before the CWS began. I can talk hoops anytime, though. I thought I'd take a speculative look at our next year's team. We return nine players who saw significant PT a year ago, plus a red shirted freshman, plus (finally) a highly sought after incomong freshman. Of our nine players who saw the floor last serason, seven started multiple games. There should be good depth. The defense should be stout again, but we struggled on offense at times last year even with Jamychal Green, and that has to be a concern. In my opinion, if we started the season right now and were playing a quality opponent this would be our starting lineup.PG Trevor Releford- no controversy here.SG Andrew Steele- not a prolific scorer, but he does so many other things so well.SF Levi Randolph- again, not a prolific scorer, but he is terrific on defense. It semed to me that he was passing up some open looks last year out of deference to the upper classmen. He needs to be looking for his own offense more.PF Nick Jacobs- a true wide body who is an efficient scorer in the low post with his soft jump hook. With Green gone, he will start out as our go-to guy in the post.C Moussa Gouye- he came back pretty early from reconstructive knee surgery, so it is hard to evaluate his offense. He did show a nice shooting touch at times, but he also had trouble catching entry passes. He was supposed to have some offense when we signed him, but he hasn't shown us yet. He is sound enough on defense, knows how to use his massive body and his height on defense. Trevor Lacey I would cast as the first man off the bench, but he could just as well be a starter. He isn't quite the defender that Steele or Randolph is, but he does bring some scoring punch. He will see as many minutes as any of the starters.Rodney Cooper only sporadically showed us that great shooting stroke. He almost won the "at LSU' game for us (the one with the squad depleted by all the suspensions.) Other than that game he was inconsistent. With a year under his belt I expect him to be another offensive weapon for us. Carl Engstrom showed a lot of improvement from freshamn to sophomore. He learned how to use his height on defense and disrupt shots without fouling. His offense is a work in progree. He figures to be Gouye's back up at center. Ben Eblen was Releford's principal back up. He is a dynamo on defense, but no threat at all on offense.Add to the mix: Retin Obasohn, a back up PG from Belgium who was redshirted. Like most of you, I have heard some good things about him, but I really don't know much about his game.Devonta Pollard is our only addition (at leat until now) from the outside. He is a tall (6'8") slender (190 lbs) forward whose athleticism reminds me of Gerald Wallace. He can run and jump very well. He figures to split time between small forward and power forward, depending on match ups. He is quite able to creat his own offense, which should be a big help. My criticism of our offense a year ago was that too often the shot clock was running down and the ball was in the hands of one of our less effective three point shooters 25 feet from the basket. Pollard should help here, not that he is a great three point shooter, but he has a very good pull up jumper.Offense will be a question mark for us, again. I am cautiously optimistic about this, because we have several guys who were prolific scorers in hight school. Proverbial wisdom is that college basketball players improve more from their freshman year to their sopphomore year than any other year. If that happens with our four now sophomre players we will be good. If Gouye is healthy, we would be very good. If Pollard contributes early as well, watch out for Grant's guys.Yes, there are question marks, but its the off season, time for optimism.
    Last edited by psychojoe; 06-18-2012 at 08:16 AM.
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    -RTB ADMINISTRATOR HALL OF FAME MEMBER TerryP's Avatar
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    Nice overview.

    There's quite a bit of buzz the last few days around PG Anthony Barber. He's definitely a talent considering schools like Kentucky, UConn, Kansas, Duke, and several other have offered. According to most reports it's down to two; Bama and Kansas.

    I spent a little time looking at his offers, specifically Kansas, and it looks like they are pretty close to being done with their class. They've pulled in a shooting guard in the late signing period and Bill Self added another guard just recently.

    According to reports coming out of CatsPause.com Barber was talking up the Tide quite a bit after his camp at the NBPA Top 100 camp. He's scheduled to visit as soon as he's done in VA. It wouldn't be a shock if we get a verbal while he's on campus.

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    Good read joe. I agree that this team has the potential to be very, very good.

    I do have one question though. Why is Alabama only signing one guy (Pollard)? Is that all we have room for?
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    STAFF HALL OF FAME MEMBER psychojoe's Avatar
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    Bo, originally we had room for only one scholarship this year (Green being the lone senior). With Mitchell and Hankerson leaving as well, we could have taken two more. Obviously we wanted Pollard, but as my first post shows the cupboard is pretty well stocked for next year. My take is that Grant wasn't going to spend a scholly unless there was a special talent he could sign. Steele and Eblen will be gone next year for sure. I think we will sign 3, maybe 4, for that class.
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    Okay, that makes sense. Thanks for the info.
    If a team doesn't think tough, practice tough, and live tough, how the hell are they gonna play tough on Saturday?

    Paul W. Bryant

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    Registered Users HEISMAN bamaraider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychojoe View Post
    My criticism of our offense a year ago was that too often the shot clock was running down and the ball was in the hands of one of our less effective three point shooters 25 feet from the basket.
    This, too often did we just sit around miss open shots and then rely on making an awkward shot with 2 seconds left. As for the offense, it is questionable. You see teams like Wichita State, VCU, etc (Cinderella Teams) all with at least one guy that can shoot from the perimeter but we seem to be missing that one person who can shoot it consistently. Maybe it was youth or just bad chemistry last year but that has to be fixed; we cannot just have another offensive slump this year where our 3-point shooting is nonexistent. If that happens, teams will just do the same like they always do, switch to zone and make us beat them with 3-pointers.

    Anyways I still look for us to have a good season, Pollard was a very nice addition. And with Randolph, Nick Jacobs, Trevor Lacey, Rodney Cooper, and the two giants(Engstrom and The "Moose") all having some PT under their belt then we can be a very dangerous team.

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