Rebounding for Miles This one is exciting because it looks like the coaches already began doing this in Alaska. With transition defense and rebounding two of the top problems for this team to date, the first thing that I would do is embrace the players who work the hardest. Tyshawn is at the top of that list. He's far from the most skilled guy on the team, but this squad needs a guy who will outwork you, clean up the garbage and get on the floor in the worst way. Miles does all of those and the numbers back it up:
|Stats for players Senior year last full season played|
Everyone, including coaches, is questioning this teams effort level? And there's a rebounding problem? And one guy can help with both? Play him! The 20 minutes a game that he got in Alaska is a good start, and he's certainly surpassed Mohammed Bah on the depth chart, but at this point he should be cutting into Rodney and Abif's minutes as well. That sounds crazy but the best Drexel teams have always had one big man on the floor who scores with the other big man picking up the garbage. Playing Rodney and Kaz behind each other at times limits foul issues and injury risk, and since Kaz is a walking injury, this just makes too much sense. And if one of them wants to win their minutes back, they can earn them by crashing the glass. That's a message sent.
Sammy Mojica, let me introduce you to Chris Fouch, Dom Mejia and Phil Goss These guys profile as very similar players. Both turnstiles on defense. Both spot up shooters. And neither has ever contributed to this team inside the arc. So lets use that. Sammy needs to be a full time spot up shooter and spot up shooter only. Run him on the baseline, curl him around a screen and have him spot up and only spot up for the next two and a half years. For all of the agita over where the points are going to come from this year, this should have been one of the easy answers. Instead he's taken more shots inside the arc than outside. Last year Sammy hit 3's at a 38% clip, right there with Damion Lee. This year, after starting slow in the first two games, he's hit on 44%. In the words of Adam Sandler, "not too shabby".
Tavon's Gone - Not from the team obviously, but from the offense? Yessir. And it's for a simple reason: he's holding his teammates back. Tavon Allen has taken 31 shots from two. Terrell Allen has taken 33. Tavon is shooting 38% from inside the arc for his career (28% this season), Terrell is shooting 61%. That's 61%! And since when he drives he takes it all the way to the rim, he's getting fouled much more often as well. Yet they have taken the same number of shots. Un-acc-ept-able. Unacceptable. That's unacceptable. They are who we think they are. If you want to let Tavon shoot, then lit him shoot it. But let us off the hook (for your coaching contract). That Tavon is taking the highest number of shots on the team, by far, isn't a problem for the offense. It is THE problem with the offense. Tavon is being a leader and playing hard nose defense and that should be appreciated - he should play. But whatever message that needs to be sent to get him to trust his teammates and find them with passes, needs to get sent right this minute - it should have been sent years ago.
This is just the beginning, there's plenty left to be posted. Like (shudder) going zone to help the interior D, or going offense/defense on every sub to maximize the offense snaps that Mojica gets while maximizing the defensive snaps that London gets, and doing the same down low with the starting bigs on offense and Miles on D to take away opponents second chances and minimize fouls on the starters. Little things that can earn a point here and there during a game and will change the outcome of a few games a year.
Bruiser can put a team on the floor with an elite rebounding presence. With a spot up shooter at the 2, an elite defender and swingman at the 3, a scoring presence at the 5 and a freshman, elite point guard. Doesn't that sound a lot like this:
F . Massenat
That team went 29-7. This team is 0-6. And Mojica is outshooting Fouch. I'd argue Miles is better than McCoy. Tavon and Derrick Thomas should be toe to toe. And while his defense needs (a lot) of work, Terrell Allen is currently outpacing Massenat's offensive stats. With the scoring of Ahmad Fields also on the way back (allowing the coaches to go offense/defense at the 3 with Tavon and Fields) there is no reason this team can't at least be competitive. But a message must be sent: if you want the minutes, show the hustle.
Say it with Tyshawn.
That's the beginnings of what I'm gonna do. Whacha gonna do? Respond to Bru in the comments below.