3 Quick Hits; Weekend Warriors

Featured3 Quick Hits; Weekend Warriors

By Con / PNW Sports Fans

Here on another addition of 3 quick hits to start off your week. Our random thoughts and observations from any weekend activities.

1. OSU Baseball just misses sweep: While one of the PNW crew members is busy in the Basque country, an unlikely member was glued to the Oregon State baseball series vs Stanford this weekend. It was a pleasurable site watching OSU pound the Cardinal into submission game one and game two and to start game three. Then it all fell apart when frosh Kevin Abel walked 30 straight batters… Ok maybe not that many but you get the point. However, this does not put a damper on taking the series from your only competition in the Pac-12. OSU bats are FIRE right now. They will continue to be the rest of the season. The lineup is too good for any pitcher to get past. But the elusive Sunday starter still remains a mystery. We had faith in Abel as he had a few brilliant performances recently and with Grant Grambrell not being able to pitch effectively in t-ball right now,  Abel is one of our only options. We will see what Pat does. I prefer to try Brandon Eisert out as Sunday starter. He is more experienced then Abel and has proven the ability to keep his pitch count down and be semi consistent. We will see how this develops. Quote of the weekend from Steven Kwan regarding Pat Casey as a coach: “He’s the biggest motivator ever, the best coach I’ve ever had, but really hard to play for at first. He had the look that would bring you to your knees. That played into my self-doubts, made you think you’re the worst baseball player ever.”

GOD BLESS YOU PAT. NEVER CHANGE.

2. HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY??? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY?HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY?

PROOF THE NBA IS RIGGED. RIP DWANE CASEY THOUGH. Best record in FRANCHISE HISTORY and gets fired? LOL. Terry Stotts should retire then…

3. It’s a slow sports season…Braught what is happening with the Mariners? Oh yeah they suck again and over-committed to all fans and got everyone hyped about how good they were going to be and half their team is injured I guess. Oh and the Ichiro experiment? He is quickly to the front office…as what? Hopefully head translator so he can speak to the clone of himself he will bless the Mariners franchise with. Seriously, I am calling for a complete overhaul and dismantling of this franchise. A la the Florida Marlins except not with the slime ball Derek Jeter and with actual intelligence in trades and signings, not another MLB team working hard to make the Yankees better…

 

PS: Great job Wayne Tinkle for getting a midget point guard who can’t really shoot. So he will be slashing to the rim I guess at 5’5″??? Awesome strategy. But hey Nate Robinson is/was the ultimate OSU basketball killer…

 

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Hope

FeaturedHope

Hope.

It’s a wonderful thing and it’s all I have had since the beginning of the Tinkle era. But when their is hope in sports, their are questions. And I have had, and continue to have, numerous questions since Tinkle has taken over the basketball program.

Year one of Tinkle was a thrill. He (and GP2) somehow willed a team that had no business playing in the Pac-12 to a winning record. The team bought into Tinkle’s defense and executed a very smart coaching strategy (slow the game and limit offensive possessions). That team had to play Olaf and Jarmal 20 – 30 minutes a night. And every question can be answered by that.

Year 2. Our best ever recruiting class, a senior GP2, and Jarmal relinquished to only playing 14 minutes a game, led us to a NCAA tournament. Many of the following questions can be answered by playing freshmen and that Olaf/Jarmal were still active contributors.

Year 3. Everyone blames injuries for the 5-win season. Valid, but if you can get ’14-’15 team to win games, you can get this team to win more than 5 games. When times are hard, coaching will show. Questions in year 1 and 2, carry over year 3 and are beginning to show the real identity of this coaching staff.

Year 4. Off to an 8-4 start that could easily be 11-1 or 4-8 depending on the way you look at it (SOS is currently 310th). It’s a team that at the start of the season had FIVE 4-star talents starting. It’s a team that has the length and athleticism to defend and rebound with the best yet has the 187th DRtg, are 262nd in opponents 3P%, and are 248th in TRB with opponents at 35th. There offensive numbers aren’t much better besides being top 30 in 2P%. They are 319th in 3P%, 172nd in assists, and 100th in ORtg.

Defense and rebounding are a matter of coaching and will power! This team appears to be lacking both. If you watch closely, no one on defense, besides Big G, finds a man to put a body on. Many other times our bigs are too far under the basket to ever have a chance at the rebound. On defense, far too many times we play great D for 23 seconds of the shot clock, to only give up an easy look.

