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Hart Foundation Offline
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Player Comparison
Since we are in sports limbo again it seems like a good time to talk about Random things.

Julien Wooden has physically grown from year one to year two and I suspect he will fill out even more. Currently listed at 6’8” and 225 lbs which is Plenty big to be an interior force in the CAA, but it doesn’t look like coach By is going to groom him into that role. Just 3 years ago he was 6’6” and 190lbs.

He has a ton of potential if he is willing to be more physical and mix it up in the paint instead of being a finesse guy playing guard in a big body.

What NCAA player of yesteryear does he remind you of?
12-29-2020 11:26 PM
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purplesanman Offline
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RE: Player Comparison
(12-29-2020 11:26 PM)Hart Foundation Wrote:  Since we are in sports limbo again it seems like a good time to talk about Random things.

Julien Wooden has physically grown from year one to year two and I suspect he will fill out even more. Currently listed at 6’8” and 225 lbs which is Plenty big to be an interior force in the CAA, but it doesn’t look like coach By is going to groom him into that role. Just 3 years ago he was 6’6” and 190lbs.

He has a ton of potential if he is willing to be more physical and mix it up in the paint instead of being a finesse guy playing guard in a big body.

What NCAA player of yesteryear does he remind you of?

I always thought he could develop into a taller eugene Atkinson. A good, but not great offensive player who had a high basketball IQ and could do a little bit of everything. He was outstanding defensively and athletic enough to guard multiple positions. Wooden has shown flashes of all of this, and like atkinson can positively affect a game without scoring a ton.
12-30-2020 05:10 PM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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RE: Player Comparison
A little like the build of John Wallace (Syracuse).
12-30-2020 05:33 PM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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RE: Player Comparison
Fredericks = Cam Smith but Fredericks couldn’t paint ?

In all seriousness a grad transfer flaking out during a Covid year kind of stinks because JMU already had his scholarship allotted to an incoming freshman next season so it’s not like they can bring another kid into the program now with Fredericks spot.

JMU continues to have bad luck with these grad transfers- I know in other programs they have really helped. I almost consider Mean Gene Swindle as the first grad transfer and him Smith and now Fredericks have all been duds.
01-04-2021 10:35 AM
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RE: Player Comparison
(01-04-2021 10:35 AM)NJDuke97 Wrote:  Fredericks = Cam Smith but Fredericks couldn’t paint ?

In all seriousness a grad transfer flaking out during a Covid year kind of stinks because JMU already had his scholarship allotted to an incoming freshman next season so it’s not like they can bring another kid into the program now with Fredericks spot.

JMU continues to have bad luck with these grad transfers- I know in other programs they have really helped. I almost consider Mean Gene Swindle as the first grad transfer and him Smith and now Fredericks have all been duds.

With Fredericks, the writing was on the wall-we just didn't want to believe it. He was VERY well travelled.

It's kinda like someone complaining about getting divorced again. The expression, "After two, it's YOU" rings very true.
01-04-2021 10:45 AM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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RE: Player Comparison
(01-04-2021 10:45 AM)olddawg Wrote:  
(01-04-2021 10:35 AM)NJDuke97 Wrote:  Fredericks = Cam Smith but Fredericks couldn’t paint ?

In all seriousness a grad transfer flaking out during a Covid year kind of stinks because JMU already had his scholarship allotted to an incoming freshman next season so it’s not like they can bring another kid into the program now with Fredericks spot.

JMU continues to have bad luck with these grad transfers- I know in other programs they have really helped. I almost consider Mean Gene Swindle as the first grad transfer and him Smith and now Fredericks have all been duds.

With Fredericks, the writing was on the wall-we just didn't want to believe it. He was VERY well travelled.

It's kinda like someone complaining about getting divorced again. The expression, "After two, it's YOU" rings very true.

Agreed- this team clearly could have used his experience and talent but hopefully Coach B has learned from this. He’s demonstrated an ability to recruit freshmen who all look like contributors right away- use scholarships on freshmen moving forward.
01-04-2021 10:48 AM
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RE: Player Comparison
Or use scholarships on good transfers. Putting all your eggs in one basket is unnecessary. Some freshmen, some transfers. The mix doesn’t really matter as long as you build a good team.

