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Username Post: Let's talk about how deep this team really is        (Topic#21150)
Streamers 
Postdoc
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Streamers
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Reg: 11-21-04
02-11-18 01:28 PM - Post#247444    

This weekend has raised the question across several threads as to whether this team is deep enough for the Ivy February grind (nearly all of it on the road for Penn) and whether SD going to a 7 man rotation is a good idea.

Max's injury and Wood's funk (I suspect there is something wrong physically there too - shooters of his quality don't hoist air balls from good looks for no reason) really drive home the point.

We all thought going in this team would be quite deep. Then, for various reasons, Williams/Scott/Hamilton all sit it out - and Jarrod just hasn't progressed to the point where he can make a big contribution. Dwyer falls ill and is lost for the season. All of these kids could have helped out this weekend in one way or another.

We saw a cameo from Jones, until it was clear he could not get open, and another one from McDonald that was also brief.

I think we know what is going on with JD, thankfully Silpe is making that academic. As to Goodman, and we've seen a bit of what he is capable of, that is a mystery.

With another tough road trip coming up, I'm looking for a sign that Steve is going to fins some more bench minutes somewhere.

 
SomeGuy 
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Reg: 11-22-04
02-11-18 04:34 PM - Post#247467    
    In response to Streamers

I guess I don’t understand the cryptic statement about JD.

To a degree with Wood, I think a shooter has to shoot. No matter how smart you are as a coach, you’re probably not going to be able to guess who will be hot and who won’t be.

Out of conference, we had a couple of games where it looked like Wood, Jones, and Donahue weren’t all on the scouting report. So whoever played a lot the last game was marked as a 3 point shooter, but somebody else could come in and be left open on the perimeter. That won’t happen in conference.

I’m really not concerned with the depth. I think we’re playing the right top 6, and I think the depth will show up if we really need it. I wouldn’t change a thing after one loss (though, as I pointed out before, I think i’d try some different defensive matchups than what I saw in the first half. Harvard isn’t a particularly strong offensive team, and we are a good defensive one, so I just don’t buy that there are spots where we don’t match up when guarding them.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 19311

Reg: 11-21-04
02-12-18 09:54 AM - Post#247514    
    In response to SomeGuy

I really think this was a convergence of factors---5 games in 8 days, the ridiculous Hanover night game, Harvard day game scheduling and Max's medical issue. But we got open 3s all game. When we finally hit a few, we actually made it a game late until Harvard hit a few of their own.

In the rematch, if Rothschild is healthy, Harvard doesn't dominate the middle as much, and our legs should be stronger for the open 3s and gimmee bunnies we missed. Harvard played very well and despite that, it took an extreme off-game for us to lose by 9 on the road.

Of course, my opinion may change if we play next weekend like we did this weekend.

 
Silver Maple 
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02-12-18 10:46 AM - Post#247516    
    In response to palestra38

There's a bit of a spit-and-glue quality to this team-- kind of a jerry-rigged thing (are we still allowed to say 'jerry-rigged?' If not, I apologize and will immediately check myself into some sort of program.) Donahue doesn't have a huge amount of talent, with only two players who I think any other coach in the league would love to have. The rest are a bunch of role players. The fact that Penn is 7-1 at this point is a HUGE testament to the coach's resourcefulness. I can't tell you how impressed I am with the way Donahue is going to war with the army he has. But the downside to that is when you hit a bit of adversity (at least one player significantly under the weather this past weekend), things can deteriorate quickly. That said, I remain optimistic, both for the remainder of this season as well as the longer term. My big hope is that the staff can leverage this season's success into a couple of big recruiting wins.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 19311

Reg: 11-21-04
02-12-18 10:55 AM - Post#247517    
    In response to Silver Maple

Again, we should have a major infusion of talent with this year's freshman class effectively starting next year--I don't think anyone expected that before this season.

Still, this was a very winnable game despite our inability to stop Harvard inside if we hit a reasonable proportion of 3s by the guys who usually hit those shots and if we didn't miss so many easy layups. We got our shots ---which is why Foreman in the second half just looked at the defense and took it to the basket and why when Betley finally started hitting, we got to within 5 or 6. Sucks to lose, but I'm not all that down about this one. In the past, when Harvard played that well on offense, we lost by 30.

 
mrjames 
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Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
02-12-18 11:43 AM - Post#247521    
    In response to palestra38

I wouldn't pin all of your hopes to the 2017 class. From what I heard, Jelani was the best player in Penn's class, so I would expect, even with the ACL, he would be a talent to be excited about. Generally, that's an injury one can fully recover from with confidence (as opposed to a foot, which we've seen multiple times become a chronic problem). The other pieces were seen more as projects and might struggle to contribute consistently until later in their careers.

 
whitakk 
Junior
Posts: 217

Age: 27
Reg: 11-11-14
Re: Let's talk about how deep this team really is
02-12-18 12:17 PM - Post#247531    
    In response to Streamers

Princeton mostly played seven guys last year. Yale's rotation was 7 or maybe 8 down the stretch in 2016. Harvard went seven deep for much of 2015 and was always really thin in the backcourt.

A deep bench is nice to have but it's not crucial. The best starting five or so usually wins.

 
10Q 
Professor
Posts: 15044

Loc: Suburban Philly
Reg: 11-21-04
Let's talk about how deep this team really is
02-12-18 12:32 PM - Post#247534    
    In response to whitakk

Fran often won the Ivy Open with his 7 Iron.

