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TOPIC: Do we really need a center?

Do we really need a center? 1 week 4 days ago #288025

  • redken
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Rebounds aside, without size at the 5 spot (in addition to the untested Keita), I'm concerned that opponents' big men with offensive skills are (once again) going to abuse us at will.
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Do we really need a center? 1 week 4 days ago #288029

  • Chicago Days
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redken wrote: Rebounds aside, without size at the 5 spot (in addition to the untested Keita), I'm concerned that opponents' big men with offensive skills are (once again) going to abuse us at will.


All valid concerns. No one knows how it will go down.
But if the ‘big’ concern is that our lack of depth in the paint will burn us at times, what about the opposite metric of a lineup filled with stud guards / wings and a couple ‘bigs’ (Keita, Clark) as a surprising and mostly unbeatable counter attack?
Perhaps the likes of Ponds, Simon. Heron, Figueroa, Dixon...Clark, Keita...will ‘abuse’ conventionally constructed teams?
Let the games begin.
And let’s go Johnnies.
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Do we really need a center? 1 week 4 days ago #288033

  • Mike Zaun
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I think we still do...with Heron we are probably looking at a likely NCAA berth and possibly cracking the top 25 at some point but maybe not staying in it. If we had a real legitimate big like a Spellman, I honestly think we could be a top 15 team and be a darkhorse Elite 8 type team. We don't need one to make the tourney, but we will likely be 1 and done without one.

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Do we really need a center? 1 week 4 days ago #288035

  • Amaseinyourface
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With the guards and wings we have I don’t think we need a center on the court for the majority of the game. But we definitely need to have the option of playing a center. Hopefully Keita is that for 20 or so minutes a game but I honestly have no expectations for him other than not getting pushed around. If he can set screens, box out, and catch passes then he’ll be everything we need.
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Do we really need a center? 1 week 4 days ago #288037

  • redmanwest
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I have heard we will be pleasantly surprised by Keita. Hope that's true.
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Do we really need a center? 1 week 4 days ago #288052

  • Chicago Days
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Amaseinyourface wrote: With the guards and wings we have I don’t think we need a center on the court for the majority of the game. But we definitely need to have the option of playing a center. Hopefully Keita is that for 20 or so minutes a game but I honestly have no expectations for him other than not getting pushed around. If he can set screens, box out, and catch passes then he’ll be everything we need.


With Heron, that's exactly my view, Amasein.
Obviously, we'll need some presence in the post and Keita is key to that.
But reducing our -5.9 / game rebounding gap that effectively wiped out our +4.3 turnover advantage is critical to the season and can be accomplished with Ponds, Simon, Heron, Clark, Figueroa, Keita, Dixon wreaking havoc on our opponents all over the court.
I'm hoping our very athletic guards & wings will be in position around the hoop to help out on rebounds.
Let the games begin.

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Last edit: by Chicago Days.

Do we really need a center? 1 week 4 days ago #288055

  • JackofVirginia
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L J S A wrote:

NCJohnnie wrote: It's kind of funny, a month ago this board was pretty concerned about the lack of a second big; now all of a sudden we are questioning whether we need even one big to be an NCAA team. Call me the remaining skeptic, but I am a great believer in numbers and the past being predictive of the future. I don't believe there was even one team that finished in the upper half of a power 5 conference or made the sweet 16 last year that didn't have at least one player 6'9 or taller who played very significant minutes. I know people bring up the 2009 Nova final four team, but that was nearly ten years ago and is the only example I've seen cited.
Yes, guards can rebound, but bigs are also important as low post defenders against other talented bigs which most of our opponents will have and also as rim protectors.

Again, I agree we have an excellent team with Heron and a very good team without him that can challenge for a NCAA berth if it stays healthy. But also believe we need Keita to play a significant role on that team for it to be successful. Very excited about next year, but I don't discount Keita's important role.


We'll go back to lamenting the lack of a big if Heron is ineligible. But I think the excitement of possibly adding a super talented guard who can rebound and play D helped allay fears.

I think Clark starts at the 5, but he may be our fourth best rebounder, maybe fifth best if Figgy is aggressive. I'm not an expert with the X's and O's but on offense, he can pull the other team's big away from the basket, and on missed shots, the staff could have guys not named Clark crash the boards while Marvin impersonates a small guard and starts sprinting down court to assume a defensive position. Home run passes by the other team may kill us, but I think we could be disruptive enough to ruin a lot of teams' nights. We shall see. . .




Glad you mentioned crashing the boards .Much of the time I can't remember anyone including Owens staying around for an offensive rebound. One of my complaints last year.
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Do we really need a center? 1 week 4 days ago #288062

  • richard A Steinfeld
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Besides Herons skill , he is 6 5 and strong. Will also have size w LJ and Simon. Its also possible Simon could be a good PF ,like Dom. W/O Heron we have to depend on Dixon much more ,which hampers our overall size.
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Do we really need a center? 1 week 4 days ago #288065

  • Chicago Days
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Mike Zaun wrote: I think we still do...with Heron we are probably looking at a likely NCAA berth and possibly cracking the top 25 at some point but maybe not staying in it. If we had a real legitimate big like a Spellman, I honestly think we could be a top 15 team and be a darkhorse Elite 8 type team. We don't need one to make the tourney, but we will likely be 1 and done without one.


It's a great argument to have between us starved-Johnnie fans, but I'd be stunned if we're just 1 & done with Heron.
I think we'll make the Sweet 16 with Mustapha...and when i get truly panglossian, I think more...

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Do we really need a center? 1 week 4 days ago #288068

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Last year was a very tough year, for the coulda woulda shoulda of it.
We had the 3rd fewest points scored of all Big East teams (full year stats), the third fewest # FGs attempted and tied for the worst FG efficiency rate at 43%, with DePaul.
We led the conference with the most steals and blocks per game, 8.5 and 5.2, and had the best positive TO margin at +4.3, but we were worst in a negative rebounding margin gap at -5.9, and worst in assists per game at 12.8, and ranked 4th worst in FT % efficiency.
The additions of Heron, Figueroa and Dixon to help Ponds and Simon and Clark--along with Keita's presence-- should not be discounted imo,
With Heron, i'm looking for a transformation in game dynamics.
Can't wait.

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