Basketball 2021/2022 - Potential Improvements

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Jun 14, 2011
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#1
I wanted to start a new thread so the discussion doesn’t get buried in the game thread and may be ongoing into the summer if anyone hears anything on the grape vine about the teams workouts. Overall an entertaining season with plenty of ups and downs. Clearly, we all would have liked to have played better in the first half last night, but here we are. On to the next year…

…Ok, I’m going to try not to harp on the guys as much as I can, but this a discussion of how and where we can improve, so a bit of constructive criticism is warranted. Overall, we have a very athletic team and excel defensively when we want to exert our will there. We also seem to play better when pushing the pace. So where can we improve? Just sticking with those I think that will be on the roster next year. I’ll leave my thoughts, but I am curious to know yours.

Coach Boynton
Game management - Man, he grew a lot during the year; but he seems still to be slow at recognizing when to make adjustments. I’m not sure how coaches improve their craft, but maybe watching film from other Big 12 veterans and taking note of the flow of games and how they are played and then how those coaches call timeouts and what their teams do differently coming out of those lulls. Also, I know this isn’t what he is known for, but I believe he needs to hold the players more accountable. The sloppy turnovers, poor defensive effort, and bone headed plays should warrant some kind of reaction.

Offensively, we really need to develop more/better sets. In my opinion we don’t seem to have a lot of go-to plays to get baskets when we absolutely need one. Yes, there are missed open shots (the lay-ups last night… woof), but I think the point stands. As a team, we need to get better at making threes. Our spacing sucks and losing our best three-point shooter (CC), it’s only going to get worse if the group as a whole doesn’t improve. Defensively, I don’t have much to complain about other than recognizing earlier when something is hot for the other team. This is mostly out of his control, but I am hopeful HCMB can have a healthy team all year. That will surely pay dividends in practice and overall development of the individual players.

Avery Anderson
Hot damn. What a streak to close the year! I would love to see him really refine that outside shot. Doing so will really open up the driving lanes for him. Also, someone needs to show him tape of the Victor Williams mid-range game. Driving full speed and stop/pop straight up/shoot. Not much to say on his defense.

Kalib Boone
Eat and lift weights. I’m not sure what is going on with Kalib. Eat and lift weights. I think he is susceptible to mentally checking out of games and it really gets him down. Eat and lift weights. However, I’m not sure how to help or fix that. Eat and lift weights. Overall, he did improve from last year, or at the very least looked similar to that closing stretch of play he had at the end of his freshman year. Eat and lift weights. His hands are weak and he comes across as soft when things get physical. Eat and lift weights. Both of things which may be somewhat mitigated by some added muscle. Eat and lift weights.

Keylan Boone
I think being more consistent and adding a few more pounds would make worlds of difference for Keylan. Shooting 25% from three coming into last night is not sustainable. Lots of work on that outside shot over the summer and hitting the weights will pair very well if he can keep up the motor he had at the end of this year. Over the past few games, his defense and presence on the boards was really solid when he was in. I’m sure that will only improve with playing time.

Chris Harris
Before the injury, his shot was still “off”. Not sure what to do about that other than work at the three-point line a whole lot this summer. I think he has some potential defensively based on how he and AA played as freshman, but I worry how the recovery will affect his quickness. Don’t have too much to comment on since he didn’t really play much.

Bernard Kouma
Wow! He closed the year pretty strong considering I doubt many of us thought we would be getting much more than some fouls out of him in spot duty. I am hopeful this is an indication he has a lot more to offer AND that Canen Cunningham is a solid developer of big-men. BK should probably work on his agility and moves around the basket. He has pretty good hands, so running the pick and roll with him could be a great option moving forward if they practice that. Defensively, he seemed to be sound, playing straight up more than jumping at everything. I would imagine more playing time will hone that aspect of his game. Anyone else notice Bernie is our best FT shooter???

Isaac Liekele
Can’t help but feel bad for how his season ended. He clearly wasn’t right and/or had a mental block resulting from the injuries. First and foremost, get healed up and confident with himself, then he can get back to being Fran’s favorite “Linebacker PG”. My thoughts for him really haven’t changed from the end of last year. He has got to get some sort of shot going. Yes, he is a strong defender. Yes, he is a great rebounder; but man, he is a liability on offense at times as our spacing falls off a cliff when he is not playing PF. I didn’t by into all the talk about his improvement from 3 over the summer. Sure, he hit 44% from the arc this season, but NO ONE respected his shot there. Hell, he passed up so many wide-open chances, even in rhythm. It was maddening to watch. Also, FT shooting? Dude….

Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe
Gosh he is going to be a great 4-year player here if he can settle down a bit. Such a springy athlete who, entertaining to me, seems to run like a deer on his toes. He really needs to develop some more B-Ball IQ so the game slows down for him. Seems like if he gets the ball, he is driving to the basket, hell or high water. And he is going in despite having worse handle than Lebryan Nash, who used to infuriate me when he would bring the ball all the way down the court and not pass. That said, work on his handle, like a LOT if he is going to continue to drive. That said, he should continue to drive since his springiness is a big asset. Putting on a few more pounds to help absorb that Big 12 contact will keep him healthier in the long run. O-yeah, free throws. As an annoying commercial said to us all night… Free. Free-free-free-free-free. If you are going to whirling dervish into the paint over and over, don’t hurt your team by being a huge liability at the charity stripe.

Rondel Walker
I think RW has huge potential but hit a freshman wall. His shot has been off for a month or so. Another poster in the game thread mentioned a brace of something on one of his fingers, so maybe that is the issue. Whatever AA did over the last summer, RW needs to emulate that. Weight room and 5-10 pounds of muscle. Tighten up the handle. Refine that outside shot. Film room so that game can slow down a bit more. Really good defender with great hops, but watching tape on AA and how he operates at that end of the floor will pay dividends. I’m excited for his future here.

Bryce Williams
I’m not sure what to say about BW since he is already a senior. He is an elite athlete and that translates to excellent defense. His outside shot is pretty good, but he can be streaky. Also, he has a lot of bone headed plays that result in turnovers. Maybe more film time and refining the three-point shot. I would say that if he is going to continue as the back-up PG in any manner, tightening up the handle would be prudent.

Donavan Williams
Don’t have enough game film on him to make a great list of things to work on. So lets say FT’s and the outside shot.

Cade Cunningham
LOL, riiight. IF IF IF he stayed, his high dribble needs work. I don’t think I can complain about his shooting at all. And his defense is solid when he is engaged. Other than that high slow dribble, he needs to jump on teams from the tip. I get that he a smart player who appears to let the game come to him, but as the best offensive player on the court I sure would like to see that dominance earlier.
 
Dec 17, 2011
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#2
"Eat and lift weights" lol. Overall great player by player analysis. Young players, young coaches, can't wait to see what they do with this year. Getting to the tournament, getting a win, getting to the big 12 final, they are not even close to being done for some of them.
 

Tulley

Wrangler
Feb 27, 2018
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#3
Probably unpopular opinion, but I think Kouma has a great chance to be a huge part of our team next year.

Great attitude. Selfless player. Very solid at the charity stripe. Has potential for a good defensive presence. If he can work on his offensive moves, continue to lift, work on his vertical, and just get quicker in general I think he’s gonna surprise a lot of people.

I think we will really rely on him eventually. Probably going to be a 15 mpg type guy, especially if we don’t grab a transfer big or land a recruit.
 
Aug 19, 2006
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#4
This team was fun to watch but just got too frenetic a times. Didn't have enough consistent outside shooters to balance our offensive attack. It was just a matter of time before that caught up with us and it did last night.

If Flavors had been who we thought it was going to be, that would have made a big difference. This team will be dangerous next year if they can add a pure shooter or two. That's really what separated Baylor from the pack.
 

jobob85

Drunkle
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Mar 11, 2009
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#5
Before I worried about Kalib eating and lifting weights, I would stress a 15-18 ft midrange shot and working on a three or four bounce dribble drive. Trying to make him a banger inside is not going to be as fruitful as stretching his game on the court.
 
Dec 17, 2011
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#6
Fran said earlier in the year that Kouma has the best hands. I honestly believe that after what I've seen. He catches some crazy passes and controls it.
 

osupsycho

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Apr 20, 2005
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#7
To me none of this matters until we hear the final verdict from the NCAA. If they uphold the post season ban and 3 scholarship punishment then I am worried we will lose all momentum we have gained. Unfortunately till I hear that I can't bring myself to think about next year.
 

