ACC Discussion 2021-22

MWBATL

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,076
Honestly, I am amongst those whom Pastner must prove himself to, so those pre-season picks don't bother me. Aside form catching fire later in the year last year, we really haven't been that much to write home about (see: NCAA Appearances). I would love to see Pastner build a mini-dynasty here. But I am as yet unconvinced. Let's hope I am as wrong as most pre-season pundits (in all ACC sports).
 

MtnWasp

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
346
Honestly, I am amongst those to whom Pastner must prove himself, so those pre-season picks don't bother me. Aside form catching fire later in the year last year, we really haven't been that much to write home about (see: NCAA Appearances). I would love to see Pastner build a mini-dynasty here. But I am as yet unconvinced. Let's hope I am as wrong as most pre-season pundits (in all ACC sports).
Gt fans know all too well that past success is no guarantee of future success. Cremins had a meteoric rise and a slow decline. Hewitt took a nose dive of the tree of success.

So, every season is a new test and who knows when a coach has peaked?

I think it is only natural for some fans to have a "show me" attitude. On the other hand, GT has had only three other occasions where we have finished above .500 in the ACC for two consecutive seasons (all by Cremins). and we have only finished above .500 in the ACC for three consecutive seasons on one occasion, and we have a good chance to get that done this year. There is no historical precedent for GT fans to minimize the accomplishments of the last two seasons. Not to mention that, schematically, our team play has been better than solid. And undeniably, our players get better under this staff.

Finally, If memory serves, a year ago, these same pundits picked GT to finish 8th in conference, and they knew about Alvarado and Wright. They didn't think that much of them in the preseason a year ago. But now they are irreplaceable? It doesn't wash. Our roster is deeper in talent than it has ever been under Pastner. We have a good mix of veterans and youth.

But the pundits, as well as some GT fans, are not Pastner believers. That is the bottom line. It isn't about proof or even talent, there are other biases at play.

But that is okay! Because their skepticism doesn't have anything to do with whether we win or lose the games. Predictions are meaningless. We might be good, we might not, but it has nothing to do with the predictions.
 

Connell62

Helluva Engineer
Featured Member
Messages
2,370
Honestly, I am amongst those whom Pastner must prove himself to, so those pre-season picks don't bother me. Aside form catching fire later in the year last year, we really haven't been that much to write home about (see: NCAA Appearances). I would love to see Pastner build a mini-dynasty here. But I am as yet unconvinced. Let's hope I am as wrong as most pre-season pundits (in all ACC sports).
This is laughable.. Catching fire? He is 22-15 the past two seasons in the ACC.

No **** we haven't been much to write home about in the ACC...That's why what Pastner has accomplished is so impressive.

If the player development (Moses 0 star recruit to ACC POY) and an ACC Championship haven't convinced you, then your expectations may be out of whack.
 

lv20gt

Helluva Engineer
Messages
4,435
Pastner has been here 5 years and has accomplished the following

He won coach of the year
won the ACCT for the first time since what, 93?
First back to back winning seasons in conference in 30 years.
Has a roster that, composition wise, is set up almost perfectly in line with what he has preached and has raised and brought in more highly rated talent than we had previously.
Has developed an unrated, or low rated, recruit into an ACC PoY.
Developed a 3 star recruit into an ACC DpoY.
Adjusted both the offense and defensive schemes to better fit what we had to success.

Considering the state of the program when he was hired he pretty much accomplished everything in the first 5 years that could reasonably be expected, and then a little extra in my opinion. It wasn't without it's share of setbacks but in terms of on the court performance, but even his worst years we were 6-12 in conference, which was still the same conference record or better as all but 1 of the prior coaches' years. Part of the reason they look so bad is how well Pastner and company did in his first year.
 

MWBATL

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,076
I'll admit the criticisms of my post and its skepticism have validity. I guess I am still stung by losses to the likes of Grambling, Georgia State, Gardner-Webb and Mercer which knock down our national perception and reputation.

Both things can be true. My skepticism does not mean I dislike him as a coach or think anyone else would do better, but it does mean that I think this staff can do better. OK, maybe I am nuts for wanting to become the next Virginia and rise to the top of the ACC in perceptions, but hey...I'm a fan. Unreasonable expectations is my game!

I am rooting very hard for him and this team to succeed. I have just been a GT fan for too long to expect success.
 

lv20gt

Helluva Engineer
Messages
4,435
OK, maybe I am nuts for wanting to become the next Virginia and rise to the top of the ACC in perceptions

We all want that. It's a matter of time frame.

