Preseason Observations

Discussion in 'Butler Basketball' started by Jared Grubbs, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Jared Grubbs

    Jared Grubbs Administrator Staff Member

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    RE: Starting 5?

    After that pathetic performance from the perimeter, I think Hopkins is going to have to start. No one else looks capable of generating any offense off the dribble right now.

    Note: Felt it was best to move this and the following posts from the "Starting 5?" thread to this new thread.
     
  2. Three Specks

    Three Specks New Member

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    RE: Starting 5?

    quite frankly, we sucked. nobody could shoot or rebound. I am very worried for this season
     
  3. Jared Grubbs

    Jared Grubbs Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm not worried at all yet. I don't put much stock at all in exhibition games. I feel like to be a top 25 team this year Butler needs Hopkins, Marshall, and Smith to put up good offensive numbers. Smith and Marshall looked capable of that today. They just got no help from the perimeter. If Hopkins is anywhere close to as good as we think he may be the offense will be fine. There are enough players capable of filling in around those 3 in a variety of differed ways. I'm not going to get worried about the offense until 1 of those 3 show me they aren't capable of shouldering a significant role on offense.
     
  4. Coogles

    Coogles Active Member

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    RE: Starting 5?

    I’m sure some people are going spastic and some of that is probably warranted, but I’m not there yet. I thought the most glaring deficiency last night was that this team desperately needed another playmaker. I don’t know if Hopkins will be that guy, but he’s been billed to be, so hopefully he can make things happen offensively. Marshall and Smith aren’t guys who can create their own shots; somebody needs to get them the ball in position to score and, for all Ron does, he hasn’t shown himself to be that guy. We need someone who can draw an extra defender and find the open man.

    The one disappointment I had individually was in Kam Woods’ jumper. It looks like it has a huge hitch in it near the release and ball comes out extremely awkwardly. Maybe he’s been making those in practice, I don’t know, but none of his threes or his free throws was really even close. I like the rest of his game, though. He plays stronger than he looks and is extremely disruptive on the perimeter defensively. He didn’t look to do much using the dribble, but he has the handle of a SF.

    I thought Aldridge looked really good. He didn’t try to do very much and really deferred while he was out there, but he’s quick and has a solid, confident handle on the ball. In transition he’s going to be much better than Nored is. The three point shot looks better than Ron’s too.

    Jones is what he was billed to be. Super strong, good ballhandler, but last night he tried to use the floater too often instead of getting into a guy and drawing contact. He never looked to try a jumper. He’s also not very bouncy. Willie Veasley in that department, he is not. He struggled to rebound in traffic against anybody taller than him.

    Even in just his two minutes, I see why Stevens liked Smeathers. The kid is super smooth offensively. He rose up beautifully on his one three point attempt and moves well both with and without the ball. I thought he was over-committing while closing out and getting out of position defensively, which led to his fouling issues. Hopefully that will be corrected, because his offensive potential could be really valuable to this team.

    Ron and Chase both are what they have been. Ron is still offensively challenged and Chase still doesn’t handle the ball very well. I said earlier that Aldridge and Hopkins should end up being our best backcourt combination at some point during the year and nothing I saw last night dissuaded me from that opinion.

    Only other thing I wanted to see was Fromm get a chance to play some 4 behind Marshall. He has a better jumper than Woods and Butcher, but he never got the chance in this game. Fromm also never posted up hard, although Stevens said in his Dakich interview yesterday that he can score some in the post.

    I still think our best lineup will be:

    G: Aldridge
    G: Hopkins
    F: Jones
    F: Marshall
    C: Smith

    We’ll see. The whole team has a lot to work on at both ends. Evansville will be a really tough early test for this team.
     
  5. BUStudent

    BUStudent Active Member

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    RE: Starting 5?

