#[email protected] Monday night 7:30EST

alagold

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hesitated to post this thought during the offseason, and again after MOH and stetson. hesitated again last night. this is not at all a criticism. some players are ideal, explosive, dangerous, valuable, crucial, and PERFECT as a 4th scorer/threat. it fits their personality, their skill set, their "fit" in a particular system, etc. (in fact, imo great teams need guys exactly like this. can't have a roster of all 1s and 2s fighting for shots.) but when you ask/expect some guys to move up to a #2 role, it does not "fit" the aforementioned combo. it's not a criticism of their abilities or mentality or "toughness." it has nothing to do with any of that. it has to do with "fit" and roles in a 5-player team sport and more. just when a guy figures out how to be an electric and massively important crucial piece in a team system as 4th option, that does not mean he is ready to move up to #2 a few months later when a couple guys ahead of him graduate. big big difference between moving fro 4 to 3 than 4 to 2. huge difference. i believe this is especially true for players who are already upperclassmen. if it were a younger player there is an increased possibility of making that leap.

could be wrong, but just a hunch.
Exactly what I was thinking yesterday.Good as # 3 -4 but not #2.
 

lv20gt

Helluva Engineer
Messages
4,422
hesitated to post this thought during the offseason, and again after MOH and stetson. hesitated again last night. this is not at all a criticism. some players are ideal, explosive, dangerous, valuable, crucial, and PERFECT as a 4th scorer/threat. it fits their personality, their skill set, their "fit" in a particular system, etc. (in fact, imo great teams need guys exactly like this. can't have a roster of all 1s and 2s fighting for shots.) but when you ask/expect some guys to move up to a #2 role, it does not "fit" the aforementioned combo. it's not a criticism of their abilities or mentality or "toughness." it has nothing to do with any of that. it has to do with "fit" and roles in a 5-player team sport and more. just when a guy figures out how to be an electric and massively important crucial piece in a team system as 4th option, that does not mean he is ready to move up to #2 a few months later when a couple guys ahead of him graduate. big big difference between moving fro 4 to 3 than 4 to 2. huge difference. i believe this is especially true for players who are already upperclassmen. if it were a younger player there is an increased possibility of making that leap.

could be wrong, but just a hunch.


IMO Ush fits well as a number 2 alongside Devoe. Devoe has a tendency to selective and Usher's style draws attention even if it doesn't always yield points. If Usher drives hard to the bucket and picks up a charge, it's a turnover, but it's a turnover that likely influences defenders a half step closer to the bucket. That will make things easier for guys like Devoe and Deebo to get their looks.

I think the bigger issue is Usher trying to take more of a playmaking for others role where as last year he was more often having others make plays for him to finish or lead to opportunity assists for him. I think as Smith/Sturdivant come into their own, Usher will feel less pressure to try and force the issue for others and rely more on just attacking himself.
 

MtnWasp

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
346
My take away after three games is that there are not many take-aways. The team has not yet established an identity and they are still sorting out styles, strengths, groupings, rotations and roles. And an unusually relaxed coach Pastner is allowing it all to just happen. When Lamar was making a run, Pastner just let them play. That was very Cremins-like to allow the kids to screw it up and figure it out.

The tension on the roster right now is that a good deal of the offensive talent is young and is not up to snuff defensively. So you have this offense-defense dichotomy. The future core of the program is easy to see. But for this year, we are still a work in progress. Pastner does seem to sport a little twinkle in his eye this year which is comforting to this fan.
 

jbix80

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
655
My take away after three games is that there are not many take-aways. The team has not yet established an identity and they are still sorting out styles, strengths, groupings, rotations and roles. And an unusually relaxed coach Pastner is allowing it all to just happen. When Lamar was making a run, Pastner just let them play. That was very Cremins-like to allow the kids to screw it up and figure it out.

The tension on the roster right now is that a good deal of the offensive talent is young and is not up to snuff defensively. So you have this offense-defense dichotomy. The future core of the program is easy to see. But for this year, we are still a work in progress. Pastner does seem to sport a little twinkle in his eye this year which is comforting to this fan.
I expected him to call a timeout a couple times the other night, but I liked that he let them play through it. Maybe Lamar wasn’t as good as Miami (OH), but we did execute down the stretch better in game three than game one so we are learning and growing.
 

YlJacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,635
Usher has potential to be the second fiddle - more likely third - but for him to really step up we need to get him in transition where he can really use his strengths and athleticism. If we plod in the half court like we did in the second half it will be tough for him.
 

glandon1960

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
152
I think the issue with Kelly this year is going to be he's basically filling the same role as our best player (Devoe) and a player who is playing better now that also looks more physically ready for the ACC (Coleman). So while he may be effective when he is in there if he is less effective than Mike or Deebo then playing him can't come at the cost of sitting them unless they need to come out for other reasons (for example if they need a rest). In terms of him getting time alongside those two it then comes down to which position do you give up. If it's the PG spot then you basically have Mike as your PG alongside two freshmen in the back court. Now could that work? Sure, but I think Pastner wants more ball handling than that line up gives. If you replace Ush at the 4 then you have an even more undersized 4 and you're sitting Ush which is probably not a good trade anyways. If you go super small and push Ush to the 5 spot then you have a super undersized 5 and then also an undersized 4 as well because Ush is no longer there.

I just don't see a lot of room for minutes for him this year unless he shows out so much that it balances out one of the other tradeoffs. I think once Bubba is back we may see more of a lineup with both him and Mike without Smith or Sturdivant to try and get another shooter on the court without sacrificing ball handling but I don't think we do it often with Kelly. So that leaves the minutes behind Devoe and Deebo and while that could still be 20+ we also have Bubba and Moore fighting for those minutes and while Kelly looks like the bigger offensive threat than those two they each bring things, ball handling and defense, that I think Kelly doesn't.

This year I think Kelly will be a situational type guy where if we are lacking offense we can try putting him in as a spark plug, especially if Deebo is having an off game. But I also think sometime we will need to Moore a good bit to try and lock down the opposing teams best player if it's a wing type.
Spot on! It's a lot easier for those of us who have been at the games and seen it first hand vs just looking at stats/highlights (they don't show highlights of player getting beat defensively often).
As others get to see the games once more widely televised ... and if Kelly gets significant minutes ... I think you will come to conclusion that
Kelly is good offenesively. The closest GT comparison I come up with is Anthony Morrow, but Kelly does more off dribble than Morrow did especially early in his career here.
Is he as good offensively as Devoe or Coleman - No. Is he better offensively than Khalid - Yes (not close to Khalid defensively).

I agree with others here that it looks like CJP is trying to give Smith a chance at point early on .... his upside looks higher than Sturdivant, but right now both do good and not so good at times.
I think for foreseeable future - both play 15 plus minutes - and whoever is playing better or has better matchup plays more that night.

What I see is Kelly struggles on defense right now - not unusual for freshman. He is quick (quicker than Coleman/Devoe), but has had trouble keeping his player from getting by him and CJP has gotten after him a few times for missing rotation/etc.
Given how Tech has developed players in past, he should become a good defensive player over time.

Once Parham is back - I expect he will take most of the minutes Kelly is getting right now - and Kelly becomes more situational player this season (or plays more in case someone gets injured or we're in foul trouble). I can see a line up with Devoe at point, but I think that will be more situational than the norm.
 

Jacketman99

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
845
I am not as down as some may be about the Lamar game. Pastner is clearly still trying a few things out. He did not coach that game like he will coach against UGA or some of our upcoming opponents. He appeared to want to let guys work through a few thing and even the situation of having a team come back on you. I think he knew he could have switched to zone earlier but we need the practice on m2m. I am a little more concerned about defense so far than offense with this team. This team has a lot of good pieces but it is going to take a while for it to gel and Pastner has to figure out the right combinations. Those combinations may change depending on your opponent.
When discussing the young guys, we have to remember that they are just that. They will get better with experience. Go back and look at tape of Moses and Jose as freshmen or sophomores. They did not come to Tech as great defensive players but worked their tails off to become that as upperclassmen. Smith and Kelly have all the physical tools to be great defenders. Technique and experience will be key for them. I really want Smith to develop a consistent jumper. That would open up his game a great deal if teams had to respect that portion of his game. Of the freshmen, I think everyone agrees that Coleman is the most ready to play and will get a ton of playing time. However, I am hoping we get Kelly and Moore some time as well so they can continue to get better and develop.
 

Techster

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14,403
Usher has potential to be the second fiddle - more likely third - but for him to really step up we need to get him in transition where he can really use his strengths and athleticism. If we plod in the half court like we did in the second half it will be tough for him.

If you look at how Usher ended the season last year, he was one of our best overall players. Usher's value doesn't come from just scoring, he's one of our best players in every category. This year Usher has doubled his rebounding (4.2 vs 9.8), improved his scoring (11.6 vs 13.7), improved his assists (2.8 vs 3.7). His steals rate dropped from 1.6 to 1.0, but the season is still early. Usher defends 1-5 spots, and he creates havoc in passing lanes. He's never going to be the scorer that Devoe is, and Deebo just may already be a better scorer than Usher....but neither player has the "swiss army knife" game that Usher has. Usher is one of those players where if he has an off night on the offensive end, he's going to make it up on the defensive end and on the boards.

If we can get the "scoring Usher" of the second half of last season, combined with an improved rebounder he's become this season, you're talking about a guy who has the potential to score 15+ points, and 9+ rebounds, 3+ assists, and 1+ steals a game. That's not including the energy he brings to this team, and the havoc he creates on the defensive end.