Bennett's first 4 years were

15-16 (5-11)
16-15 (7-9)
22-10 (9-7) NCAA R64.
23-12 (11-7) NIT QF

In year 5 he did go 30-7 (16-2) and make the sweet 16 which started the streak of finishing top 2 in the ACC in all but 1 years since.

Pastner's first 5 years

21-16 (8-10) NIT runner up
13-19 (6-12)
14-18 (6-12)
17 - 14 (11-9) (Post season ban, dunno where we would have gone, probably NIT if i had to guess))
17 - 9 (11-6) NCAA R 64

That really isn't all that dissimilar of a a pace with the exception of Pastner's first year being so good and then going down. However my opinion is that was caused partially by some bad luck with injuries the following year but also the success in year 1 coming from surprising teams with a weird defensive scheme and an offense that could slow the pace and be somewhat effective. I think teams caught on in year 2 and we didn't get the same advantage as the year prior.

And I'm not saying we're poised to be the next Virginia. Bennett will almost certainly go down as one of, if not the, top coaches of his generation. The path to that level of play is to situation by situation to project. But even he had a first several years that were a build up.

One thing I found interesting, because I had never really bothered to look at late 00s UVA basketball recruiting for some reason...., was that UVA recruited pretty well prior to Bennett being there despite Leitao not being that well thought of. Here were the classes UVA had leading up to, and including the transition class of 08, Bennett.

08 - two 4* and two 3*
07 - two 4*s and two 3*s
06 - two 4*s one 3* and two 2*s
05 - three 3 *s

Now that isn't the full picture of the inherited roster but in total they had Landesburg, Scott, Tucker, Jones, Tat as 4 *s with some inherited experience with Farrakhan and Zeglinski.

To compare, here are the similar classes for Pastner's first year.

16 - three 3*s
15 - one 3 *
14 - one 4* and two 3*s
13 - two 3*s

Again, that isn't the full picture but it gives a decent comparison. I'd certainly argue that Pastner inherited a weaker roster, and especially helps explain why the rebuild took longer.

IMO despite some of the bumps in the road, I think if you aren't excited about the direction of GT basketball at the moment that is less of Pastner needing to prove himself to you, and more a matter of you changing your thinking.
 

MidtownJacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
3,739
@lv20gt you're spot on as usual here with this post. I agree my "slightly over zealous" reaction to the rankings was not that of a measured or balanced response - it was as the GBC would say a “hot take” meant to display my displeasure with the rankings being less than I expected.

We do have to replace some remarkable talent, but what I think CJP has shown (much like CTB in fact) is a willingness to play to a system AND adjust that system to the talent and skills on the roster.

If anything CJP and company should get the benefit of having shown that, and given the composition of our roster is IMHO stronger on average than it has been the last few years - when controlling for the loss of Alvarado and wright - I think anything below 5-8 is too far a plunge for the defending ACC champs who are still coached by an ACC CotY

I admire your restraint and will endeavor to match it more closely - though I hope the board will continue to indulge my - shall we say proclivity - towards slapping the backboard while dunking?

🧐

hot dog security GIF
 

Jacketman99

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
850
We all want that. It's a matter of time frame.

Bennett's first 4 years were

15-16 (5-11)
16-15 (7-9)
22-10 (9-7) NCAA R64.
23-12 (11-7) NIT QF

In year 5 he did go 30-7 (16-2) and make the sweet 16 which started the streak of finishing top 2 in the ACC in all but 1 years since.

Pastner's first 5 years

21-16 (8-10) NIT runner up
13-19 (6-12)
14-18 (6-12)
17 - 14 (11-9) (Post season ban, dunno where we would have gone, probably NIT if i had to guess))
17 - 9 (11-6) NCAA R 64

That really isn't all that dissimilar of a a pace with the exception of Pastner's first year being so good and then going down. However my opinion is that was caused partially by some bad luck with injuries the following year but also the success in year 1 coming from surprising teams with a weird defensive scheme and an offense that could slow the pace and be somewhat effective. I think teams caught on in year 2 and we didn't get the same advantage as the year prior.

And I'm not saying we're poised to be the next Virginia. Bennett will almost certainly go down as one of, if not the, top coaches of his generation. The path to that level of play is to situation by situation to project. But even he had a first several years that were a build up.

One thing I found interesting, because I had never really bothered to look at late 00s UVA basketball recruiting for some reason...., was that UVA recruited pretty well prior to Bennett being there despite Leitao not being that well thought of. Here were the classes UVA had leading up to, and including the transition class of 08, Bennett.

