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Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
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Basketball Jones Offline
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Post: #1
Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
With Edu out most likely for the season due to his past recovery times from his other knee injuries, does TK go the “small ball” route again or does he look in the Transfer Portal where there are multiple Center and Power Forward type players still available? Now the Transfer Portal may not be an option if the NCAA does not allow a school that loses a player for the season to go over the 13 man scholarship limit. If they are allowed to bring in another player, I think TK and staff should do their due diligence to see if there is a player available that can contribute this season and fit into the existing team culture that the Rockets have. If for whatever reason they go the "small ball" route again, we are going to have to have some of our freshmen and transfers step up to have a repeat of last season's success! That goes to say the same for our returning players, i.e. Rollins, Milner, Shumate and Saunders.
(This post was last modified: 07-09-2021 01:20 PM by Basketball Jones.)
07-09-2021 01:18 PM
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eastisbest Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
If you're getting beat at "small ball," where do you go if you have no options on the bench? How do you prepare your "small ball" team if there's no one to practice against? A post presence that can pass from the top of the key I think synergizes very well with a guard heavy eam. I'd look for a high IQ big guy that can keep up a couple trips or someone 6'10 or up even lean that can direct an offense. Someone that gives coach the ability to play match-ups.
07-09-2021 02:36 PM
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northcoastRocket Online
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
An injured player that is still on scholarship still counts toward the 13. There aren't any scholarships available to offer.
07-09-2021 02:53 PM
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Rocket75 Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
Even a healthy Edu would not be a big offensive plus for the team. His excellence is blocked shots and rebounding. We should really have a deep team this season. There is no reason to redshirt a couple of guys. They all have ability. Coach K needs to find the right chemistry among the group. The UCLA teams under Coach Wooden full court pressed the entire game. If we can get 10 guys that can go full out when on the floor there is no reason a "small ball" team that shoots well from 3 point range can't be a big winner. We are the defending MAC regular season champs. One guy from OU who had a great career and will be drafted by the NBA kept us from the big dance. This should still be our year, with or without Edu.
07-09-2021 03:53 PM
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bcunn3128 Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
(07-09-2021 03:53 PM)Rocket75 Wrote:  Even a healthy Edu would not be a big offensive plus for the team. His excellence is blocked shots and rebounding. We should really have a deep team this season. There is no reason to redshirt a couple of guys. They all have ability. Coach K needs to find the right chemistry among the group. The UCLA teams under Coach Wooden full court pressed the entire game. If we can get 10 guys that can go full out when on the floor there is no reason a "small ball" team that shoots well from 3 point range can't be a big winner. We are the defending MAC regular season champs. One guy from OU who had a great career and will be drafted by the NBA kept us from the big dance. This should still be our year, with or without Edu.

TK play 10 guys every game, all game? That will be the day.
07-09-2021 06:02 PM
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pono Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
well, he has time to think up a plan. certainly is a roster more built for full court defense and subbing in lots of fast defensive minded players-moss, wilson, Hill, for example. you can make up for opponents having a high % around the rim with turnovers and good 3 pt % defense. late last year the problem we were giving up points at the rim and not generating turnovers elsewhere.
07-10-2021 04:33 AM
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BearcatMan Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
I wonder if they would be able to push for a medical retirement, which would transition his scholarship from a roster count to strictly athletic department funds. If there is no chance he plays again at UT, that is what they should do so there is at least some flexibility to go a get someone.
07-10-2021 06:59 AM
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eastisbest Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
Love the idea of a bunch of little people winning the MAC and maybe a round or two in the NCAA. Love it. Its been tried, even done by better talent and better coaches. Ultimately a matchup that just passes over the top demands an ungodly shooting percentage from the small team. This is what they're counting on. The whole season is bet on shooting percentage.

Missing one of a few in the middle means a harder season of banging for those that remain. This leads to ineffectiveness and injury as the season wears. The MAC is not a high level conference. Beating most of the teams, even winning the regular season doesn't make you good. It is about getting through the regular season with enough freshness and health to win conference tourney. They couldn't do it last year not because they didn't have the horses or because OU had more but because coach ran them too hard through the season. He wasn't willing to sacrifice a conference game or two to garner experience off the bench and reduce minutes.

I think the board called it, during recruiting. The teams needs match-ups. It needs post and front court depth. They don't have to be great scorers, they only have to limit the defensive acreage, provide an optional point of offensive attack to make the other team think and provide rest for a small team on the run.