LS1 Z28

Territorial Marshal
Oct 30, 2007
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#9
Here are a few of the questions I'll have going into next season:

Will Coach Boynton be here?
There have been rumors over the past week that South Carolina could fire Frank Martin. He had one great season at SC, but he's only made the NCAA Tournament once in 9 years. Coach Boynton would have to be at the top of their list if a change is made. I'm sure he'll garner attention from other schools as well, but I worry most about SC, because they're his alma mater.

Will Coach Cunningham be here?
Schools have hired family members of prospects many times to land a commitment, but I don't believe that there has ever been one retained after the player leaves for the NBA. That being said, Boone & Kouma have both shown good development this year. So maybe Cannen has proven himself enough to keep his job.

How much does the loss of Cade Cunningham affect our program?
Cunningham is a special player. He was the focus of every defense we faced. His double teams opened the offense up for everyone else. He was the most consistent 3 point shooter on our squad. He hit several game winning shots. I don't think it's a stretch to say that we might've been an NIT team this year without him.

How does the roster change?
1. Will Williams and Flavors return as super seniors?
2. Will Pena ever play for our program?
3. Will Harris get back to 100% after tearing the same ACL twice?
4. Will anyone transfer in or out?
5. Will we be able to land any big time recruits like Enoch Boakye?

Will the postseason ban be upheld?
This is the elephant in the room. We all agree that the penalty was too severe, but who knows what the NCAA will end up doing. They could torpedo our season before it even gets started.

How much will our younger players develop?
A big part of our success this year was due to the development of Anderson. We'll probably need our younger guys like MAM & Walker to show similar development if we don't want to drop off. We also need the Boone twins to be more consistent. The potential is there, but it has to be realized.

There are a ton of unknowns heading into the next season, but at least we're headed in the right direction.
 
Mar 12, 2018
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Stillwater, Oklahoma
#10
Here are a few of the questions I'll have going into next season:

Will Coach Boynton be here?
There have been rumors over the past week that South Carolina could fire Frank Martin. He had one great season at SC, but he's only made the NCAA Tournament once in 9 years. Coach Boynton would have to be at the top of their list if a change is made. I'm sure he'll garner attention from other schools as well, but I worry most about SC, because they're his alma mater.

Will Coach Cunningham be here?
Schools have hired family members of prospects many times to land a commitment, but I don't believe that there has ever been one retained after the player leaves for the NBA. That being said, Boone & Kouma have both shown good development this year. So maybe Cannen has proven himself enough to keep his job.

How much does the loss of Cade Cunningham affect our program?
Cunningham is a special player. He was the focus of every defense we faced. His double teams opened the offense up for everyone else. He was the most consistent 3 point shooter on our squad. He hit several game winning shots. I don't think it's a stretch to say that we might've been an NIT team this year without him.

How does the roster change?
1. Will Williams and Flavors return as super seniors?
2. Will Pena ever play for our program?
3. Will Harris get back to 100% after tearing the same ACL twice?
4. Will anyone transfer in or out?
5. Will we be able to land any big time recruits like Enoch Boakye?

Will the postseason ban be upheld?
This is the elephant in the room. We all agree that the penalty was too severe, but who knows what the NCAA will end up doing. They could torpedo our season before it even gets started.

How much will our younger players develop?
A big part of our success this year was due to the development of Anderson. We'll probably need our younger guys like MAM & Walker to show similar development if we don't want to drop off. We also need the Boone twins to be more consistent. The potential is there, but it has to be realized.

There are a ton of unknowns heading into the next season, but at least we're headed in the right direction.
Sadly, nothing really moves until the ruling for the appeal is released. I'm sure the NCAA won't get in any rush either way that they rule.
 
Mar 17, 2006
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#11
To me none of this matters until we hear the final verdict from the NCAA. If they uphold the post season ban and 3 scholarship punishment then I am worried we will lose all momentum we have gained. Unfortunately till I hear that I can't bring myself to think about next year.
I think if they do uphold the ban, it will then go to the courts and OSU would have good legal ground considering the other punishments the NCAA has given out.
 

osupsycho

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#12
I think if they do uphold the ban, it will then go to the courts and OSU would have good legal ground considering the other punishments the NCAA has given out.
Yeah but that will likely kill any recruiting for the next class since courts are not known to be fast. Plus there is no guarantee we actually will take it to the courts considering the legal cost and are severely depleted covid athletic budget (also no guarantee of winning).
 