I don’t follow recruiting closely and don’t care until someone enrolls and starts playing. However, does anyone know who coach By was recruiting at Georgia Southern as the head coach? Were the 5 D-1 transfers and 3 Freshmen Guys he had been recruiting for a while or did he completely reset and try to recruit new players at the last minute after signing with JMU in March?
01-04-2021 04:23 PM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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RE: Player Comparison
(01-04-2021 04:23 PM)Hart Foundation Wrote:  Or use scholarships on good transfers. Putting all your eggs in one basket is unnecessary. Some freshmen, some transfers. The mix doesn’t really matter as long as you build a good team.

I don’t follow recruiting closely and don’t care until someone enrolls and starts playing. However, does anyone know who coach By was recruiting at Georgia Southern as the head coach? Were the 5 D-1 transfers and 3 Freshmen Guys he had been recruiting for a while or did he completely reset and try to recruit new players at the last minute after signing with JMU in March?

They appeared to be newer guys in terms of them not being offered at G Southern but that’s never black and white because the staff has connections some of which were prior staff some new.

I think the early returns on his first recruiting class are pretty favorable. Have to be careful not to steal recruits ala Brady because it can get you in some trouble or be a bad look although those players wound up being key pieces some of which ultimately helped Brady get JMU to the NCAAs.

That said, I like the guys Coach B has brought in and the balance. The grad transfer has been a tough spot for JMU- other programs have mines that effectively but JMU hasn’t to date.
(This post was last modified: 01-04-2021 05:28 PM by NJDuke97.)
01-04-2021 05:27 PM
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Hart Foundation Offline
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RE: Player Comparison
Lol. Stealing recruits. Players change their mind where they want to play all the time and someone is recruiting them all the time even if they are playing at another school. There are no rules in recruiting except maybe no Pitino strippers allowed for campus visits. The NCAA seems to have said no to that, but could change their mind in the future and say strippers aren’t thaaaaaaat bad. 03-lmfao

I think there are plenty of parts for this year’s team to win, especially in a crappy CAA. 5 of Byington’s 8 recruits are playing a lot which means he must be pretty happy with them vs some Rowe holdovers who are playing less. It feels like there aren’t enough shooters though to play his perimeter game. Maybe I should say there aren’t enough makers since it appears everyone is allowed to shoot right now. Too many shooters, not enough makers.
01-04-2021 08:56 PM
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RE: Player Comparison
Interesting that the focus of JMUs issues in many of the posts before mine has been offense. In three of JMUs four losses, they have given up 80 points or more while scoring more than 70 points. They are scoring enough points to win games.

Yesterday they we’re out rebounded by a wide margin allowing Morgan St. to shoot 14 more times. That is a huge difference. So many 50/50 balls ended up with Morgan St. JMU took contested shots while Morgan St. took wide open shots. The free throw shooting was again poor. Both of these point to a lack of mental and physical toughness.

This year JMU has different players but the same crappy defense. Morgan St. went around defenders repeatedly. At other times, players were way out of position with their “help” while in the zone. They were so far out of position that they could not recover in time to guard the player in their zone area thus allowing wide open looks at three point shots.

Down the stretch Matt once again tried to go one on two or three taking contested shots in the lane or getting stripped of the ball. News flash...If two or three guys are guarding you, somebody is open. Matt continues to play reckless in the waning moments of games. Christmas, Morse, Wooden and Hodge are equally capable of making shots. If the opposing defense sends multiple defenders at you, hit the open man for an uncontested shot. He did this against Radford and it resulted in a victory.

I am a firm believer in moving the basketball, penetrating it and then kicking it out. Pass, pass, pass! Driving the ball is a good thing. Dribbling around trying to find space to shoot leads to turnovers or bad shots both of which produces the same result. Matt is a good player. He isn’t a great player. Great players have a much higher basketball IQ then Matt has. They make everyone around them better. They give up the ball to a wide open teammate and let him take the higher percentage shot.

Matt has great confidence which I admire. Unfortunately, his confidence exceeds his abilities and good sense. Has he won a game here and there? Sure but he has lost a heck of a lot more playing the way he does late in games. Maybe in past years no one else was capable of stepping up but that is not the case this year.
01-04-2021 09:59 PM
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RE: Player Comparison
It would be interesting to list the top 10 players to start in games lost by JMU.