08 - two 4* and two 3*
07 - two 4*s and two 3*s
06 - two 4*s one 3* and two 2*s
05 - three 3 *s

Now that isn't the full picture of the inherited roster but in total they had Landesburg, Scott, Tucker, Jones, Tat as 4 *s with some inherited experience with Farrakhan and Zeglinski.

To compare, here are the similar classes for Pastner's first year.

16 - three 3*s
15 - one 3 *
14 - one 4* and two 3*s
13 - two 3*s

Again, that isn't the full picture but it gives a decent comparison. I'd certainly argue that Pastner inherited a weaker roster, and especially helps explain why the rebuild took longer.

IMO despite some of the bumps in the road, I think if you aren't excited about the direction of GT basketball at the moment that is less of Pastner needing to prove himself to you, and more a matter of you changing your thinking.
I agree with this. I think people forget where the program was when Pastner got here. There weren't a lot of coaches interested in the job. Pastner took a team full of unknowns and won ACC coach of the year. There were some that predicted we would not wil a game in the ACC that year. There were a couple of tough years that followed but you could see the things were starting to change in year 4. My biggest issue with Pastner is his teams usually start the season slow. But to his credit, teams usually get better as the season progresses and he has shown the ability to develop players over the course of their careers. What excites me about Pastner is the guy can actually coach Xs and Os. He has outcoached some hall of fame coaches in this league in some games. He was not ready when he got the Memphis job and was following a legend. I think his first few years at GT with less talent afforded him the opportunity to improve his coaching chops and figure out who he wanted to be as a coach. He is still the youngest coach in the ACC. This year will tell if he can build off the success of the last 2 years. If he can somehow make the tournament a year after losing the ACC POTY and Def POY GT will start getting the respect that some of the other programs have gotten in this league.
 

MtnWasp

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
346
We all want that. It's a matter of time frame.

Bennett's first 4 years were

15-16 (5-11)
16-15 (7-9)
22-10 (9-7) NCAA R64.
23-12 (11-7) NIT QF

In year 5 he did go 30-7 (16-2) and make the sweet 16 which started the streak of finishing top 2 in the ACC in all but 1 years since.

Pastner's first 5 years

21-16 (8-10) NIT runner up
13-19 (6-12)
14-18 (6-12)
17 - 14 (11-9) (Post season ban, dunno where we would have gone, probably NIT if i had to guess))
17 - 9 (11-6) NCAA R 64
Terrific post.

I might add that GTAA budget and decimation of the fan base might have a bearing on the slow recovery, but I have no comparison with that of UVA.

Pastner has an opportunity to position GT as an ACC top tier program given so many of the old guard are moving on. The big variable is whether or not there is enough fan interest to float the endeavor. We won't get any help from the media either. But if Pastner can string together a couple more good seasons in a row, he might gain enough momentum to pull it off. We have some talent in the pipes, so it could feasibly happen if we can develop the bigs.
 

lv20gt

Helluva Engineer
Messages
4,435
In regards to preseason projections I agree. I think we should be a bit frustrated with the ranking coming off not just one good year but two, in conference play at least.

I can understand UVA, FSU, UNC, and Duke being higher than us when you combine looking at rosters and provenness" of the head coaches. I think VT is overrated but I could also see why people think they will be highly thought of with where they finished last year and returning Aluma. IMO UL and us should be viewed similarly and I personally would have us either 6th or 7th. I can see why there is hope for Cuse, NCSU, and ND, but I don't get them being ranked ahead of us. I think it has to be to attributing the success primarily to Jose and Moses which I think undervalues what Devoe and Usher did in particular last year but also what the staff did to develop those two to being able to have that kind of impact.

But hey, the good thing about pre-season rankings like these are they don't really mean anything. We were picked 9th last year, ended up 4th, and imo the 3rd best team, and won the ACCT. I think if we can finish top 5 or so again this year and have some of the younger players step up we'll start earning that benefit of the doubt.
 

orientalnc

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
6,631
Location
Oriental, NC
The Swarm is a group of posters overly sensitive to how GT teams are perceived by others outside our fan base. That may not be unusual, but it is certainly there.

Think about how others see our basketball team after two seasons slightly above the middle of the ACC standings. We lost the ACC POY of the year. We lost our senior PG who started for four years and played 35+ minutes at his position last year. We have no obvious replacement for either (we certainly have guys we think will be adequate). We have to integrate four incoming freshmen, a transfer, and two returnees who were injured last year and have never contributed meaningful minutes. The three players we hope will replace the POY have never contributed meaningful minutes.

