What makes this year's team so much better than last year? | Page 2 | The Boneyard

What makes this year's team so much better than last year?

SubbaBub

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The pieces fit better and we no longer have to rely on one guy for buckets, one guy for rebounds, one guy to initiate the offense plus we have a lock down defense and more depth than we've ever had.

Some of the best passing is coming from the forward positions.

Florida was standing there like a little kid wading in the shallows only to have wave after wave break over his head burying him in the sand.
 
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Subtle team structure. Our coach has made some adjustments. Increased BBIQ of players. Our player leader is all about 'Team'. More depth creating with the ball, Solid defense on opposing guards at 3 point line. More impact depth at center rather than just holding their own. Our biggest guy patrols the paint defensively when he is in and isn't asked to be Whaley. More offensive threats allowing things to just flow. Example 1: Cutting down on the number of times a player like RJ Cole had to figure out what to do with 3 sec on the clock. Example 2: Karaban couldn't do any better than Polley if the point of an entire possession was him running all over the court to find a 3. That kind of offense isn't the staple on this team. (I loved Whaley and the rest) (We also don't miss offensive rebound bunnies like we were doing - everybody misses sometimes but last year we might have approached a record)
 
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Defense and Depth.
  • Even without Whaley this team just has so many ways to neutralize the other team's best player/ whoever is hot on that team. We lost the seton hall game 90-87 last year because we couldn't stop Kadary Richmond, we almost lost to st Johns bc we didn't have an answer for Champegnie. We had a really hard time guarding teams that had bigger guards and we didnt have multiple options for stopping them. Now we have at least 3 people we can put on a good opposing lead guard (Hassan, Jackson, Tristen). We also have a better defensive answer to stretch 4 prototype players (whaley was better big defender imo).
  • Spacing is much better without Whaley out there he was an awkward fit in last years starting lineup offensively. Karaban. at the 4 and the 4 guard/wings surrounding clingan/sanogo just works better. I think the awkwardness of the whaley/sanogo fit is why we haven't seen clingan/sanogo as much at least offensively.
  • Depth. Calcaterra, Alleyne, Diarra, Clingan off the bench is YEARS better than Akok, Hawk, Polley, Gaff off the bench last year.
  • We have answers to teams, we are bigger at the point guard and better defensively. We also have many more guards, one could argue RJ Cole/Hawkins were the only true guards that played meaningful minutes last year. With Gaff out there it was only when RJ was exhausted and needed a breather
 
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1st step explosiveness, dribbling and ball movement.

As bad as Newton played last night, I would take him over RJ Cole. Just more explosive, dribbles and drives, whereas RJ pounded into the ground a lot. Newton creates space, and Diarra, Calcaterra and Alleyne are giving us much more than Gaffney ever did.

The floor is open because of better athletic abilities
Unpopular take but I would have to agree
 
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Hawkins and Clingan, and Karaban keeping the the defense honest from three which opens up the inside game much more than last season.
 
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Last two years had no shooters.
We had Polley, but had to devote the entire offense to setting him up to run off 7 screens to get him a contested look while moving.

Now we have shooters getting shots in the rhythm of the offense.
 

Waquoit

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We had Polley, but had to devote the entire offense to setting him up to run off 7 screens..
Nah, and no one cheered harder for Polley than I did.
 
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I'm as excited about this year's team as anyone else, and I was doing a quick comparison of position by position of this year vs last year. Some of the same players are still in some of the same positions, yet the sky is the limit with this year's squad. So, what's the difference?

At the point- RJ vs Tristan. Hard to say who I'd want more
At shooting guard- Hawkins vs Hawkins- no difference
At the 3- Andre vs Andre- no difference
At the 4- Alex Karaban vs Tyrese Martin- wouldn't edge go to Martin?
At the 5- Sanogo vs Sanogo- no difference
But,
Back-up 5- Clingan vs Whaley- big edge for Clingan
Other major players on this year's squad- Joey Calcaterra, Hassan Diarra, Naheime Alleyne
Other major players players on last year's squad- Tyler Polley, Jalen Gaffney, Akok Akok

What accounts for the explosiveness this year? Clingan and Joey C being on the squad? Having another year's development for the returnees? Some kind of team cohesion/confidence that is hard to describe but undeniable?

i have wondered about this question myself, and appreciate you starting this thread, but i think your post is wrong! last year, it felt like hurley was reticent to play the small ball lineup with the three wings (hawkins, jackson, martin) plus cole and a big. we played a TON with whaley or polley at the four, and those guys were just limited.

i think you take the improved versions of hawkins, jackson, and sanogo, and surround them with shooter-playmakers at the other two positions and the team is so much more versatile and dangerous.

as others have pointed out, hurley can turn anyone into a good defender/rebounder. he needed skilled players to run his offense properly and was always missing a couple of pieces.
 
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also, i think if you added cole to this team and he played the newton role the team would CRUISE to a fifth chip.
 