Matt Lewis would be high on that list, likely followed by the gems recruited by Keener.
01-05-2021 06:27 AM
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RE: Player Comparison
(01-04-2021 09:59 PM)JMUNation Wrote:  Interesting that the focus of JMUs issues in many of the posts before mine has been offense. In three of JMUs four losses, they have given up 80 points or more while scoring more than 70 points. They are scoring enough points to win games.

Yesterday they we’re out rebounded by a wide margin allowing Morgan St. to shoot 14 more times. That is a huge difference. So many 50/50 balls ended up with Morgan St. JMU took contested shots while Morgan St. took wide open shots. The free throw shooting was again poor. Both of these point to a lack of mental and physical toughness.

This year JMU has different players but the same crappy defense. Morgan St. went around defenders repeatedly. At other times, players were way out of position with their “help” while in the zone. They were so far out of position that they could not recover in time to guard the player in their zone area thus allowing wide open looks at three point shots.

Down the stretch Matt once again tried to go one on two or three taking contested shots in the lane or getting stripped of the ball. News flash...If two or three guys are guarding you, somebody is open. Matt continues to play reckless in the waning moments of games. Christmas, Morse, Wooden and Hodge are equally capable of making shots. If the opposing defense sends multiple defenders at you, hit the open man for an uncontested shot. He did this against Radford and it resulted in a victory.

I am a firm believer in moving the basketball, penetrating it and then kicking it out. Pass, pass, pass! Driving the ball is a good thing. Dribbling around trying to find space to shoot leads to turnovers or bad shots both of which produces the same result. Matt is a good player. He isn’t a great player. Great players have a much higher basketball IQ then Matt has. They make everyone around them better. They give up the ball to a wide open teammate and let him take the higher percentage shot.

Matt has great confidence which I admire. Unfortunately, his confidence exceeds his abilities and good sense. Has he won a game here and there? Sure but he has lost a heck of a lot more playing the way he does late in games. Maybe in past years no one else was capable of stepping up but that is not the case this year.

There definitely are still times during a game when Matt will make a bad decision- they are less frequent as he has gotten older. Last game there was one play where he tried a step back 3 and then was slow getting back- it was a 5 point swing. I think at the end of games when JMU is behind he often has the ball in his hands because he can get his own shot and convert. On a recent JMU podcast they mentioned that Matt is among the leaders in D1 in 2 point FG percentage. His 3 point percentage has been poor so far this year and needs to improve. Generally speaking he has been a fair or decent 3 point shooter so that should level out a bit.

You’re right that others have to step up- Hodge did a nice job at VCU but down the stretch vs Morgan State he missed a one and one on a play where he should have given the ball to Matt on the break. He has kind of taken Morse’s minutes the same way that Amadi has really usurped Jacobs minutes. These guys need to keep pushing one another in practices and games and the team needs to stay on the court in terms of practice and games as best they can. If they are able to do that I have no doubt that they will all get better as the season progresses.
01-05-2021 08:39 AM
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NJDuke97 Offline
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RE: Player Comparison
(01-04-2021 08:56 PM)Hart Foundation Wrote:  Lol. Stealing recruits. Players change their mind where they want to play all the time and someone is recruiting them all the time even if they are playing at another school. There are no rules in recruiting except maybe no Pitino strippers allowed for campus visits. The NCAA seems to have said no to that, but could change their mind in the future and say strippers aren’t thaaaaaaat bad. 03-lmfao

I think there are plenty of parts for this year’s team to win, especially in a crappy CAA. 5 of Byington’s 8 recruits are playing a lot which means he must be pretty happy with them vs some Rowe holdovers who are playing less. It feels like there aren’t enough shooters though to play his perimeter game. Maybe I should say there aren’t enough makers since it appears everyone is allowed to shoot right now. Too many shooters, not enough makers.

The stealing players comment was a little tongue and cheek. Bottom line is that the freshmen Coach Byington and staff brought in 2 3 stars from Georgia and South Carolina and a PG from Florida via Pennsylvania have performed well. The depth via transfer has been mixed to date but the two four years who haven’t played much (Taylor from Virginia and a 3.5 star raw big from San Diego State) were worth the risk to me. In a normal year without the waivers these guys would be red shirting and so everyone’s impression of them would be different and they would emerge next year more ready to contribute.

