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.

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By JK37
Registration Days Posts
#661058
Cider Jim wrote: April 21st, 2024, 5:01 pm
A Sea of Red wrote: April 20th, 2024, 6:03 pm Liberty has picked up a commitment from 6’6” G Jayvon Maughmer.
Do any old timers remember the last LU basketball player from Chillicothe, OH? :dontgetit Study
It was a women’s player back in my days as a student. Can’t remember name though.
By olldflame
Registration Days Posts
#661059
paradox wrote: April 21st, 2024, 7:18 pm 3 core returning starters (PG,2G,F). Add Peter (3G) & Aquino (F) to starting 5. And a ton of options to work with from there. All nice fits for this offense. All appear solid. 8-10 man rotation. Noice.
We'll see, but IMHO the fact that Porter and Metheny were both starters last year is irrelevant. Don't get me wrong, I believe one of them will start and both will be in the rotation, but I will be surprised if they spend much time on the court together next year. The fact that opponents were able at times to physically dominate our tiny lineup with size and athleticism is obviously the motivation behind this roster makeover. Now that we are a year removed from the McGhee era, I see us returning to a stronger emphasis on defense, and one of the keys to success in the packline is length and athleticism. We will have plenty of options at SF. I expect Peter to be a fixture in the back court.
Last edited by olldflame on April 22nd, 2024, 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
By paradox
Registration Days Posts
#661063
olldflame wrote: April 22nd, 2024, 7:06 am
paradox wrote: April 21st, 2024, 7:18 pm 3 core returning starters (PG,2G,F). Add Peter (3G) & Aquino (F) to starting 5. And a ton of options to work with from there. All nice fits for this offense. All appear solid. 8-10 man rotation. Noice.
We'll see, but IMHO the fact that Porter and Metheny were both starters last year is irrelevant. Don't get me wrong, I believe one of them will start and both will be in the rotation, but I will be surprised if they spend much time on the court together next year. The fact that opponents were able at times to physically dominate our tiny lineup with size and athleticism is obviously the motivation behind this roster makeover. Now that we are a year removed from the McGhee era, I see us returning to a stronger emphasis on defense, and one of the keys to success in the packline is length and athleticism. We will have plenty of options at SF. I expect Peter to be a fixture in the back court.
TP starts at 3. The key area where they were undersized was the 4 with the JVZ/BP rotation on offense & 6-7 ZC as the lone true forward offensively. This is exactly what was addressed.
By paradox
Registration Days Posts
#661064
I’ll add that TP as a situational 2 would be an option, but pairs w/CP, otherwise you get pressed/trapped. Don’t see a frequent advantage with that. Still see 8-10 rotation, though.
By olldflame
Registration Days Posts
#661065
paradox wrote: April 22nd, 2024, 8:54 am I’ll add that TP as a situational 2 would be an option, but pairs w/CP, otherwise you get pressed/trapped. Don’t see a frequent advantage with that. Still see 8-10 rotation, though.
Disagree with quite a bit of your last couple of posts. The idea that our smurf backcourt did not create matchup problems on defense is laughable.

Explain to me please why you think Peter would be a liability against a press. Just because he is 6'4"? I realize it has been a while since we had an actual guard with size (Venzant is really an undersized PF) but I believe we do now, and not just Peter but Blair, and to some extent Maugham. In addition, against pressure we have the option of putting the ball in Cleveland's hands, where his ball-handling skills create a matchup problem against opposing PFs. We did that quite a bit last year when long-armed and athletic opposing guards were giving Porter and Metheny problems.
By Chippy
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#661066
I'm sure they will rethink the Cleveland point forward strategy now as he did lead the team in TOs. Now that we have bigger and more athletic guards and even more athletic forwards we should be better to handle any pressure. Porter is our very best at taking care of the ball and passing but prone to the double team on full court pressure, hence the Cleveland strategy.
By paradox
Registration Days Posts
#661067
They run offense from the high post w/Cleveland to gain an advantage, mostly against man. We had a few guys last year who struggled against tight man. They're no longer here.

We'll still see this option, but only to the degree that it's advantageous. The unanswered question is who among the new guys is most impactful as a shooter & with backdoor reads.
Last edited by paradox on April 22nd, 2024, 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By olldflame
Registration Days Posts
#661069
Chippy wrote: April 22nd, 2024, 10:13 am I'm sure they will rethink the Cleveland point forward strategy now as he did lead the team in TOs. Now that we have bigger and more athletic guards and even more athletic forwards we should be better to handle any pressure. Porter is our very best at taking care of the ball and passing but prone to the double team on full court pressure, hence the Cleveland strategy.
Yes, Zach did turn the ball over, but he also led us in assists (in fewer minutes than Porter). He has really good court vision. I think we can "coach him up" on taking better care of the ball.
By Tothehoopyall1
Posts
#661072
I'm not a fan of Cleveland trying to play point guard. We didn't have a ton of options last year but it looks like we will next year. I also don't see Porter getting near the minutes he has been getting the past 2 years. If the above had worked we wouldn't have needed to overhaul the roster.
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By Humble_Opinion
Registration Days Posts
#661075
Tothehoopyall1 wrote:I'm not a fan of Cleveland trying to play point guard. We didn't have a ton of options last year but it looks like we will next year. I also don't see Porter getting near the minutes he has been getting the past 2 years. If the above had worked we wouldn't have needed to overhaul the roster.
We didn't? We had CP0 (a true PG), Metheny (a SG that has played plenty of PG) and Kyle Rode (whom has always brought the ball up at various points of his career). I'm with you on Cleveland not being that guy, but I think McKay felt it created match-up problems and opened up some space on the floor by forcing one of the opposing teams bigs to come out from the post and play perimeter defense. Moving forward, I'd like to see a little less of Cleveland bringing the ball up, but McKay seems to trust the kid and if he can show progress in being more consistent with his TO issues then he will still be one of those guys.

