My coach, Travis freaking Steele

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Anti-Homer
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My coach, Travis freaking Steele

Postby Anti-Homer » Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:49 pm

I want to preface this by saying that part of my charge as a junior, and soon to be assistant, to the assistant senior moderator is to pose some provocative topics. However, rest assured my take will have the same spot on insight and objectivity which exemplifies all my posts (That’s almost a verbatim quote from Longliveskip at Muskienick’s wild boar roast this summer). Coach Steele has instilled a toughness and defensive system which makes X elite defensively. This hasn’t been seen on Victory Parkway since the Miller days.

His recruiting has also been unbelievable, especially since Coach Mack took the year off in 2017-18, and telling the few recruits he engaged that “they could play for him at X, OR Louisville”. Despite that, Steele has brought in the best consecutive recruiting classes in X’s history. Now, areas of concern.

Like his predecessor, he always leaves timeouts in his pocket. In regulation, up by 5 with 40 seconds left, Scruggs dribbled into a prime trapping area, and instead of calling a timeout, Scruggs turns it over, and fouls out. A quick timeout would have prevented that.

X’s also has a very undisciplined offense and poor shot selection. Call me Captain Obvious. When the whole team displays it (with few exceptions), it shows that the AAU offensive philosophy has been ingrained from the top. They are statistically one of the worst three point shooting teams in division 1 basketball, even after their 38.5% shooting performance averaged over the last two games. Despite that, they chuck up 20+ a game, and two of the worst 3 point shooters in the country lead the team in attempts (along with Scruggs, who should shoot the most). X has to take their fair share of open threes in the game to keep the other team honest, but when the worst ones chuck up the majority, often early in the shot clock, and off the dribble, it’s a problem. Steele keeps saying he’s not concerned about that, only turnovers. Bad threes by poor shooters are often the same as turnovers, as they lead to run outs.

Also, what makes Steele so unconcerned about the three point shooting, assuming it will allegedly get better? Law of averages says it has to, but a large sample tells us that Goodin and Marshall are inherently bad three point shooters, and continue to be in their senior and junior years. That’s fine, if they were reined in, but clearly are not. They shoot regardless of the situation, or low probability of success. Scruggs, Carter, Moore, and Tandy (assumption) should be the primary three point shooters. Conn went on a 23-7 run yesterday, and were helped in that stretch with some awful shot selection by X. This offensive issue won’t work against NCAA tourney caliber teams.

The last play by Carter was actually drawn up for Carter to pass it off to Bishop for a three. Yes, the play was designed for the worst three point shooter on the team to take the shot.

Steele, is still young, and will grow like CM did. I still have faith in him, and believe he will continue to improve. I remember when the search committee came to one of our moderator meetings, seeking our input. I pushed hard for Steele or Tony Bennet (the singer). Muskieman said it would be a huge mistake if we didn’t seriously consider Bruiser Flint, or Larry Davis (former UC assistant coach and the Queen City’s version of Harvey Weinstein). I’m glad my opinion prevailed and they heeded my advice.
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olsingledigit
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Re: My coach, Travis freaking Steele

Postby olsingledigit » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:38 am

I agree with most of what you say, but having seen all six games in person, I will say that Naji has an un canny ability to hit those long threes when we need them. Travis has said twice now that the shots are long because they are designed that way in order to get a more open shot. Travis says he stole the play from Nova. Naji seems to get a more relaxed shot from deep and hits them.

But yes we do need to improve offensively. We are 1/5 through the regular season and have yet to see two touted freshmen hit the floor and another being redshirted. Considering that, things could be worse. I understand the seriousness of concussions but Ramsey’s protocol has to be the longest in history. What gives?
Dressed to the Nines - Last of the LHS Single Digits - Dedicated to John "The Beer Spiller" McCormick, my son-in-law who passed June, 2016 at age 44. Long time Xavier fanatic and friend of many Lew Hirt Members. RIP Mac Strong! We miss you.
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muskieman
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Re: My coach, Travis freaking Steele

Postby muskieman » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:43 pm

olsingledigit wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:38 am
I agree with most of what you say, but having seen all six games in person, I will say that Naji has an un canny ability to hit those long threes when we need them. Travis has said twice now that the shots are long because they are designed that way in order to get a more open shot. Travis says he stole the play from Nova. Naji seems to get a more relaxed shot from deep and hits them.

But yes we do need to improve offensively. We are 1/5 through the regular season and have yet to see two touted freshmen hit the floor and another being redshirted. Considering that, things could be worse. I understand the seriousness of concussions but Ramsey’s protocol has to be the longest in history. What gives?
granted it is a different sport but the Bengals had a guy in the protocol since the pre-season and just got on the field today... Bengals still lost
I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can't trust em.
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olsingledigit
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Re: My coach, Travis freaking Steele

Postby olsingledigit » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:47 am

muskieman wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:43 pm
olsingledigit wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:38 am
I agree with most of what you say, but having seen all six games in person, I will say that Naji has an un canny ability to hit those long threes when we need them. Travis has said twice now that the shots are long because they are designed that way in order to get a more open shot. Travis says he stole the play from Nova. Naji seems to get a more relaxed shot from deep and hits them.

But yes we do need to improve offensively. We are 1/5 through the regular season and have yet to see two touted freshmen hit the floor and another being redshirted. Considering that, things could be worse. I understand the seriousness of concussions but Ramsey’s protocol has to be the longest in history. What gives?
granted it is a different sport but the Bengals had a guy in the protocol since the pre-season and just got on the field today... Bengals still lost
But they have won now.
Dressed to the Nines - Last of the LHS Single Digits - Dedicated to John "The Beer Spiller" McCormick, my son-in-law who passed June, 2016 at age 44. Long time Xavier fanatic and friend of many Lew Hirt Members. RIP Mac Strong! We miss you.
longliveskip
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Re: My coach, Travis freaking Steele

Postby longliveskip » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:18 pm

dropping a grand at Dana's after a shootout victory solidifies the title of this thread for me.

love this guy.

the program is in great hands.
madness31
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Re: My coach, Travis freaking Steele

Postby madness31 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:57 pm

I definitely love the defensive intensity. Shot selection is a concern and lack of shooters is the big risk to the success of the team in the tournament. I am hoping Travis is concerned with shot selection, just not necessarily with guys taking the shots. Even that isn't a great answer but would be a little easier to swallow. Cutting out turnovers will go along way to creating wins if the defensive intensity stays high. That should be a focus but shot selection still needs to be a focus.

Naji seems to shoot better when stepping into the 3. The attempt at the end of OT in the UCON game was dumb but he may not have realized how much time he still had or possibly didn't think he'd get an open look if he dribbled a couple more seconds. Shooting that early was very dangerous as too much time was left on the clock and could have turned into an X loss.

In my opinion, Travis is already a better coach than Mack. There is finally a defensive focus and I have seen improvement in decision making over the course of the young season. Still mistakes but I get the impression that he is getting through to players way more than Mack did. Recruiting seems strong but I do need to see some shooters join the team to feel great about where the program is headed. The class rank is certainly encouraging but until I see someone scorching the nets I will remain cautious.

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