19-20 Rotation, Keys, Predictions

Discussion in 'Butler Basketball' started by thebulldogs, May 1, 2019.

  1. TheDawgDub95

    TheDawgDub95 Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $1,116
    He better hit a high percentage of those step back 3's he loves or else they're going to drive me nuts. I really hope he effectively mixes the drive into his arsenal.

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  2. Bulldogs260

    Bulldogs260 Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $1,432
    59 days until college basketball starts.... not like anyone is counting or anything.


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  3. Bulldogs260

    Bulldogs260 Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $1,432
    Andy Katz released his big east predictions. St Johns Butler and DePaul were his 3 teams not making tourney. Creighton on the bubble and the rest in. I like it, lower expectations the better butler performs. There are going to be so many opportunities for resume boosting wins.


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  4. Insane Dawg

    Insane Dawg Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $14,156
    Frankly I’m at a loss as to how Butler will perform this coming season. Losing Brunk and Fowler was no big deal losing PJ was from both his performance and his attitude. Will Nze and Smits be better than Brunk andFowler? Hope so. Have to be. Will AT be an offensive threat? Will Tucker and McD take a leap? Will David? Can Kamar lead? Who will ? Who knows about the rest? So many huge unknowns.

    Part of me says we could be really good and part of me says we could repeat last year with a worse record.
     
  5. firedupkaren

    firedupkaren Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $5,382
    I found this to be a really good read on the team's outlook. Hard to rank them much higher at the outset, but plenty of reasons/ways they could surprise.

    https://www.three-man-weave.com/3mw/big-east-preview-2020

    7. Butler

    Key Returners: Kamar Baldwin, Sean McDermott, Jordan Tucker, Aaron Thompson, Henry Baddley
    Key Losses:
    Paul Jorgensen, Nate Fowler, Joey Brunk
    Key Newcomers:
    Khalif Battle, Derrik Smits, Bryce Nze

    Lineup:

    [​IMG]
    Outlook: You can try to dress it up all you want, but there’s no way to dance around the hard-hitting truth: Last season was a setback for LaVall Jordan in his quest to restore ‘the Butler Way’ back to the glory days of Brad Stevens. The Bulldogs’ slide down the Big East totem pole was confounding. They finished in a 3-way tie for last with DePaul and Providence at 7-11, despite returning the vast majority of minutes from the 2017-18 squad – for context, Butler ranked 22nd in kenpom.com’s ‘Minutes Continuity’ metric, a measure for how similar your roster looks to the year prior. Going from a 9-9 league record to 7-11 the very next season does not warrant sounding the alarms, but the advanced metrics indicate the drop in performance was far more pronounced.

    In hindsight, we clearly underestimated the collective value of Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. In our 2018-19 Big East preview, my colleague Jim sliced and diced the advanced on / off numbers for Butler’s guard lineup combinations. In that breakdown, the data at hooplens.com revealed that when Aaron Thompson, Kamar Baldwin and Paul Jorgensen played together in 2017 – which was the primary perimeter lineup last season – the Bulldogs suffocated their opponents to the tune of a 0.94 points per possession. So, with the same perimeter trio back in the fold last year, how did Butler’s defensive efficiency plummet from a top-50 unit in 2018 to 123rd nationally last season?

    Jordan gave sharpshooter Sean McDermott a big bump in minutes, who isn’t going to terrify anyone defensively, but the real soft spot appeared to be inside. The hope is that Valpo grad transfer Derrik Smits will shore up those interior holes this season, who finally broke out his shell last year in the Missouri Valley. Smits made the MVC’s most improved team by posting 12 PPG and 6 RPG averages in just 22 minutes a game, a drastic improvement over his forgettable numbers the year before. The Crusaders had a unique dynamic last season, effectively platooning two 7-footers with Smits and Jaume Sorolla. Compared to Sorolla, Smits stuck out as the more polished and skilled offensive player, while Sorolla made his pay as an elite rim protector defensively. That’s not to say Smits isn’t a stout defender himself – his block rate and two-way rebounding rates both grade out as above average to excellent – but it’s important to note that he’s more of an offensive minded big man. Jordan will need to mold Smits’ mindset to get him to buy all the way into being a force defensively, which starts with teaching Smits how to defend without fouling.

