More News on Sam Merrill

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More News on Sam Merrill

Post by aggies22 » June 29th, 2020, 10:10 am

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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by hipsterdoofus21 » June 29th, 2020, 12:01 pm

All these analysts who think Sam is a bad defender are just simply racial profiling as well as game profiling. The white shooting guard is never seen as a legit defensive player so by default Sam falls into that category. The guy played against the opponents best player just about every game and was much more than "serviceable". Just because you're not getting swats or steals it doesn't mean you're not defending well. I'd bet he ranked pretty high in drawing charges.
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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by aggies95 » June 29th, 2020, 12:16 pm

Scouts definitely need to pay attention to the defensive side of the ball more. I remembered Sam mentioning his defensive capabilities at the CP3 camp he attended:

https://www.hjnews.com/sports/usu/merri ... 73df1.html

What makes Sam so good on the defensive end is his anticipation, awareness, footwork, and understanding angles. He knows where he has help, he doesn't give the offense any advantages (by poor footwork or taking bad lines) and he makes up for his athletic limitations by beating guys to spots. Great offense > great defense most of the time, but Sam will hold his own on defense in the NBA.
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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by Real Life Aggie » June 29th, 2020, 1:38 pm

Well, he's either "sneaky athletic" or poor defensively. There is no middle ground.
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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by Gretsch » June 29th, 2020, 6:30 pm

Its so odd to me that Sam is considered somewhat of a liability on defense when he spend 3 years playing 35 min a game usually defending the other teams best shooter. I'm not a scout but he never seemed like a defensive liability to me.

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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by I am an Aggie Man » June 29th, 2020, 8:35 pm

Gretsch wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 6:30 pm
Its so odd to me that Sam is considered somewhat of a liability on defense when he spend 3 years playing 35 min a game usually defending the other teams best shooter. I'm not a scout but he never seemed like a defensive liability to me.

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I haven't seen one person/scout/draft analyst say Merrill was bad on defense in college. The narrative on defense for Merrill is all about translating that defense to the NBA. I know we all love saying that Merrill guarded the best player on the opposing team, but I don't think it needs to be explained how guarding the Mountain West's best scorers and guarding NBA guards/wings is vastly different. Merrill's a smart defender, which means he could become a neutral defender instead of a negative if things go the right way, but we can't be kidding ourselves about what will clearly be his biggest weakness at the next level.



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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by Yossarian » June 29th, 2020, 8:38 pm

Is Merrill more or less athletic than Joe Ingles? Ingles is widely considered to be a good defender, is he not? He had 2 or 3 inches on Merrill, but could Merrill not defend as well as Ingles?



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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by Gretsch » June 29th, 2020, 8:42 pm

I am an Aggie Man wrote:
Gretsch wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 6:30 pm
Its so odd to me that Sam is considered somewhat of a liability on defense when he spend 3 years playing 35 min a game usually defending the other teams best shooter. I'm not a scout but he never seemed like a defensive liability to me.

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I haven't seen one person/scout/draft analyst say Merrill was bad on defense in college. The narrative on defense for Merrill is all about translating that defense to the NBA. I know we all love saying that Merrill guarded the best player on the opposing team, but I don't think it needs to be explained how guarding the Mountain West's best scorers and guarding NBA guards/wings is vastly different. Merrill's a smart defender, which means he could become a neutral defender instead of a negative if things go the right way, but we can't be kidding ourselves about what will clearly be his biggest weakness at the next level.
While there definitely is a difference in guarding a MWC caliber player vs an NBA caliber player there is also a big difference in guarding a teams best shooter for 35 min and still having gas in the tank to lead the team in pts. I would bet he is closer to neutral defensively when he has less of a load on his shoulders. But, again, I'm not a scout and dont watch much NBA.

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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by I am an Aggie Man » June 29th, 2020, 9:14 pm

Yossarian wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:38 pm
Is Merrill more or less athletic than Joe Ingles? Ingles is widely considered to be a good defender, is he not? He had 2 or 3 inches on Merrill, but could Merrill not defend as well as Ingles?
This is probably the best argument for Merrill's potential to be a plus defender IMO and I like the comparison. But there are several differences that are small but add up and make me less likely to think Merrill can be an Ingles-esque defender. Firstly, the 2-3 inches of height, plus Ingles' 6-10 wingspan which is pretty solid for any guard/forward (Side note: does anyone know Merrill's wingspan?). Secondly, Ingles has a full 20 pounds on Merrill. And finally, I'm not thrilled that Merrill's athleticism can be rightly compared to a nonathletic SF/PF who is several inches taller and 20 pounds heavier.



