26.Nov.2014 Auburn @ Oregon State

Here is JackBeav’s writeup for the game. 6pm tip on ESPN3

Auburn is in much the same situation OSU is in. Bruce Pearl is in his first year as the head man of a team who returns little experience and was just a middling team last year. They also do not show well away from home. I’ve not been a big fan of Pearl the person since he went and lied about Deon Thomas.
http://deadspin.com/5784437/bruce-pearls-first-con-and-the-world-that-created-a-monster
Because of that, Pearl the coach is a very good recruiter. But he’s also a decent hoops coach. So he’s like Lane Kiffin with some occupational skill. Still, I don’t like him.

But enough about him.

Auburn has some skill on the team. KT Harrell is the player to watch in the back court. He doesn’t have a great handle or play good defense. But he can score. He’s a shooter who can’t be left open on the perimeter. And it’s not like he has been proficient from the floor. He’s a volume scorer, and volume scorers can go from 40% shooting to 60% shooting on any given night. Tulsa did a nice job moving him from his perimeter spots, resulting in a 14% night on Monday. OSU is strong against perimeter ball as well. So this does play to our favor.

JUCO transfer Cinmeon Bowers is the steadiest presence on the team. He is a consistent 15/15 player who eats up space and has a soft touch. His feet are surprisingly nifty for being the size of Joe Burton. He will likely get his no matter what the score is.

Jordon Granger is the glue guy at the swing. He has some length and all around game. He’s not called upon for much offense, but he will step outside from time to time.

KC Ross-Miller is the same kid we saw at NMSU. He’s the facilitator of the group who can work against mid-range defenders and get to the line, where he doesn’t miss. His scoring within is timely. But if Auburn is dependent on him for points, OSU will be doing something right. Or if he gets in foul trouble early and faces early pressure D, he can be completely ineffective.

And Jarmal Reid’s high school teammate Tajh Shamsid-Deen will round out the starting five. He’s a diminutive handle who can score in bunches but really hasn’t had a bunch yet. He’ll provide some on-ball pressure, and he will take a lot of shots that remind you he’s still a sophomore. But you will see some athleticism from the kid.

Pearl plays nine in his rotation with two frosh swings in TJ Lang and Aussie Jack Purchase getting about twice the minutes that junior guard Devin Waddell plays. But so far this year senior guard Malcolm Canada is the only player with any real system contribution. Canada is like Ross-Miller in his style of play, but he is a rather stout individual for a guard. If all goes well for OSU tonight, expect to see him on the floor a lot.

The Beavs just had a plain bad shooting night on Monday. But even that doesn’t come close to how poorly Auburn shot the ball. I expect both teams to shoot better tonight. But Auburn could should four times better from the perimeter than they did on Monday, and still it could be called a poor shooting night. With the thin experience and Pearl liking to get out and run, Auburn can find themselves really thin and winded in the second half, expecially if some of their lead guards are forced to play some D. I don’t expect the unexpected freak show of the Auburn offense growing up in one game. This one should be a Beav win somewhere in the range of 70-55.

24.Nov.2014 Oregon State @ Oklahoma State

5:30 tip.

JackBeav with an excellent writeup.

Oklahoma State (oSu) will remind you a lot of Nikegon. Travis Ford is an excellent coach, and he is now putting together a bunch of frosh, JUCOs and transfers in order to keep his system running. Gone are Smart and Brown. That’s the good news. But there remains a good core for Ford to work with while keeping his aggressive offense going.

While Smart was there, nobody outside Stillwater talked about his old high school teammate, Phil Forte III. He’s a diminutive PG who I think is a better perimeter defender than Smart but never got to defend the handle because Smart was on the floor. But now he’s showing some great on-ball defensive skills outside. But Forte has also managed to score in double figures for the whole of his career. And his shot selection has improved with experience. He’s a savvy handle who can break down lanes and get to the line. He’s not a great facilitator, but he does manage the game well.

Le’Bryan Nash is the scoring heir now that Smart is gone. He’s a long 6’7″ swing who can hit from outside or bang down low. He also has a knack for getting to the line. And he shoots well from there. He will likely be the most trouble for the Beavs tonight because of his versatility.

Michael Cobbins is the returning big of the group. He doesn’t have any special hands or feet. But he is a physical defender and doesn’t make many mistakes on the offensive end. He can score on put-backs against zones, but he is the glue guy in the post for this team.

Leyton Hammonds is the other returnee of note, but he will be out with a sprained ankle.

Hammonds would be the trey shooter on this team, but expect frosh Jeffrey Carroll to step into that role. He’s a rangy swing who will probably remind you of our own Mr. Robbins.