I think he did a good job given the circumstances replenishing the roster and the 3 recruits for next year including 1 3 star look promising as well.
(This post was last modified: 01-05-2021 08:52 AM by NJDuke97.)
01-05-2021 08:51 AM
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RE: Player Comparison
(01-05-2021 08:39 AM)NJDuke97 Wrote:  
(01-04-2021 09:59 PM)JMUNation Wrote:  Interesting that the focus of JMUs issues in many of the posts before mine has been offense. In three of JMUs four losses, they have given up 80 points or more while scoring more than 70 points. They are scoring enough points to win games.

Yesterday they we’re out rebounded by a wide margin allowing Morgan St. to shoot 14 more times. That is a huge difference. So many 50/50 balls ended up with Morgan St. JMU took contested shots while Morgan St. took wide open shots. The free throw shooting was again poor. Both of these point to a lack of mental and physical toughness.

This year JMU has different players but the same crappy defense. Morgan St. went around defenders repeatedly. At other times, players were way out of position with their “help” while in the zone. They were so far out of position that they could not recover in time to guard the player in their zone area thus allowing wide open looks at three point shots.

Down the stretch Matt once again tried to go one on two or three taking contested shots in the lane or getting stripped of the ball. News flash...If two or three guys are guarding you, somebody is open. Matt continues to play reckless in the waning moments of games. Christmas, Morse, Wooden and Hodge are equally capable of making shots. If the opposing defense sends multiple defenders at you, hit the open man for an uncontested shot. He did this against Radford and it resulted in a victory.

I am a firm believer in moving the basketball, penetrating it and then kicking it out. Pass, pass, pass! Driving the ball is a good thing. Dribbling around trying to find space to shoot leads to turnovers or bad shots both of which produces the same result. Matt is a good player. He isn’t a great player. Great players have a much higher basketball IQ then Matt has. They make everyone around them better. They give up the ball to a wide open teammate and let him take the higher percentage shot.

Matt has great confidence which I admire. Unfortunately, his confidence exceeds his abilities and good sense. Has he won a game here and there? Sure but he has lost a heck of a lot more playing the way he does late in games. Maybe in past years no one else was capable of stepping up but that is not the case this year.

There definitely are still times during a game when Matt will make a bad decision- they are less frequent as he has gotten older. Last game there was one play where he tried a step back 3 and then was slow getting back- it was a 5 point swing. I think at the end of games when JMU is behind he often has the ball in his hands because he can get his own shot and convert. On a recent JMU podcast they mentioned that Matt is among the leaders in D1 in 2 point FG percentage. His 3 point percentage has been poor so far this year and needs to improve. Generally speaking he has been a fair or decent 3 point shooter so that should level out a bit.

You’re right that others have to step up- Hodge did a nice job at VCU but down the stretch vs Morgan State he missed a one and one on a play where he should have given the ball to Matt on the break. He has kind of taken Morse’s minutes the same way that Amadi has really usurped Jacobs minutes. These guys need to keep pushing one another in practices and games and the team needs to stay on the court in terms of practice and games as best they can. If they are able to do that I have no doubt that they will all get better as the season progresses.

One thing I have noticed about Matt is that he takes a lot of his 3 pointers from WELL behind the arc. I'm talking like 4-5 feet. You can't argue with math. Every bit further that you're launching decreases the shooting percentage. Maybe he only feels comfortable shooting that shot with defenders farther away. Who knows?
01-05-2021 10:22 AM
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RE: Player Comparison
(01-05-2021 10:22 AM)olddawg Wrote:  
(01-05-2021 08:39 AM)NJDuke97 Wrote:  
(01-04-2021 09:59 PM)JMUNation Wrote:  Interesting that the focus of JMUs issues in many of the posts before mine has been offense. In three of JMUs four losses, they have given up 80 points or more while scoring more than 70 points. They are scoring enough points to win games.

Yesterday they we’re out rebounded by a wide margin allowing Morgan St. to shoot 14 more times. That is a huge difference. So many 50/50 balls ended up with Morgan St. JMU took contested shots while Morgan St. took wide open shots. The free throw shooting was again poor. Both of these point to a lack of mental and physical toughness.

