Fans need to be a little patient in Pastner.

GTNavyNuke

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there are a lot of optomist on this page which is encouraging. Nevertheless the pundits have us projected as last from a coach in his 7th yr. that is not good - please explain why not that bad?

We've never been last in ACC under Pastner have we? He coaches talent above pundit projections.

Will we be last this year? Dunno. Just enjoy the ride, you've got no influence over it.
 

lv20gt

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there are a lot of optomist on this page which is encouraging. Nevertheless the pundits have us projected as last from a coach in his 7th yr. that is not good - please explain why not that bad?

Two reasons.

Most pundits give very shallow analysis. It almost always boils down to the following. We finished 5-15 in conference last year and lost our two best players so we're going to be bad again. It's not how college basketball actually works, but they aren't going to do real analysis on the amount of teams. They just want something how to generate clicks and conversation. That is especially true for teams that aren't at the highest level. Call someone a favorite to win it all and they miss the tournament makes you look stupid. Call someone to finish last and they win the conference and you just have a great story to talk about and nobody will care that you projected them to finish last. So basically, the pundits projections are shallow and meaningless.

But more importantly, because projections in general don't mean anything once the games are played. If we win the NCAAT it won't matter where we were projected to finish. If we finish last in the conference, it also won't matter where we were projected to finish. The year will be judged on how it is actually played, not how it is projected to play.
 

Connell62

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Yes I would imagine that Princeton offense wouldn’t have gone over well at Memphis.
1. So do you think this offense hurts his recruiting similar to the football option offense? Just seems he came with reputation as recruiter but hasnt seemed to break thru but has more coaching chops than predicted.
2. So based on what I just read where he says the zone won’t be the primary D, why doesn’t he consider a different offense. I love watching the P offense when the ball moves like a hot potatoe but it requires a facilitator, a team that buys into moving the ball to the open man, and hard cuts. Last year we had none of those working.
Just realized that I did not respond. See my thoughts below:

1.) So do you think this offense hurts his recruiting similar to the football option offense? No, I don't think that the offense has hindered his ability to recruit. These days, kids want to run and shoot three's, big men no longer want to camp out in the post. Hopefully this year, we see it evolve a bit and that may help, but I don't think it has hurt us.

We have gotten solid recruits, but there are a few major factors that really hurt us. 1. Shoe money (now NIL), 2.) Ron Bell fiasco, and 3.) the fact that GT was largely irrelevant from 2010 - 2019/2020. Most kids today weren't alive when we made our run to the finals. The end of the Paul Hewitt and the Brian Gregory era was a bad time for GT hoops.

2.) So based on what I just read where he says the zone won’t be the primary D, why doesn’t he consider a different offense? I've talked to Josh about this and his was response is that this is what the kids know, and it has been effective when we have the right personnel. He recognizes that we need to do a better job of playing to our strengths, and that is why you have seen comments about this year's squad getting out and running more, not initiating the Princeton as much through the elbow, getting quicker shots, eliminating, careless turnovers. Said differently, I don't think that our problems a year ago were solely due to the offense that we ran, as much as how we were running it. Two years ago, we were one of the top offensive teams in the ACC/country using this same offense.
 

GTJason

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there are a lot of optomist on this page which is encouraging. Nevertheless the pundits have us projected as last from a coach in his 7th yr. that is not good - please explain why not that bad?
So I refuse to click on the link because you've told me all I need to know, they haven't looked at GT. Let me guess their projections. They'll have Duke and UNC at the top. Tier 2 will be some combination of UVA, FSU and Miami. Then they'll have the 3rd tier of Louisville, ND, NC State, VT, Wake, and Syracuse. Then the bottom is Us, Pitt, and Clemson. How did I do and keep in mind I'm not really a basketball fan, I'm a GT fan who will watch most NCAA tournaments?

I think the issue the "Optimists" here have with your argument is the pundits don't know what they are talking about and also by your argument if whichever one is first Duke/UNC doesn't win the ACC they should fire their coach for not meeting the expectations of some guy who didn't really do any research. I will give you some ammunition and say perception weighs heavily into the minds of recruits. We could stand to be a whole lot cooler and I don't know how to make that happen. Doesn't one of our guys have a ton of followers on Insta? Maybe give him a budget to work with, who knows?

