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Old 06-23-2020, 01:13 PM   #1
waterhead
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20-21 thread

I am going to try and make some sense out of what to expect this upcoming season although it's hard with so many new pieces and losing our 2 best players (among others). There is a lot of talent and versatility but we will be short on system experience and a tough schedule.

Gonna start at the 5 spot for now.

We lost Sorolla mid season but we return the top 2 at the spot arguably in Vogt and Dou. We also add the option of Rap as a guy we can use when we want to go with 2 more versatile or mobile bigs.

So we have a back to the basket big in Vogt with slow feet who can put the ball in the hole close range and protect the paint fairly well but not the perimeter. He can body up on bigs with size as well. Boxes out well but doesn't chase down as many boards as we would like. Can't shoot outside of about 5 ft.

We have Dou who can leap out of the building and chases boards pretty well (but could box out better) and has a nice stroke from downtown. He can defend the perimeter much better but may not be as good at putting a body on a big with size. Seems to have picked up the system better later in the year. That's a nice one two punch complimentary pair.

Rap is a wildcard with some skills who can let us play in a variety of ways and add some scoring pop or another go to option if other players are struggling. He's basically a 4 who's played some 5 and should mostly play 4 for us. Can shoot and move with the ball but defense seems to be lackluster.

That's about as versatile as you would hope to be at the 5 spot. Offensively and defensively you have most options covered if you need to adjust in game plans.

In addition...if we ever have injury issues or major foul trouble we also have guys to plug in at the 4 who can move someone else to the 5. Eason, Lakhin, and Davenport (if nobody red shirts). Overall we should be in better shape at the 5 this year for all the reasons listed above.

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Old 06-24-2020, 09:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by waterhead View Post
I am going to try and make some sense out of what to expect this upcoming season although it's hard with so many new pieces and losing our 2 best players (among others). There is a lot of talent and versatility but we will be short on system experience and a tough schedule.

Gonna start at the 5 spot for now.

We lost Sorolla mid season but we return the top 2 at the spot arguably in Vogt and Dou. We also add the option of Rap as a guy we can use when we want to go with 2 more versatile or mobile bigs.

So we have a back to the basket big in Vogt with slow feet who can put the ball in the hole close range and protect the paint fairly well but not the perimeter. He can body up on bigs with size as well. Boxes out well but doesn't chase down as many boards as we would like. Can't shoot outside of about 5 ft.

We have Dou who can leap out of the building and chases boards pretty well (but could box out better) and has a nice stroke from downtown. He can defend the perimeter much better but may not be as good at putting a body on a big with size. Seems to have picked up the system better later in the year. That's a nice one two punch complimentary pair.

Rap is a wildcard with some skills who can let us play in a variety of ways and add some scoring pop or another go to option if other players are struggling. He's basically a 4 who's played some 5 and should mostly play 4 for us. Can shoot and move with the ball but defense seems to be lackluster.

That's about as versatile as you would hope to be at the 5 spot. Offensively and defensively you have most options covered if you need to adjust in game plans.

In addition...if we ever have injury issues or major foul trouble we also have guys to plug in at the 4 who can move someone else to the 5. Eason, Lakhin, and Davenport (if nobody red shirts). Overall we should be in better shape at the 5 this year for all the reasons listed above.
I would rank our situation at the 5 position as top 2/3 in the conference going into next season (UCF and SMU can also make similar claims).

As modern basketball changes however, this does not provide the same competitive advantage as it did 20 years ago.

Brannen and his staff will have their hands full analyzing match-ups on both ends of the court involving Vogt, Dou, and Rap and when it makes most sense to have any 2 of those 3 on the court at the same time.
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Old 06-24-2020, 09:52 AM   #3
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I would rank our situation at the 5 position as top 2/3 in the conference going into next season (UCF and SMU can also make similar claims).

As modern basketball changes however, this does not provide the same competitive advantage as it did 20 years ago.

Brannen and his staff will have their hands full analyzing match-ups on both ends of the court involving Vogt, Dou, and Rap and when it makes most sense to have any 2 of those 3 on the court at the same time.
UCF? Other than Collin Smith, who do they have?
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:09 PM   #4
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UCF? Other than Collin Smith, who do they have?
6'11, 4th year back-up, Avery Diggs.
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Queens_NYC View Post
I would rank our situation at the 5 position as top 2/3 in the conference going into next season (UCF and SMU can also make similar claims).