We'll see.
07-10-2021 09:17 AM
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WHRocket Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
Will be interested to see what our new players bring. I believe 6 new players including 1 big. Maybe we get some matchup minutes from him at least defensively. Guards have height and reported shooting ability. Might be a year we use the bench more. Looking forward to see what Coach K puts together.
07-10-2021 09:32 AM
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rocketpaul Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
They have no scholarships to do anything unless Edu does retire as brought up earlier. I believe they can win with what they have. Preston staying in the draft removes their biggest obstacle to repeating. Until UT comments on the EDU injury I reserve judgement on whether there is even an injury.
07-10-2021 09:33 AM
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Rocket_Fanatic Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
Perhaps some 6-7, 6-8 kid who didn’t get a D1 offer will be persuaded to walk on this fall. At this point, it’s about having another body
07-10-2021 11:31 AM
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Macfan123 Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
Believe it or not I still think Toledo’s going to be very good, we return 3 starters and I think Ryan rollins makes a huge jump this season!
07-10-2021 01:16 PM
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eastisbest Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
We all expect Toledo will be "very good." I dont think that's what is being hoped for. As far as Preston making a difference, not so much. We were never in that game, Preston mostly played his healthy average. It was 58 pts out of their front court, 46 of which returns including one of the best big guys in the league. They also have Sears who as a Fr with nearly no experience replacing injured Preston caused us way more problems than he should have. As a final straw, even though we had fallen far behind, coach saw fit to call less than 30 minutes off the bench. And then recall they more than ran out of steam against another small-ball team in Richmond, coach having given front court bench a whopping 13 minutes. Writing on the wall Acunzo.

Bad habits don't die easy. Recall, it was a freak that he even considered changing the offense. Now he's stuck on it?

I'l say same I said earlier in the thread and early last season: coach needs to develop the bench even at the cost of conference losses. It's the tournament or bust. That means depth, variety of offense to keep the other team guessing and the ability to run the offense out of the post and post depth. I think last year's end of season tanks support what I said early last season and for next season.
(This post was last modified: 07-10-2021 01:45 PM by eastisbest.)
07-10-2021 01:42 PM
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bcunn3128 Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
(07-10-2021 01:42 PM)eastisbest Wrote:  We all expect Toledo will be "very good." I dont think that's what is being hoped for. As far as Preston making a difference, not so much. We were never in that game, Preston mostly played his healthy average. It was 58 pts out of their front court, 46 of which returns including one of the best big guys in the league. They also have Sears who as a Fr with nearly no experience replacing injured Preston caused us way more problems than he should have. As a final straw, even though we had fallen far behind, coach saw fit to call less than 30 minutes off the bench. And then recall they more than ran out of steam against another small-ball team in Richmond, coach having given front court bench a whopping 13 minutes. Writing on the wall Acunzo.

Bad habits don't die easy. Recall, it was a freak that he even considered changing the offense. Now he's stuck on it?

I'l say same I said earlier in the thread and early last season: coach needs to develop the bench even at the cost of conference losses. It's the tournament or bust. That means depth, variety of offense to keep the other team guessing and the ability to run the offense out of the post and post depth. I think last year's end of season tanks support what I said early last season and for next season.

What he said.

It takes a pretty complete team to win the regular season conference title AND the conference tournament. I’ll take a team that gets better as the season progresses—remember, we were kinda limping into the MAC tournament (a loss to CMU????), and pulls off the MAC tournament win and maybe even a surprise upset in the 1st round NCAA tournament (be still, my heart!) over another regular season title followed by a loss in the MAC tournament and a lackluster appearance in the NIT. And I bet I’m not alone. The loss of an effective Edu and only an unproven freshman post player as the current replacement makes this scenario challenging to envision, though.
(This post was last modified: 07-10-2021 03:05 PM by bcunn3128.)
07-10-2021 03:01 PM
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pono Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
Lots of the usual msg board genius talk on this thread. The staff knows a lot more than us. And they do re-evaluate their approaches regularly. Remember, last year AJ was healthy to start. So, after his injury it was a quickly planned in-season adjustment in playing style. The timing of this injury at least means being able to strategize thoughtfully pre-season on how to get the most out of the roster and practice that before the season starts.