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also, i think if you added cole to this team and he played the newton role the team would CRUISE to a fifth chip.
Cruise may be a bit hyperbolic, but do seriously wish Cole was the PG this year. Ready to ride with Newton, but I loved Cole and think his scoring ability and basketball IQ would boost this team even more. He definitely was a scorer his whole career though so some slight concern about him adjusting as more of a facilitator for arguably the first time in his career in this hypothetical. Though Newton was a primary scorer at ECU as well, coming in as a transfer naturally knocks down a player's own perception of how much he is the "guy" when it comes to driving the offense so the team may benefit versus having an incumbent PG like Cole would've been.
 
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Remember that Newton and Alleyne especially aren’t hitting shots that well, the shooters are big but let’s face it, it’s Clingan.
 
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Cruise may be a bit hyperbolic, but do seriously wish Cole was the PG this year. Ready to ride with Newton, but I loved Cole and think his scoring ability and basketball IQ would boost this team even more. He definitely was a scorer his whole career though so some slight concern about him adjusting as more of a facilitator for arguably the first time in his career in this hypothetical. Though Newton was a primary scorer at ECU as well, coming in as a transfer naturally knocks down a player's own perception of how much he is the "guy" when it comes to driving the offense so the team may benefit versus having an incumbent PG like Cole would've been.

haha, it was definitely hyperbole, but i stand by it.

the ceiling of the team might be capped if cole is the primary offensive option, but if we are running plays for sanogo post-ups and hawkins threes and then rj cole pick-and-roll is the second or third option when a play breaks down... we would be scoring 100 ppg.

i also miss having someone as surehanded as cole in the backcourt. i like newton and (to a lesser extent) diarra, but feel like both just give up the ball way too often.
 
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The differences are experience and roster construction. The returning players are better and the remaining pieces just fit better than they have in the past few years.
 
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haha, it was definitely hyperbole, but i stand by it.

the ceiling of the team might be capped if cole is the primary offensive option, but if we are running plays for sanogo post-ups and hawkins threes and then rj cole pick-and-roll is the second or third option when a play breaks down... we would be scoring 100 ppg.

i also miss having someone as surehanded as cole in the backcourt. i like newton and (to a lesser extent) diarra, but feel like both just give up the ball way too often.
If you could make the assumption Cole would find his groove while not having an insane usage rate, woof would this team be crazy. But agreed number one difference would be ball security Cole's handle was just so good, but I think that is something that can and will improve this year
 
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Fixed
Not 100% sold on Alleyne yet, but the benefit of this team is that we have the depth to allow him to work through whatever is going on without it being detrimental to the team.
 
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Hawkins vs. Hawkins- no difference?

Jackson vs. Jackson- no difference?

Sanogo vs. Sanogo- no difference?

They are all light-years better than they were last season.

The talent is much better, the fit is much better, the depth is much better
Really....Hawkins should be compared to Martin and Karaban to Whaley. While I love Martin, Hawkins is much more dynamic offensivelyl And sort of the same thing with Whaley/Karaban....but they are such different players it's really hard to compare. This team just seems to mesh much better and has a lot more answers than last year's squad. I also think Hurley and co. have done a MUCH better job coaching offense this year than last year.
 
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I also think Hurley and co. have done a MUCH better job coaching offense this year than last year.

In fairness, you're going to look like a better offensive coach when you have a bunch of guys that can make shots and you're not constantly trying to squeeze blood from a stone with a 5-10 guard of average athleticism as your crunch time scorer.
 

August_West

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I'd say the defense is considerably better.... and we weren't bad at D last year.
This. 1000x

It’s easy to see the offensive improvements of the returns + the transfers and frosh.


Our defense is stifling. Just next level.


Remember when KO used to count “ kills” ( 3 defensive stops in a row) I don’t have a number in front of me but I’d bet we are over 1/2 way to the last few seasons total numbers . We get stops. Consistently. AJ rebounds stops and pushes hard. Opens everything up. And now we have some guys who can spot up and shoot on secondary break.
 
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Remember that Newton and Alleyne especially aren’t hitting shots that well, the shooters are big but let’s face it, it’s Clingan.
I almost stated this earlier too; if I had to choose one and only one change to account for the difference, it would be the addition of Clingan to the roster.
 

willie99

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C'mon boys, it's all about Joey
 

RichZ

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Sanogo is much better this year than last year. An upgraded offensive arsenal and much more disciplined defense.
Sanogo has undergone a physical transformation of sorts since last year. I have no idea what his BMI is, but there's less fat and more finely tuned muscles involved. The difference in speed and reaction time is more than noticeable. He still sweats more than any other human, but now he doesn't look winded. Ever.
It shows the most on the High Hedge. Last year, he got 'stuck' outside when the ball went inside, way too often. This year, his speed and especially reflexes (and perhaps a better comprehension of what the hedge is supposed to accomplish and how it works) have improved dramatically.
Now if we could just get him to kick the ball back out more than once in a blue moon when he's double/triple teamed in the post, we'd be dang well unstoppable.
 

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