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Old 04-28-2022, 09:55 AM   #241
skyblade
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I'm with whoever (sedzjobs maybe) said a while back that it's hard to really understand what Wes is trying to do.

We got worse at three point shooting, worse at penetrating, worse at shot selection and worse at playing above the rim. Ezikpe, Phinisee and Nolley combined last year for 9 dunks. It seems like Wes looked at the areas fans thought we had problems and said, those aren't issues I care about.

All three are good at passing (which may have been Wes's focus), two are upgrades on defense, one (Phinisee) is an upgrade at rebounding, one (Nolley) adds length/athleticism.

It may just be that it's hard to get transfers and you kind of have to take what you can get. Still there's quite a bit of reason for concern and if Phinisee/Ezikpe start I think we are in trouble. I'm sticking to hoping for the 5 relative unknowns (Vik, Ody, Hensley, Skillings and Reed) to be upgrades and Davenport to develop off the dribble. I imagine posting up is going to be hard this year given our lack of threats from 3 (unless one of the unknowns steps up).

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Old 04-28-2022, 10:29 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by skyblade View Post
I'm with whoever (sedzjobs maybe) said a while back that it's hard to really understand what Wes is trying to do.

We got worse at three point shooting, worse at penetrating, worse at shot selection and worse at playing above the rim. Ezikpe, Phinisee and Nolley combined last year for 9 dunks. It seems like Wes looked at the areas fans thought we had problems and said, those aren't issues I care about.

All three are good at passing (which may have been Wes's focus), two are upgrades on defense, one (Phinisee) is an upgrade at rebounding, one (Nolley) adds length/athleticism.

It may just be that it's hard to get transfers and you kind of have to take what you can get. Still there's quite a bit of reason for concern and if Phinisee/Ezikpe start I think we are in trouble. I'm sticking to hoping for the 5 relative unknowns (Vik, Ody, Hensley, Skillings and Reed) to be upgrades and Davenport to develop off the dribble. I imagine posting up is going to be hard this year given our lack of threats from 3 (unless one of the unknowns steps up).
I think you have to account for how Memphis was using Nolley almost as a post up 4 at times. He does not want to play the 4 because of how he was used and Memphis had some big time dunkers in their lineup giving him less chance to do so. I think we just got better at penetrating and Nolley can play above rim coming down hill rather than post up. 3 pointers not sure how we got worse. McGinnis didn't play. Mason was playing 10 mpg. Koval didn't take many. We gained a volume guy with respectable %.
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Old 04-28-2022, 10:33 AM   #243
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I think you have to account for how Memphis was using Nolley almost as a post up 4 at times. He does not want to play the 4 because of how he was used and Memphis had some big time dunkers in their lineup giving him less chance to do so. I think we just got better at penetrating and Nolley can play above rim coming down hill rather than post up. 3 pointers not sure how we got worse. McGinnis didn't play. Mason was playing 10 mpg. Koval didn't take many. We gained a volume guy with respectable %.
Nolley is a career 35% on good volume from 3. That is not something I would call a problem given our past production as a team. His frosh year was his lowest year on much higher volume. 32%. Last year 34%. We have seen much worse.
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Old 04-28-2022, 10:38 AM   #244
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I think you have to account for how Memphis was using Nolley almost as a post up 4 at times. He does not want to play the 4 because of how he was used and Memphis had some big time dunkers in their lineup giving him less chance to do so. I think we just got better at penetrating and Nolley can play above rim coming down hill rather than post up. 3 pointers not sure how we got worse. McGinnis didn't play. Mason was playing 10 mpg. Koval didn't take many. We gained a volume guy with respectable %.
In terms of penetrating we lost Mason, AJ and Mike. Hard to see how Nolley is not an improvement. I imagine Rob can do about as good as Mike. Kalu would be better than Ado or Koval. Mason was not good at it. AJ didn't play. Mike was small.
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Old 04-28-2022, 10:47 AM   #245
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I'm with whoever (sedzjobs maybe) said a while back that it's hard to really understand what Wes is trying to do.
cincrulz and I have been saying that since Wes was first mentioned as a candidate. His teams consistently shoot a lot of midrange and don't get to the free throw line, but everything else is all over the place from year to year.

Overall I think we upgraded the roster after the portal movements. I disagree that we got worse at penetrating. Saunders could get to the rim in transition and Mason showed some flashes of creativity, but none of the 5 departing players were giving us much of anything penetrating in the half court. Phinisee and Nolley might not be great either, but I expect them to be better than what we lost. And who knows if Skilings or Reed can give us anything this year.

Phinisee and Ezikpe can create their own shot. That's different than what Saunders and Ado/Koval gave us. I wouldn't jump straight to the negative side if they both start. It could mean that your mobility/pnr defense fears for Ezikpe are overblown, or that a healthy Phinisee is able to be a more efficient creator against lesser competition. We just need to wait and see.
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Old 04-28-2022, 11:15 AM   #246
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cincrulz and I have been saying that since Wes was first mentioned as a candidate. His teams consistently shoot a lot of midrange and don't get to the free throw line, but everything else is all over the place from year to year.

Overall I think we upgraded the roster after the portal movements. I disagree that we got worse at penetrating. Saunders could get to the rim in transition and Mason showed some flashes of creativity, but none of the 5 departing players were giving us much of anything penetrating in the half court. Phinisee and Nolley might not be great either, but I expect them to be better than what we lost. And who knows if Skilings or Reed can give us anything this year.