This year JMU has different players but the same crappy defense. Morgan St. went around defenders repeatedly. At other times, players were way out of position with their “help” while in the zone. They were so far out of position that they could not recover in time to guard the player in their zone area thus allowing wide open looks at three point shots.

Down the stretch Matt once again tried to go one on two or three taking contested shots in the lane or getting stripped of the ball. News flash...If two or three guys are guarding you, somebody is open. Matt continues to play reckless in the waning moments of games. Christmas, Morse, Wooden and Hodge are equally capable of making shots. If the opposing defense sends multiple defenders at you, hit the open man for an uncontested shot. He did this against Radford and it resulted in a victory.

I am a firm believer in moving the basketball, penetrating it and then kicking it out. Pass, pass, pass! Driving the ball is a good thing. Dribbling around trying to find space to shoot leads to turnovers or bad shots both of which produces the same result. Matt is a good player. He isn’t a great player. Great players have a much higher basketball IQ then Matt has. They make everyone around them better. They give up the ball to a wide open teammate and let him take the higher percentage shot.

Matt has great confidence which I admire. Unfortunately, his confidence exceeds his abilities and good sense. Has he won a game here and there? Sure but he has lost a heck of a lot more playing the way he does late in games. Maybe in past years no one else was capable of stepping up but that is not the case this year.

There definitely are still times during a game when Matt will make a bad decision- they are less frequent as he has gotten older. Last game there was one play where he tried a step back 3 and then was slow getting back- it was a 5 point swing. I think at the end of games when JMU is behind he often has the ball in his hands because he can get his own shot and convert. On a recent JMU podcast they mentioned that Matt is among the leaders in D1 in 2 point FG percentage. His 3 point percentage has been poor so far this year and needs to improve. Generally speaking he has been a fair or decent 3 point shooter so that should level out a bit.

You’re right that others have to step up- Hodge did a nice job at VCU but down the stretch vs Morgan State he missed a one and one on a play where he should have given the ball to Matt on the break. He has kind of taken Morse’s minutes the same way that Amadi has really usurped Jacobs minutes. These guys need to keep pushing one another in practices and games and the team needs to stay on the court in terms of practice and games as best they can. If they are able to do that I have no doubt that they will all get better as the season progresses.

One thing I have noticed about Matt is that he takes a lot of his 3 pointers from WELL behind the arc. I'm talking like 4-5 feet. You can't argue with math. Every bit further that you're launching decreases the shooting percentage. Maybe he only feels comfortable shooting that shot with defenders farther away. Who knows?

The play I specifically remember late in the Morgan game was Matt turning the ball over on a forced dribble drive. Against Radford and VCU, he kicked the ball out to Morse and Hodge and they converted. Had he kicked it out to an open Hodge and it was missed, I would not criticize either player. The shot has a 40-50% chance of going in under any circumstances much less end of the game.

My point is open shots are easier to make then a forced shot by Matt. Opposing teams are keying on Matt late in games trying to force him to make the pass I am suggesting. They have seen the film. They know Matt likely will force something up hoping to draw the foul which often doesn’t happen late in games. The ball should be in Matt’s hands late in games but he needs to realize that the team is better off if he dishes to the open player rather than forcing up an off balance shot.

Another thing I have noticed is it seems no matter who JMU plays, that team gets open looks while JMUs shots are mostly contested. JMU still ends up scoring more than 70 points most games which is enough points to win. They just give up too many.

Matt is streaky from 3. He is not a consistently good three point shooter. Hodge has the best looking stroke on the team. I trust he and Morse more to make a three then I do Matt. Matt’s confidence is great. I wish Hodge and Morse had the same and maybe they do. They both are better three point shooters than Matt in my opinion. Matt is mostly a volume shooter.
01-05-2021 10:47 AM
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RE: Player Comparison
Matt has improved his fg% this year by converting more at the rim. His three point percentage is less than 30%. And yes, he tries to do too much still and not only at the ends of games. When he's doubled, he needs to give up the ball. Team defense is not good...look at the number of halves in which they give up 40 or more points.
01-05-2021 11:35 AM
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