Sheeesh

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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Aggie84025 » January 7th, 2020, 11:28 pm

brian5562 wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 11:12 pm
GUS wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 11:09 pm
We are not moving without the ball, boxing out, or shoot worth a damn. Something is broken from how we played early in the season. Hopefully Smith can fix it.
Saturday is a must win so he needs to work fast
To be honest tonight was a must win. That being said we have to win Saturday night or things are going to spiral really bad.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by tysteve20 » January 7th, 2020, 11:32 pm

FloridaAggie13 wrote:
tysteve20 wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 11:03 pm
brian5562 wrote:Is The offense is still getting used to playing with Quetta? The ball doesn’t seem to be moving as well right now with him. In no way am I saying we are better without him. Just a question
I honestly think queta coming back ruined whatever chemistry we had. It changed how the whole team had to play , spacing, gameplan, etc.


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We got our a$$3$ handed to us by UNLV and Queta wasn't playing.
I’m not blaming him in any way. I think the constant changes of him being in for a game or two then out is throwing things off.


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Re: Sheeesh

Post by pilotaggie » January 7th, 2020, 11:36 pm

dogie wrote:
Elkaggie wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 10:34 pm
Up 34-22 and the wheels literally get blown off. No defense and can’t rebound. We continue to be unable to get Sam any good looks either.
After the 34-22 score, the Aggies were outscored 55-19 over the course of about 20 minutes.
This is when I turned the game on. As an aggie fan it was unwatchable. I was glad when the restaurant turned the tv off down 10 with 15 minutes to play.

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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Aggie84025 » January 7th, 2020, 11:39 pm

What happened to Coach Smith preaching GATA. This team is doing the exact opposite of it in fact we are the ones bending over and letting the other team give it to us.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Former_USU_Alumni » January 7th, 2020, 11:39 pm

We need more players on the team who DON’T look like Brock Miller and Abel Porter. We already have too many of those.

Hopefully next year we bring in some players who look more like Russell Westbrook. Speed and athleticism please.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by ineptimusprime » January 7th, 2020, 11:43 pm

Aggie84025 wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 11:39 pm
What happened to Coach Smith preaching GATA. This team is doing the exact opposite of it in fact we are the ones bending over and letting the other team give it to us.
The team is trying a new approach called TIITA (Takin’ it in the...)
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Re: Sheeesh

Post by ineptimusprime » January 7th, 2020, 11:55 pm

Former_USU_Alumni wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 11:39 pm
We need more players on the team who DON’T look like Brock Miller and Abel Porter. We already have too many of those.

Hopefully next year we bring in some players who look more like Russell Westbrook. Speed and athleticism please.
This post is kind of racist, but I generally agree we need more athleticism pretty much across the board.

Also, Brock was one that actually seemed to be trying tonight. Weird to throw him under the bus. And Abel is who he is. I’m not going to blame Abel for being Abel.
Last edited by ineptimusprime on January 8th, 2020, 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by utaggies » January 8th, 2020, 12:02 am

brian5562 wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 11:12 pm
GUS wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 11:09 pm
We are not moving without the ball, boxing out, or shoot worth a damn. Something is broken from how we played early in the season. Hopefully Smith can fix it.
Saturday is a must win so he needs to work fast
We are so done with “must wins”. AFA was a must win — and we didn’t.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by ususports » January 8th, 2020, 12:10 am

newhouse9 wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 11:26 pm
It's strange...we used to pass the ball. We don't run much stuff anymore, just take the lazy 3 like Tim's teams did. I don't know what has caused this change, but it is troubling. We have too many of the wrong guys taking shots, when Sam doesn't even score in the 2nd half of the game, any game. Something is really odd right now.
Sam’s shot selection isn’t good right now (along with many other players on our team). He is taking too many contested, off balanced, while falling backwards shots.
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Re: Sheeesh

Post by bluegrouse » January 8th, 2020, 4:19 am

We’ve watched the same guys on the court for the last year and a half and they are among the toughest, gutsiest, hardest-working, never-say-die players I’ve ever watched at Utah State. I highly doubt that overnight they’ve just decided to quit. It’s much more likely that most of them are playing at the limits of their ability right now with injuries and illnesses and don’t have any more to give. At the very least, I think they have earned the benefit of the doubt for awhile before everyone turns on them and starts trashing them.
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Re: Sheeesh

Post by sam tingey » January 8th, 2020, 6:23 am

I blame Trump for this loss.

