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Use our Superior Athletes

  • When you outshoot a team by 12 percentage points you win. Period. Every team you play in college today has different strengths and weaknesses. Each team has it's own identity and that is why coaches are assigned to do scouting reports.

    West Virginia had the 1-3-1. It is designed to make you shoot the three and put pressure up top. The way to beat a 1-3-1 is to penetrate it and force the game inside. When they beat us in the region finals their team consensus was "we were glad that they kept shooting the threes, because we couldn't handle them inside. We don't know why they quit going inside, but we are glad that they did."

    When you play a team with a gimmick you have to do the opposite of what they are trying to get you to do to be successful.

    Arkansas has inferior athletes as do most of the teams that we play. Athletically they can't match up. So they hack, scratch, foul, push, shove, but their main strategy is to press, trap, hand check, and foul so much that the refs can't and won't call them all.

    They outscored us because we continued to turn it over and they got so many more shots. They were the aggressor, but they had to be because they have inferior athletes.

    I LOVE COACH CAL. I DON"T WANT ANY OTHER COACH BESIDES COACH CAL!

    I just wish he would use his superior athletes to create more turnovers and create more easy shots ( Layups and Dunks). The teams in the SEC know there is only one way to play us and that is to make it a football game every game.

    Rough us up, foul us more than the refs feel comfortable calling and then make us grind out every basket we get. We get very few points off of turnovers, because we don't turn anybody over.

    I wish he would use his athleticism to create havoc for other teams by pressuring full court occasionally,not all the time because of our limited bench and depth,but to occasionally throw on a full court press when the teams least expect it.

    Change it up, keep teams off balance, go to a zone out of a timeout when their coach has been spending the entire timeout drawing up a play for man to man. Use our superiority to keep teams from doing what they want. Make the coaches waste their preparation time during the week working against full court and half court pressure, man and zone defense. Whatever we have to do to keep them off balance.

    Especially this team. They can't grind out every possession. They need to be able to score some easy buckets. Layups and Dunks. Last years team could score easily in the half-court set, but this team is different. They need some easy buckets.

    Again I LOVE Coach Cal and wish he and his team nothing, but the best.

  • Ummmm.... Athletes do not equate to ball skills lol. We literally could not run a play yesterday. It's a miracle we scored as many as we did. Arkansas was superior athletically yesterday, we looked beyond sluggish. This team needs the exact opposite of what you are suggesting. We need to be deliberate

  • re: When you outshoot a team by 12 percentage points you win. Period.
    Not true. We did so yesterday and lost. That happens when you are outscored 30-2 off turnovers...

    re: West Virginia had the 1-3-1. It is designed to make you shoot the three and put pressure up top. The way to beat a 1-3-1 is to penetrate it and force the game inside. When they beat us in the region finals their team consensus was "we were glad that they kept shooting the threes, because we couldn't handle them inside. We don't know why they quit going inside, but we are glad that they did."

    ...is simply not true.
    Here is what was said in interviews and write-ups after the game:
    ***
    The second-seeded Mountaineers (31-6) used the same aggressive, in-your-face defense that led them to their three previous tournament wins. They closed the lanes, leaving Kentucky's speedy guards with few chances to penetrate. And they flustered Kentucky's big men, particularly center DeMarcus Cousins, by collapsing three players into the post once he got the ball.

    West Virginia also denied the top-seeded Wildcats easy shots by committing fouls and forcing Kentucky to make free throws, which didn't happen. The Wildcats went 16 of 29 from the line.

    "We made it very difficult for them to see open cutters and just make plays in general," Butler said.
    ***
    Their own quotes were that they made it difficult for us rather than they didn't know why we didn't try to force it inside. The other emphasized parts showed why we were unsuccessful pushing it inside: our cutters were kept out, we were fouled and missed free throws. That is not to mention we missed a ton of threes (open ones) and they hit theirs...