OkstateKerr

Territorial Marshal
Jan 13, 2005
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#13
Yeah but that will likely kill any recruiting for the next class since courts are not known to be fast. Plus there is no guarantee we actually will take it to the courts considering the legal cost and are severely depleted covid athletic budget (also no guarantee of winning).
I mean unless you are a one and done does missing one post season really keep you from playing for a school that you really like?
 

osupsycho

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Apr 20, 2005
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#14
I mean unless you are a one and done does missing one post season really keep you from playing for a school that you really like?
Most of the guys we are looking at now are one and done's in their minds (though probably not in reality) or transfers with limited time left. Thus the class will have to settle for secondary options if the ruling is upheld. Plus it might be better to just take the whole hit at once and not take any new players during our ban year so we also clear the scholarship penalty and be done.
 
Mar 12, 2018
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Stillwater, Oklahoma
#15
I don't really see Bryce returning. Sounds like he really hates school.

Every likely returning player seems to have the aptitude to improve a lot before next season. But I believe Walker will make the biggest strides once they hone his shot. I think him & Anderson can be a really solid backcourt next season.

Kind of joking here, but can Kouma work with Likekele, MAM & Boone on their FT shooting? I was definitely not expecting him to have such a soft touch on free throws.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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#16
Here are a few of the questions I'll have going into next season:

Will Coach Boynton be here?
There have been rumors over the past week that South Carolina could fire Frank Martin. He had one great season at SC, but he's only made the NCAA Tournament once in 9 years. Coach Boynton would have to be at the top of their list if a change is made. I'm sure he'll garner attention from other schools as well, but I worry most about SC, because they're his alma mater.

Will Coach Cunningham be here?
Schools have hired family members of prospects many times to land a commitment, but I don't believe that there has ever been one retained after the player leaves for the NBA. That being said, Boone & Kouma have both shown good development this year. So maybe Cannen has proven himself enough to keep his job.

How much does the loss of Cade Cunningham affect our program?
Cunningham is a special player. He was the focus of every defense we faced. His double teams opened the offense up for everyone else. He was the most consistent 3 point shooter on our squad. He hit several game winning shots. I don't think it's a stretch to say that we might've been an NIT team this year without him.

How does the roster change?
1. Will Williams and Flavors return as super seniors?
2. Will Pena ever play for our program?
3. Will Harris get back to 100% after tearing the same ACL twice?
4. Will anyone transfer in or out?
5. Will we be able to land any big time recruits like Enoch Boakye?

Will the postseason ban be upheld?
This is the elephant in the room. We all agree that the penalty was too severe, but who knows what the NCAA will end up doing. They could torpedo our season before it even gets started.

How much will our younger players develop?
A big part of our success this year was due to the development of Anderson. We'll probably need our younger guys like MAM & Walker to show similar development if we don't want to drop off. We also need the Boone twins to be more consistent. The potential is there, but it has to be realized.

There are a ton of unknowns heading into the next season, but at least we're headed in the right direction.
Only reason for Boynton to take South Carolina would be money and our looming NCAA punishment. Those would be the only reasons for leaving for a lateral move. Holder not being AD any longer makes it easier for Boynton to bounce if he wants to. He felt loyalty to Holder for giving him a chance when no one even thought about it, but not so much with Weiberg.
 
Dec 21, 2008
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#17
He doesn’t strike me as a guy to pour into Cade & all the freshmen then bolt? He’s had 3+ tumultuous opportunities. He doesn’t come across as hey thanks for the million, I’m leaving y’all. He seems like this is a family place that he enjoys & wants to raise the bar for Eddie!
 
May 4, 2011
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#18
He doesn’t strike me as a guy to pour into Cade & all the freshmen then bolt? He’s had 3+ tumultuous opportunities. He doesn’t come across as hey thanks for the million, I’m leaving y’all. He seems like this is a family place that he enjoys & wants to raise the bar for Eddie!
Another angle I hadn't considered is that he was an assistant to Martin. Does he want to be the guy who replaces a former mentor? They didn't overlap a ton, but that still has to be awkward.