Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Aggie Hoops Observations - MVSU

Old Guys

1.) Acie Law looks different this year. I'm not sure whether or not it's the new tats or what, and I couldn't put my finger on it last night. He looks a lot stronger and had much more command over the ball and the team.

Looks a step quicker and much more aggressive. He looks like he may be filling the leadership void left by Antoine. If he is going to take the next step this year he could be a 2nd team all-Big 12 guy. The kid went off last night going for 30 on 12 of 15 shooting.

2.) Joseph Jones - Buzz Williams did nothing but rip him on the post-game radio show. Talking about how they have to get more out of him. He still committed some stupid fouls, especially away from the ball, which I know will drive a coach crazy. The guy is shooting 90% from the floor this year.

He also looks like he is bulked up and a step quicker this year. They had him extended away from the lane/basket quite a bit last night which was a new wrinkle. He looked very comfortable playing facing the basket as opposed to playing with his back to the basket. When he and AK are on the floor at the same time, they are going to create some serious matchup problems for people, especially if the other team has a small lineup in the game.

The guy was 7 for 8 from the field for 15 points with 7 boards and 7 assists. Sure thing Buzz, we've for sure gotta get more out of him. What? Seriously, did you want 3 more boards and 3 more dimes so he could have gone triple-double?

JoJo is going to have a great year.

3.) Marlon Pompey - The Dude's 2nd favorite guy. Nothing has changed. Very raw, very athletic, not very fundamental.

Too many times the ball slips through his hands, hits him in the chest, bounces right back to his hands and he throws up an out-of-control shot that will either somehow find a way to fall or will cause the other team to foul him. Very bizarre.

After the great article in the 12th man magazine, I feel bad for making fun of the guy.

4.) Chris Walker - The Dude's all-time favorite. The team will be better off in the long run without Walker playing substantial minutes.

New Guys

5.) Antanas Kavaliauskas - (Uh-tawn-us Kav-uh-law-skus) - Brad got so frustrated pronouncing his name last night that he requested for him to be referred to as Andrei Kirilenko. I have no problem with that.

The guy is built like Yao. He has huge tree-trunk legs and a small upper body. He looks like he could be a decent Big 12 center, but is still very raw, but he was bigger than I thought. He was very aggressive going after rebounds, but he didn't look to score very often. Shouldn't a guy that is 6'10" look to score the basketball? Hopefully this was just a by-product of MVSU playing mostly zone last night with 3 guys in the lane at all times.

6.) Eddie Smith - JuCo player of the year last year, much smaller than I had in my mind. They list him at 6'2". Uh huh, and I am 6'6". He is 5'11" or 6'0" maybe. Very quick and athletic (this will become a recurring theme).

He and Acie will make a nice two-headed monster at point as they can both bring it up the floor and set the offense. He is like a little gnat and will be one of those guys that if he is on your team you will love him, but if you have to play against him, you will hate him. All over the place on the defensive end of the floor. He has a decent shot and isn't afraid to put it up.

7.) Josh Carter - You need to remember this kid's name.

He looks like he has the potential to be GREAT for the next 3 or 4 years. He is an ideal 2 or 3 that is extremely long, rangy, quick and athletic. He is so long that when he walks, it looks like his hands are nearly hanging down to his knees. Kid was 4 of 5 last night and all 4 makes were from behind the arc. Has a beautiful shot and was able to knock it down with a guy in his face a couple of times.

On the defensive end of the court he was all over his guy like a sheet on a bed. The one knock I can make from last night was that he never looked to go to the basket. If he can develop a move or two going to the hole, he has the potential to be unstoppable. You can't stand around and settle for jump shots every night.

Coach

Gillespie was in mid-season form last night. Barking at players. Barking at officials. Got a T for going too far with a ref on a horrible call. It was good to see. Mr. Intensity, no doubt.

Looks like what we saw last year is pretty much what you get all the time.

The Dude, I hope you are wrong and there are not some skeletons in his closet.

Team
This group of kids looks like they are going to be MUCH more athletic and quicker than last years group that was so fun to watch.
They forced Southern into 25 turnovers and MVS into another 29 last night. Those are just stupid numbers on the defensive end of the floor. Of those 54 turnovers, 23 are on steals, that's a good indicator of their quickness.

Another stat that jumped out from last night was 22 assists on 32 makes. Against Southern they had 21 assists on 28 makes. It looks like this may be a by-product of them moving the ball with amazing efficiency with Law and Smith running the show.

It was also great to see Jones on the baseline extended hitting guys moving to the bucket. When you couple this with 58% shooting last night and 51% against southern, you get an idea of what kind of looks they are creating for themselves on that end of the floor.

Good stuff, fun to watch.


Recap

There you have it. Big Daddy's observations from last night. This group of guys could be pretty good if they progress over the course of the year like last year's team did. We'll know quite a bit more on Saturday vs. Tulane as a few people who saw Tulane's game yesterday said they appear to be pretty good.

If you handle Tulane, Penn State, and North Texas in your next 3 without much of a problem they could be pretty good. Based on what I saw last night, I would say 8 or 9 conference wins should be a realistic possibility again. They should be the favorite in all of their non-conference games and if they can go 11-0 through that stretch, I think 18 to 19 wins may get you in the tournament and at 20 you are a lock.

Brad - Did I miss anything?

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