    When you play a team with a gimmick you have to do the opposite of what they are trying to get you to do to be successful?
    Simply not true. If a team puts five players in the lane and keeps them there, you don't HAVE to force it inside on all five players to be successful. Granted, you will be successful if you can still do what they are throwing everything (including the kitchen sink) into trying to do to stop you but that usually only works with a gigantic athletic advantage. One of the many times repeated pregame notes regarding the matchups was that WVU was an athletic and long team which we would not have the same huge matchup advantages we possessed throughout the season. What is needed when facing gimmicks (I don't think I would call a 1-3-1 a gimmick) is to execute. In the first half we missed all of our threes, most of them wide open. We missed free throws when we went inside and got fouled. They were hot outside. We let them have easy layups and baskets that we shouldn't have. That is why we lost.
    Note: I looked up a number of articles and saw te same quote, over and over...

    re: They outscored us because we continued to turn it over and they got so many more shots. They were the aggressor, but they had to be because they have inferior athletes.
    I am in agreement with this. I just don't see how it supports the rest of the OP. *shrug*

    re: I just wish he would use his superior athletes to create more turnovers and create more easy shots ( Layups and Dunks). The teams in the SEC know there is only one way to play us and that is to make it a football game every game
    We have limited depth and are not a good pressing team. Noel was a tremendous force with turnovers as he had a remarkable number of steals in addition to blocked shots. He is gone for the season. We have weak defensive point guard play (relative to the prior three years, both first and second string), we don't have lockdown defenders on the outside (Lamb was solid, Jones was solid fromm game to game, Miller was solid, Liggins was very good), and our team leader in forcing steals is out. I don't think it is simply a matter of snapping one's fingers and using our athleticism to force a whole lot of turnovers.

    re: Rough us up, foul us more than the refs feel comfortable calling and then make us grind out every basket we get. We get very few points off of turnovers, because we don't turn anybody over.
    I'm in agreement with most, but as stated previously, I don't think we have the arsenal to achieve the effect being desired here.

    re: Change it up, keep teams off balance, go to a zone out of a timeout when their coach has been spending the entire timeout drawing up a play for man to man. Use our superiority to keep teams from doing what they want. Make the coaches waste their preparation time during the week working against full court and half court pressure, man and zone defense. Whatever we have to do to keep them off balance.
    But, what if our gameplan has been based upon forcing them to change their entire game to adapt to us?
    We don't execute well on offense. If we don't spend a considerable amount of time trying to get better at executing, I see us getting worse rather than better.

    The other teams don't need to spend time trying to plan against our full court press because we don't do it very well. We lack the pressure D from our guards to do this.

    Plus, we don't do a lot of things very well. I think it is a leap to assume that if we just spent time trying to make one aspect better that we are not now trying to (apparently, according to the arguments being made), that the aspect will suddenly get better and that the other things we are bad at won't get worse. For example: one needs to hit baskets in order to set up the press but if one misses baskets and free throws it is difficult to do. That is difficult to do when not executing halfcourt sets and missing freethrows. The other alternative is a swarming man to man D but we have a depth problem and lack the defensive players (point guard D is weak, no lockdown perimeter players, the steal presence from Noel is gone) to bring that about.

    There just isn't a way to snap one's fingers and fix this, IMO This team has serious weaknesses.

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  • Outside of Goodwin, this isn't that athletic of a team. And not a single one of them are physical.

    It's just a really bad testament to just how bad this HS senior class was coming in. Worst since 2005, imo

  • I'd change that a bit ... Goodwin, Poythress, WCS and Noel (when healthy) are all above-average Division I basketball 'athletes' ... but in general, I agree with your point. Harrow, Mays, Wiltjer and Polson are just simply average to below-average in terms of athleticism compared to other DI basketball players. And that's half our rotation. Not typical of a Cal team.

    One clarification ... I think Harrow is 'athletic' if you mean speed, quickness, jumping ability, etc. His problem is that he's such a small guy (20-25 pounds lighter than any of Wall, Bledsoe, Knight or Teague) that he's not strong enough to get where he needs to be very often.

    This post was edited by wildcatknh 13 months ago

  • I'd add that we have some talented guys (otherwise we wouldn't hear multiple names being mentioned a being paid an enormous amount of money this coming year in the NBA), but we don't have many highly-skilled guys.

    To take it a step further, our most talented guys are generally our least skilled (at this stage in their basketball development). We then have a few skilled guys, who don't have near the talent required to excel at the high end of D1 basketball.

    We are severely lacking in players who are highly talented and have well-polished skills.

  • Add Teague to this team and take out Harrow and we are a 2 seed. Cals team do and always will depend on an elite PG we donot have that this year.

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  • Sorry, but I have to disagree here. Teague is good, but he is not a dominant point guard. It would take a Derrick Rose type player to make this team a two seed, and I'm not sure he could.

