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Username Post: Looking ahead        (Topic#20070)
Chet Forte 
PhD Student
Posts: 1777

Reg: 03-02-08
03-09-17 09:44 AM - Post#225844    
    In response to mrjames

Smith led the team with 31.4 mpg, averaged 13.6 ppg, shot 40.1% and 38.2 from 3 pt range, 82.1 from the FT line, had 95 assists to 48 TOS, and had 29 steals. And he was the PG. He also started all 27 games.


 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4118

Reg: 11-22-04
03-09-17 10:21 PM - Post#225989    
    In response to Columbia Alum

Well, for Penn I wouldn't call the season a disappointment. We improved over the prior year by more than I thought possible. Obviously there's always room for improvement and things that could have gone better -- while the improvement overall was more than seemed possible, the Ivy performance didn't fully reflect the overall performance. So that was disappointing in the micro sense, but overall I don't see much room for disappointment.

For Columbia, it is a little more complicated. You guys lost so many minutes from the prior year. To me, it is very hard to say whether or not the team underachieved (I recognize that the vocal Columbia contingent on here is always optimistic, which can then lead to disappointment). As an outside observer, this was a season where there was so much uncertainty for where Columbia would be that I was more curious to find out than anything else. So I'd call it a fine first season for Engles. The development of Smith is a big positive for the future of the program. I'm hard pressed to call the season a disappointment with that.

 
Columbia Alum 
Junior
Posts: 201

Age: 31
Reg: 11-15-11
Looking ahead
03-09-17 11:51 PM - Post#226003    
    In response to SomeGuy

It's disappointing after so many minutes lost and a new coach and new system that we started the year fine and then ended the year worse than we started. All those set backs were initial hurdles that we managed well early and overcame and then our play deteriorated. This is the biggest disappointment, I'm not confident that our coaching staff performed well this year. Decisions such as making way too many substitutions, being sticky with starting lineup, and sitting tape for the vast majority of the season are coaching failures in my book. I hope the coaching improves next year.

Edited by Columbia Alum on 03-09-17 11:51 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4118

Reg: 11-22-04
Re: Looking ahead
03-10-17 07:48 AM - Post#226014    
    In response to Columbia Alum

I'm not so sure the play deteriorated over the course of the season. I think the level of play remained fairly stagnant, and the Ivy schedule was just backloaded for Columbia, which gave the false impression of deterioration, when in fact the results likely would have been about the same if the games had just been ordered differently.

And a player like Tape is always tough to interpret from the sidelines. All reports are that he came in extremely raw, having played no basketball at the level most recruits have played. There can be harm to throwing a guy like that out there in games too early, and even as it was, my untrained observation was that he was more or less playing outside the offense when he was in there during much of the season. The fact that you saw stuff that you liked may actually reflect positively on the way he was brought along.

I wasn't sure that the lineup was such a problem, either. It seemed to me that Columbia had issues at the 3 spot where whoever started tended to look overmatched, and whoever came off the bench tended to look better. Columbia just didn't have anyone at that spot who matched up particularly well with a fresh starter on other teams.

 
Chet Forte 
PhD Student
Posts: 1777

Reg: 03-02-08
03-10-17 10:30 AM - Post#226035    
    In response to SomeGuy

I was speaking last evening with a long time supporter of Harvard basketball who saw both of our Harvard games this year. He asked me what I thought happened. I gave him the usual explanations. He wasn't buying it. His opinion, and he is a very blunt and candid guy who doesn't pull his punches, is that we were actually a good team and showed it during both Harvard games. He thought that some of our losses were inexplicable, primarily the road losses to Dartmouth and Brown.


 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 15549

Reg: 11-21-04
03-10-17 10:40 AM - Post#226037    
    In response to Chet Forte

I agree with your friend. Despite the fact that anyone can lose on the road, what CU managed to do was fail to win any big games on the road. Hell, Penn lost to Brown and Dartmouth AT HOME, yet got the spot because it beat Yale on the road.

Both CU games I saw had me thinking they had more talent than Penn this year. Don't know if that will be the case next year.