As modern basketball changes however, this does not provide the same competitive advantage as it did 20 years ago.

Brannen and his staff will have their hands full analyzing match-ups on both ends of the court involving Vogt, Dou, and Rap and when it makes most sense to have any 2 of those 3 on the court at the same time.
True...but if your bigs can shoot it does help and I like the versatility of lineups we will have access to. Even on the wing we will have guys who can either shoot or slash/drive. We have played many years with some zero to one dimensional players (offensively) and now most of our guys have more than one skill they can use.

Starting to see the vision now
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:25 PM   #6
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6'11, 4th year back-up, Avery Diggs.
oops. It was early and i read your post wrong. I thought it said UCF is top 3 at every position ....i should sleep more
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:37 PM   #7
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I mostly agree with your assessment of the players, but I am less optimistic about our 5.

There are several reasons I have for doubt, but we will see how things progress.

First, I am not confident Vogt will be back. He retained a firm that represents international players pretty much exclusively. He's not going to play in the NBA (or even the G-League) and doesn't really have anything that he can add to his game that will make him look better to the NBA - or even internationally - next year. He can make some small improvements, but if he's looking to maximize his career earnings he's probably better off going to play internationally and not coming back here. Covid may make coming back less attractive as well (potentially playing games with no fans). There's also the possibility that Diarra will take his starting role, will Vogt want to come back to be a backup?

Second, Rap is a pretty major unknown. He had a good year on offense as a Sophomore and a poor one as a Junior. His defense/rebounding (especially at the 4) may be bad enough at times (especially if Vogt is at the 5) that we can't keep him on the floor. He looks pretty capable on offense, but the jump in competition level won't be easy to make. A guy who looks like a star at a low-major more often than not, ends up no better than a role player at a high-major.

An additional issue for Rap (who will be learning two positions), Eason and Lahkin (though I assume he will red shirt) is the late start to practice season. We saw Diarra struggle learning two positions last year, Rap has more basketball experience but still has to learn both positions in Brannen's system, which may not happen by the start of the season.

My main concern with Diarra is that he never really learned to play the 4 last year (or at least never played it well). He was consistently better playing the 5, if that's true this year than we may have issues at the 4. He should rotate well with Vogt at the 5 though, he was our best center for the last month or so and I expect that to continue next year (regardless of if Vogt goes pro or not).
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:55 PM   #8
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I mostly agree with your assessment of the players, but I am less optimistic about our 5.

There are several reasons I have for doubt, but we will see how things progress.

First, I am not confident Vogt will be back. He retained a firm that represents international players pretty much exclusively. He's not going to play in the NBA (or even the G-League) and doesn't really have anything that he can add to his game that will make him look better to the NBA - or even internationally - next year. He can make some small improvements, but if he's looking to maximize his career earnings he's probably better off going to play internationally and not coming back here. Covid may make coming back less attractive as well (potentially playing games with no fans). There's also the possibility that Diarra will take his starting role, will Vogt want to come back to be a backup?

Second, Rap is a pretty major unknown. He had a good year on offense as a Sophomore and a poor one as a Junior. His defense/rebounding (especially at the 4) may be bad enough at times (especially if Vogt is at the 5) that we can't keep him on the floor. He looks pretty capable on offense, but the jump in competition level won't be easy to make. A guy who looks like a star at a low-major more often than not, ends up no better than a role player at a high-major.

An additional issue for Rap (who will be learning two positions), Eason and Lahkin (though I assume he will red shirt) is the late start to practice season. We saw Diarra struggle learning two positions last year, Rap has more basketball experience but still has to learn both positions in Brannen's system, which may not happen by the start of the season.

My main concern with Diarra is that he never really learned to play the 4 last year (or at least never played it well). He was consistently better playing the 5, if that's true this year than we may have issues at the 4. He should rotate well with Vogt at the 5 though, he was our best center for the last month or so and I expect that to continue next year (regardless of if Vogt goes pro or not).
Oh wow. This makes a lot of sense.