    To further that, and disagree with the OP of this thread, our "athletes" on this team are not that athletic. This team is also a very weak team. They aren't physical in the least bit. They could have shot 25% better than Arkansas yesterday and still lost. With less than 10 minutes to go in the game yesterday, we had attempted 8 shots in the second half. Arkansas had 6 on one possession. They punked UK out and showed everyone just how soft we are. Part of being a "superior" athlete means that you are physically gifted also. Otherwise, you will get pushed around and there is nothing superior about that.

  • I've got news for all of you that are making excuses for this team. We have "Superior Athletes" because they are getting ready to be drafted into the toughest, most physical basketball league in the world in just a couple of months. The NBA doesn't take players that can't make it athletically in the league.

    How many players from Tennessee and Arkansas are going to be drafted. We have had some great players that could score and jump, but couldn't cut it in the league because they weren't athletic enough.

    The point of the post is that every team Cal is going to get during his tenure is not going to be carbon copies of each other. Other than the fact that they are all going to be very athletic.

    My point is that Cal is going to have to evaluate each team and put that team in the best position to win. I agree that this team is soft. I agree that the point guard play is weak. Losing Nerlens hurt bad, but this team had problems before he went down. I think that giving this team an opportunity to score some easy buckets is essential for them to be successful.

    How many games this year have you seen it flash across the screen "Kentucky has gone x amount of minutes without a field goal."
    That makes me sick. This team just isn't good at grinding out baskets in the half court set. Last years team was very good at it, thus the National Title.

    That was my point you can't always stick a square peg in a round hole and make it work. I know that next years team has another elite point guard coming and I can't wait for him to get here. Cal had a whole season last year to evaluate Harrow and chose not to bring in a stud point guard. It is what it is. I would like to see us win the last two games and at least a couple in the conference tournament. Then we can see about the NCAA, but if we don't we may be doomed for the NIT.

  • I've got news for all of you that are making excuses for this team. We have "Superior Athletes" because they are getting ready to be drafted into the toughest, most physical basketball league in the world in just a couple of months. The NBA doesn't take players that can't make it athletically in the league

    Uh, sorry but there are LOTS of players drafted every year that don't make it. The NBA scouts like the potential of the UK players more than they do other players in the draft. And let it be noted it has been said by several people, GM's and scouts and whoever, that this is the weakest NBA draft EVER.

    I am not making any excuse whatsoever for this team. They just aren't that good. Period, end of story. Cal has tried to speed it up and slow it down. This team just simply doesn't have the players to excel at either. He has tried working on zones in practice and we are apparently worse at zoning than we are man-to-man. These guys don't have the basketball IQ at this point in their careers that UK needs them to have. I don't really see many people at all trying to make excuses. I think most people realize this is just how it may be occasionally with the amount of player turnover we will continue to have with Cal. I wish these kids nothing but the best if and when they move on to the next level. I hope they are all All-Stars. It only helps UK.

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  • Which 'stud point guard' are you referring to?

    There was only 1 point guard in the top 25 players of this year's incoming class and he's (Kris Dunn #16) averaging 5 points and 2.5 assists a game for Providence.

    There were no point guards in this class ... which is why Cal had Harrow here off transfer in the first place.

  • To be a "superior athlete" you have to be superior between the ears and inside the ribcage too.

  • How in the world could anybody say we would need a D. Rose type guy for this team to be successful? If Teague were on this team we are a top 5 team. Poythress would be a different player and so would Archie and Noel and WCS would have gotten so many easy buckets it wouldn't even be fair. Another thing he would bring is toughness and leadership. I know AD and MKG were leaders of last years team but Cal said from the get go last year that the team would go as far as Teague took them fortunately he lead them to a title.
    To say he wouldn't have made this team elite is absurd and honestly a lot of what this guy is saying is wrong except we are not very good.

  • How in the world could anybody say we would need a D. Rose type guy for this team to be successful? If Teague were on this team we are a top 5 team. Poythress would be a different player and so would Archie and Noel and WCS would have gotten so many easy buckets it wouldn't even be fair. Another thing he would bring is toughness and leadership. I know AD and MKG were leaders of last years team but Cal said from the get go last year that the team would go as far as Teague took them fortunately he lead them to a title.
    To say he wouldn't have made this team elite is absurd and honestly a lot of what this guy is saying is wrong except we are not very good.

  • A sophomore Teague would have been a tremendous player. I agree. He was playing great at the end of the year. Making the right play and hitting shots when we needed them. He definitely would have made this team really good.

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