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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by WillCut72 » June 29th, 2020, 10:17 pm

Advanced stats wise he was an above-average college defender in his last two years. 96.3 DRtg, 2 Def. Win Shares, 2.4 Def. BPM his senior year. IIRC he was the primary defender on Flynn in the championship game and held him to a 78 ORtg, way below his season average of 124.5. Not great steals stats but definitely not a defensive liability at the college level.
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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by 3rdGenAggie » June 30th, 2020, 9:15 am

My thought is that Merrill won't be a fantastic NBA defender, but will likely be good enough for his role. Merrill won't be asked to defend the Russell Westbrooks and Ja Morants of the world. More likely, he'll be defending bench guards/wings for 10-15 minutes a night. It'll be a lot easier to defend that type of player using positioning, anticipation, etc. than the starting guards and wings in the league.


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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by gomretat » June 30th, 2020, 9:23 am

I am an Aggie Man wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:35 pm
Gretsch wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 6:30 pm
Its so odd to me that Sam is considered somewhat of a liability on defense when he spend 3 years playing 35 min a game usually defending the other teams best shooter. I'm not a scout but he never seemed like a defensive liability to me.

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I haven't seen one person/scout/draft analyst say Merrill was bad on defense in college. The narrative on defense for Merrill is all about translating that defense to the NBA. I know we all love saying that Merrill guarded the best player on the opposing team, but I don't think it needs to be explained how guarding the Mountain West's best scorers and guarding NBA guards/wings is vastly different. Merrill's a smart defender, which means he could become a neutral defender instead of a negative if things go the right way, but we can't be kidding ourselves about what will clearly be his biggest weakness at the next level.
Well said. I would add that the players Sam will guard in the NBA are the best athletes in the world. The big PG's and the wings are arguably the best of the best in terms of athleticism.
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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by nvspuds » June 30th, 2020, 11:26 am

There are guys in the NBA who aren't good defenders. There are guys who aren't all that athletic. It just depends what teams are looking for. In Merrill's case, he is a tremendous shooter. He can put the ball on the court and get his own shot. He is a willing passer. He is an absolute dead eye from the free throw line and will even get some rebounds.

Those are all valuable assets. It is ridiculously hard to get drafted in the NBA because there are more potential NBA level talents than there are draft slots. But it only takes one team to value Merrill enough to take him.

I look at Jalen Harris. He is as tall as Merrill, shoots very well at all three levels and is athletic as all get out. He is 2 or 3 years younger than Merrill and is a point guard. I am not seeing anybody anywhere who thinks he will get drafted. It is really really really hard to get into the NBA and even harder to stay.

I would not say it reflects poorly on either guy if they don't get drafted.
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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by treesap32 » June 30th, 2020, 2:02 pm

I don't expect Sam to get drafted, but would be ecstatic if he did get the phone call during the draft.

He'll have a decent shot in summer leagues and may be a good candidate for a 2-way player.
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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by mcaggie1 » June 30th, 2020, 5:26 pm

There once was a supposed "non-athletic" guard who was a good shooter, smart....and tough as nails. His name is John Stockton. Now I don't know if Sam's body can take the beating that Stockton put himself through each night, but I think he can. He is smart, studies his opponent, leaves it out on the court each night, and anticipates very well.

I think that he will be drafted late, but could be a "steal" for some team who wants a great shooter with kind of a "Rudy" attitude, and a much better defender than they think.