While Cobbins is the glue guy, oSu does have a 7’0″ JUCO transfer in the form of Anthony Allen Jr. He’s not the best looking kid, and he looks like he has a mean streak. But he can be skilled when disciplined. And he can eat up the defensive glass.

And an LSU transfer, Anthony Hickey Jr., is another diminutive guard who seems to be content as the facilitator in the back court. But he can be called upon to make some timely shots.

Beyond that, expect to see another rangy frosh swing in Tavarius Shine (cool name) and a plodding frosh big in Mitchell Solomon.

Ford plays a tough, aggressive defense which varies between man and zone depending on match-ups and game flow. It’s not terribly effective as a defense in itself so much as it’s a part of an aggressive offensive mind-set. The Pokes will get out and run if you let them do so.

The offense is a varied motion with either the double post set or an overload with a ton of flex screens. Most of the offense is predicated on getting Nash and Forte open looks or in advantageous positions where they can draw fouls and get to the line. But, as with any motion, there are second and third options when the first breaks down. It will be key for the Beavs to shut down passing lanes first then key in on individual defenses. If the offense can’t get to Nash and Forte, the offense can’t go through Nash and Forte.

It may be advantageous that Tinkle’s era has only just begun in that Ford won’t know how to attack the amoeba, if that’s the way the Beavs defend. But I doubt it. Ford is a good coach. It would be more likely his team simply is too new together and might make mistakes in our favor. But with a decent core, that’s not likely either.

The Beavs will just have to make shots in this one. If we’re not 75+, then we will have had to play a monumental defensive game to show a W at the end of the night.

22.Nov.2014 Oregon State @ Washington (Game Thread)

Yawn.

Maybe Riley figures out a way to use Chris Brown now, since he didn’t know how to use three backs (simply saying “go on the field, Chris Brown” was too difficult for Riley, apparently). And this is his last chance at a bowl, though I don’t think Riley will coach the entire contract so that’s meaningless in terms of extension. Can Mannion fool scouts and raise his draft stock vs a so so defense? These might be the only intriguing reasons to tune in.

31-23 Washington

21.Nov.2014 Oral Roberts Write Up

JackBeav did nice work here.

Oral Roberts is good as a team. But they’re small. They play with four guards most of the time and try to force the pace. Because of their size, they will play a match-up zone for most of the game. If you see them in man, expect it to drop into zone. They’re led by Billbury and Emegano. Billbury isn’t a threat from the floor. Emegano is. They have one kid who takes nothing but treys, Webber, but he doesn’t make a lot. And they have another who is a pretty decent scorer, Word. They aren’t awesome in face-up D, but they help well. And they will gather at the rim and use their athleticism to block shots on dribble drives. They will do a nice job preventing post entry most of the time. But once it’s in the post they are pretty weak. Because of that they have a tendency to collapse with the ball. They’re set up to defend dribble entry and motion offenses. They are not set up well to defend high post swings or high-low games.

Contain Emegano and keep both him and Billbury off the glass and off the line, and make some perimeter shots. That’s about all you have to do to shut them down. Easier said than done depending on how the refs call the game. And by “contain” I mean don’t be scared if he gets his points. But there will be times he needs to be shut out in order for us to control the pace.

Billbury and Emegano get a ton of ticky-tack calls. But the team does not box out well on the defensive end… probably because they play a zone where they’re chasing the ball the whole time. They have one plodding big in Owens. He’s a big boy with decent hands and terrible feet. But he can eat up space. the other “bigs” will be Henderson, Conley and Wilson. All of them are a physical 6’5-6″ at about 230 pounds by the looks of them. They like to push above the waist a lot when clearing the blocks. While Conley has the best hands and feet of any of them and the better ability to score, all three have five fouls to give. And they will give them if we challenge them in the post or dribble entry.

I’m not a fan of Coach Sutton’s playing on the refs’ instead of playing the game. He’ll play hack-the-bigs and cry for his guards to get to the line. It’s a gameplan I guess.

It will be important for us to play inside out tonight. We don’t have to score inside, but we need to establish a presence, make their defense collapse and kick it out. It will also be important to gather their post fouls early while our bigs don’t have to shoot free throws after every cross check. Their defense will sag until we can show we can hit the trey. And when we do, their guards will go all matador, another reason all their bigs are hack machines.

While I don’t like their style, they do play well with each other and work the system well. What I described above would be easy pickings for a good team. Beating them is a matter of playing well. But I see a tendency for us to get hurried and impatient early in the second half, both in transition and in the half court. The adjustments are there. But it’s almost as if our guys see how the game opens up for them, and they get too excited. It’s almost always at about the 13 minute mark before we settle down and start working again.

20.Nov.2014 Oregon State @ Washington

No analysis for meaningless games, as our time is better spent elsewhere.

I like the Huskies in this one. Something like 31-23 seems about right.

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