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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/08/2018 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Many of you have been adding similar comments to the WIU game thread, but I thought the topic was worthy of its own thread... Key observations at this point of the season. Leadership I am pretty impressed by what I’ve seen from the team and coaching staff this year. Even during a tough non-conference schedule (and losing a major three-point threat to injury) this team held it together. In past years, we often maligned the lack of leadership and teamwork. This team has it – and the coaching staff has embraced a culture that allows this leadership to flourish. Seniors In recent years, the coaching staff had deferred to seniors for playing time and leadership. There is no way that they would have started four sophomores and a freshman, especially with a pre-season all-conference senior on the bench. But, somehow, the new staff has made this very successful – and everyone (including the senior coming off of the bench) has bought in. It takes strong leadership (coaching staff) and true humility (Albert) to make an unconventional switch like this work – and it is working like a charm. Defense It is SO refreshing to see some new forms of defense on the floor. It doesn’t always work – but it sure works better than “we’re going to play man-to-man defense 99% of the time, no matter what, because that is how basketball is supposed to be played”. Ball Movement As much as I love ORU athletics, ORU basketball had become painful to watch in recent years, as the offense would seemingly pass the ball around the court for no apparent reason and with no known intent, until a contested shot or a turnover occurred. If we didn’t have a playmaker (such as Obi), we were ineffective. This year, the team is engaged as a TEAM. As proof of this, 55.3% of this year’s field goals were set up by an assist. Over the last five years, the HIGHEST assist/FG % was 49.7% with an AVERAGE of 47.8%. Big difference. Double-doubles The stat of “double-double” can be over-rated (as the difference between nine and ten rebounds, points or assists is unduly magnified), but when it happens on a consistent basis, you know that something special is underway. In the past three seasons (by my unofficial count), ORU has averaged 6 D-D’s per year. So far, just over halfway through this season, we already have 13. E-Man and Javan are double-double machines. Killer instinct How long has it been since we’ve won three games in a row, all by fifteen or more points? Almost seven years. February 15-24 of 2011, with wins over Centenary on the road (81-61), Pacific at home in the bracketbuster (79-63), and IUPUI at home (92-74). That team eventually lost to Oakland in the Summit Championship game, and then came back the next year to finish 27-7. We can't base too much confidence on our three game home winning streak, as we won home games that we SHOULD have won. But the WAY we won them was pretty special, and definitely served notice that ORU basketball is no longer the doormat of the conference. This is a team that no one in the conference will want to face in Sioux Falls in March - and could still prove to be a contender. We will find out more on this over the next two weeks.
  2. 2 points
    Great post, JB. I was actually wondering how long it had been since ORU won three games in a row by ANY margin! (it was two seasons ago). A couple of other observations re: "how the coaching has changed" (with all due respect to the previous regime): 1. Inbound plays designed to lead directly to a high-percentage shot, instead of just getting the ball in play. 2. Building on halftime leads, rather than blowing them before the first media timeout of the second half. 3. Calling timeouts to stop runs by the opponent, instead of waiting for the media timeout. 4. NOT calling timeouts after ORU baskets during ORU runs with the opponent on their heels. 5. Crisp, accurate perimeter passing, leading to faster ball movement and quicker shots-after-the-catch.
  3. 2 points
    Having not been around ORU until this year I genuinely feel bad for you long timers. It's sad to have to appreciate teams that play hard and unselfishly. Mills seems to simply be and old school coach with a big splash of modern analytics. It makes it a heck of a lot easier to get your point across to kids when you have numbers to back it up. I do think he is fortunate to have a returning group that has largely underachieved and is hungry to win. Toss in Sam and RJ who are both savvy facilitators and tough competitors... and you get a team fully bought in. There are tough games ahead but I don't think these guys will waver. Mills said it himself he rarely had 11 road games all season at Baylor. Now he has a team that lived on the road for 2 months.
  4. 1 point
    (I should have never said I was done nit-picking, and this is another promo comment that has nothing to do with the streaming - LOL) For the promo where the contestant is supposed to guess what the crowd is "miming" to them, it appears to the casual observer that fans are just shouting out the answers. The perception could be rectified with a $20 pair of shooting range headphones from the sporting goods department at WalMart - you could even put the sponsor's logos on the sides for the camera close-ups. Even if the contestant can read lips and wins anyway, at least it looks like every effort was made to avoid "shout outs".
  5. 1 point
    This is a fun team to watch....not painful like the past few seasons have been....these kids are young and hungry and they have talent....the Coach is upbeat and willing to try different things if a tactic isn't working....ORU basketball is on the upswing and the future is looking a lot brighter...TheEagleman can see us competing for Summit Championships....if not this year then surely next and beyond.....Thank you Coach Mills....GO BLUE!!!....
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