• Final Analysis is spot on regarding our defense. I think we either show vast improvement or struggle based on our commitment to the defensive side of the ball. We'll just have to wait and see.


    Agree, if they, especially Ponds & LoVett, don't improve dramatically defensively, there will be no "dancing" in my opinion. The continued inability to stop penetration will just put too much pressure on the interior guys, where depth is lacking. In that case, going to the NIT with 17 wins seems reasonable. Improve the defense substantially, get lucky on the injury front & making the NCAA T seems feasible.


    Agree Paultz. Commitment, effort, and technique obviously the foundation, many or all of which were lacking at so many times last year, and difficult to get much traction without improvement in those regards. That said three reasons I'm cautiously optimistic:

    1. Positive impact that the addition of stronger defenders (Simon/Clark) can have in pushing rest of team.

    2. Potential for there to be a genuine defensive lineup without completely giving everything away on the offensive end, which was not really an option last year. Owens, Clark, Ahmed (a better defender than he generally gets credit for), and Simon is a group unlikely to get overwhelmed defensively as we too often did last year. You add Ponds as a 5th, not a strong on-ball defender last year, but when engaged was extremely effective in the team concept (home Marq, SHU, and GTown as key examples, doubling bigs and disruptive in passing lanes), and you have a group that has potential to be defensive-oriented but can still score. See what Trimble may have to offer here as well.

    3. It was there in a big way enough times last year to at least offer hope for improvement with added year of experience. Home Butler, Marq, Seton Hall, and GTown 2x (including BET). It wasn't there a lot more times than that, so goes back to consistency in foundational respects.


    I also think the addition of Simon and Clark can have an impact on the other guys becoming better defenders. They both seem to be leaders on this team and everybody else respects them. Other guys seeing Clark and Simon giving all out effort can rub off quickly.
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