He kills the general dude
posturing increases
soldiers are fired up
the airmen on the AFA basketball team get fired up
we lose so morale is better for the airmen

This is my sad attempt at a joke and coping with what happened last night.
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Re: Sheeesh

Post by DCAggie24 » January 8th, 2020, 6:25 am

If you ever read Bill Simmons “Book of Basketball” and have listened to his podcasts he goes into the length about one of the hardest things to do in sports is win a championship back to back. While we didn’t win a “championship” in the context of the NCAA tournament, we were MWC champs and had a very successful season. The reasoning behind the difficulty is all mental. Players want a larger role, etc. all chemistry stuff.
I think that after the season the players thought they had something special and really wanted to try to run this back as they were such a unselfish team with great chemistry. Then Queta declares for the draft and while outwardly the players were all happy for him I think it stung. Each would admit they would have done the same in his shoes I’m sure. I think they really hoped he would just come back for one more season. Sams senior season. The potential for a really special season. This might have been the first unnoticed crack in the team chemistry. Then the injury happened and the team has two different styles and identities. One without Queta, and one with Queta. I think that toll as well as not knowing potentially (from our perspective) if Queta was playing this game or the next has a mental effect on preparation. Especially for players like Bean and Anderson, who’s roles probably have the biggest impact on whether Queta is playing or not. A Queta at what; 75-80%.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by agster » January 8th, 2020, 7:20 am

Most of the players are playing hurt. It shows. They will never use that as an excuse.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by KissMyAg » January 8th, 2020, 7:22 am

bluegrouse wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 4:19 am
We’ve watched the same guys on the court for the last year and a half and they are among the toughest, gutsiest, hardest-working, never-say-die players I’ve ever watched at Utah State. I highly doubt that overnight they’ve just decided to quit. It’s much more likely that most of them are playing at the limits of their ability right now with injuries and illnesses and don’t have any more to give. At the very least, I think they have earned the benefit of the doubt for awhile before everyone turns on them and starts trashing them.
^^^^ this



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by mcaggie1 » January 8th, 2020, 7:54 am

KissMyAg wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 7:22 am
bluegrouse wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 4:19 am
We’ve watched the same guys on the court for the last year and a half and they are among the toughest, gutsiest, hardest-working, never-say-die players I’ve ever watched at Utah State. I highly doubt that overnight they’ve just decided to quit. It’s much more likely that most of them are playing at the limits of their ability right now with injuries and illnesses and don’t have any more to give. At the very least, I think they have earned the benefit of the doubt for awhile before everyone turns on them and starts trashing them.
^^^^ this
I started this thread by saying this team isn’t the same team as last year, and I couldn’t figure it out.
Bluegrouse...thanks for helping figure it out.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by brownjeans » January 8th, 2020, 8:12 am

mcaggie1 wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 11:05 pm
Rebounds ....USU. 29
AFA. 50

Yes, the tallest team in College basketball just got out rebounded by 21 against one of the shortest.
Maybe we should be ranked #9 in the conference again.
This. So much this.
I just want our team to be watchable again. We were outrebounded by 21 rebounds... 21! Does Airforce even have a player taller than 6'7"?

When shots aren't dropping and fouls aren't going our way, instead of getting gritty and playing harder, cutting, setting screens, boxing out, and doing stuff that shows a WILL TO WIN, we're hanging our heads, complaining, sulking. We're not just losing, we're losing in a very un-USU fashion.

Furthermore, with the team taking on water the way it is, I have no idea how Smith will right the ship. I hope he can.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by usu99 » January 8th, 2020, 8:31 am

WTE? Is this the Worst team ever in terms of expectations and results?


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Re: Sheeesh

Post by OKAggie » January 8th, 2020, 8:54 am

mcaggie1 wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 11:05 pm
Rebounds ....USU. 29
AFA. 50

Yes, the tallest team in College basketball just got out rebounded by 21 against one of the shortest.
Maybe we should be ranked #9 in the conference again.
This is a red herring. Having 14' 2" of Dorius and Kuba sitting on the bench for most of the game, and Queta can't stay on the floor for stupid fouls. Take those three long and inactive guys out of the equation and we're about the same height as AFA.

Rebounding is about want-to as much as about height, and aside from Bean nobody really seems to want to.


