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Omaha is next


Keenan Henderson
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55 minutes ago, Old Titan said:

I am not convinced DJ is a “starter” in the true sense of the word. 

He just seems fine with everything, and that’s not good.

Unflappable is one thing; but indifferent is another. 

Starters need to play with passion and purpose. They don’t “go with the flow”, they MAKE the flow. 

That’s why I’m such a big Elijah Lufile fan:  he’s just looking for a wall to run through. 

Just not sure DJ is all that interested in running through said wall. 

Lufile is 285 pounds of muscle and DJ is 205.  You can see why one wants to run through a wall and the other does not.  Weaver is a small forward trying to play center.  He needs to be on the wing shooting threes and not trying to pound on the inside with 240-250 lbs. big guys.  I give DJ credit because he has played out of position and done it to the best of what he has to work with (undersized frame for the five).

 

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54 minutes ago, Keenan Henderson said:

Lufile is 285 pounds of muscle and DJ is 205.  You can see why one wants to run through a wall and the other does not.  Weaver is a small forward trying to play center.  He needs to be on the wing shooting threes and not trying to pound on the inside with 240-250 lbs. big guys.  I give DJ credit because he has played out of position and done it to the best of what he has to work with (undersized frame for the five).

 

So I’ve been workshopping this idea and have been too timid to throw it out for public criticism. Why not put out a big front line of Lufile, Lacis and Weaver?  I think Frances could play the 3 spot against certain opponents. 
 

I’ll hang up and listen. 

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32 minutes ago, Otis 83 said:

So I’ve been workshopping this idea and have been too timid to throw it out for public criticism. Why not put out a big front line of Lufile, Lacis and Weaver?  I think Frances could play the 3 spot against certain opponents. 

I think we should definitely be using the bigger line up more, Coach clearly likes the 3 guard look, but I think as we progress in conference and into the Summit tourney the traditional 2 guard- 3 big line up makes a lot of sense. Tough conference games and especially post season games like the conf tourney and hopefully NCAA's slow down, they are not just up and down, run and  gun 3 point shooting contests. 

We can still start our current starting line up, but instead of the first sub being a guard for DJ or Kareem, bring in a big like Lufile. Then you have the 3 bigs(at least 2 bigs and a traditional 3 and DJ doesn't have to play the 5) and 2 guards. Look at the inside points last night, the rebounds/2nd chance points, the free throws drawn on inside shots and how early we got into the bonus which will absolutely help Max later in each half of games as he is drawing fouls or the other team has to foul. I understand Omaha wasn't very good at all, but I loved seeing more of our bigs. 

I would also start shrinking our rotation to 7 maybe 8 guys! The starting 5, then McBride as our 3rd guard and Lufile and some more Herron. We still have good 3 point shooting, but we start/continue building on last nights game with more inside presence offensively and defensively. Better shooting percentage, more fouls by the opponents, more free throws, etc. I have nothing against Phipps and he will be a good player for us down the road, but I just don't think his ball handling, defense, or shot selection is ready to help us win tough conf. games or tournament games at this point.  

I think we saw what the 2nd half of our season should look like last night! We can't just hope to make 3's, especially on the road. Using the bigger line up we are still an excellent 3 point shooting team, and we also have an inside option that will actually help our outside shooters because the defense cant just overplay us out on the 3 point line. 

Go Eagles!!

         

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That lineup would also include Abmas, so that only leaves one spot for Juergens, McBride, and Phipps to hold down.  While I like your suggestion, Coach Mills is so guard oriented, I doubt the lineup you suggest would be on the floor very long.  However, if Lufile became a more regular starter, then it might be possible.

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Go big and pound it inside at St. Thomas....ORU should beat Tommies by 20...👍😎👍

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WIU tried to do that, and they lost by 23.  On the defensive end, WIU could not guard their smaller guys.  They just blew by them or shot threes at will.  It was a clinic.  It was like watching the Hoosiers movie or reading a textbook on how to play basketball.  The Tommies coach must be really good, because his system seems to work for a team that is probably one of the smallest in college basketball and least athletic.

5 minutes ago, theeagleman5 said:

Go big and pound it inside at St. Thomas....ORU should beat Tommies by 20...👍😎👍

 

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Eli has definitely earned more playing time. He is a great rebounder and shoots well around the basket. Last night he was 1 rebound shy of a double double. We are going to need his muscle and experience as we come down the stretch.   Hopefully Sir Isaac will get some more playing time as when he breaks out he will be a beast to handle. DJ needs to be a pick and pop guy, not a center. I agree that a small guard driven lineup will probably not get the job done. Let's stay balanced 

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I don’t think it takes a psychology degree to figure out why Coach Mills likes guards, particularly the not-so-athletic one who gets so many minutes and is afforded a half-dozen questionable plays a game without repercussions, while the other starting guards outside of Max get the hook for even the slightest transgressions. 

