Thursday, November 30, 2017

Early Evaluation for 2017-2018

The Orange have played six games, and are sitting at 6-0.  It is still early in the season, but we do have a bod of work we can evaluate.
So what do I think of the Orange so far?
I think we will be a competitive team this year, which is all I really can ask for. We may get to our 20+ wins, and to the NCAA tournament, which would be a welcome return.
This team is unlikely to ever be proficient at making 3’s. There aren’t any pure shooters on the squad. But it is a team with a lot of athleticism, a lot of hustle, and a strong ability to drive to the hoop.
You can win a lot of games playing solid defense, crashing the boards and diving for loose balls. Jamie Dixon made a career at Pitt by coaching teams to do just that. Dixon never had an offense you would care for.
The exciting thing is that a few of our weaknesses and concerns from the summer currently are not being displayed. Our point guard play from Frank Howard has been solid through seven games; so much so, that Howard Washington has barely played, and Geno Thorpe hasn’t even backed up the point position.
We thought we had a black hole at center, and instead we have not one, but two centers playing the position well.  
We thought we wouldn’t have a solid #2 scorer, but Howard is providing that element right now. Oshae Brissett is showing that he will be #3. People thought that we would need Thorpe to be #2, and he has been a non factor.
We thought Marek Dolezaj would be a project for future years, and possibly even redshirt. Instead the kid is a key/vital element on the team.
We thought we would be playing a lot of three guard offense; that has barely been displayed.
Bottom line… there’s a lot we didn’t know about this team. It’s young, its inexperienced. We are looking at a small sample size. Yet, they keep checking the boxes off as the proceed game to game.
Go Orange!

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