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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Aggie84025 » January 8th, 2020, 9:56 am

Fact of the matter is that we have no one who can really create a shot for themselves. We cannot beat anyone off the dribble. Last year we caught people off guard, but we were also moving well without the ball, setting screens and playing with heart that people had trouble matching. One thing I loved about the Stew during his prime years was all of the offensive sets he would run. I know Smith does not call many set plays on offense, but what we are doing is not working so I think we should be running more set plays with the type of the players we have on the team.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Yossarian » January 8th, 2020, 10:16 am

USU has uber-hyped in the pre-season. Every team they play is giving their best effort to knock the Aggies off the pedestal the prognositcators put them on. The Aggies certainly don't seem prepared to take every team's best blows game after game. When you're #1, you can't let your guard down. Getting no contribution from several players night after night is no way to fend off a team hungry to knock you out.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by ThunderAggie » January 8th, 2020, 10:46 am

Yossarian wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 10:16 am
USU has uber-hyped in the pre-season. Every team they play is giving their best effort to knock the Aggies off the pedestal the prognositcators put them on. The Aggies certainly don't seem prepared to take every team's best blows game after game. When you're #1, you can't let your guard down. Getting no contribution from several players night after night is no way to fend off a team hungry to knock you out.
Yes, this is the problem! We know we have good players and a coach as we have seen all the players potential, but we just can't put it together and crumble under adversity. Take the Washington game last year for example. We had won like 17 straight and then got shell shocked when we played the big boys and got blown out. I thought this year we would be able to put the hype behind us and play our best ball, and we looked like we would early on, especially after coming back from down 19 verse LSU. I thought that showed we could play from behind and compete with the big boys.

But after the last 3 games, it is worse than I ever imagined. When we went down by 10 or so vs UNLV, it just looked like we gave up and were chucking just so we could maybe come back instead of running some plays to get some good shots. It improved a little bit vs SDSU as we hung with them for a while, but similarly we just sort of gave up. It was by far th worse last night. We went up 12 and looked like we would run away with the game, when all of a sudden they start making some shots and the crowd gets into it. At that point, we looked panicky and started playing not to lose. Then we had a bunch of fouls, poor body language, and terrible shots.

The play that bothered me the most was Queta's flagrant foul. That to me is symbolic of this season. Guys are just giving up and getting frustrating. Showing their emotions rather than playing with emotion. I am concerned about the future of Aggie basketball for the first time in a while. Hopefully we can regroup, but I thought the Air Force game would be the regroup game, but it only increased my worries.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by NVAggie » January 8th, 2020, 10:58 am

I just see a lot of lazy standing around. That isn't the same team I saw last year. If it is injuries, I guess we are hosed. They won't heal in time to make a difference. It is a disappointment. The disappointment is augmented when you add the fact that we were so highly regarded during the preseason.
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Re: Sheeesh

Post by freakboy » January 8th, 2020, 10:59 am

Sounds like I picked a good game to miss. Did Dorius or Kuba play when Queta was on the bench?



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Aggie19 » January 8th, 2020, 11:09 am

freakboy wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 10:59 am
Sounds like I picked a good game to miss. Did Dorius or Kuba play when Queta was on the bench?
Dorius did. I don't remember seeing Kuba, but the box score shows he played 1 minute.


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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Yossarian » January 8th, 2020, 11:12 am

freakboy wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 10:59 am
Sounds like I picked a good game to miss. Did Dorius or Kuba play when Queta was on the bench?
Kuba played 42 seconds to close out the game - about 1/3 the time of what Grootfam played.

Dorius played, but wasn't very effective. He has some ability, he just needs to play - get used to game speed and other big guys knocking him around. Dorius will help this team in coming years. I don't know what Kuba did or did not do to get in Smith's doghouse.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Aggie19 » January 8th, 2020, 11:15 am

Yossarian wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 11:12 am
freakboy wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 10:59 am
Sounds like I picked a good game to miss. Did Dorius or Kuba play when Queta was on the bench?
Kuba played 42 seconds to close out the game - about 1/3 the time of what Grootfam played.

Dorius played, but wasn't very effective. He has some ability, he just needs to play - get used to game speed and other big guys knocking him around. Dorius will help this team in coming years. I don't know what Kuba did or did not do to get in Smith's doghouse.
Kuba was absolutely lost in the UNLV game. Coach ripped into him and he hasn't seen the floor much since. He's got some work to do, he was a huge liability against the Rebels. I guess that may be harsh, since the whole team has played horribly the last three games.