 
Columbia Alum 
Junior
Posts: 201

Age: 31
Reg: 11-15-11
Re: Looking ahead
03-10-17 10:42 AM - Post#226038    
    In response to SomeGuy

I get the easy games front loaded, but we started off the season playing like a KenPom 200 team, and ended the season playing like a KP 250-275 team, this is independent of where easy games are clustered. Normally a team with minutes lost and a new coach should struggle initially and then find footing. So really our trajectory should have been KP 225 --> KP 175, but we started slightly better than expected and then went in reverse. Disappointing.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4118

Reg: 11-22-04
Re: Looking ahead
03-10-17 10:59 AM - Post#226044    
    In response to Columbia Alum

I don't think Columbia started the season playing as a KenPom 200 team. That preseason rating is all based on the prior year. In Columbia's case, with so many minutes leaving, where they are is a prediction based on the standard replacement level of players in our league -- the system has no idea whether the replacements are actually at the standard level, etc. The preseason rating slowly becomes a smaller part of the calculation as the season progresses. So the dropping rating isn't a function of Columbia playing worse -- it's a function of the high initial guess slowly being removed.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4118

Reg: 11-22-04
03-10-17 11:05 AM - Post#226047    
    In response to palestra38

Right, but Columbia also basically won the games against comparable teams at home (with the exception of Cornell). It seems to me that they ended up about where you might expect. Both coming into the season and knowing what we know now, I think Columbia's most likely scenario with Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Penn was a split. More likely to win at home and lose on the road in each series, but sometimes it reverses. Penn was better than Columbia overall for the year and had a better chance to earn a sweep or knock off a top 3 team. Which is why they ended up a game better (and could have ended up more).

 
Columbia Alum 
Junior
Posts: 201

Age: 31
Reg: 11-15-11
Re: Looking ahead
03-10-17 11:15 AM - Post#226051    
    In response to SomeGuy

Our expectation was to improve as the season progressed, I think we deteriorated, you think we stagnated, both are disappointing.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 15549

Reg: 11-21-04
03-10-17 11:31 AM - Post#226058    
    In response to SomeGuy

Had Penn not sat the transfers and gone with the freshmen, it would not be in the playoff. It was only the 0-6 start that actually saved the season.

 
hoopsfan 
Masters Student
Posts: 503

Reg: 12-26-04
03-10-17 04:15 PM - Post#226139    
    In response to SomeGuy

I had Columbia winning 4-6 games given the loss of Lo, Mullins, Rosenberg and Super Glue Cohen - and that was before the season-long loss of Castlin and the loss of Meisner for a significant number of games.

I think they showed somewhat better in the beginning mostly for the reasons others have stated, and also in part because they enjoyed greater freedom under Engles's system than Kyle Smith's. Such a "contrast gain" can naturally lessen over time however. As they entered league play and had trouble practicing and playing everyone due to injuries and illness, this and the tighter scouting and back-loaded schedule did them in. Regarding wins on the road, they could have beaten Princeton there on a last second shot, and beaten Dartmouth away by avoiding a last second shot - in which case we'd be having a different conversation.

The team that lost to Yale in the last game played very hard and mostly well. No fan can have a problem with that loss beyond the frustration of letting another victory (and a spot in the first tourney) slip away.

The prior loss to Brown in which the Lions were listless and got smashed is the game I have been thinking the most about. Like many here having been an athlete long ago I can only guess that when you don't move your feet at all you're tight - and for some reason the pressure kept them from competing hard. The next night for whatever reason they moved their feet and played Yale even.

Some of the story-lines I took from this year were: 1. how totally nails Princeton was especially given their personnel losses 2. how much less Harvard (altho a good team) was than the sum of its parts, especially after years of superior recruiting and 3. and how much a season ending tourney added to the meaning of the entire season and nearly every match-up.

With regards to Columbia, they have some pieces. The coaches obviously know they need to quickly get more athletic and skilled. The class they are bringing in reflects that plus I wouldn't be shocked if they are not done yet.

 
Murph 
Masters Student
Posts: 574

Age: 56
Reg: 09-13-11
03-13-17 08:30 AM - Post#226698    
    In response to hoopsfan

Needless to say, basketball is a game of inches. If we had won that Dartmouth game, which we had in the bag, leading by 4 with 20 seconds left in OT, our perception of the season would have been very different. Had we won that game, we would have qualified for the Ivy Tournament, played up to or above our potential, Smith might have won ROY, and our perception of Petrasek, Hickman and Colby would have been much more positive.