Phinisee and Ezikpe can create their own shot. That's different than what Saunders and Ado/Koval gave us. I wouldn't jump straight to the negative side if they both start. It could mean that your mobility/pnr defense fears for Ezikpe are overblown, or that a healthy Phinisee is able to be a more efficient creator against lesser competition. We just need to wait and see.
Nolley is a career 80% FT shooter. Just imagine if he can work from the perimeter. Take away that midrange BS and go to the rack.

Wes seems both a little stubborn but also a bit pliable. He's going to take advantage where he can when he can. He's not as stubborn as some coaches on their own philosophy. He's more of a work in progress IMO but he has to be stubborn on certain things I guess.
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Old 04-28-2022, 11:37 AM   #247
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Nolley is a career 80% FT shooter. Just imagine if he can work from the perimeter. Take away that midrange BS and go to the rack.
And Ezikpe was a 74% FT shooter on 129 attempts last year - more than 3 ppg from the stripe. He made more free throws than Ody, Vik, Ado, and Koval combined. It's a big part of being a scorer, and I consider it a form of shot selection. That's why I prefer true shooting to effective field goal percentage because it includes free throws.
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Old 04-28-2022, 12:47 PM   #248
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It's true that Nolley 5.3 fta per 40 minutes and Ezikpe 6.1 fta per 40 minutes got fouled quite a bit more than anyone on our team (DDJ led us at 3.3 FTA per 40 minutes). So that's a positive.

I'd agree a large factor is going to be if Wes can get shot selection under control. I think Nolley can be really good (though lower volume) if he doesn't take bad shots and tries to get to the rim more.

Nolley is a good shooter, but we lost Mason and Saunders who shot better though on lower volume. I guess that could be a wash since Nolley will probably shoot a similar volume as the of them combined.

I'm not really convinced Phinisee can create his own shot. If he does he's probably going to miss it.

I'll wait to see what happens before getting too negative/positive. But if Phinisee/Ezikpe start I'll definitely be concerned. Hopefully my concerns are wrong if that does happen.
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Old 04-28-2022, 03:23 PM   #249
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It's true that Nolley 5.3 fta per 40 minutes and Ezikpe 6.1 fta per 40 minutes got fouled quite a bit more than anyone on our team (DDJ led us at 3.3 FTA per 40 minutes). So that's a positive.

I'd agree a large factor is going to be if Wes can get shot selection under control. I think Nolley can be really good (though lower volume) if he doesn't take bad shots and tries to get to the rim more.

Nolley is a good shooter, but we lost Mason and Saunders who shot better though on lower volume. I guess that could be a wash since Nolley will probably shoot a similar volume as the of them combined.

I'm not really convinced Phinisee can create his own shot. If he does he's probably going to miss it.

I'll wait to see what happens before getting too negative/positive. But if Phinisee/Ezikpe start I'll definitely be concerned. Hopefully my concerns are wrong if that does happen.
We put a lot of emphasis on portal players but I do agree with you that it should be tempered. That being said last year we were one of 5 teams to get 3 top 100 portal guys (according to I can't remember which service or tweet). This year we did the same again (again according to which service you use to rank them).

Bottom line is unless we got 3 top 25 dudes we are going to question what the lower ranked guys can do. They just aren't great at #75 etc. And I think that is reasonable. But Nolley is a home run for what we needed with the last spot IMO. He may not shoot a great % from three but it's good enough on volume and he's a 3 level scorer which we lacked. His length also adds another dimension.

Nolley was mired in a talented lineup at Memphis that had multiple egos to feed whether they deserved it or not. His frosh year at VT was insane for a frosh. He will be inserted into a role MUCH different than at Memphis and likely much more like VT. He will put a large amount of pressure on opposing D's which is what we needed for DDJ and JD. Our bigs should help even things out even more as Ado and Koval were not post scorers at all. The two guys we have returning (along with Kalu) will add another dimension to help DDJ and JD.

We likely get better on D as well with the caveat of rim protection. But hopefully we need less of that with better perimeter D.
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Old 04-28-2022, 04:17 PM   #250
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Yeah, I say pretty much every year that fans overestimate the impact transfers will have and how good they are or will be. As you say there just aren't that many good transfers.

My preferred site for transfer rankings (mostly because I can't find another free site that does it well) is EvanMiya.com, they have Nolley at #21, Phinisee #105 and Ezikpe #140. I said early on the for a guy to have a major impact they probably had to be top 60-80.

Fans don't seem to care that much about stats or what a guy actually did, they look at a transfer, see a shiny new player and think that player will be a major upgrade.

Even Nolley who I'd say is an A+ addition has a number of fans expecting him to be a point-forward, which I can't see him being good at.

Phinisee has fans loving him (and expecting him to start) for his defense, despite the fact that MAW is arguably just as good if not better defensively.

Fans think Ezikpe will be great at rebounding (despite putting up worse rebound percentage numbers than Ody/Lakhin in a worse conference) and defensively (which I doubt).

That's not accounting for the fact that even good transfers can struggle because they are coming into a new environment and learning a new system.

I feel like a pessimist, but on the other hand I'm an optimist on returning players (especially Lakhin, Ody and Hensley) so I guess it evens out. Player development in my opinion is quite a bit more reliable than transfers, but many fans seem to think it's the other way around.
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