There are many questions and I am sure more will come to mind when I post this but see below for them.

What the heck do they do at practice?

This is an overarching question that can be teased out further below. Do they work on ball handling, not jumping for passes, defensive rotation, how to seal a man off for a rebound, etc? Because I do not see any of that in games.

Why does Tinkle insist on yelling and coaching every single possession?

Recently I saw a video of our new football defensive coordinator saying, “Practices are for coaches and games are for players.” I have heard this, or variations of it, many times from coaches. If during a game you must coach fundamentals or the game plan, you have failed in practice. Tinkle appears to be insistent on coaching during the game, yelling directly where players need to go, and calling out every single offensive possession. Not only is it annoying to watch, it instils in players that he does not trust them and causes them to second guess.

What is Tinkle’s offensive identity?

At least with Craig I knew what his offensive identity was, even if it looked nothing like the Princeton offensives I known. With Tinkle, I not know what he wants to achieve. And more specifically, the only play that comes to mind that I have liked, was a two man pick and roll with the bottom guy rolling off the top guy for a three. Tres has had success on that play. More specific questions below.

Why do we do not play in-out?

We have multiple guys that could do this, yet it never seems a priority. It’s unfathomable the number of times I have seen a big establish position and a guard not reward him. Currently Drew is shooting 68% but we still do not do this?

Why do we never run a high low action against a zone?

If you have ever watched a game with me, you have heard me rail on Tinkle’s zone offense for 4 years. We have the perfect antidote to a 2-3 zone in Tres but we never put him there. We will put twin towers in and still not run a high low action against the zone. What is this all about? Other questions regarding zone offense, why no use of the short corner? Why are they insistent on ball screens being done?

Why do we have zero inbounds plays?

If I had a dime for every time we inbounded the ball into the back court, I could buy courtside season tickets.

Why do we never put a man in the middle of the court when breaking a press?

Self-explanatory.

What happened to our zone defense?

The first years Tinkle was here, we played a variety of zone defenses and rarely were in man. The reasoning, we did not have the athletes nor depth to play man. But now we don’t go to it often enough. I believe it could be very effective with our lack of post depth and our length on the outside.

Why do we rarely, if ever, press?

Tinkle talked about depth and the goal of more transition buckets, but we never run a press.

Do they watch film?

I am dumbfounded at the number of times we have played right into our opponent’s strengths. A great example is in the Eastern Kentucky game. They had a guy that had not attempted a shot inside the 3pt line all season and we give up two 3pts right away? WHAT?!

Why have we not recruited a point guard?

It is obvious we have no real point guard on this team. Even with Jaqouri, we lacked a consistent ball handler and leader. Yet our 2018 recruiting class is 3 guys over 6’10”? According to 24/7, we didn’t even offer a PG. What is that all about? Also, should I trust their evaluations of PGs? I mean Ronnie is not a Power 5 D1 PG?

After the next couple of games, listen to post conference. Does Tinkle make excuses? Does he begin to temper expectations? More often than not that is what I hear and I could tolerate the first couple of years. But year 4? Everything is yours. You own it all. No more excuses. You show what you are made of.

I am still unsure if Tinkle is the man to lead us into the next level. He has yet to show us a fundamentally sound team. He has not shown us that he believes he can win here. Now is the time to prove you deserve this position.

Featured image from the Pac-12 Network

 

Beaver Basketball 12 Pack

Beaver Basketball 12 Pack

It’s that wonderful time of the year where college football regular season and college basketball non conference overlap for a month. Despite the football team having two wins, it is still an exciting time for the Beavs, as we have the two worst football teams coming to town. But this isn’t about football; this is about the basketball team.

After capturing the first NCAA tourney berth in 26 years, the beavers are looking to replace their former captain and do it all point guard GP II with a cast of Sophomores. Now through two games, they are 2-0 and here are my thoughts on the team.