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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by Yossarian » June 30th, 2020, 5:35 pm

I don't watch a lot of NBA basketball but when I do, I don't see the John Stockton type players anymore. The old-school "tough as nails" type of guys seem to be thing of the past. The game is less physical now and is more spread out and one-on-one isolation type of play with a lot of three point shooting. Sam can do both of these things well but he isn't going to break anyone down on the dribble and isn't going to beat anyone to the basket at the NBA level. He does provide value as a guy that can shoot with good range - but he might even be a little short for that type of player. Guys like Ingles and Korver are several inches taller and can shoot over guys a little easier. I don't know what the future holds for Merrill - I hope he gets a chance and makes the most of it. There just aren't a lot of guys in the NBA that look like him. Like nvspuds said, there are a lot of very good ballplayers that never make it to the NBA.
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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by mcaggie1 » July 1st, 2020, 3:32 pm

Yossarian wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 5:35 pm
I don't watch a lot of NBA basketball but when I do, I don't see the John Stockton type players anymore. The old-school "tough as nails" type of guys seem to be thing of the past. The game is less physical now and is more spread out and one-on-one isolation type of play with a lot of three point shooting. Sam can do both of these things well but he isn't going to break anyone down on the dribble and isn't going to beat anyone to the basket at the NBA level. He does provide value as a guy that can shoot with good range - but he might even be a little short for that type of player. Guys like Ingles and Korver are several inches taller and can shoot over guys a little easier. I don't know what the future holds for Merrill - I hope he gets a chance and makes the most of it. There just aren't a lot of guys in the NBA that look like him. Like nvspuds said, there are a lot of very good ballplayers that never make it to the NBA.
Whatever. You are probably right to some extent, but there are still players like Stockton here and there (the Milsaps of the world) who fit a niche and help a team. If a GM of some team thinks a guy like That can help...he very possibly can.



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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by FeartheFro » July 1st, 2020, 6:27 pm

Please tell me that no one on this thread is suggesting that John Stockton would not play in the NBA today.


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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by Real Life Aggie » July 1st, 2020, 6:40 pm

I love Sam. But John Stockton he is not.



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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by Yossarian » July 1st, 2020, 6:49 pm

FeartheFro wrote:
July 1st, 2020, 6:27 pm
Please tell me that no one on this thread is suggesting that John Stockton would not play in the NBA today.


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I don't see that anyone has said that.



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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by FeartheFro » July 1st, 2020, 6:54 pm

Thanks. Just saw the line about not seeing the John Stockton type players in the NBA anymore.


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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by slcagg » July 1st, 2020, 7:17 pm

mcaggie1 wrote:
July 1st, 2020, 3:32 pm
Yossarian wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 5:35 pm
I don't watch a lot of NBA basketball but when I do, I don't see the John Stockton type players anymore. The old-school "tough as nails" type of guys seem to be thing of the past. The game is less physical now and is more spread out and one-on-one isolation type of play with a lot of three point shooting. Sam can do both of these things well but he isn't going to break anyone down on the dribble and isn't going to beat anyone to the basket at the NBA level. He does provide value as a guy that can shoot with good range - but he might even be a little short for that type of player. Guys like Ingles and Korver are several inches taller and can shoot over guys a little easier. I don't know what the future holds for Merrill - I hope he gets a chance and makes the most of it. There just aren't a lot of guys in the NBA that look like him. Like nvspuds said, there are a lot of very good ballplayers that never make it to the NBA.
Whatever. You are probably right to some extent, but there are still players like Stockton here and there (the Milsaps of the world) who fit a niche and help a team. If a GM of some team thinks a guy like That can help...he very possibly can.
John Stockton fit a niche? Is that why he was able to stick in the league?



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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by FloridaAggie13 » July 1st, 2020, 7:28 pm

Stockton was also lightning quick during his prime. Either Michael Jordan or Charles Barkley said no one could keep up with him during the tryouts for the 1984 Olympic team.



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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by Aggie in Boise » July 1st, 2020, 8:04 pm

Real Life Aggie wrote:
July 1st, 2020, 6:40 pm
I love Sam. But John Stockton he is not.
I would say that his style of play is closer to that of Jeff Hornacek.



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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by OKAggie » July 1st, 2020, 10:05 pm

There were vanishingly few John Stockton-type players when John Stockton was in the NBA.


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Re: More News on Sam Merrill

Post by Real Life Aggie » July 2nd, 2020, 9:05 am

OKAggie wrote:
July 1st, 2020, 10:05 pm
There were vanishingly few John Stockton-type players when John Stockton was in the NBA.
He's the all time leader in assists and steals by huge margins. I should say there were vanishingly few players like him in the NBA, lol.
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