If roundball is your blood, this is the place to discuss the Flames as they move into the Ritchie McKay era for the 2nd time.

Moderators: jcmanson, Sly Fox, BuryYourDuke

By paradox
Registration Days Posts
#652686
Porter, Rode, Cleveland have been mostly outstanding in big moments.

McGee will be sorely missed.

Porter, Rode, Cleveland are solid returnees. Adding additional guys w/complete player potential would be ideal.
Last edited by paradox on March 20th, 2023, 7:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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By Geraldos Mustache
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#652687
My takeaway from being at the game.

You learn a lot by being the visitor and talking with Wisconsin fans about their team. I was fortunate to sit amongst some really nice people who were very knowledgeable about their Badgers. Some observations from them:
> They had a LOT of respect for Liberty, our talent and unique brand of basketball
> They knew a lot about McGhee coming into the game and impressed by his ability to drive and score
> They were disappointed their 6'-3" guards did not exploit the size advantage over our 5'-9" guards. Wisconsin guards could have posted up - especially on Porter and eaten him alive.
> They fully acknowledge B1G Conference physical/thug style basketball and proud of it. Badge of honor for them.
> They were pleasantly surprised at their shooting percentage from the Foul Line. Had complaints about this on the season but shot a very high percentage vs. Liberty.
> They were incredibly frustrated they went 1-15 from 3-point range. This was very unusual for them and a source of consternation all game long.

This is where I will dig in a bit. You won't like what I have to say but let's keep it real here. If Wisconsin makes 33% of their 3-point shots, Liberty trails all game and loses by double digits. Wisconsin was dreadful from 3-point range which allowed a significantly undersized Liberty squad to maintain competitiveness. I'm not taking anything away from Liberty. This is 100% on Wisconsin.

Attendance was 10,426 in a 17,000 seat arena. The 3rd bowl was empty. Despite an arena only 60% full, that place got LOUD a few times. I can only imagine the vibe in there with a capacity 17,000 crowd. Really nice arena, great food, too.

Finally - one of my favorite experiences was pre-game getting an opportunity to meet and chat with parents/family of Liberty players. Zack Cleveland's mom is super cool. We talked for a long time as their family and I are both from Central Illinois. She played basketball at Illinois State and has also coached. Was cool to hear from a parent's perspective how her son got recruited and selected Liberty. He's a great kid and has a bright future at Liberty. He's a great fit for our program. Mom mentioned our coaching staff had the ability to glean more insight from Cleveland's style of play than typical surface level observations. Liberty was drawn to his grit, selflessness in the assist role, next-level competitiveness (he hates to lose more than he loves to win). Mom appreciated the coaches getting to know her son better, at a deeper level than the other schools did. Pretty cool to hear the recruitment story from a parent's perspective.
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By flameshaw
Registration Days Posts
#652695
Tnobes wrote: March 19th, 2023, 11:14 pm
Ill flame wrote: March 19th, 2023, 4:52 pm I know this board is full of liberals that love to prioritize feelings over stats but Preston has been our third best player behind McGhee and rode if you look at some of the advanced stats such as the basketball version of WAR and other similar measures of a players overall value. Some of those stats even have him as high as #2 on the team or as low as #4 behind porter and tied with Robinson.
Mrs. Preston, is that you?
My thoughts exactly.
By stokesjokes
Registration Days Posts
#652696
Geraldos Mustache wrote: March 20th, 2023, 9:49 am This is where I will dig in a bit. You won't like what I have to say but let's keep it real here. If Wisconsin makes 33% of their 3-point shots, Liberty trails all game and loses by double digits. Wisconsin was dreadful from 3-point range which allowed a significantly undersized Liberty squad to maintain competitiveness. I'm not taking anything away from Liberty. This is 100% on Wisconsin.
I don't understand your point here. Aren't we playing defense when they missed those shots?

Also, if you want to play the averages game, what if, like you said, Wisconsin had shot their usual 68% from the FT line? What if we shoot our usual 73%? What if Darius hits his normal 40% from three instead of going 4/15?
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By JK37
Registration Days Posts
#652703
Teams have bad shooting days. LU caught Wisconsin on one, and almost capitalized. The thing is, I couldn’t pick out anything unusual LU was doing to make the three-pointers Wisconsin took less likely to be made. LU played their game, pack-line is known for giving up some three’s, and it did on Sunday. Wisconsin didn’t make them.

To me, it seemed obvious Wisconsin’s gameplay was what Nova’s should’ve been: pound it inside until LU can stop it. (Nova proved the value of it, but didn’t do it as much.) LU didn’t adjust until second half doubling, which isn’t normal for RMK and we looked odd at first doing it. It seemed like they took halftime to draw it up, because we go to it so rarely. Then Wisconsin absolutely knew how to adjust to that and was flipping the floor. More open looks! But they just couldn’t knock them down.

Second option for Wisconsin was clearly to use their big guard Chucky to go at Porter. And when he was clicking, it didn’t matter who was guarding him.

Maybe the overemphasize of Wisconsin’s size in their game plan took their minds off the outside shot? Several of them looked good to me and were just barely off. So LU was playing a bit with house money.