And, for the record, THAT guy would go through a brick wall as well (particularly if it meant he got to shoot again on the other side of it).  My earlier illustration re: Weaver vs. Lufile was figurative, not literal, and had nothing to do with their respective muscle masses. 💪🏾

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Ok...lets go with the small line up and make St. Thomas run with us....ORU wins by 20. 😃:shield-logo:😎

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1 hour ago, Old Titan said:

 My earlier illustration re: Weaver vs. Lufile was figurative, not literal, and had nothing to do with their respective muscle masses. 💪🏾

But I do think it's a decent point that Keenan made and may be why DJ has been struggling. He's been banging against bigger (significantly bigger) guys all season long and if that's not the way you really want to be playing, it's got to be hard on you mentally to get up for a game. I remember when I played I HATED it when coach would ask me to play the 4 for a few minutes. Maybe he'd be willing to run through that brick wall again if he were allowed to play some more on the perimeter? 

 

5 hours ago, Otis 83 said:

So I’ve been workshopping this idea and have been too timid to throw it out for public criticism. Why not put out a big front line of Lufile, Lacis and Weaver?  I think Frances could play the 3 spot against certain opponents. 

I am all for this. Lufile, Weaver, Lacis, Jurgens, Abmas as your starting 5 with Kareem coming off the bench.to replace DJ.  I don't think Lacis would play the 3 though. And then DJ back in for Lufile when it's time to go to a bit smaller lineup. I don't think Lacis would play the 3 though. I think DJ is more capable on the perimeter than Lacis - mostly because of his longer arms.

I would LOVE to see that, but as others have said, no chance. 

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I am not sure that Coach Mills is all that concerned about the 1,2,3,4,5 traditional positional alignment.  I have seen him play some alignments with 4-5 guards when there isn't really even a traditional power forward or center on the floor.  Then against Omaha, later in the 2nd half, he had 3 forwards in the game at the same time, which also surprised me.  I think once he pulled his starters, he was more interested in getting all the players playing time and putting your best 5 players on the floor regardless of position.

There were times when Lufile was in the game and he was guarding someone out near the 3 point line while smaller players were playing defense under the basket.  I know this can occur if you are running a man to man defense, but it would make more sense to me, if you are going to play one big man, to keep him around the basket for blocks, rebounds, put backs, etc. 

This comment is not a complaint because I do not think Coach Mills is alone in this approach.  I remember Obanor last year was basically required to defend the other team's post man when he was undersized for that role, but at times he had to run out to the 3 point line on defense and then quickly get back under the basket.  I never fully understood that but it happened regularly on defense, and the team almost made the Elite Eight with this approach.   

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LOL - sounds like the one area where Paul Mills has been 100% successful so far this season is confusing the heck out of all us armchair coaches. 

But the point is a good one that everything seemed to come together in March last season, and if I recall correctly, at this time last year we were bemoaning losses at home to the likes of North Dakota and UMKC, and that’s with KO, so this team seems light years ahead of last season’s pace, with a much deeper bench.

As for the Tommies, I’m hopeful they are overwhelmed by ORU’s length and athleticism both inside and out. If they’re not, it could be a serious track meet Thursday night in Minneapolis. 

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On 1/3/2022 at 9:20 PM, Old Titan said:

But the point is a good one that everything seemed to come together in March last season, and if I recall correctly, at this time last year we were bemoaning losses at home to the likes of North Dakota and UMKC, and that’s with KO, so this team seems light years ahead of last season’s pace, with a much deeper bench.

I don’t know about “we” but you were 😂

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1 minute ago, Otis 83 said:

I don’t know about “we” but you were 😂

LOL - I also don’t seem to recall anyone at the time posting anything like, “Hey, we can’t guard worth a darn right now, but we still appear to be on track to sweep the Dakota schools in Sioux Falls and win a couple of NCAA games.”

Any postseason predictions now?

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No post season predictions just yet but I do think the defense is better at this point than it was this time last year. I have no statistical analysis to back that up. That view is just a gut feeling from watching some games. 

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9 hours ago, Otis 83 said:

No post season predictions just yet but I do think the defense is better at this point than it was this time last year. I have no statistical analysis to back that up. That view is just a gut feeling from watching some games. 

waaaaaaaaaaaaay better. 

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