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TOPIC: Do we really need a center?

Do we really need a center? 2 months 6 days ago #288245

  • JackofVirginia
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NCJohnnie wrote: Logen wrote: You can win small, you can win big; it is about players, not size. Does a tall player who can play have certain advantages, certainly. My favorite team of all time, the NY Knicks of 1969-1970 -

Starting 5 -
Willis Reed 6'9''
Dave Debusschere 6'6''
Bill Bradley 6'5'
Walt Frazier 6'4'''
Dick Barnett 6'4''

Principal reserves
Cazzie Russell 6'5''
Mike Riordan 6'4''
Dave Stallworth 6'7''

Other reserves (got some court time)
Nate Bowman 6'10''
Don May 6'4''

Very small team by any standard - league with Chamberlain, Jabbar to throw out a couple of names. Height is a good thing, not arguing it isn't, but having players who can play and play as a team is much more important. There are others, Cowens' Celtic teams were small with forwards who couldn't jump but could rebound just to name another. The first UCLA championship team with Walt Hazzard was very small if I remember right. Aging myself with the teams I reference but there it is...................................

Logen, that 1969-1970 Knick team is also my favorite team of all time. In fact, the only other sports team that comes close to SJU in terms of my allegiance over the years is the Knicks. It's probably been harder being a Knick fan than a Johnnie for the past 18 or so years, but neither has been great. I have fond memories of watching the Knicks - Bullets playoff series that year on cable TV in a bar on the East side of NYC just over the 59th street bridge from Queens as an underage 17 year old.

In terms of the whole do you need a center argument though I'd say this. Willis Reed was 6'9 and 235 lbs and while he was undersized in comparison to Wilt & Kareem (everyone was), he was a center by position all through college and the pros and comparable in size to the Knicks two biggest Eastern Conference rival centers during his best years , Russell/Cowens for the Celts and Wes Unseld for the Bullets. Reed played 38 mpg that year and Nate Bowman another 6'10 natural center played 9 mpg - in other words, you had natural centers playing virtually the whole game. Of course those were the days where you had classic position players C, PF, SF, SG & PG, which is not as much the case these days. However, while I agree small ball can work in the college game, I think of small ball as 4 wings/guards and a legitimate big (such as Keita). I just am not aware of any recent examples of successful college teams comprised of only wings and guards. Maybe I am mistaken and not trying to be argumentative.






No doubt my favorite Knick team also. Was fortunate to attend the Bullet series only because one of the teacher's aunt was secretary to Ned Irish, President of the N.Y. Knicks.l. We were fortunate to sit at half court in the second row. No way was I going to leave this seat for a hot dog. Also watched the fantastic fast breaks as Frazier hit Bradley who bounced pass the ball to Barnett. Don't see that today in the NBA. One of my students invited me to attend the Milwaukee Bucks playoffs at the Garden. His father worked at the Daily News and had tickets in the front row in the end arena, watched Jabbar throw in many hook shots but we still won.
s aunts
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Do we really need a center? 2 months 6 days ago #288254

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Do we need one? Maybe, maybe not. We have one though in Sedee Keita who is 6’9-6’10”and 240 or so. We don’t have a backup but we are far from a small lineup overall: I think we will be more than fine if we team-rebound well enough. Our game will be different though and more like Golden State. Lots of scoring and running.

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Do we really need a center? 2 months 5 days ago #288280

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MCNPA wrote: Do we need one? Maybe, maybe not. We have one though in Sedee Keita who is 6’9-6’10”and 240 or so. We don’t have a backup but we are far from a small lineup overall: I think we will be more than fine if we team-rebound well enough. Our game will be different though and more like Golden State. Lots of scoring and running.


We're also a strong team. Guys like Clark, Heron and Simon are not going to get pushed around.
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Do we really need a center? 2 months 5 days ago #288281

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Yes, we can win without a huge center.Think we could even win with four guards if a center is big an mobile and can run and do what he is suppose to do rebound,But many big centers if not super talented become a liability Feel we are pushing the center narrative when I think it will not be an issue for us. BUT THIS WE WILL NOT KNOWN UNTIL THE SEASON STARTS

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Do we really need a center? 2 months 5 days ago #288282

  • Mike Zaun
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Keita won't be pushed around either. This is one thing that will be a nice change this season...we won't have stick figures anymore. I grew very tired seeing our guys getting out-muscled and guys getting easy buckets at will if the opponent had a big man with a pulse.

Paultz, this would be a great time to update us on Heron's eligibility and have the thread derailed :cheer:

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Do we really need a center? 2 months 5 days ago #288283

  • JohnnyFan
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I do love the optimistic nature of many fans.

To review, we suffered a full season of getting whipped on the boards and identified the issue as a major problem. Then, as we again enter the season with just one BE-ready big man, we have a thread with several posters declaring there is no need for a center.

As mentioned, I do think Heron can mitigate the roster flaw, but the idea that bigs are a "nice to have" and not a need is ludicrous.
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Do we really need a center? 2 months 5 days ago #288285

  • Chicago Days
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JohnnyFan wrote: I do love the optimistic nature of many fans.

To review, we suffered a full season of getting whipped on the boards and identify the issue as a major problem. Then, as we again enter the season with just one BE-ready big man, we have a thread with several posters declaring there is no need for a center.

As mentioned, I do think Heron can mitigate the roster flaw, but the idea that bigs are a "nice to have" and not a need is ludicrous.


I’m as frustrated as anybody that, for whatever reasons, we haven’t been able to recruit BEC-quality ‘big’ depth.
But it is ironic that in Keita, we have 1 more ‘center’ than we had last year.
Neither Owens nor Clark played down low.
While I concede it would be ‘ideal’ to have one more ‘big’ on the roster, I posit that with Keita plus the infusion of 2 very talented guard/wings in Figgy and Heron to supplement Ponds, Simon, Dixon, Clark, we have the nucleus of offensive and defensive schemes that will hopefully ‘neutralize’ the need of that one more ‘big’.
Let’s go Johnnies.
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Do we really need a center? 2 months 5 days ago #288289

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We all want everything. Sometimes you don't get it all in life. It would be nice to have Walton backed up by Swen Nater but alas it didn't happen. Last years team struggled rebounding, coming in ninth in the Big East. The team also was the ninth worst three point shooting team and the ninth worst shooting team in total. As much as the rebounding drove many of you nuts, I couldn't believe the shooting. We missed a ton of open threes and lost one of the guys who hit them in Bashir.

The guards we recruited might not help much with the rebounding and it might stay a weakness. They need to move the other numbers enough to make up for it. If not we will be in trouble, but I also think we would be in trouble if we improved our rebounding and didn't move the needle on scorers. Georgetown was second in the Big East in rebounding, DePaul fourth. Both teams stunk anyway. Villanova was seventh in rebounding in the Big East. They also were second in field goal percentage and first in three point percentage. They did pretty good despite their areas of weakness.

We were a bad team for a lot of reasons, not one reason. Expecting everything to improve at once seems very ambitous to me. Improve where we can this year and improve what matters most, wins versus losses. I keep looking at the prospective roster and seeing significant improvement.

I recognize weakneses will remain but do not think optimism is unrealistic.
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Do we really need a center? 2 months 5 days ago #288292

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Western Kentucky just landed a 5-star big man for the second year in a row. Discuss.:lol:

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Do we really need a center? 2 months 5 days ago #288293

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L J S A wrote: Western Kentucky just landed a 5-star big man for the second year in a row. Discuss.:lol:


Very simple - Stansbury is a terrific recruiter

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