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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Yossarian » January 8th, 2020, 11:18 am

Aggie19 wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 11:15 am
Yossarian wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 11:12 am
freakboy wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 10:59 am
Sounds like I picked a good game to miss. Did Dorius or Kuba play when Queta was on the bench?
Kuba played 42 seconds to close out the game - about 1/3 the time of what Grootfam played.

Dorius played, but wasn't very effective. He has some ability, he just needs to play - get used to game speed and other big guys knocking him around. Dorius will help this team in coming years. I don't know what Kuba did or did not do to get in Smith's doghouse.
Kuba was absolutely lost in the UNLV game. Coach ripped into him and he hasn't seen the floor much since. He's got some work to do, he was a huge liability against the Rebels. I guess that may be harsh, since the whole team has played horribly the last three games.
To Kuba's credit last night - when he did finally have his name called to go into the game, he seemed to have a good attitude and hustled when he got in. It would have been easy to sulk and just go through the motions getting into the last 42 seconds of a blowout game, but he didn't. I liked that and it gave me hope that Smith has not lost this team.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Aggie19 » January 8th, 2020, 11:21 am

Yossarian wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 11:18 am
Aggie19 wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 11:15 am
Yossarian wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 11:12 am
freakboy wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 10:59 am
Sounds like I picked a good game to miss. Did Dorius or Kuba play when Queta was on the bench?
Kuba played 42 seconds to close out the game - about 1/3 the time of what Grootfam played.

Dorius played, but wasn't very effective. He has some ability, he just needs to play - get used to game speed and other big guys knocking him around. Dorius will help this team in coming years. I don't know what Kuba did or did not do to get in Smith's doghouse.
Kuba was absolutely lost in the UNLV game. Coach ripped into him and he hasn't seen the floor much since. He's got some work to do, he was a huge liability against the Rebels. I guess that may be harsh, since the whole team has played horribly the last three games.
To Kuba's credit last night - when he did finally have his name called to go into the game, he seemed to have a good attitude and hustled when he got in. It would have been easy to sulk and just go through the motions getting into the last 42 seconds of a blowout game, but he didn't. I liked that and it gave me hope that Smith has not lost this team.
That is good to hear. He has the talent just needs more work, a good attitude will go a long way.

Also impressed that you watched that hot mess all the way to the end.


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Re: Sheeesh

Post by brownjeans » January 8th, 2020, 11:34 am

Yossarian wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 11:18 am
To Kuba's credit last night - when he did finally have his name called to go into the game, he seemed to have a good attitude and hustled when he got in. It would have been easy to sulk and just go through the motions getting into the last 42 seconds of a blowout game, but he didn't. I liked that and it gave me hope that Smith has not lost this team.
He was probably happy he wasn't on the court for the embarrassing show that preceded him.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Aglicious » January 8th, 2020, 11:45 am

I don't recognize this Aggie team at all. I'm sure there are injuries, since coach has admitted as much, but I don't think they are playing as big a role as we'd like to believe. I don't believe the return of Queta has anything to do with our struggles either, we have lost games in the same fashion whether he plays or not. Queta's recent play is about one of the only positives in the losses. He is scoring well, passing well, and working his way back to rebounding well. He really is only struggling with defense and blocks (but that is compared to what we have come to expect from a record breaking season too).