It’s kind of like the saying, “If we played then ten times, we’d lose 7 or 8.” LU had a chance to capitalize, when all the stars aligned just so. Two missed shots in the last 90 seconds, or this whole thread is different.
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By Geraldos Mustache
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#652704
@stokesjokes

My point is, Wisconsin going 1-15 is similar to what we all experienced when Darius went 0-11 from 3-point range in the ASUN Championship vs. Kennesaw State. We all felt like Liberty would have won easily had a few of those shot attempts been successful. KSU was playing defense against Darius - but the 0-11 was really on Darius, not great KSU defense. Darius had a bad night, not playing to standards. Agree?
By stokesjokes
Registration Days Posts
#652706
I see where you’re coming from, but I think you’re giving Wisconsin too much credit. I don’t think us being in the game is some kind of statistical anomaly. A bad 3-pt shooting team had a bad shooting night. Could have something to do with how we played them on D. Regardless, we’ve shown plenty of times we can hang with higher level teams, but the theme of the McGhee era is that we get close and fall short just about every time.
By paradox
Registration Days Posts
#652707
Fair points, Stokes. And with the late emergence of Cleveland, this team may have been just one player away from making a serious run in the NCAAs. It's disadvantageous for us that there's always at least one player that the opposing D doesn't have to fully account for, thereby resulting in doubling or even essentially tripling Darius when he drives in crunch time. BTW, Peebles was wide open in the far corner. Great look. He's dependable with space and time. But, not faulting Darius at all. He had exactly what he was looking for initially. So, he took it. #11 did a great job forcing McGee into a difficult angel once he went up. Had Darius known that the defender left his feet, he likely would've initiated contact, drawing the foul. But the defender was balanced, timely and vertical, and probably appeared perfectly set from DM's standpoint.

Both teams played solid games.

The last two games were really worth it. Ending it here, is a decent place to finish.
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By Cider Jim
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#652709
I know it's early, but who do you think will be our leading scorer next year? :dontgetit
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By prototype
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#652714
Cider Jim wrote: March 20th, 2023, 11:45 pm I know it's early, but who do you think will be our leading scorer next year? :dontgetit
I think Peebles takes a huge step and is the scoring leader.
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By Ill flame
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#652716
Scoring will definitely be more spread out and we may be better off in the long run for it. I think we'll have 3 players scoring double digits a game. Rode, porter and either peebles or a transfer we get to replace McGhees minutes. I assume rode will be the most consistent scorer next year if he comes back. It'll be interesting to see how much Blair comes in and contributed as a true freshman.
By Humble_Opinion
Registration Days Posts
#652717
prototype wrote:
Cider Jim wrote: March 20th, 2023, 11:45 pm I know it's early, but who do you think will be our leading scorer next year? :dontgetit
I think Peebles takes a huge step and is the scoring leader.
I'd love to see this. He started the 2022-23 season off really well and looked like he would be our best 6th man. He dropped off though after Christmas and didn't look the same during the thick of conference play. Not sure what happened there. The only thing about his play that worries me is his ability to drive and get a bucket. Who is going to be that guy for us? When the shot clock is down below 10 and we have an iso at the top of they key? We haven't had to answer that question for 4+ years.
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By Sly Fox
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#652721
Peebles & Cleveland are the two guys who I could see step forward significantly in offensive production. And I am beginning to wonder how high CP0's ceiling might be. Of course we could land someone from the portal who could surprise everyone. Watching the tourney we have seen portal guys lead many of the upsets of this past week.
By Humble_Opinion
Registration Days Posts
#652726
When it comes to offensive production next year, you have to consider the impact of McGhee no longer being on the court will have on how other teams defend us. How many points did CP0/Rode/etc. get purely off of open space that McGhee created just by attracting attention? CP0 was really good this year, but I'm curious to see how his production looks next year. He's our best ball handler so he's going to be on the court regardless.
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By Purple Haize
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#652731
Not sure Peebles has the ability to be more than a spot up shooter. A very GOOD spot up shooter but I can’t see him being able to create his own shot
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By LU 57
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#652733
Purple Haize wrote: March 21st, 2023, 1:38 pm Not sure Peebles has the ability to be more than a spot up shooter. A very GOOD spot up shooter but I can’t see him being able to create his own shot
Would agree. Does not seem to have the burst.
By stokesjokes
Registration Days Posts
#652734
Peebles has shown some herky-jerky, James Harden style stuff going to the hoop. He was probably our most effective off the dribble-drive other than Darius, although that's an astonishingly low bar to clear.

I don't think Peebles is athletic enough to hang defensively. I assume that's why we saw him disappear. Flat footed and slow for his size. I think he's best suited to a Jamal Crawford-type role. Microwave off the bench, but if he's not hot, he's a negative.
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By thepostman
Registration Days Posts
#652741
Ill flame wrote: March 19th, 2023, 4:52 pm I know this board is full of liberals that love to prioritize feelings over stats but Preston has been our third best player behind McGhee and rode if you look at some of the advanced stats such as the basketball version of WAR and other similar measures of a players overall value. Some of those stats even have him as high as #2 on the team or as low as #4 behind porter and tied with Robinson.
What is your social circle like if you think this board is "full of liberals"???

This was an awfully emotional response for someone complaining about people 'prioritizing feelings over stats...'
By paradox
Registration Days Posts
#652743
Progressives provide purportedly indisputable stats, whereas reactionaries have special alternative stats. And progressives follow the scientism, while reactionaries follow the science-fiction.
Last edited by paradox on August 1st, 2023, 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By jbock13
Registration Days Posts
#652745
Oh, come on, you made him show up again?
By paradox
Registration Days Posts
#652747
Cider Jim wrote: March 20th, 2023, 11:45 pm I know it's early, but who do you think will be our leading scorer next year? :dontgetit
Maybe safe money is on Rode at this early stage. Porter and Cleveland will score more. And let's see what the portal yields. And then there's Blair---potential growth stock in earliest stage?
Last edited by paradox on October 5th, 2023, 11:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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