My interest is in trying to determine a new starting line-up. We went from having a 3-man rotation for our front court, with Southerland being brought in as a 4th option at times. We now have a plethora of options here, and while Cleveland is great, I'm not 100% sold on one of the other guys pushing him for more time and maybe even a starting role. The reason being, every single one of those guys we brought in has an outside jumpshot that Cleveland doesn't possess. They're also longer than he is... those are two advantages he will need to overcome. Where he will have a leg up is with his knowledge of the system and his ball handling. Regardless, if this team can gel and the new guys can get up to speed on the packline, next year should be a solid improvement in the least.
By Tothehoopyall1
Posts
#661076
Humble_Opinion wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 9:27 am
Tothehoopyall1 wrote:I'm not a fan of Cleveland trying to play point guard. We didn't have a ton of options last year but it looks like we will next year. I also don't see Porter getting near the minutes he has been getting the past 2 years. If the above had worked we wouldn't have needed to overhaul the roster.
We didn't? We had CP0 (a true PG), Metheny (a SG that has played plenty of PG) and Kyle Rode (whom has always brought the ball up at various points of his career). I'm with you on Cleveland not being that guy, but I think McKay felt it created match-up problems and opened up some space on the floor by forcing one of the opposing teams bigs to come out from the post and play perimeter defense. Moving forward, I'd like to see a little less of Cleveland bringing the ball up, but McKay seems to trust the kid and if he can show progress in being more consistent with his TO issues then he will still be one of those guys.

My interest is in trying to determine a new starting line-up. We went from having a 3-man rotation for our front court, with Southerland being brought in as a 4th option at times. We now have a plethora of options here, and while Cleveland is great, I'm not 100% sold on one of the other guys pushing him for more time and maybe even a starting role. The reason being, every single one of those guys we brought in has an outside jumpshot that Cleveland doesn't possess. They're also longer than he is... those are two advantages he will need to overcome. Where he will have a leg up is with his knowledge of the system and his ball handling. Regardless, if this team can gel and the new guys can get up to speed on the packline, next year should be a solid improvement in the least.
Well said! I agree with you here.
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By prototype
Registration Days Posts
#661087
If Cleveland isn't in gym everyday working on adding a three pointer to his game - he might as well transfer now... That and Free Throws...
By olldflame
Registration Days Posts
#661095
ECC29 wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 9:57 pm If the new players picks up on the pack line defense, Cleveland will not start.
I'm wondering what your basis is for that bold statement of fact.

Is it the fact that he led us in rebounding last year?
Or assists?
Or blocked shots?
Or shooting %?
Or that he has 2 years experience playing in the pack line and is our best returning defender?
Could it be because of how much Richie loves his game (which he has stated repeatedly)?

I'm gunna say no to all of those, so it must be the highlight videos of the incoming players or the numbers they put up against D2 and JUCO opponents.

Don't get me wrong. I'm extremely pleased with what we have done to address key weaknesses with these new players, and excited to have them on board. Having said that, there is much that remains to be seen, but the surest thing I can say about next years team is this...........................

Zach Cleveland will be a starter.
By stokesjokes
Registration Days Posts
#661097
Agree. I’ll add to that- I think we’ll see an even better version of ZC next year. I think his weaknesses were highlighted because of the team’s deficiencies, but even so he was both our best player and the player with the highest ceiling on the roster. Imagine if he’s not playing out of position or if he’s not the only one on the team who can get his own shot.
By olldflame
Registration Days Posts
#661100
stokesjokes wrote: April 24th, 2024, 7:00 am Agree. I’ll add to that- I think we’ll see an even better version of ZC next year. I think his weaknesses were highlighted because of the team’s deficiencies, but even so he was both our best player and the player with the highest ceiling on the roster. Imagine if he’s not playing out of position or if he’s not the only one on the team who can get his own shot.
You pointed out another fallacy in the premise that incoming talent will relegate our best returning player to the bench. The assumption that he will not improve (especially when you consider the quantum leap he made from his FR to SO year.)

I personally think that his not being a 3 point shooter is baked into the cake at this point. Anything we get from him there is gravy. If he can clean up the turnovers a little (without losing too much aggressiveness). and get his FT% up into the mid/high 60s or better, he will be an all-conference player, and maybe even a POY candidate in CUSA.
By olldflame
Registration Days Posts
#661128
Venzant is transferring to Abilene Christian, a couple of hours from his family in Midland. Similar situation to Brody. It will be interesting to see if the Wildcats can get any more offense from him than we did. He scored a lot in HS.
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By LUOrange
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#661134
To suggest Cleveland won't start is pretty ignorant. All we really need him to do is cut down on his stupid turnovers and hit more free throws. A mid-range jump shot would be great. 3 of our transfers are making the jump to a higher level of basketball, and while I expect they'll do well, it's a stretch to assume that all of the forwards will bypass Cleveland as a starter.
By olldflame
Registration Days Posts
#661186
Great interview with Ritchie and the Flames Central crew.



He went into the new transfers at some length. No mention whatsoever of Josh Smith. Gabe McKay is returning for his covid year.
He had great things to say about Isaiah Ihnen, and referred to Cleveland and Aquino as "bookends". Big lineup?
Ritchie did not say anything about it in the interview, but at the very end of the podcast Matt Warner says "they're not done".
I suppose that could be a reference to Smith, and they can't talk about it right now for some reason, or it could be another player.
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