Athleticism

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joeabe
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Athleticism

Postby joeabe » Sun Dec 26, 2021 11:26 am

After watching the Villanova game I'm convinced of what I have thought for years about Xavier BB. This is in no way a knock just an observation. We have a very good team with lots of talent. We will win many games. However, my belief is in the big games against the better teams we lack the athleticism to overcome swarming defenses like Iowa St and Nova. We can overcome it with strong outside shooting as witnessed in the first half vs Nova. But when the ball quits going in from long range we become exposed athletically to get to the basket for layups or short jumpers.I believe the better teams in the BE have Scruggs figured out and limit his ability to get to the rim. Odom looks to me to be the only one that has elite athletic ability and can do his own thing. We all know this, when it comes down to crunch time we need a go to guy. I believe Odom will be this person this season. He is gaining confidence daily. I still believe we will have an excellent season.
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muskieman
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Re: Athleticism

Postby muskieman » Sun Dec 26, 2021 11:40 am

Odom needs a personal coach like Tu
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.
AirJordan
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Re: Athleticism

Postby AirJordan » Sun Dec 26, 2021 5:54 pm

What ailed X wasn't lack of athleticism or even less athleticism relative to Nova. Collin Gillespie is slow and less athletic than almost anybody on our roster. But, he's also their best player.

Athleticism is over-rated. I recall years ago, watching the 1987-1988 Illini playing here in Cincinnati in the first round of March Madness. That team included Steve Bardo, Nick Anderson, Kendall Gill....easily one of the most athletic teams I've ever seen. They played the game above the rim. Beat the crap out of UTSA in game one and in game two had a big halftime lead over Nova. Massimino started fouling and while the Illini were way more talented than Nova (who was not only less athletic but also shorter and slower) Illinois couldn't make free throws. Nova was bringing walk-ons in off the bench to foul and every time one of Illinois superior athletes went to the line, they chocked. And, the lead dwindled. In the end, Nova won by three and, based on athleticism alone, they should have been blown out. Nova, which had, as i recall, the top seed in the Midwest, went home, bounced out of the the tournament by a far inferior team.

Nova (nor really any other B.E. team) has no advantage over X due to athleticism. X lost that game, not due to talent, but due to what was in their heads. it happens. Its gut wrenching. X doesn't need better athletes. They need mental toughness to endure close games like what we see in the Big East. I cannot wait to see how they respond against UCONN; that response will tell us a lot, I think. Hope the game doesn't get cancelled.
skyhops
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Re: Athleticism

Postby skyhops » Mon Dec 27, 2021 9:14 am

I agree with Air Jordan. Scruggs is in his fifth year and hasn't really gotten much better and coaches have figured that out. Jay Wright made adjustments and we did not. Nova players can all shoot and paly multiple positions our bigs cannot. Case in point Miles and Freemantle.
joeabe
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Re: Athleticism

Postby joeabe » Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:31 am

I agree with you on Gillespie....I see him as captain of the ship, tougher than a $2 steak, smart and a very good athlete, just not fast. He's a game changer in my opinion. His mental toughness is superior. If he were on our team would he change our team personality? Would he make the difference at crunch time? Can Odom be that guy?
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Re: Athleticism

Postby AirJordan » Mon Dec 27, 2021 1:57 pm

Strong leadership is often contagious. So, yes, I think if you switched out, say Scruggs, and substituted Gillespie, it would have made a difference. I don't wish to pick on Scruggs as I love that he came back this year, what he has done for X and specifically how he took over late against the Buckeyes. For whatever reason, he has had episodic disappearances over his career. I can't explain it but we sure needed him in half two against Nova. To be sure, nobody else stepped up either. Fox showed a pre-game piece on Freemantle in which he mugged, a little, as a tough guy and Steele made some noise that he could be B.E. Player of the Year. A conference P.O.T.Y. shows up at big moments in big games. Free was MIA also.

Recall this happened in the second half against Butler last year----same thing occurred. Certainly it reflects on the players and coaches but I hope it isn't terminal. Sometimes a humiliating loss (and it does happen to other teams too) serves as a great motivator. That is why I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game. I want to see how X responds, even if it is on friendly territory.

As far as Odom goes, I agree. He seems to be one of those guys who steps up at big times. He had a couple of games last year when, as a freshman, he was willing to take the last shot. He seems to convey competitive toughness---or, at least, I think I see that in him. Even though he is not a great shooter, he has earned the privilege of being on the floor at crunch time. Some of our players who were on the floor late against Nova should not have been there. They allowed Nova and momentum to run them over. They choked---it happens to almost every team. The coaches and players need to own that and deal with it.
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Re: Athleticism

Postby skyhops » Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:52 pm

Unfortunately, Xavier has disappeared in the BE the last three years and we basically have the same team as last year. Just because Freemantle is from Jersey doesn’t make him tough.
joeabe
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Re: Athleticism

Postby joeabe » Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:40 pm

Watched LSU vs Auburn last night. Observation: Defense travels!!! Auburn beat undefeated LSU by 15. Under Bruce Pearl they play defense like their hair is on fire! LSU was 0-15 shooting to start game and never really recovered. I just really like coaches that preach and teach insane Defense as does Pearl and in our league Wright.
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muskieman
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Re: Athleticism

Postby muskieman » Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:19 pm

joeabe wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:40 pm
Watched LSU vs Auburn last night. Observation: Defense travels!!! Auburn beat undefeated LSU by 15. Under Bruce Pearl they play defense like their hair is on fire! LSU was 0-15 shooting to start game and never really recovered. I just really like coaches that preach and teach insane Defense as does Pearl and in our league Wright.
I was wondering where AH and Sky have been, but they must be on the LSU board screaming that Will Wade should have stopped LSU players from shooting the three...heck, just shooting the ball at all, as LSU went 18-63 from the field and 6-29 from the threes.
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.
skyhops
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Re: Athleticism

Postby skyhops » Thu Dec 30, 2021 2:57 pm

I agree 100% that defense travels. As for MM, I will give the “Travis” the benefit of the doubt when he wins a good BE road game and finishes above .500 in BE, that’s not much to ask?

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