For Pastner, he has had nothing less than a bumpy road - some of it his fault. I have never once thought he is over his head here and have never thought we're more than a season away from being able to make the NCAA tournament (usually doesn't work out, sure but I'm talking about potential.) Also let's not forget he made good on his word. Said it would take him 5 years to make the tournament and he f'n did it and won the ACC tournament no less. If not for a stupid covid diagnosis (and I'll give you - no one to backfill that spot which we barely have now) we could have gone deep into that tournament as well

I don't think many of us were happy when he was hired, but he's proven himself to be a good coach, he's figuring out the recruiting, and he could definitely do something to make the team cooler. Hiring someone else will be a complete reset at this point and we will actually be at the bottom of the ACC while the new guy figures out how to coach at GT and even then there's no guarantee that will work out ( in all likelihood it won't.) We're a big question mark this year but the ceiling is definitely high. I would say we should finish in the top end of that 3rd tier group I mentioned above with some wins over tiers 1 and 2 we have no business getting and a loss to <insert bottom of the ACC team here>

Finally he owes the 20-21 team a haircut
 

YlJacket

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If we were talking about a predicted 4th place finish versus a second place finish and you want to say prognosticators don't know a damn thing - then OK I can buy that. And have made that point a few times. But when every prognostication has the Jackets in the bottom 3 slots of the ACC and we want to simply blow that off - seems like some Ostridge imitations going on.

This team has some talent both by flashes seen last year and recruiting rankings. Not top of the ACC talent but middling talent by these markers. But it also has a ton of unanswered questions which have to mostly fall right for this team to be middle of the pack and bubbly. I am happy to see that we are going to a modified princeton set that doesn't require the ball going to Howard at the elbow - that is a good thing. And curious to see if we are athletic enough on the wings/guards to consistently play man without getting blown by and exposing our interior D - hopeful. Maybe Franklin fixes the interior D - one of may questions.

Hope springs eternal - and there are some reasons for guarded optimism. and this year's team gets to play it out. But I don't get the blow off any negative prognostication for this team. There are reasons and lots of unanswered questions at this point.
 

orientalnc

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As stated above, most (or all) of the predictions for our finish the ACC standings are based on the loss of Devoe and Usher. My take on this has been that last year we had three seniors who had started almost every game they played at GT. The freshmen were not going to come in and usurp those seniors from their established roles in our offense. Give Deebo and Kelly and company some credit. They were 4* kids coming in and they are not worse now after a year of ACC play.

I think we will be a middle of the ACC team. Maybe not a tournament team, but competitive.
 

Connell62

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If we were talking about a predicted 4th place finish versus a second place finish and you want to say prognosticators don't know a damn thing - then OK I can buy that. And have made that point a few times. But when every prognostication has the Jackets in the bottom 3 slots of the ACC and we want to simply blow that off - seems like some Ostridge imitations going on.

This team has some talent both by flashes seen last year and recruiting rankings. Not top of the ACC talent but middling talent by these markers. But it also has a ton of unanswered questions which have to mostly fall right for this team to be middle of the pack and bubbly. I am happy to see that we are going to a modified princeton set that doesn't require the ball going to Howard at the elbow - that is a good thing. And curious to see if we are athletic enough on the wings/guards to consistently play man without getting blown by and exposing our interior D - hopeful. Maybe Franklin fixes the interior D - one of may questions.

Hope springs eternal - and there are some reasons for guarded optimism. and this year's team gets to play it out. But I don't get the blow off any negative prognostication for this team. There are reasons and lots of unanswered questions at this point.
I don't think that anyone is saying to blow it off...I think that everyone is saying why bang on the coach over those projections when they largely uninformed.

Every year, these "experts" miss on their projections. Outside of the top 4-5 teams, they are largely guessing what to expect.

Examples:

In 2019-2020, we were projected to finish 12th in the preseason but we ended up 5th overall.
In 2020-2021, we were projected 9th in the preseason and we finished 4th in the regular season and won the conference title
In 2021-22, Wake Forest was projected 13th in the preseason and finished 5th overall.

It is very easy for anyone to look at what is returning (and what we lost) and suggest we will be near the bottom of the league this year.

There are a lot of unknowns, but I don't think that anyone here is out of line to suggest that those preseason rankings are likely off.
 

lv20gt

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If we were talking about a predicted 4th place finish versus a second place finish and you want to say prognosticators don't know a damn thing - then OK I can buy that. And have made that point a few times. But when every prognostication has the Jackets in the bottom 3 slots of the ACC and we want to simply blow that off - seems like some Ostridge imitations going on.

The problem isn't the spot. The problem is most prognosticators give little to no substance regarding their picks beyond the top couple.