Our problems seem to be (in order of negative impact):
1. Team effort - just sheer hustle and desire. Bean has been the team leader in this category and even he looks beat down at this point.
2. Offensive style - not sure how to define this one but early in the season we had incredible ball movement, we had guys moving and cutting without the ball, setting screens, a shot not taken until practically the entire team touched the ball at least once, and guys in position to rebound. Now we just have guys receiving a long pass up court and jacking up a 3 ala BYU without anyone else touching it or even in position to rebound. Teams are daring us to shoot that quick 3 because they have seen how poor we are at it. What happened to passing the ball around and finishing with great interior passing or an inside-out game? The best possessions we had last night were when the ball went through Queta's hands and he worked the post for a close shot or kicked out for an open look. As has been pointed out, we don't have a PG that can create for himself or for others. We don't have a guy that can penetrate with speed and control and either dish or finish strong at the rim.
3. Forced shots - this goes hand in hand with #2. We all know Brito and Miller have been struggling with their shot but most of the shots they have been taking are open looks. They have proven to be decent shooters in the past so it's hard to blame them for taking open looks as long as they aren't taking and missing 15 of them a game. We're going to need their shooting at some point to be successful so it's important they get on track again. The shots that are really killing us are the forced ones early in the clock or out of the flow of the game. Merrill seems intent on taking several of these a game lately because he sees everyone else missing open looks so he decides to try and take things into his own hands and it adds to the problem.
4. Lack of Bench Production - getting nothing from Brito and Anderson is killing us. We need a spark off the bench and we're not getting it. Anderson's inconsistency is maddening. I'm not sure if it is a lack of support he is feeling from the coaches or he has something else going on right now but he is playing with uncertainty and hesitation. This is the same guy that put our team on his back and beat LSU 6 weeks ago. Now he suddenly can't play against AFA?! Watch where the coaches go during a media timeout or any break in action - it is directly to Fonz and in his face about something. He doesn't seem to be responding that well to it. I don't think he knows what to expect from night to night - he has gone from a fairly regular 30 min. a game down to 6 min. against SDSU. Then he is expected to suddenly perform again the next game because of team foul trouble. I get the feeling he doesn't know what his role is at this point.
5. Lack of Athleticism - we have been complaining about this for what seems like the day Larry E. left for Iowa St. I'm not sure why we have had a string of coaches with an aversion to bringing in athletes. We have brought in good and sometime great basketball players but not many great athletes. I'm talking about guys that maybe aren't the best basketball players in terms of outside shooters or bball IQ - just guys that are pure athletes that have superior physical abilities. I bring this up because the real game changer last year was Queta, plain and simple. Merrill may get all the accolades and POY awards but last year's team was different and able to take the next step to a championship because of one guy and that was Queta. He changed the entire make up of team on both ends and his presence alone changed what we were able to do as a team. I'm hopeful that as his health and confidence increase it will help turn us around.
6. Team Defense - perhaps this is due to #1 and #5 but we can't seem to guard even the lowliest of teams lately.
7. No ability to stop a run - whether it is a scoring drought by us or a run by the opposing team we seem to have no answers of how to stop it until the game is out of hand. Coach seems to change the defense to a type of zone or apply full court pressure too late after the damage is done. There doesn't seem to be a good use of timeouts either. Other coaches will call a timeout if their team has just gone from 3 up to 3 down in a short period of time to reset his player's minds and review the game scenario before that 3 point deficit turns in to a 10 point deficit 40 seconds later. I think Coach Smith likes to try and let his team play through it but too many times it ends up we are down double digits and it takes incredible effort for 10+ min of the game to erase what happened in a matter of seconds. By the time we get the game close again, we are either exhausted or become easily deflated by a big shot made against us.

Yeah, that pretty much looks like our problems are in every possible area. :(



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by oleblu111 » January 8th, 2020, 11:46 am

The truth is this team is not playing hard, if Sam is injured then sit him until he is sound.

This will show me what kind of leadership these kids have I would hope for a players only meeting. They can turn his mess around, and still have a decent season, but the clock is ticking.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by ViAggie » January 8th, 2020, 11:47 am

"the wheels on the bus go flying off, flying off, flying off..."
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Re: Sheeesh

Post by Aggie formerly in Hawaii » January 8th, 2020, 12:15 pm

I didnt watch the game, but no joke checked the score and it was usu 34 air force 23. Checked it when I woke up and have never been more shocked by a score in my life. Glad I didnt watch it.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by aggies95 » January 8th, 2020, 12:31 pm

It has really bothered me that we have so much carryover from last years roster and have been so much worse in 2020. After watching last nights game, my observations:

1. Queta is a shell of himself. The announcers brought it up and former players like Tyler Newbold mentioned it last night. Last year's team suffocated teams on the interior. We were an ELITE defensive unit last year inside the 3 pt line. Queta was thoroughly outplayed last night by Swan. In the second half with USU up 39-35, Queta's play led to a 9-0 run by Air Force and they never looked back (Swan offensive rebound putback, Queta can't secure rebound and tips it to AF for wide open three while he picks up a flagrant foul - taking him off the floor and giving them 1 made FT and possession. They would then score on a dunk+foul on Bean the following possession). He bit on pump fakes that led to open dunks and layups (and-1 by Swan that gave him his second foul in the first half). He gave up several more offensive rebounds and interior layups later on in the second half to Swan. He's 30 pounds heavier than he was last year, and he's out of shape. Neemi was the heart and soul of the defense last year, and teams are shooting over 50% on 2 pt field goals in the last two games he's played in- 57% for Air Force and 55% against SDSU. For reference, last year's team held teams to 42% on 2 pt fga, good for 4th in the country. Until Neemi gets back in shape and gets closer to 100%, we won't be able to lock teams down like we did last year. Before anyone freaks out about being critical of Neemi - we're of course better with him, and this isn't effort related. He just needs time to get back to being dominant on defense.