    I'm not worried too much either. You learn more from a loss than a win, especially with a coaching staff like ours. Better get it out of our system now than later on in the season. And as David Woods said in his blog,

    "In recent seasons, there have been multiple occurrences of a Division II opponent upsetting a national power in an exhibition: Findlay over Ohio State, Grand Valley State over Michigan State, LeMoyne over Syracuse, Indianapolis over Tennessee, Seattle Pacific over Arizona (last week)." http://blogs.indystar.com/butler/2011/11/03/all-butler-weaknesses-exposed/

    That being said, Its normal to feel a little disappointed. I think we all expected a better performance and for someone to step up but the team is young and like Stevens said in the interview, "I guess we've got nowhere to go but up." I have complete faith in the coaching staff to get them to where they need to be on the 12th. I'm looking forward to see some improvements on saturday.
     
  6. butlerfan

    butlerfan New Member

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    It's hard not to get fixated on the offense after sitting thru that last night. That was tough to watch, but in alot of ways understandable with all the new bodies and roles. I watched Hopkins alot at the Indy Pro/Am League and he played really well against older, more experienced guards. I know he didn't play much last year, but he can really play, if he is assertive. That's my biggest problem with his game. He get's into these passive periods and he is way too talented not to exert his force on the game. I think he will start ahead of Stigall at the 2 guard. I view Hop as an off guard.

    Did anybody get the impression that defensively we could be really, really good though? Woods' length and wingspan is really impressive. Jones is a physical specimen, strong as all hell, Aldridge is alot quicker than I thought he would be and Andrew Smith looks alot better on defense.
     
  7. mk_1

    mk_1 New Member

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    i agree that the d has the potential to be extremely good, but can't get outrebounded like that, especially when the tallest dude on the opposing team (that played) is 6-6...

    the free throw shooting was horrible too... is 50-60% what is to be expected of this squad? that's gonna cost a game or two...
     
  8. kac12568

    kac12568 Well-Known Member

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    I understand that we have some young players and it is going to take time to learn the offensive and defensive schemes. I was actually more disappointed with Coach Stevens and his management of the game and our free throw shooting.

    With 35.9 seconds left in the game and multiple fouls to give, he chose to let Northern State run their offensive set which resulted in a wide open shot. No need to go into more detail about the 52% from the charity stripe.

    Thank goodness the game doesnt count.....they now have time to focus on fundamentals.
     
  9. Title

    Title Well-Known Member

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    Like last year, nothing will change until the point guard position is addressed.

    With the make up of the roster, Ron Nored cannot be more than a role, bench player at the point guard spot. It's not entirely his fault that the best players that Butler has brought in at the 3, 4, and 5 are either defensively focused, need most of their offense from the interior, or both. But, he has had four years to try to build something resembling an offensive game and it's just not there (and not coming)

    He is just a really poor offensive player on a team that needs a really good one. Like last year, the realization that Gordon Hayward (and Shelvin Mack) aren't there will eventually happen. It took a month and a half for the truth to sink in last year.
     
  10. mk_1

    mk_1 New Member

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    just out of curiosity, who's your starting 5, right now, not in a month or so? hop, stigall, woods, marshall, smith?
     
  11. Title

    Title Well-Known Member

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    Hopkins, Jones, Marshall, and Smith. Mix and match until you find the 5th, probably one of the remaining 3 freshmen.
     
  12. Coogles

    Coogles Active Member

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    Agree wholeheartedly, but it's tough to be critical when Hopkins can't play (and from the looks of it won't play tomorrow) and Aldridge is playing so passively.

    Anybody else remember how timid Marhsall was in his first exhibition last year? It'll take time for the Aussie to come around, but the versatile offensive games of Aldridge and Hop should go really well with either Jones or Woods at the 3. If Smeathers or Stigall is out there at the 3, Ron's game fits much better.