I mean posters who criticize coach K being a limited bench minute type of coach are not off base. He has always played a short bench and often had teams fizzle late season. He's also had a couple peak late season with a short bench but get blindsided with injuries in the MAC tourney (i.e. the Tre Fletcher season). Generally, playing younger guys 8,9,10,11 on the roster comes down to if they can defend. I'd say this team knows the following guys will play (and defend) Milner, Shumate, Saunders, Rollins, Dennis, Hill (whose bench minutes are primarily come from his defensive play). So, there's a 6 guy rotation. I expect Wilson to play because he's both a skilled guy and a good defender who came in early and has more time to get coached up and adapt. 7. I also expect Moss to play because he's such a good athlete you gotta see what he can do. In addition, his defense is probably ahead of his offense and his strength allows him to guard taller guys, while his quickness enables him to defend guards and means he can switch on screens pretty effectively. 8. Now, who else expands the bench? Jacobi has a little more height and is a high motor guy, but I don't know if he has enough strength to help inside unless his bball IQ is really advanced for his age.The Icelander is intriguing because he can score by stretching the floor and has forward size. He's not a typical freshman as he'll be 20 yrs old and has a couple seasons of lower level European pro ball under his belt playing with some grown men. Total question mark, but if he can defend OK it will enticing to play him because he can really shoot. Farmer has been mostly overlooked but he can also score and plays with aggressiveness and passion. Another lanky thin guy who may need a year or two to have the strength to contribute. Carcoana has potential but with bigs you gotta consider conditioning, strength, ability to learn schemes and do things like defend high screens, switch onto smaller players and score against opponents suddenly just as big as you are. There's also Burge the preferred walk-on who is a very muscular 6-3 guy with D3 and JUCO experience who might be able to guard people enough to earn spot minutes as an energy and hustle guy.

As for the MAC there's a decent chance the league breaks the 1 bid drought next season. History says I'm wrong but the odds and rosters suggest maybe not. All the other leagues ranked around the MAC level have had multiple bids since the MAC last got one, so the math will even out eventually. Because of COVID rules and the portal most MAC teams have improved rosters. A few dramatically so. The league could avoid those sub 200 ranked bottom feeders that kill your computer rankings and stand out as bad losses this season. NIU, WMU, CMU, EMU all upgraded their talent level, primarily with guys who have at least a year of college experience and should be ready to contribute. Huger used the COVID scholarship exemptions to load up on veteran transfers and has 15 guys on the roster (not counting walk-ons). Perhaps, the deepest MAC team in memory with 5 guards with mid major starting experience plus Fulcher who made the MAC all-freshman team. Then, they got Plowden and Diggs back for an extra year, a good PF transfer, size off the bench, and the ability to play different lineups and styles. They could win a lot non-conf and have an at-large shot. Kent, OU, Akron, Miami, Buffalo, Ball St all should be solid with one or two of them probably finding the chemistry to be good. UB brings back everyone but Graves (who had a disappointing Sr year) and adds 2 outside shooters who are both physically strong and 4th/5th year college guys to address their primary weakness last season-consistent 3 point shooting. There's also signs that the league is scheduling up with partial non-conf schedules showing more games against P6 and top mid major leagues.
07-10-2021 03:37 PM
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FMRocket Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
(07-10-2021 03:37 PM)pono Wrote:  Lots of the usual msg board genius talk on this thread. The staff knows a lot more than us. And they do re-evaluate their approaches regularly. Remember, last year AJ was healthy to start. So, after his injury it was a quickly planned in-season adjustment in playing style. The timing of this injury at least means being able to strategize thoughtfully pre-season on how to get the most out of the roster and practice that before the season starts.

I mean posters who criticize coach K being a limited bench minute type of coach are not off base. He has always played a short bench and often had teams fizzle late season. He's also had a couple peak late season with a short bench but get blindsided with injuries in the MAC tourney (i.e. the Tre Fletcher season). Generally, playing younger guys 8,9,10,11 on the roster comes down to if they can defend. I'd say this team knows the following guys will play (and defend) Milner, Shumate, Saunders, Rollins, Dennis, Hill (whose bench minutes are primarily come from his defensive play). So, there's a 6 guy rotation. I expect Wilson to play because he's both a skilled guy and a good defender who came in early and has more time to get coached up and adapt. 7. I also expect Moss to play because he's such a good athlete you gotta see what he can do. In addition, his defense is probably ahead of his offense and his strength allows him to guard taller guys, while his quickness enables him to defend guards and means he can switch on screens pretty effectively. 8. Now, who else expands the bench? Jacobi has a little more height and is a high motor guy, but I don't know if he has enough strength to help inside unless his bball IQ is really advanced for his age.The Icelander is intriguing because he can score by stretching the floor and has forward size. He's not a typical freshman as he'll be 20 yrs old and has a couple seasons of lower level European pro ball under his belt playing with some grown men. Total question mark, but if he can defend OK it will enticing to play him because he can really shoot. Farmer has been mostly overlooked but he can also score and plays with aggressiveness and passion. Another lanky thin guy who may need a year or two to have the strength to contribute. Carcoana has potential but with bigs you gotta consider conditioning, strength, ability to learn schemes and do things like defend high screens, switch onto smaller players and score against opponents suddenly just as big as you are. There's also Burge the preferred walk-on who is a very muscular 6-3 guy with D3 and JUCO experience who might be able to guard people enough to earn spot minutes as an energy and hustle guy.

