Game Thread: Butler vs #15 Houston (11/22) - Maui Invitational

Discussion in 'Butler Basketball' started by ConnersvilleBulldog, Nov 20, 2021.

  1. Cranjis McBasketball

    Cranjis McBasketball Well-Known Member

  2. Irishdawg

    Irishdawg Banned User

    It's generally pretty easy to say the right thing or what you think people want to hear.
    DawgPoundMac, willisbrown and UDDawg like this.
  3. ConnersvilleBulldog

    ConnersvilleBulldog Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Summarized the struggles of last season and the importance of this season. Talked about pre-game preparation. Then we got punched in the mouth. At halftime, sounds like LaVall hung back for a second to see if any players would step up and address the team - AT did. Said he lit into the team a little bit.
  4. UDDawg

    UDDawg Well-Known Member

    I usually don't do this, but don't really care anymore.

    Against Houston, a fast, long ferocious defensive team, Jordan wants to see the ball come alive. Pop-pop-pop. Quick passes, ball reversals. Punish the defense for over-committing. Capitalize on the Cougars’ tendency to over-play.

    “That,” Jordan said of a simple ball reversal, something that sounds basic, but is proving anything but for this group. “If we get better at that, we’ll be a better offensive team.”
    Players are present and accounted for, but dragging. Jordan sees something he doesn’t like.

    “Make it a habit to get off your phones when you get into the team room,” Jordan says. “This is your first time seeing each other today. Talk to each other.”

    Jordan is still trying to dial that up. He repeats the same word over and over — energy — like he’s trying to tap a well.

    “If you can’t wake up for a Maui Invitational game in Vegas, then you can’t play,” Jordan says.

    Butler comes together for a team prayer as a breakfast buffet sits waiting on the other side of the meeting room. Jordan has one parting message. He tells his group: “Only show up if you’re ready for war. Don’t walk down there if you’re not.”

    It’s about a half-hour till tip-off when Jordan stands in front of his team and tells them, “You’re getting better. In all these little ways, you’re getting better. You may not see it, but it’s there.” He believes it. He wants them to, too.

    There are some parting notes, like Sasser being a lefty, but Jordan’s message is broader now. The hyper-specific has all been addressed. Now he’s talking to his guys. He stresses energy again. “Energy plays give your teammates life,” he says. “Energy trumps strategy.” He tells them that Houston is going to come out swinging, and they better be ready.

    “Don’t flinch,” he says.
    The Dawgs didn’t have much of a margin for error coming into the matchup in the first place. Falling behind 17-0 is essentially an early last call.

    As play continues, Jordan looks back at a few starters sitting and watching from the bench. “You’re better than this,” he says.


    Jordan trails behind before slipping into the locker room and standing behind a wall. This is a moment. If Butler has any chance of turning this around — not the game, but a season that already feels like it’s on the ropes — there has to be some legitimate soul searching. Jordan eyes the box score, but has his ears on the room.

    There’s one voice. Aaron Thompson. The fifth-year senior guard who opted to use his NCAA-granted post-Covid extra year of eligibility chides the whole room. Most of it can’t be printed. But he says Butler is playing scared. He says, “Y’all sitting here with sad faces. How about we do something about it?”

    Jordan has heard what he needs to hear and interjects, coming from around the wall to deliver his own message. The messages have nothing to do with ball-screen coverages or inept offense. It’s about accountability, and this conversation is not new. A stat that’s ripe to be oft-repeated in local media and among detractors, Butler has trailed by 10 or more in 23 of its last 30 games. After today, it’ll be 6-23 in those games.

    “I’m only going to play competitors,” Jordan says.

    “Do you have the willingness to do what it takes to change?” he asks. “The honesty in this room has to improve.”


    PSUButlerFan likes this.
  5. willisbrown

    willisbrown Well-Known Member

    All I hear are empty words and horse crap on top of cow patties. You can always say whatever the hell you want to say...its all hogwash. Show it to us on the court and act like Butler...which they haven't for two years now. Not to mention the second half meltdown of 2018-2019.

    I honestly don't want to hear one word coming from LaVall or any of these players. They've shown what they are. So why listen?
    dippper61 and DawgPoundMac like this.
  6. Irishdawg

    Irishdawg Banned User

    I appreciate the peek into the locker room, but it certainly doesn't make me feel better to know that Jordan is essentially pleading with the team to compete and believe in themselves and they're all but ignoring him.
    bumba, dippper61, znelson15 and 6 others like this.
  7. Butler_Boatdawgs456

    Butler_Boatdawgs456 Member

    All the AT hate is weird

    Is he a perfect player? No. Is he still an excellent BE level player? Yes.

    That dude has put his body thru hell the last few years. Banged up wrist, shoulder, knee, kid comes back every time.

    Makes the right pass when/if the offense gets movement, plays lockdown D, and is good for a charge or some other great momentum play a game.

    He single handedly willed us to a few wins last year and kept it close in a few others before he got shut down.

    He’s also got a little fight to him. Kid can play PG for my team any day. Have some respect.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
    BUcheer and dawgs2014 like this.
  8. Woof

    Woof Well-Known Member

    Right. If you're saying "you better be ready to play," and no one looks ready to play, who's fault is that?

    AT trying to get the team fired up at half is great, but is the team playing for Lavall or AT?