I guess that partly explains why the staff so aggressively pursued Lakhin - knowing that there is a pretty strong possibility that Vogt does leave and we'll need to fill front court minutes.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by skyblade View Post
I mostly agree with your assessment of the players, but I am less optimistic about our 5.

There are several reasons I have for doubt, but we will see how things progress.

First, I am not confident Vogt will be back. He retained a firm that represents international players pretty much exclusively. He's not going to play in the NBA (or even the G-League) and doesn't really have anything that he can add to his game that will make him look better to the NBA - or even internationally - next year. He can make some small improvements, but if he's looking to maximize his career earnings he's probably better off going to play internationally and not coming back here. Covid may make coming back less attractive as well (potentially playing games with no fans). There's also the possibility that Diarra will take his starting role, will Vogt want to come back to be a backup?

Second, Rap is a pretty major unknown. He had a good year on offense as a Sophomore and a poor one as a Junior. His defense/rebounding (especially at the 4) may be bad enough at times (especially if Vogt is at the 5) that we can't keep him on the floor. He looks pretty capable on offense, but the jump in competition level won't be easy to make. A guy who looks like a star at a low-major more often than not, ends up no better than a role player at a high-major.

An additional issue for Rap (who will be learning two positions), Eason and Lahkin (though I assume he will red shirt) is the late start to practice season. We saw Diarra struggle learning two positions last year, Rap has more basketball experience but still has to learn both positions in Brannen's system, which may not happen by the start of the season.

My main concern with Diarra is that he never really learned to play the 4 last year (or at least never played it well). He was consistently better playing the 5, if that's true this year than we may have issues at the 4. He should rotate well with Vogt at the 5 though, he was our best center for the last month or so and I expect that to continue next year (regardless of if Vogt goes pro or not).
Some of your concerns are legit. Vogt wonít probably get much better value than he has now but if he comes back Brannen loves him. I would also hope Brannen can use the bench this year to get a guy like Rap going all out every play. If he wants to go pro he needs to be on the court. Diarra was not the only one learning two positions...so I think he was just slower to pick things up overall so I donít think we can project that onto other players. He should see most of his time at the 5 given our roster makeup. We have no less than 5 options who can play some 4 if you include small ball with no red shirt
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:10 AM   #10
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Moving on to the 4 we are not simply going to replace what Scott did the last half of the year and maybe not even the first half. So I think we take a slight hit here since he was playing 30+ minutes. We have a lot of options with a lot more questions. We should have an option to play without Vogt at times and use two 4's.

Rap is probably penciled in here as the starter with Dou hopefully splitting duties at the 5 and if needed splitting at the 4 as well depending on the development of the supporting cast. We have mentioned both of their abilities in the discussion on the 5 spot.

There is a lot of hype around Eason but a lot of fans also thinking frosh will be frosh with limited impact. I tend to side with limited impact here because of the veterans in front. Gary Clark had little to no competition at his position as a frosh. But Eason did finish the season strong. From video I see the promise but I think he still could be a year away. He will get some time to show what he can do though.

Davenport. I honestly would love to see him just work on his outside shot and defense and be a 3 and D guy on the wing and not a 4. I don't see any meaningful minutes for him at the 4 (in his career). 3 and D could get him somewhere as a 6'7" wing. Undersized 4 who can't shoot...is a closed door.

Vik Lakhin. Tough to say here but I think Brannen was bullish on this guy over others so there is some obvious promise here. Very little video but has managed somehow to get a pretty high scout ranking which tells me it's more about his upside than current form. I mean how many scouts saw him in person? I would put him in the Monster Factory and red shirt the guy if my gut is correct. He's young and his body and skill level doesn't look ready for AAC punishment.

Small ball. It's always an option especially if Harvey and Madsen end up being legit. Not much problem running wings at the 4 who are 6'5" plus. Obviously the benefits would need to outweigh the problems. If DeJulius is available and we need to run with he and MAW...we may see some small ball lineups with a makeshift wing 4.

Once again our versatility is pretty nice but our inexperience and questions are pretty big too. I am going to give Scott credit here and call this one a slight loss. So I think so far we have a slight gain at 5 and a slight loss loss at 4.
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