    Milwaukee transfer Bryce Nze could be just what the doctor ordered for a fairly thin frontcourt, who appears to embody the physicality and toughness that so many of his Butler forward predecessors built their reputations on. Nze simply has a nose for the basketball and gets his paws on just about every missed shot on both sides of the ball - he hauled in 10 plus rebounds on 9 different occasions during the 2017-18 campaign for Milwaukee, flirted with averaging a double-double and shattered three different school rebounding records. Nze’s a bit undersized at 6’7, so I’d expect him to play primarily at the 4, but he could probably hold his own at the 5 for some brief stretches, if needed.

    Switching gears to offense, the scoring gash left by Martin’s absence was supposed to be patched up by Kamar Baldwin, who seem to be everyone’s sexy pick for the 2018-19 Big East breakout star. Yet, Baldwin looked uncomfortable as the 1st banana offensively and both his counting stats and efficiency stats effectively plateaued. Once he was put under the microscope as the clear marked man in every opposing scouting report, some of his flaws were quickly exposed. He just doesn’t seem to have that shake or shiftiness as a dribbler that guys like Shamorie Ponds or Markus Howard possess, an innate skill that’s hard to teach and develop. He’s not a deadly threat from long range and his pull-up game is good, not great, and he often forces the ball too deep in hopes of finding enough daylight to get off a quick floater or draw contact for a trip to the charity stripe.

    The fact that he shot 85% from the free throw line last year could be an indicator that his midrange and 3-point shooting precision are set to improve. The other reason to be optimistic about a Baldwin bounce back is that he should be completely and fully healthy after he reportedly dealt with some lingering pain all season. While I’ve seen nothing definitive on this matter, a report from the IndyStar this summer cited a quote from LaVall Jordan, who said Baldwin declined to play in the Pan American games so he could ‘feel completely like himself again’ this summer. Reading between the lines of the full interview with Jordan (see quote below) hints that there was clearly some foot pain hampering Baldwin last season:

    “He does a really good job of taking care of his body. He’s got good awareness of how he feels. But he’s a tough kid, and he’s played through some things, which he did a lot last year. Nobody had any idea, which is what you love about Kamar. Obviously, he had a heavy load on him. He’s got some mileage, the minutes he was playing. I don’t know if you’re ever 100 percent when you’re into the season.”

    I’m torn on whether or not to classify that as an excuse or a valid explanation, in regard to Baldwin’s inability to make the leap many anticipated. For Butler to stay in the upper half of the Big East standings this year, Baldwin HAS to play well, especially with how reliant the offense is on shot-creation through pick-n-roll action, most of which leans on Baldwin as the primary catalyst.

    Baldwin could use some more help from Jordan Tucker, the former Duke transfer who was wildly inconsistent throughout Big East action after becoming eligible at 2nd semester. When it was all said and done, Tucker’s season long numbers were actually quite solid, particularly his shooting percentages (37% from 3, 83% from the charity stripe), but his ‘Jekyll-and-Hyde’ game-to-game impact threw a wrench in Butler’s offensive rhythm. For Baldwin and the rest of the supporting cast to properly settle into their roles, Tucker can’t be a wildcard on a nightly basis. He doesn’t need to set the world on fire as a scorer, but he needs to knock down open shots, defend his position and continue to eat on the glass.

    The other difference maker could be top-100 freshman Khalif Battle, a high-flying 6’5 guard who should infuse an offensive spark to the backcourt. Battle’s versatile enough to bring the ball up and initiate the offense if Jordan wants to shift Baldwin off the ball, but his DNA embodies that of a score-first 2-guard.