    This offense has always been about spacing, but it's impossible to do that with only one three point threat on the floor. That's why I think Fromm is going to be really important this year. If he can reliably hit the 3 from the 4 and 5 spots like Matt did last year, that would be huge for this offense. Last year's team wouldn't have been nearly as good at all without Matt's 3 point ability.
     
  13. butlerfan

    butlerfan New Member

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    I think if the 5th was Woods that is a very talented starting five and probably the best players on the team, but that 5 doesn't have enough ball handling skills or outside shooting to survive versus the pressure defense that we will see. From what I have seen Hop is not that great of a ball handler and is much better playing off the ball and scoring that way. I don't want him in a facilitator role. He has to score if we want to win this year. One thing I noticed about RJones the other night. He needs to get into shape. He was gasping for air alot. The coaches need to run him in practice till he builds up his endurance so that he can play the 3-4 minutes full speed until the TV timeouts. He really was hurtin vs Northern State at times.

    I think Brad is going with Nored and will mix in Aldridge as the change up at the point. That's my gut feeling.

    Nored/Hop/Woods/Marshall and Smith unless RJones proves otherwise. There is definitely not enough outside shooting with that group, but the second unit with Stigall/Aldridge/Fromm and Smeathers makes up for it.

    Key to this season? Has to be Hop. He's the most versatile offensive player we have. But he hasn't done it at the college level yet, but he did destroy some really good older guards in the Indy Pro/AM Summer League. Hopefully this concussion doesn't set him back too far. I would imagine he has missed alot of practice time. WE need him this year.
     
  14. mk_1

    mk_1 New Member

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    i'd agree that nored will see a a lot of time to start off the year. probably not my preferred choice, but probably how it's going to be...
     
  15. Jared Grubbs

    Jared Grubbs Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm curious to know what makes you think Hopkins is not a good ball handler. From everything I have seen he is extremely good with the basketball in his hands. I think he needs to be in that facilitator role, if for no other reason than there is nobody else on this team capable (other than maybe Hopkins, who will obviously need some time).
     
  16. VonZipper

    VonZipper Member

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    I'm just happy as can be to be back in Hinkle for another surprising season of Bulldog Basketball, from what I saw we have the foundation of a very good team. When everyone " gels" it's going to be a thing to behold. Smith looks lean and mean in the way Matt did last year..he just looks ripped and VERY fit...I think he's going to have a great year once he learns how to exploit his new more efficient phisicality. And watching Marshall and RoJo learn to work together is going to be awesome. When Crishawn comes back I think we take a big step forward. Just give me a Mt. Dew and a Hinkle Dog and blow that whistle...this is going to be a heck of a ride!
     
  17. Irishdawg

    Irishdawg Banned User VIP Member

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    All I have to say is they better score more than 50 tonight, especially since I'll be in town. ;)
     
  18. Three Specks

    Three Specks New Member

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    Ok, i am just curious why no one else has brought up the fact that Kameron Woods is starting! What the hell? I'd like to think that we have better options than him?!?!?!
     
  19. butlerbulldogfan

    butlerbulldogfan New Member

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    Well I was at the Franklin game. My impressions were Woods should be the starter instead of Jones. I think hes much further along then Jones at this point in time. Andrew Smith I think is taking his game to a entire different level this season. He just looks ripped and like no one is going to be able to move him around. Aldridge Im not sure if Id be suprised at some point in the season hes the starter and Nored is off the Bench, or maybe both are in at times together. Smeathers overall game impressed me alot. Hes the one I had the biggest question mark about coming in. My concern is 3 point shooting. Stigall and Smeathers but is there really anywhere else its going to come from? But overall if they can have enough offense, and they play defense the way Butler has in the past, and play within the system, Stevens can have this team ready for March. Im already looking ahead to next years class combined with this years is going to be incredible.
     
  20. Jared Grubbs

    Jared Grubbs Administrator Staff Member

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    I've been very impressed with Woods. With Hopkins out it has to be either Woods or Jones. I haven't seen enough of them to really like one over the other.
     

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