2. Poor shooting - This has been covered at length. Brito went from shooting 40% from 3 to 27% this year (as has been mentioned - if you take out non D1 teams, it's even worse). Brock looked much better last night but was shooting 26% coming into last night if you remove non D1 games - compared to 35% last year. Fonzo is shooting 32% from 3. The problem isn't just the %'s. In spite of cold shooting, Brito took 11 shots last night and 6 3's, many early in the shot clock, semi-contested.

3. Injuries - Queta is the biggest, but Sam and Justin Bean are battling ankle issues. Sam just can't create off the dribble like he could last year. Teams philosophies against USU haven't changed from last year. Stop Sam. Difference between last year and this year is that Sam can't make magic like he could last year, and his outlets aren't knocking down shots like they were last year.

I hate to be doom and gloom but I wouldn't worry so much about the conference record from here on out. Priority #1 needs to be getting Sam, Neemi, and Bean as healthy as possible by year end. I echo the general consensus on Bairstow. As long as Brito is shooting at the volume and % that he is, there's no reason to play him 25 minutes a game.



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Re: Sheeesh

Post by oleblu111 » January 8th, 2020, 12:55 pm

aggies95 wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 12:31 pm
It has really bothered me that we have so much carryover from last years roster and have been so much worse in 2020. After watching last nights game, my observations:

1. Queta is a shell of himself. The announcers brought it up and former players like Tyler Newbold mentioned it last night. Last year's team suffocated teams on the interior. We were an ELITE defensive unit last year inside the 3 pt line. Queta was thoroughly outplayed last night by Swan. In the second half with USU up 39-35, Queta's play led to a 9-0 run by Air Force and they never looked back (Swan offensive rebound putback, Queta can't secure rebound and tips it to AF for wide open three while he picks up a flagrant foul - taking him off the floor and giving them 1 made FT and possession. They would then score on a dunk+foul on Bean the following possession). He bit on pump fakes that led to open dunks and layups (and-1 by Swan that gave him his second foul in the first half). He gave up several more offensive rebounds and interior layups later on in the second half to Swan. He's 30 pounds heavier than he was last year, and he's out of shape. Neemi was the heart and soul of the defense last year, and teams are shooting over 50% on 2 pt field goals in the last two games he's played in- 57% for Air Force and 55% against SDSU. For reference, last year's team held teams to 42% on 2 pt fga, good for 4th in the country. Until Neemi gets back in shape and gets closer to 100%, we won't be able to lock teams down like we did last year. Before anyone freaks out about being critical of Neemi - we're of course better with him, and this isn't effort related. He just needs time to get back to being dominant on defense.

2. Poor shooting - This has been covered at length. Brito went from shooting 40% from 3 to 27% this year (as has been mentioned - if you take out non D1 teams, it's even worse). Brock looked much better last night but was shooting 26% coming into last night if you remove non D1 games - compared to 35% last year. Fonzo is shooting 32% from 3. The problem isn't just the %'s. In spite of cold shooting, Brito took 11 shots last night and 6 3's, many early in the shot clock, semi-contested.

3. Injuries - Queta is the biggest, but Sam and Justin Bean are battling ankle issues. Sam just can't create off the dribble like he could last year. Teams philosophies against USU haven't changed from last year. Stop Sam. Difference between last year and this year is that Sam can't make magic like he could last year, and his outlets aren't knocking down shots like they were last year.

I hate to be doom and gloom but I wouldn't worry so much about the conference record from here on out. Priority #1 needs to be getting Sam, Neemi, and Bean as healthy as possible by year end. I echo the general consensus on Bairstow. As long as Brito is shooting at the volume and % that he is, there's no reason to play him 25 minutes a game.
I think you sit Sam until he is better, I do not believed he scored in the second half so it will not be that big a deal until he can return. They are not playing that hard until that changes we will have trouble.



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