If the analysis is "they went 5-15 last year and lost their two best players so we'll rank them 15th" then it's worthless. That is an analysis about this years team that talks about last year's results and focus on players who won't be here.

If the projection is just based on a lack of proven performance, then it's of little use because the nature of college is that most of the proven talent leaves, either from graduation or going pro, leaving an opportunity for previously unproven talents to step in and make their mark. It happens every year. Will it happen with us? I don't know. But being in a state of needing players to step up to replace departing talent isn't a bad spot to be in, especially when we're talking about players like Coleman/Kelly/Maxwell/More/Smith who are relatively young. I don't expect Howard to make huge strides his senior year. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Coleman improves by 10 ppg though.
 

Jack

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The problem isn't the spot. The problem is most prognosticators give little to no substance regarding their picks beyond the top couple.

If the analysis is "they went 5-15 last year and lost their two best players so we'll rank them 15th" then it's worthless. That is an analysis about this years team that talks about last year's results and focus on players who won't be here.

If the projection is just based on a lack of proven performance, then it's of little use because the nature of college is that most of the proven talent leaves, either from graduation or going pro, leaving an opportunity for previously unproven talents to step in and make their mark. It happens every year. Will it happen with us? I don't know. But being in a state of needing players to step up to replace departing talent isn't a bad spot to be in, especially when we're talking about players like Coleman/Kelly/Maxwell/More/Smith who are relatively young. I don't expect Howard to make huge strides his senior year. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Coleman improves by 10 ppg though.
I’m practicing “wish” craft for Howard, Smith, and Moore,
particularly.
 

Jack

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My two big questions are how we perform at the 5 and how our defense performs (I was disappointed in our defense last season).
I think the defense at the 5 will be better than the offense there.
I’m hoping for Howard to be a success story in the making and the new kid from Canada to be a nice surprise and score some. I keep thinking that coach isn’t saying much about him and planning to surprise some teams.
My other two favorite players are Smith and Moore. Smith has Iverson speed and hops and if he learned some control over the summer, he will give some defenses a fit. Moore seems to have natural athleticism and a big upside and I hope he worked hard over the summer.
 

lv20gt

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My two big questions are how we perform at the 5 and how our defense performs (I was disappointed in our defense last season).

At the 5, here is how Howard played the last 9 games after coming back from his injury.

10.2 ppg 6.3 rbg, 1.67 apg on 30.3 mpg, shooting 63% from the field.

That is pretty good production, and that's half a conference schedule worth of games (all 9 were against ACC teams). And since last year was his first year getting real core minutes it is logical that he would improve as he got more comfortable in the role, and I think it's reasonable to believe he'll have moderate improvement. I really think we could get something like 12-8 from him with solid defense. He needs to work on staying out of foul trouble and if he can, I think he might be better than people expect defensively, although he'll very likely never be Banks or Lammers level.

Also, because I was curious. I looked to see how Sturdivant did in the back half because he was in a similar situation as Banks.

In the last 12 games, Sturdivant averaged the following.

8.3 ppg 3.3 rpg 2.6 apg to 1.08 turnovers per game in 28 mpg on 41%/32%/92%

So with solid development we could get something like 10 points, 4 rebs, 4 assists to 1.5 turnovers and solid shooting. I would expect without Devoe and Usher that there will be more responsibility put on Sturdivant to run the team which would lead to more assists. Also, a big part of his, and everyone's, assist numbers will be how well we shoot from outside. Next year's team is built to be a high 3 point volume team, especially if we spend any significant time in a small ball lineup going something like Coleman/Kelly/Maxwell.

I'm actually not looking at the 5 as one of our biggest questions. I think we can expect solid but not spectacular production from both the 1 and the 5. I think the real questions is how much can we get from our top 2 wing players, and how much can we get from our bench. I look at it as follows.

I think Howard and Sturdivant can reliably give us 20 a game together. Whoever starts at the 4, which I would guess Franklin unless we go small, I would expect maybe 7 or so a game. Lets say Coleman and Kelly are the other two starters. If they can reliably give us 30 a game, then that would be 57 from our starters and with Smith, Terry, Maxwell, Moore, as options off the bench hopefully we can get ~15 a game from the bench. That puts us at about 72 ppg which I think is good enough for us to be competitive. If we're only getting 22-25 reliably from Coleman/Kelly and it isn't offset by a deeper bench used then I think we'll struggle because I don't expect our defense to be as good as it has at time in the past unless we can get away with using Meka and Smith (with improvement). So I really look at Coleman and Kelly as sort of barometer for our team this year.