  1. Tres will need to pick up the most of GP’s absence. Through two games he has done just that. Last year Tres only recorded one double double, already this year he has doubled that, with an impressive 20pt/15reb line in the first game and 26pt/15reb in 38 draining minutes in game two. One of the things the Beavers will miss the most from GP II is his intensity. GP II could just flip the switch and bring the Gill to its feet. Through two games, the intensity leader is obviously Tres, with Eubanks being his sidekick.
  2. Speaking of Eubanks, he appears to have spent a lot of time in the gym working on his offensive game. In two games we have seen both the right and left handed hooks, a nice drive to the hoop and improved mechanics on his jumper. If he can knock down that free throw line jumper, they can really stretch teams.
  3. Where’s Big G? After Tinkle hinted that we could be seeing a lot of the Twin Towers this year, he’s only played Big G eight minutes in the two games. It’s not the usual suspect of foul trouble as he has only had one foul or the other suspect of matchup issues. They have played smaller teams and it would be a good time to let him work on his post moves. We’ll see how this plays out.
  4. N’Diaye has actually looked like a basketball player. I think come conference play, a solid 12-16 minutes from him could go a long ways for this team. I’m curious to see if he can keep up this play with bigger and stronger players that they will see later in nonconference play.
  5. If I have to hear about another boot being on an OSU player, I might lose my mind. Ever since Issac Semulo went into the boot, the Beavers athletic department has been haunted by it. Stevie is now in one. I hope the media reports of this being only a precautionary measure are true and Stevie is back soon. We saw how much the Beavs needed Stevies ball handling, shooting and expertise in the UTSA game. Without Stevie out there, the Beavs had to rely too much on Tres and lacked spacing.
  6. JaQuori is baller but is he is still use to being the best ball player on the court. With more collegiate games under his belt he will get use to the speed and size of the game. JaQuori has a knack for getting to the hoop and I expect him to be a great slasher with Stevie and Tres along the three point line and Eubanks rolling to the hoop. That will be deadly!
  7. Ronnie should provide solid PG depth. He lacks any outside shooting, just look at his free throw mechanics, but he sees the court well and plays good defense. I’ve seen his hands in the passing lanes and it should lead to a few fast breaks.
  8. Four points off fast breaks in both games is not enough, especially when you are playing against the talent level we currently are. I expect the coaching staff to emphasize that this week in practice. The Beavs have the playmakers to play up-tempo but lack the fundamentals of the game. Just watch the fast breaks in the UTSA game. The dribblers head is down and the men are not filling their lanes. With Eubanks ability to run, this team could expect 10 points a game off fastbeak.
  9. Turnovers! 20 turnovers in game one and 15 in game two, with 11 of those coming in the first half is unacceptable. The Beavs have to rein those in before conference play. Other teams will take advantage of those and shut the door on us early.
  10. What was up with the OSU student section having only about 100 people in it? Really!? It’s a Sunday afternoon game! Step up students and show us why the camera switched sides. That’s embarrassing and I believe contributed to slow a start.
  11. I think this is the year we learn if Tinkle can really coach. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sold on Tinkle but so far his offenses have left a lot to be desired. What is our offense? Yeah that I thought, you couldn’t think of what it is. We’ve seen more of Craig’s ‘Princeton’ offense run under Tinkle than we ever saw under Craig and I still wouldn’t say that’s our offensive identity. Far too we often, the offense is initiated 35 feet from the basket, our centers receive the ball at the three point line and there is not enough movement. The Beavers showed glimpses of what it could be; a nice back screen from low post to high post for Dew is one of the examples I can think of, but other than that, the offense is pounding the air out of the ball and one on one. Don’t even get me started with the out of bound plays! I can’t think of one time we have ran a good one. Normally they throw the ball to the back-court. Stotts should teach Tinkle a thing or two about drawing up in-bounds plays. But for the past two years, I’ve given Tinkle the pass. It’s hard to run an offense when you have Olaf and Jarmal on your team. GP II, Tres and Stevie saved us last year. Let’s see what they can do this year.
  12. Last but not defiantly not least, the biggest thing through these two games is that no longer do we have to watch what I would say is the worst D1 basketball player I have ever seen is. Jarmal Reid is no longer here! If I had to see Jarmal put his head down and plow over another guy on his way to the basket, I would have ran out there and tripped him myself. The worst part was then he would gather all the guys and give them a talk. I mean what was he saying in those huddles and did the guys actually listen to him!?! Either way, I would be shocked if I was the only one that thinks this.

Next up, the Beavs have two games this week, home vs Lamar and then on the road vs Nevada. Both will provide more of a challenge then these two games but should still end in W’s based on talent a lone.

It’s an exciting time in the Pac 12 as it is deeper this year then it has been in the last decade. I expect the Beavers to have some growing pains and finish in the middle of the Pac. I hope they prove me wrong. No matter what, this team will be a lot of fun and has a bright a future.