    Bottom Line: There seems to be a lot of bearish outlooks on Butler floating around on social media, but I see no reason why the Bulldogs won’t be in the thick of the Big East standings come next March. Part of me is worried that I’m foolishly betting on the lightbulb flickering on in Baldwin’s head, but I can’t help but think that nagging foot injury had a compounding effect on his mobility and lateral quickness, as well as his internal psyche. Smits won’t be a world-beater, but he’s still a net upgrade defensively over both Fowler and Brunk in the middle, an area that badly needed attention this offseason. Tucker is the X-factor and a full summer of practice after finally getting some live game reps to get acclimated with the college speed of the game bode well for a leap in 2019-20. Put it all together, and this feels like a team that can push for an at-large berth, but it will be tough to climb the Big East leaderboard with so much depth from top to bottom.
     
  6. Gregory Roach

    Gregory Roach Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $430
    Thanks for posting. As you indicated, good read. I think the author undervalues the contribution that Nze may potentially make. Other than that, spot on analysis.
     
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  7. willisbrown

    willisbrown Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $6,636
    That's a good read. Pretty in depth stuff there. Good find dude.
     
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  8. Lukas Harkins

    Lukas Harkins Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $2,504
    3MW is the best. If you’re looking for high-quality previews or a fun podcast, those are the guys to go to. Cannot recommend enough.


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  9. Tiles52

    Tiles52 Active Member

    Money:
    $474
    I agree, a good read; one of the few downers was the height they listed for Campbell Donovan.
     
    BHayden, Bulldogs260 and TheDawgDub95 like this.
  10. Insane Dawg

    Insane Dawg Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $14,156
    Returning minutes don’t mean a lot when you lose work horses that bring their lunch pail to every game and replace them wire minutes with Brunk and Fowler. I still feel Brunk is going to be a good college player “ if “ he gets proper coaching. It was unfair to expect a McD to make up for the loss of Martin. The perimeter defense was bound to fall after 2017. For the first time this century it was difficult to watch Butler this past season. There was little emotions and a lot of softness.
     
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  11. UDDawg

    UDDawg Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $7,480
    Don't know how it's fair to blame coaching on Brunk's disappointing time at Butler. It just seems like he flat-out didn't want to be here. Now, he obviously had a good reason for that. If his being at Butler reminded him of losing his father, I don't blame him at all for wanting a change.
     
  12. willisbrown

    willisbrown Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $6,636
    Brunk wanted out for a long time. He was waiting to graduate so he didn't have to spend a year sitting. That blame lays squarely on Brunk, not the staff. The only thing I blame the staff for is running him out there for big minutes every game when it was clear as day he had no interest in anything other than getting to Bloomington. That's on the staff. We were going to lose games regardless, should have just played someone that actually wanted to be here and keep Brunk's punk ass on the bench.
     
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  13. TheDawgDub95

    TheDawgDub95 Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $1,116
    Neither Brunk nor Fowler were a fit for LaVall's system. I don't think either was, necessarily, Big East caliber but the system mismatch exacerbated their deficiencies imo.

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  14. Bulldogs260

    Bulldogs260 Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $1,432
    Lol well that’s what I’ve been wanting to say about Brunk for awhile. What a cancer he was last season more than we even know!


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    jkcdawgs likes this.
  15. Insane Dawg

    Insane Dawg Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $14,156
    We will see
     
  16. jkcdawgs

    jkcdawgs Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $1,723
    Tuck is averaging 14.5+ PPG this year.
     
    willisbrown likes this.
  17. willisbrown

    willisbrown Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $6,636
    I think this will be the case if he is allowed to (aka, plays enough). You're going to see an explosion out of him.
     
  18. ButlerNut

    ButlerNut Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Money:
    $5,578
    Adding up all the "returning points" (including the points from Smits from Valpo), and the team is "returning" 73.4 points. Gonna need some scoring from the freshmen, or some guys to pick up the points lost to graduation. Unfortunately, 73.4 isn't going to win a ton of games this year, IMO.
     
  19. Tentozen

    Tentozen Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $783
    Does that include Nze’s last year as well? Either way, with a highly ranked freshman coming in, and a little improvement by a few, you’re easily at 80, so don’t think that’s the main concern.


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  20. willisbrown

    willisbrown Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $6,636
    Battle will average double digits. Bank it. Lock it up. Enjoy it. He's going to be hell for opponents.
     

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