I'm not super familiar with everyone in the ACC, but it will be interesting to compare Usher's all around game to best players in the ACC. I'm pretty confident Usher is in the top 10 in terms of players with the most versatile all around skillsets.
 

ChristoGT

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
141
If you look at how Usher ended the season last year, he was one of our best overall players. Usher's value doesn't come from just scoring, he's one of our best players in every category. This year Usher has doubled his rebounding (4.2 vs 9.8), improved his scoring (11.6 vs 13.7), improved his assists (2.8 vs 3.7). His steals rate dropped from 1.6 to 1.0, but the season is still early. Usher defends 1-5 spots, and he creates havoc in passing lanes. He's never going to be the scorer that Devoe is, and Deebo just may already be a better scorer than Usher....but neither player has the "swiss army knife" game that Usher has. Usher is one of those players where if he has an off night on the offensive end, he's going to make it up on the defensive end and on the boards.

If we can get the "scoring Usher" of the second half of last season, combined with an improved rebounder he's become this season, you're talking about a guy who has the potential to score 15+ points, and 9+ rebounds, 3+ assists, and 1+ steals a game. That's not including the energy he brings to this team, and the havoc he creates on the defensive end.

I'm not super familiar with everyone in the ACC, but it will be interesting to compare Usher's all around game to best players in the ACC. I'm pretty confident Usher is in the top 10 in terms of players with the most versatile all around skillsets.
I think you have come up with a new nickname for Usher: either "Swish" or "Swisher"!
 

Connell62

Helluva Engineer
Featured Member
Messages
2,368
If you look at how Usher ended the season last year, he was one of our best overall players. Usher's value doesn't come from just scoring, he's one of our best players in every category. This year Usher has doubled his rebounding (4.2 vs 9.8), improved his scoring (11.6 vs 13.7), improved his assists (2.8 vs 3.7). His steals rate dropped from 1.6 to 1.0, but the season is still early. Usher defends 1-5 spots, and he creates havoc in passing lanes. He's never going to be the scorer that Devoe is, and Deebo just may already be a better scorer than Usher....but neither player has the "swiss army knife" game that Usher has. Usher is one of those players where if he has an off night on the offensive end, he's going to make it up on the defensive end and on the boards.

If we can get the "scoring Usher" of the second half of last season, combined with an improved rebounder he's become this season, you're talking about a guy who has the potential to score 15+ points, and 9+ rebounds, 3+ assists, and 1+ steals a game. That's not including the energy he brings to this team, and the havoc he creates on the defensive end.

I'm not super familiar with everyone in the ACC, but it will be interesting to compare Usher's all around game to best players in the ACC. I'm pretty confident Usher is in the top 10 in terms of players with the most versatile all around skillsets.
Don’t disagree, but as a 6th year senior, we need his shot selection to be better. It’s okay to be aggressive but it has to be controlled, especially in half court sets.
 

Northeast Stinger

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Messages
5,657
My take away after three games is that there are not many take-aways. The team has not yet established an identity and they are still sorting out styles, strengths, groupings, rotations and roles. And an unusually relaxed coach Pastner is allowing it all to just happen. When Lamar was making a run, Pastner just let them play. That was very Cremins-like to allow the kids to screw it up and figure it out.

The tension on the roster right now is that a good deal of the offensive talent is young and is not up to snuff defensively. So you have this offense-defense dichotomy. The future core of the program is easy to see. But for this year, we are still a work in progress. Pastner does seem to sport a little twinkle in his eye this year which is comforting to this fan.
Yeah, Cremins seemed very passive in his on court coaching sometimes. I think fans underestimated his teaching style. I love that Pastner doesn’t panic. He’s not as stoic as John Wooden was but he definitely seems to keep his focus and an almost relaxed methodical style.
 

alagold

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Yeah, Cremins seemed very passive in his on court coaching sometimes. I think fans underestimated his teaching style. I love that Pastner doesn’t panic. He’s not as stoic as John Wooden was but he definitely seems to keep his focus and an almost relaxed methodical style.
CRemins many times had some great players who could "just play" and be fine--NOT true with JP-he needs to coach them I feel.Losing to uM was not smart.He doesn't have his 2 stars anymore.
 

Peacone36

ACCBasketballReport.com
Contributing Writer
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9,444
Location
North Carolina
I have to disagree.. Kyle seems to be out of rhythm right now and Deivon slowly getting more and more minutes.

Bottom line though, we're not getting anywhere near the production we need from Smith or Sturdy, although Deivon had 5 assist against 1 turnover.

If Bubba where healthy, I feel like he would be starting at the PG spot. He cannot get back soon enough.
I’m with you after the UGA game for sure
 
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