What did we see?

What did we see?

  • A win is a win. Plenty of teams lost to bad teams last night, so it's good to escape that scary finish.

    A lot things bothered me, like a ton of lazy passes and bonehead mistakes. Looked like guys were laboring pretty hard in the 2nd half. Maybe they need to get into better shape, which isn't a great sign, but is easily corrected.

    We went away from Teske after a dominant start. He had a significant height advantage.

    I thought Juwan had some deer in the headlights looks to him. I saw a lot of 1st time head coach in him. Like he looked uncomfortable standing up and coaching. Not sure if that makes sense, but he knew the camera was on him a lot and he was caught looking like a youth hoops coach telling guys to "box out" and "play smart" and "bounce pass". I'm sure he will adapt just fine, but he seemed a bit shell shocked when that run came from App St.

    Didn't see him argue or even talk to refs. Didn't see him yell at any player (and there were 50 times he could have/should have). The out of bounds plays seemed like a high school "line" play. Might get away with it vs App St, but need to be more sophisticated than that.

    I was excited to see Teske and Castleton on the court at the same time for pretty long stretches. Something we never would see with Beilein. Although, Castleton played about 2 feet shorter than he is. Both he and Teske need to play stronger on defense. Too many easy drives to the basket where both of them would just step aside or attempt a backpedaling block. Be aggressive, stand your ground and swat that weak *****. They both played almost directly underneath the basket, which is useless. Step out a couple paces and that dribble drive will be much less effective.

    Overall, it was a C- type game. Livers, DDJ, Castleton and even Simpson played pretty poorly and very sloppy. The good thing is it was game #1 and we still got the W. I am hoping Franz gets back healthy asap, because we need someone who can get to the rack that isn't 5'8".

  • Discussion
  • Positives:
    - Teske - looked confident all over the floor. Granted, he was five inches taller than App St's tallest player, but he dominated like he had a big advantage. He was getting gassed, so might have to manage his minutes a bit more.
    - Brooks - played confident and that's what we need from him. Maybe not having to look over his shoulder is a big help to him, I don't know. Last year he was passing up a ton of open looks. Now he's taking them.
    - Castleton - I thought he was mostly positive in the sense that we have a quality backup center. I actually think the two bigs lineup was our best of the night. However, Austin Davis isn't good enough to warrant doing that more than a few minutes a game.
    - Shooting - Other than a few bricks, thought we looked good shooting most of the night and generated some open looks. Let's keep that up and it will get better once we get Franz back too.

    Negatives:
    - Simpson Focus - Not sure what he was thinking tonight. So many one hands cross court and silly passes throughout the night. Think he was just trying to do too much in transition. The simpler, the better
    - Livers Handling the Ball - He shot very well and did so in a variety of situations - off kickouts and off screens - but when he was trying to handle the rock, it looked like one of my Jr Highers out there. He was in more ball screen situations last night than he was his entire first two seasons combined. I expected his efficiency to go down this year as his minutes and role increased, but it can't be this bad. Has to take care of the ball.
    - DDJ - He was confident. Sometimes too confident. Has to get other involved more. Was only getting looks for himself and they weren't going down. He's the only player on the roster that can get his own shot, however. Simpson can, but can't shoot. DDJ - theoretically - can shoot and drive. What he did tonight was fine (though not in terms of finishing) if he's a SG. But when I watch him I want to be looking at our future PG. Gotta get others involved more and start finishing. Saw some fans down on his defense as well. He's not as good as Simpson or Brooks on defense, but I thought he did a solid job. Opponents just made some quality shots against him IMO.
    - 3 G lineup - trotted out in the exhibition as well as last night. Simpson-Brooks-DDJ is a rough look on both ends of the floor IMO. Not enough size or rebounding on defense and not enough diversity on offense.

    Overall, saw some things I like and some things I didn't. We looked pretty good for 30 minutes. But that last 10 minutes was absolutely brutal. Can't have stretches like that this year or we are NIT bound.

  • The development of the 4 sophs will determine whether we emerge as a NCAA contender or sink deeper into the bottom half of the Big Ten.

    Castleton and Johns showed some nice flashes last night. I'd like to think Johns turns the corner first.

    Nunez is going to be limited to a catch-and-shoot role for the foreseeable future and I'm still undecided if DDJ can emerge as another scoring option or if he's in over his head at this level.

    Creighton will tell us more about where we stand.