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TOPIC: Do we really need a center?

Do we really need a center? 4 months 1 week ago #288000

  • JackofVirginia
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After reading an article about the NBA this morning it made me think how the Cavs, Celtics, Rockets and the Warriors don't depend on a back to the basket center. We certainly have the athletes in - Ponds, Simon, Heron, Clark, Fiquroia, and Dixon. That doesn't mean I'm giving up on Keita as our center.
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Do we really need a center? 4 months 1 week ago #288001

  • NCJohnnie
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JackofVirginia wrote: After reading an article about the NBA this morning it made me think how the Cavs, Celtics, Rockets and the Warriors don't depend on a back to the basket center. We certainly have the athletes in - Ponds, Simon, Heron, Clark, Fiquroia, and Dixon. That doesn't mean I'm giving up on Keita as our center.

Jack, I agree that is true with the Warriors and Cavs. With Celtics, while Horford does much of his scoring from outside, he is 6'10 245 and gets more than 8 rebounds a game and is a capable shot blocker. As for Rockets, while they don't depend on Capela for a lot of scoring, he is also 6'10 and 240 gets 12 rebounds and more than 2 blocks per game and does most of his scoring inside. I think we will need significant minutes, rebounds and defense from Keita (whether he starts or not). Just my opinion.
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Do we really need a center? 4 months 1 week ago #288002

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I think we ranked 335th out of 351 Div1 college hoops teams last year. That is unacceptable.
That said, I do think the college game is changing and that rebounds—while absolutely essential to maintain the team’s pace and thwart the opponents pace and scoring are no longer the province of ‘bigs’, per se.
Big, quick, athletic guards and wings have transformed and are changing the college game.
There’s no reason why such guards cannot grab 6-8 rebounds, take smart shots, and engage in ‘help’ D tactics to keep the rebounding differential within bounds, and win games on their overall shooting, athleticism, and defensive intensity.
Obviously, we failed at that last year, but LoVett’s defection was the main reason for our FG attempts trailing other teams by 50 - 200 attempts primarily (Nova attempted >400 more shots), and our scoring was 3rd worst in the BEC, and tied for worst in FG scoring efficiency—along with the loss of an intensive man-man defensive asset.
I think 2018-19 will be a markedly different year—even without Heron (but far more so with him)—because we’ll have a flurry of big athletic guards and wings. And I think our scoring will be off the charts compared to last season and our rebounding should improve.
Let’s go Johnnies.
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Do we really need a center? 4 months 1 week ago #288005

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Chicago Days wrote: I think we ranked 335th out of 351 Div1 college hoops teams last year. That is unacceptable.
That said, I do think the college game is changing and that rebounds—while absolutely essential to maintain the team’s pace and thwart the opponents pace and scoring are no longer the province of ‘bigs’, per se.
Big, quick, athletic guards and wings have transformed and are changing the college game.
There’s no reason why such guards cannot grab 6-8 rebounds, take smart shots, and engage in ‘help’ D tactics to keep the rebounding differential within bounds, and win games on their overall shooting, athleticism, and defensive intensity.
Obviously, we failed at that last year, but LoVett’s defection was the main reason for our FG attempts trailing other teams by 50 - 200 attempts primarily (Nova attempted >400 more shots), and our scoring was 3rd worst in the BEC, and tied for worst in FG scoring efficiency—along with the loss of an intensive man-man defensive asset.
I think 2018-19 will be a markedly different year—even without Heron (but far more so with him)—because we’ll have a flurry of big athletic guards and wings. And I think our scoring will be off the charts compared to last season and our rebounding should improve.
Let’s go Johnnies.



And our run, shoot threes style of play should be attractive to recruits and exciting for we fans. Hope so.
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Do we really need a center? 4 months 1 week ago #288006

  • Mario DiMaria
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Rebounding is instinctive, desire and positioning. Owens is 6’11” and Ponds outrebounded him. If these kids bring the above aforementioned attributes to each games coupled with the type of run game they want to play, there should be no issue.
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Do we really need a center? 4 months 1 week ago #288007

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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.
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Last edit: by NCJohnnie.

Do we really need a center? 4 months 1 week ago #288010

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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.


Hi NCJohnnie.
In no way, do I question Keita's importance to the team. And yes, I wish we had at least 1 more BEC-ready 'big' for 2018-19. Call me greedy.
That said, i think the need for a second 'big' ready-to-play meaningful minutes is sharply reduced IF Heron plays in 2018-19.
Because imo, he dramatically raises the skill level of an already deep and talented group of big guards and wings that are capable of changing the way the college game is played.
They will pass, shoot, drive, score a bunch and be intense on D...and I think and hope help more on the boards.
We shall see.
Let's go Johnnies.
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Do we really need a center? 4 months 1 week ago #288011

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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. . .
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Do we really need a center? 4 months 1 week ago #288017

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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.


I've compared the 2009 Nova team to our roster right now. there are many similarities. It's true that was ten years ago. That being said, at the end of the day, I think we are going to have to get something out of Josh Roberts at some point this season to alleviate the load on Keita.
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Do we really need a center? 4 months 1 week ago #288018

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LJSA 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. . .

LJSA, I agree that we can be very disruptive at times on defense. Also, if MH plays, I am fine with only one big. But I would add that Keita will have a crucial role, even if Clark starts and would also caution that the lineup that included Clark as starting center prior to BE play last year really beat no one of consequence (and included 6' 10 Owens playing significant minutes off the bench). This idea that a team of only guards & wings can thrive in a full BE season & NCAA tourney is a bit of a stretch imho.

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Last edit: by NCJohnnie.
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