 
Chet Forte 
PhD Student
Posts: 1777

Reg: 03-02-08
03-13-17 09:10 AM - Post#226705    
    In response to Murph

All true, but it is also true that really good, hard nosed teams usually find a way to win those close games. We didn't. We missed a three that would have won the first aprinceton game, blew a four point lead in the Dartmouth game with 29 seconds, had a lead at the end of the second Yale game and couldn't close it, and had a one point lead with three minutes to go in the second Harvard game. We blew the second Cornell game to a pretty weak Cornell team after having beaten them away. And the most unforgivable loss was failing to even show up for the second Brown game. Smith was a gamer who showed up every night and was our best player. The seniors were disappointing, and especially Petrasek, who had a decent year but never showed me that he wanted it badly enough to dive for loose balls, take charges, or drive to the basket when it mattered and to compound matters forgot how to make free throws. And the third member of the big three, Hickman, was basically ineffective in most of the Ivy games down the stretch. So we need a real infusion next year, hopefully from Meisner, Castlin and the first years, led by an even better Mike Smith, who carried a larger burden than any first year in the league as a PG.


 
Filippo2014 
Freshman
Posts: 79

Age: 69
Reg: 04-10-14
03-13-17 10:48 AM - Post#226728    
    In response to Chet Forte

I wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. No mention of Quinton Adlesh in that particular assessment. Adlesh showed he was among the most reliable 3-point shooters, the best steal man, probably the best assist man in limited time. He seemed to hit a wall towards the end. Teams identified him as a shooter, and the critical 3-point shots disappeared, and he too, forgot how to make free throws. His charity stripe misses in crunch time cost Columbia a win at Dartmouth. But his all-around floor game is at a Mike Smith level.

John Sica. Forgotten man. 2015-16, proved he was the best defender among the underclassmen forecourt players, and that included Meisner and his matador D. Sica’s defense in a 10-minute stretch up at Harvard helped make Alex Rosenberg’s heroic shot mean something, although Harvard suckered John on one backdoor play. Sica has a strong offensive game—he can really shoot the 3—, but you will probably never see it because Meisner at this stage is offensively better. This season, Chris McComber took Meisner’s injury minutes. So, John Sica: forgotten man.

Maybe there will be a gem aside from Faulds in next year’s freshman class, but I would not count on it. The cupboard is already full with good players that are more experienced, such as Killingsworth and Rodney Hunter. Let’s see how C.J. Davis responds to his relegated role to backup SG/PG, now that Mike Smith has taken PG helm. Castlin and Hickman were gym rat friends, always working out together. As freshmen, the so-called “jewel of the class” was Castlin, Hickman an afterthought. As sophomores, Hickman started supplanting Castlin as Kyle Smith’s first guy off the bench. This year, Hickman emerged from all that work. Let us see Mr. Castlin emerge.

Rodney Hunter seemed to lack confidence in his overall offensive game, and if you play his position in the Ivy League at his size, you need to be a 3 point threat. Rodney can certainly hit that shot. One thing, though, his style is sort of Sean Marion-like. Kinda of an anomaly. But Sean Marion was deadly accurate with that shot, and Rodney is the kind of meticulous person who could be deadly accurate, too. If Rodney makes up his mind to put himself through a rigorous off-season 3 point clinic ala Rosenberg, Summer of '14, he can turn that corner and become a 3 point threat.

 
Chet Forte 
PhD Student
Posts: 1777

Reg: 03-02-08
03-13-17 11:09 AM - Post#226734    
    In response to Filippo2014

The "gem" in the recruiting class may we'll be Hanson, who has been on fire lately.


 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3057

Reg: 02-04-06
03-13-17 02:36 PM - Post#226773    
    In response to Chet Forte

In the Penn game that Columbia won, Hickman made three consecutive great plays to turn the tide in the second half. Just saying.

 
Murph 
Masters Student
Posts: 574

Age: 56
Reg: 09-13-11
Looking ahead
03-15-17 07:41 AM - Post#227047    
    In response to Filippo2014

You make a good point in bringing up Sica.

We have several 6'7 players who could possibly compete for the reserve PF minutes next season, behind Meisner. They are Sica, Panayniotou and the already mentioned Brumant. (Unfortunately, they're all listed at only 198 lbs.) I brought up Brumant as the favorite, because he has the highest potential, and is the most athletic with the ability to play above the rim. But if the others work hard enough they could win those minutes.

It's even conceivable that Hunter could play stretches at PF next year in a four guard offense that might appeal to Engles and his staff.

 
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