I have wanted to start a general basketball thread for a bit here and finally am getting around to it. My intent is to keep it a bit separate from the game threads and ongoing between games if that happens to work out, but I know there will be some cross pollination. Either way, hoping for some good discussion on any and all things OSU basketball! Injuries Shine, what’s the deal there? It may have been mentioned at some point but I don’t recall. It seems to be somewhat serious since I see talk of long term absence/transfer/done with b-ball all together. I like Shine a lot and think we are really missing his versatility right now. Evans has not looked completely like himself since being out with the shoulder issue. Any thoughts as to what the lingering issue might be and if indeed the shoulder injury is what is causing a bit of a dip in production? Or are Big 12 defenses playing him more effectively? Waters will be back at some point soon I assume. Neck injury in practice from playing hard I hope. on that note, I love hearing that practices are more intense and that Underwood is holding the guys accountable for effort there (is Dillard cooperating on this front, what is the deal???). Defense I love our effort that the team puts out on most nights regarding the defense. Keeping in those passing lanes, getting steals, and generating more possessions leading to more opportunities for them at the other end of the floor. That said, according to some stats that @Lab Rat posted a few games ago, it seems like we are also allowing a LOT of points to be scored against us. I get that this is probably accepted as a result of the type of defense we are playing, but it is still something I grumble about. Underwood knows when to switch to zone when he needs to in order to help keep guys out of foul trouble, but I wonder if that also helps to slow things down a bit if we are not generating turnovers at a rate which puts us ahead in possessions. I hope we end up with a balance at some point of allowing fewer points while keeping the turnovers up. My love of basketball grew under Coach Sutton, so I am certainly partial to that style of defense, but I'm coming around. Offense I love our offense when we seem to run it and it’s getting better with each outing. While I know it is not as feasible due to personnel limitations, Hammonds would be great in the high post spot where the ball goes to start off the sets. He certainly has better handles/shot/athleticism than Mitch, and would probably be more effective there. As Underwood gets more of his players in the system, this will certainly improve. Another item that has slowly been getting better is the pick and roll. For much of the season, it seems like the bigs would only be serviceable for the pick and then they were out of the equation. However, here lately, they seem to be rolling towards the basket more frequently and looking for a pass which is a sign of coaching in my eyes. Hope they continue getting better in this regard, as it will open up a lot of other things for the offense if defenders have to actually watch N’Guessan and Solomon too. Front Court It is shocking how much coaching has made a difference with the front court guys so far (yes, we still have a ways to go). While I know Solomon is probably not a starter on many Big 12 teams, he seems to be making steps in the right direction that I hope he continues. Playing hard under the basket working on the boards, and as mentioned above, being serviceable in the screen and roll (but please lord, stop hip checking on every screen...). Lucas needs some weight and more time to get used to the speed and flow with the guys. I think he will be a solid contributor here when things slow down for him. I’m stoked about McGriff. I love his “I’m going to dunk on everyone all the time” attitude, but I hope the game slows down for him a bit too so he knows when to dunk on people and when to get the lay-up. I think we will all be very happy with his production very soon! I am so excited about the future of OSU basketball under the new coaching staff. Let’s go Cowboys!!!