One other thing to keep in mind is this team should be a bit more reliant on the three. Coleman and Kelly are both 40%+ level three point shooters, and Sturdivant, Maxwell, Terry, and possibly Moore are also viable outside shooters. I would expect us to shoot from three a lot more than in the past so I could see us having a higher variance of performances where we'll see some games we are on fire from deep and it feels like there is little the opposing team can do, and then other times we are ice cold and are struggling to manufacture points. Our season may very well be defined by how those two scenarios balance out, and how well people like Smith/Terry/Howard/Franklin step up when the threes aren't falling.
 

Connell62

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At the 5, here is how Howard played the last 9 games after coming back from his injury.

10.2 ppg 6.3 rbg, 1.67 apg on 30.3 mpg, shooting 63% from the field.

That is pretty good production, and that's half a conference schedule worth of games (all 9 were against ACC teams). And since last year was his first year getting real core minutes it is logical that he would improve as he got more comfortable in the role, and I think it's reasonable to believe he'll have moderate improvement. I really think we could get something like 12-8 from him with solid defense. He needs to work on staying out of foul trouble and if he can, I think he might be better than people expect defensively, although he'll very likely never be Banks or Lammers level.

Also, because I was curious. I looked to see how Sturdivant did in the back half because he was in a similar situation as Banks.

In the last 12 games, Sturdivant averaged the following.

8.3 ppg 3.3 rpg 2.6 apg to 1.08 turnovers per game in 28 mpg on 41%/32%/92%

So with solid development we could get something like 10 points, 4 rebs, 4 assists to 1.5 turnovers and solid shooting. I would expect without Devoe and Usher that there will be more responsibility put on Sturdivant to run the team which would lead to more assists. Also, a big part of his, and everyone's, assist numbers will be how well we shoot from outside. Next year's team is built to be a high 3 point volume team, especially if we spend any significant time in a small ball lineup going something like Coleman/Kelly/Maxwell.

I'm actually not looking at the 5 as one of our biggest questions. I think we can expect solid but not spectacular production from both the 1 and the 5. I think the real questions is how much can we get from our top 2 wing players, and how much can we get from our bench. I look at it as follows.

I think Howard and Sturdivant can reliably give us 20 a game together. Whoever starts at the 4, which I would guess Franklin unless we go small, I would expect maybe 7 or so a game. Lets say Coleman and Kelly are the other two starters. If they can reliably give us 30 a game, then that would be 57 from our starters and with Smith, Terry, Maxwell, Moore, as options off the bench hopefully we can get ~15 a game from the bench. That puts us at about 72 ppg which I think is good enough for us to be competitive. If we're only getting 22-25 reliably from Coleman/Kelly and it isn't offset by a deeper bench used then I think we'll struggle because I don't expect our defense to be as good as it has at time in the past unless we can get away with using Meka and Smith (with improvement). So I really look at Coleman and Kelly as sort of barometer for our team this year.

One other thing to keep in mind is this team should be a bit more reliant on the three. Coleman and Kelly are both 40%+ level three point shooters, and Sturdivant, Maxwell, Terry, and possibly Moore are also viable outside shooters. I would expect us to shoot from three a lot more than in the past so I could see us having a higher variance of performances where we'll see some games we are on fire from deep and it feels like there is little the opposing team can do, and then other times we are ice cold and are struggling to manufacture points. Our season may very well be defined by how those two scenarios balance out, and how well people like Smith/Terry/Howard/Franklin step up when the threes aren't falling.
Josh said that for us to have a solid season, Rodney needs to be in the discussion for most improved player in the ACC.

That should give an indication of how important he is to our team.
 

LargeFO

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Josh said that for us to have a solid season, Rodney needs to be in the discussion for most improved player in the ACC.

That should give an indication of how important he is to our team.


He's made solid strides. To me the overwhelming X-factor with him is can he stay on the court enough (fouls).
 

lv20gt

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Josh said that for us to have a solid season, Rodney needs to be in the discussion for most improved player in the ACC.

That should give an indication of how important he is to our team.

Yeah, he's going to be real important for us.

I would take a lot of what Pastner says with a grain of salt. He tends to talk people and teams up so I would take that as him just stressing the importance of Howard to the. I think if we have a most improved player it will almost certainly come from either Coleman or Kelly.

But hey, maybe we'll see Howard make a jump his 4th year like Moses did. I certainly wouldn't complain.
 
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