As for the MAC there's a decent chance the league breaks the 1 bid drought next season. History says I'm wrong but the odds and rosters suggest maybe not. All the other leagues ranked around the MAC level have had multiple bids since the MAC last got one, so the math will even out eventually. Because of COVID rules and the portal most MAC teams have improved rosters. A few dramatically so. The league could avoid those sub 200 ranked bottom feeders that kill your computer rankings and stand out as bad losses this season. NIU, WMU, CMU, EMU all upgraded their talent level, primarily with guys who have at least a year of college experience and should be ready to contribute. Huger used the COVID scholarship exemptions to load up on veteran transfers and has 15 guys on the roster (not counting walk-ons). Perhaps, the deepest MAC team in memory with 5 guards with mid major starting experience plus Fulcher who made the MAC all-freshman team. Then, they got Plowden and Diggs back for an extra year, a good PF transfer, size off the bench, and the ability to play different lineups and styles. They could win a lot non-conf and have an at-large shot. Kent, OU, Akron, Miami, Buffalo, Ball St all should be solid with one or two of them probably finding the chemistry to be good. UB brings back everyone but Graves (who had a disappointing Sr year) and adds 2 outside shooters who are both physically strong and 4th/5th year college guys to address their primary weakness last season-consistent 3 point shooting. There's also signs that the league is scheduling up with partial non-conf schedules showing more games against P6 and top mid major leagues.

Yes, “ the staff knows a lot more than us “.
Something about K not going to the NCAA’s in his 20 + years as a a head coach. With our best shooter and also MAC player of the year gone, and now the unfortunate Edu injury, it makes you wonder if this will be a rinse and repeat of the last few years (lack of inside presence/tired legs/unwillingness to give bench more minutes)...
Hope I am wrong, but what do I know since I am just a part of the message board wannabe genius posters on this board...
I have followed Rocket b-ball since the Mix/Brisker days and have seen the good/the bad/ and the ugly...
- Just a casual observation about what MAY transpire again next season !!
(This post was last modified: 07-13-2021 07:32 AM by FMRocket.)
07-10-2021 04:44 PM
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Sleepy Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
OK now, I'm ready to do some tampering! How about we lure Peter Nwoke away from Izzo? He is a walk on at MSU. He may have an academic ride. Sounds like he is a good enough student to get an academic scholarship even at the Ivy league level but for sure he would get more playing time at Toledo than MSU.

https://www.mlive.com/highschoolsports/2...marys.html

05-stirthepot05-nono04-cheers
07-10-2021 11:51 PM
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Rocket_Fanatic Offline
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RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
Agreed FMRocket. You’d think criticism of a program with only 2 true post players going into a season (and losing one hence thereafter) would seem legit but I guess we’re a bunch of dumbasses that don’t see an obvious problem.

Yawn. If your expectation of Rocket basketball for the next 10 years is 20 wins and maybe an NIT appearance, then great. I realize that’s a good season in general.

We’ve had the likes of Nathan Boothe, Justin Ingram, Marreon Jackson, among others, play 4 years and nothing to show for it. I expect more. We want an NCAA tourney appearance or two and maybe a small run. I don’t really care if those expectations seem to be unrealistic to some of you…
07-11-2021 01:04 AM
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UTfanBGalum Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
Unless the big frosh is a big surprise, it seems we are set for small ball. Kind of late in the game to find an impact big man of any sorts (like a Steve Taylor), even if there ends up being a roster spot. So live and die by the 3. Hard to string together enough good 3-shooting nights to win the tourney.....again. But hey, the more times we try it...the odds get more in our favor ...don't they? It could happen this season!
07-11-2021 01:54 AM
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Screwball Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Small Ball vs. Transfer Portal?
Has there been a statement from Coach K?

If not, seems odd they wouldn't release something.
07-11-2021 07:46 AM
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