We are a huge question mark. We are NOT being disrespected by the media.
 
Last edited:

lv20gt

Helluva Engineer
Messages
4,435
I don't really like focusing too much on players who won't be there when trying to evaluate how a team will do. I'd rather focus on returning and new players. Most teams lose significant pieces.

UVA is losing Sam Hausier, Jay Huff, and Trey Murphy.
Duke is losing Hurt, Johnson, and Steward
UNC is losing Brooks, Kessler, and Sharpe
FSU is losing Barnes, Walker, Koprivicia, and Gray
Syracuse is losing Guerrier, Griffin, and Dolezaj
NCSU is losing Daniels, Funderburk, and Beverly

Only 4 ACC players in the top 10 scoring from last year return and I think only 6 in the top 20 with only ND returning two (Hubb and Laszewski). The rest are Boeheim (Cuse), Wong (Miami), Aluma (VT), along with Devoe. We also return Usher who was 29th in scoring. The only team listed that has another returning scorer that is ahead of Devoe, ironically, is ND again with Gooodwin. NCSU does have 2 in that area with Hellems and Funderburk. Only 3 in the top 10 in assists return. We have one of those 3. And another in the top 20. In steals 8 of the top 20 return I believe and we return 2 of them.

Now obviously teams have transfers and freshmen coming in that will be big deals, but I don't think it's really fair to say we are a huge question mark in comparison to much of the league. We return 4 players who played 24+ minutes here, another that played 12, and a 6th who played 22.5 mpg in the SEC. We'll likely see a rotation that features 6 upperclassmen so while we do have a lot of freshmen or fresman-esque players, we aren't going to be an overly young team, and likely won't be relying on more than 1 or perhaps two of them unless they are just too good to keep off the court. We have questions marks at certain spots about how well players will play, however it's not like we're sitting here wondering if we'll run a true pointguard or try and have a wing play the spot, nor are we really going to be forced to run anyone out of position for a lack of options.

The problem is people think we have to replace Jose and Moses one to one with one of the new guys. That isn't how basketball works. The roles that those two played will largely be covered by Devoe and Ush. Not in terms of exact production but in terms of being the focus of the offense/defense etc. The others will be asked to be third and fourth option types which is a lot more reasonable considering what we are brining in. Now the new players will be asked to handle some, but not all, of the responsibilities that Jose and Mike left. For Jose we have two former 4* PG recruits who have combined for ~1200 minutes of college experience. For Moses we have several players that have been in the program at least one year, and if this staff has proven itself to be able to do one thing, even to those who aren't GT fans, it's get good development and production out of the 5 spot. They won't be Jose and Moses but I think its certainly reasonable to expect solid starters at both positions.

I
 

forensicbuzz

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,235
Location
North Shore, Chicago
Think about how others see our basketball team after two slightly above the middle of the ACC standings. We lost the ACC POY of the year. We lost our senior PG who started for four years and played 35+ minutes at his position last year. We have no obvious replacement for either (we certainly have guys we think will be adequate). We have to integrate four incoming freshmen, a transfer, and two returnees who were injured last year and have never contributed meaningful minutes. The two of the three players we hope will replace the POY have never contributed meaningful minutes.
All of this is correct. But, there are plenty of other teams replacing a lot too. They don't seem to be getting disrespected the way we are. We lost TWO players from last year's ACCT Championship game and a #4 Seat in the tourney (meaning we finished #4 in the conference standing). Right, we lost two huge pieces of our team, but what is different about our team than the other ACC teams? Six teams jumped us. That's disrespect.
 

Root4GT

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
223
All of this is correct. But, there are plenty of other teams replacing a lot too. They don't seem to be getting disrespected the way we are. We lost TWO players from last year's ACCT Championship game and a #4 Seat in the tourney (meaning we finished #4 in the conference standing). Right, we lost two huge pieces of our team, but what is different about our team than the other ACC teams? Six teams jumped us. That's disrespect.
We didn’t just lose any two players. That comment is almost comical. The Player and Defensive Player of the Year. What other team lost players with those honors. No one else.

Duke and UNC will be ranked higher than us based on history. It’s as safe a bet as one can make.

Now if we finish in the top 4/5 in the ACC this year opinions might start to change. Our BB history has earned us what you call disrespect.
 

MidtownJacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
3,739
I don't really like focusing too much on players who won't be there when trying to evaluate how a team will do. I'd rather focus on returning and new players. Most teams lose significant pieces.

UVA is losing Sam Hausier, Jay Huff, and Trey Murphy.
Duke is losing Hurt, Johnson, and Steward
UNC is losing Brooks, Kessler, and Sharpe
FSU is losing Barnes, Walker, Koprivicia, and Gray
Syracuse is losing Guerrier, Griffin, and Dolezaj
NCSU is losing Daniels, Funderburk, and Beverly

Only 4 ACC players in the top 10 scoring from last year return and I think only 6 in the top 20 with only ND returning two (Hubb and Laszewski). The rest are Boeheim (Cuse), Wong (Miami), Aluma (VT), along with Devoe. We also return Usher who was 29th in scoring. The only team listed that has another returning scorer that is ahead of Devoe, ironically, is ND again with Gooodwin. NCSU does have 2 in that area with Hellems and Funderburk. Only 3 in the top 10 in assists return. We have one of those 3. And another in the top 20. In steals 8 of the top 20 return I believe and we return 2 of them.

Now obviously teams have transfers and freshmen coming in that will be big deals, but I don't think it's really fair to say we are a huge question mark in comparison to much of the league. We return 4 players who played 24+ minutes here, another that played 12, and a 6th who played 22.5 mpg in the SEC. We'll likely see a rotation that features 6 upperclassmen so while we do have a lot of freshmen or fresman-esque players, we aren't going to be an overly young team, and likely won't be relying on more than 1 or perhaps two of them unless they are just too good to keep off the court. We have questions marks at certain spots about how well players will play, however it's not like we're sitting here wondering if we'll run a true pointguard or try and have a wing play the spot, nor are we really going to be forced to run anyone out of position for a lack of options.

The problem is people think we have to replace Jose and Moses one to one with one of the new guys. That isn't how basketball works. The roles that those two played will largely be covered by Devoe and Ush. Not in terms of exact production but in terms of being the focus of the offense/defense etc. The others will be asked to be third and fourth option types which is a lot more reasonable considering what we are brining in. Now the new players will be asked to handle some, but not all, of the responsibilities that Jose and Mike left. For Jose we have two former 4* PG recruits who have combined for ~1200 minutes of college experience. For Moses we have several players that have been in the program at least one year, and if this staff has proven itself to be able to do one thing, even to those who aren't GT fans, it's get good development and production out of the 5 spot. They won't be Jose and Moses but I think its certainly reasonable to expect solid starters at both positions.

I
Easy now, you’re coming back into my hot take territory
🤣🤓🧐
 

MtnWasp

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
346
I don't really like focusing too much on players who won't be there when trying to evaluate how a team will do. I'd rather focus on returning and new players. Most teams lose significant pieces.

UVA is losing Sam Hausier, Jay Huff, and Trey Murphy.
Duke is losing Hurt, Johnson, and Steward
UNC is losing Brooks, Kessler, and Sharpe
FSU is losing Barnes, Walker, Koprivicia, and Gray
Syracuse is losing Guerrier, Griffin, and Dolezaj
NCSU is losing Daniels, Funderburk, and Beverly



I
Another terrific post!

A team wins or loses based only on the play of the guys they have on the floor. What players are gone are irrelevant in forecasting league standings. Who do the teams have?

A year ago GT was predicted to finish 8th (or 9th?) in the conference. We had returning Devoe at 16ppg (and honorable mention All ACC), Alvarado at 14.4ppg (All ACC defensive team) and Wright at 13ppg.

So, what kind of Senior seasons did Alvarado and Wright have? Alvarado increased his scoring production 0.8ppg and Wright increased his scoring 4.4ppg. Devoe decreased his scoring 1ppg. Do those changes in production tell the story of why we finished 4th in league standings compared to the 8th or 9th that was predicted? Was the progression of the games of Wright and Alvarado so outlandish between their Junior and Senior years that forecasters had no chance to predict it?

If forecasters didn't think much of Wright or Alvarado going into last season, how do they now say that they can't be replaced this season when the guys we will put on the court are more highly rated players than the two that left?

And forecasting is more than simply summing the returning production and counting the star ratings of the recruits. Forecasters have figured this out with UVA and Bennett. They know better than to bet against Bennett. They are figuring it out for FSU and Leonard Hamilton. But they haven't figured it out for GT and Pastner. I hope our team and coach gives them another reality check up-side their heads this season.
 
Top