    The team traveled to Vegas to play in one of the premier tournaments that will be nationally televised, not to mention playing the #12 team in the country, and you can't get them energized from the jump? That screams "culture issue" to me.

    For all this talk about how Lavall is a player's coach, it sure doesn't sound like he's earned the respect of his players.
  9. ButlerProf

    ButlerProf Active Member

    TY for the excerpts! Inspirational coach speak like this has its place & time. I’m not in the locker room, at practice or on the bench. Maybe it’s precisely what they need(ed). However, I guarantee you this rah rah is too abstract on any steady diet for college students. They need effective teaching & coaching, skills, strategies & tactics. Much game evidence thus far suggests it loudly. IMO.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
  10. IrishDawghouse

    IrishDawghouse Well-Known Member

    Yep, just a classic case of the coach losing the team. We’ve all seen this song and dance before in some form whether it be football/basketball or junior high/professional etc. The players aren’t bought in to the culture and program. When you aren’t as talented as your opponent, you have to make up for it by busting your a**, executing, and purely just wanting it more. They haven’t even sniffed the level of effort of any of their opponents so far (that includes Tiffin and UIndy) — Just going through the motions, same as last year.

    Lavall clearly sees this and obviously wants it to change, but again, no matter what he does at this point, it just seems futile. I think Barry will make the right decision at the end of the year.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
    IndyDawgs and DawgPoundMac like this.
  11. Cranjis McBasketball

    Cranjis McBasketball Well-Known Member

    Wow. I appreciate the quotes. I don’t find it too encouraging. LJ (and the team) is getting completely embarrassed out there on the court. While I don’t agree with many of The General’s methods. I feel like our team needs one of these pep talks.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops
    bumba and ButlerBoyz like this.
  12. GoodDawgs

    GoodDawgs Active Member

    Before you all use excerpts from a lengthy article to confirm your biases, you might want to actually read the article in its entirety for the context of the selected quotes. As far as "losing the team" goes, if Val isn't someone the players like and/or respect, exactly why did ALL of last year's seniors put their lives on hold to play for him again? Granted, the program is struggling mightily right now. The players and coaches certainly get that, but the over the top vitriol and hysteria on here is an even worse look than what has been happening on the court.
    butlerguy03 and dawgs2014 like this.
  13. BUcheer

    BUcheer Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Good observation and I can back it up with this—when asked how the players feel about Vall I was told by a super senior not long ago that everyone “loves him”. So it’s not a Vall is losing the team thing—but it does seem to be a loss of identity thing—and that falls more on the staff than the players IMO. Gutcheck time all the way around—but these kids shouldn’t just be playing their hearts out for Vall/staff—they should mostly be doing it for each other and those who came before. Have some pride as a Butler Bulldog and what this program has meant for the past 20 years.
  14. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    This is a great post. I completely agree with all of it.

    One reason I have switched from pro lavall to “he has to earn my confidence back” is that I trusted him to further “The Butler Way”.

    Maybe he is off the court, but this team is soft and lazy. It’s not happening on the court. If he can’t do that he’s not upholding his end of the bargain imo.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops
    jal8908, BUcheer, Shane Davis and 2 others like this.
  15. schoops

    schoops Well-Known Member

    I feel like we hear about AT chewing the team out every other game. I wonder when the players only meeting will be
  16. Brett

    Brett Active Member

    As an avid Butler basketball fan for twenty years, I have a great respect for the team and the Butler way. However, I have to say a lot of the responses on this forum are extremely negative, to say the least.
    I am a huge of Lucas Harkins because of his great analysis, honest reporting and keeping to the subject of basketball. In regard to your comment, "Jesus, or whoever his little imaginary friends are", is extremely offensive
    to many of us on this forum. All I can say to you personally is that one day you will have to give an account to this "imaginary Jesus". Let's keep to the subject of basketball rather than to subjects in which you are
    obviously very uninformed.
  17. PSUButlerFan

    PSUButlerFan Well-Known Member

    Well you know the season is **** and has no hope when posters are fighting over the legitimacy of Jesus and what happens when we die…

    Newsflash dude - Your religious beliefs are no more legit - or not - than his. I have friends who are all denominations of Christianity, I have friends who are Jewish, I have friends who are Muslim, I have friends who are Atheist, I live in Mormon country… no one religion is any more legit than any other. Respect others’ beliefs since they don’t harm you in any way if people don’t believe the same as you.
  18. ButlerBoyz

    ButlerBoyz Member

    That halftime speech never gets old. I fully admit I have seen this video to much and apparently this team hasn't.
  19. ButlerBoyz

    ButlerBoyz Member

    I agree with you that pausing there life to come back to play shows a huge amount of respect. That said, If they truly respect him then they need to start playing like it. If they continue to play this bad then they will see their coach on the hot seat. At some point the talk and exuberance of coming back has to turn into performance. Right now, the seniors as a whole aren't pulling their weight. Usually I am one to fade the hysteria as well. It's a small sample and it's a long season. However, there are fundamental issues with this team on the floor that have to be solved with no clear answer to how they will get solved. How is this team going to generate offense? There are not enough scorers or playmakers. We don't have the Horizon League schedule to figure it out either. I don't know what part of this team instills confidence that they can turn it around. If there is something, feel free to share
    willisbrown likes this.

Share This Page