 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1856

Reg: 02-15-15
02-12-18 12:47 PM - Post#247538    
    In response to mrjames

By "the other pieces" I assume you mean Eddie and Jarrod? Jackson is obviously a project. Eddie helped us win a couple games before his injury. While Jarrod has been slow to catch on to the pace of the college game, I would be surprised if he didn't produce significant minutes next year. This team also returns Tyler Hamilton and loses only Darnell while adding Mike Wang. I expect next year's Penn team to be much more talented than this year's version.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 19311

Reg: 11-21-04
02-12-18 12:52 PM - Post#247539    
    In response to PennFan10

We also lose Wood, who has been a major cog this year. We will have to replace that outside shooting.

 
mrjames 
Professor
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Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
02-12-18 12:58 PM - Post#247541    
    In response to PennFan10

We'll see. I didn't hear much all that great about Scott or Simmons as prospects. I do think Jelani, if fully recovered, could be a big add for the Quakers.

 
10Q 
Professor
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Loc: Suburban Philly
Reg: 11-21-04
02-12-18 01:11 PM - Post#247542    
    In response to palestra38

Yep. We'll need another Wood to go with the 7 Iron.

 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1856

Reg: 02-15-15
02-12-18 01:24 PM - Post#247543    
    In response to mrjames

Probably didn't hear much about many of the current Penn recruits, who lead the Ivy League. I am also sure you attribute that to other teams lack of success (injuries) than Penn's success.

We will see.

 
mrjames 
Professor
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Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
Let's talk about how deep this team really is
02-12-18 01:39 PM - Post#247545    
    In response to PennFan10

Definitely heard a ton about AJ. Don’t think anyone else particularly sticks out. To be fair, Penn is winning with defense, and team defense at that. Typically the stuff I hear involves offensive skills or individual defense (on-ball perimeter or at the rim).

And I do think that the prospect of a 150ish team leading the league is about other teams’ injuries. That being said, it’s harder than people think to be No. 150 and teams that are No. 150 are a LOT better than people think...

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
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Reg: 11-22-04
Re: Let's talk about how deep this team really is
02-12-18 02:26 PM - Post#247548    
    In response to mrjames

The other thing about 150 is that the number is getting better every year. My expectation is that a team on an upward trajectory and led by sophomores is going to have a better ranking next year (and the year after).

No shame in winning the league in a year with no teams in the top 150. Might be shame in losing it, though.

 
SomeGuy 
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Reg: 11-22-04
02-12-18 02:32 PM - Post#247549    
    In response to mrjames

Yes, and you heard a lot about Djuricic, who has averaged the same number of minutes per game as Scott, and put up a lower ORAT and WS/40 than Simmons (while admittedly playing twice as much).

 
Quakers03 
Professor
Posts: 8063

Reg: 12-07-04
Re: Let's talk about how deep this team really is
02-12-18 02:37 PM - Post#247551    
    In response to mrjames

So where does that leave Betley?

 
mrjames 
Professor
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Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
02-12-18 03:31 PM - Post#247556    
    In response to SomeGuy

Djuricic has a 112 ORAT on 20% usage in about 30% of team minutes per game. He's been in double figures five times, all of which came at a 100 ORAT or better. He'd also be second in the league in block rate if he plays 8pp more mins to qualify. His post defense is a BIG weakness, but otherwise, he's had some nice games earlier in the year and is a big part of why Harvard has been successful recently. He's a strong rotation player, which is a great add as a freshman out of a class that didn't project to have any immediate stars (I really liked Cambridge, but come on... 113 ORAT on 26% usage, an 8.5% TO rate and a 4% Blk Rate... that's absurd).

We don't really know much about Jarrod. He's only hit 10 mins in three games of which the highest ranked team was No. 335 Howard. His line is basically noise at this point.

Eddie Scott had one game (Monmouth) that everyone went nuts over. Take that away, and there's nothing really there.

 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1856

Reg: 02-15-15
02-12-18 03:38 PM - Post#247557    
    In response to mrjames

There is nothing there because he was injured. Doesn't mean he isn't a lot better than Djuricic or a lot worse.

Conveniently silent on Betley.....I agree Jarrod's contribution is noise.

No one predicted a 7-1 Penn team with virtually zero contribution from the freshmen class. And I remember you actually saying we would be worse on defense this year than we were a year ago. Heck you probably still think that right?



 
Silver Maple 
Postdoc
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Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
Reg: 11-23-04
02-12-18 03:53 PM - Post#247558    
    In response to PennFan10

I'm sorry, but comparing Eddie Scott to Djuricic is just silly. Scott has played so little this season that he'll probably get another year of eligibility if he wants it. In the end, I guess he might turn out to be better than Djuricic, but there's really no point in trying to compare the two of them right now.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
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Reg: 11-22-04
02-12-18 04:27 PM - Post#247563    
    In response to Silver Maple

My only point is that Mike’s sources thought Djuricic was the best recruit in the league this year, and that Scott and Simmons were projects. And to me the difference on court so far has not been that evident.

So I’m not at all ready to bury anyone. Simmons will only get more minutes next year if he can muscle away minutes from very established guys. However, Scott should at least be in the wing conversation with Foreman and Wood graduating, but a bunch of others will be as well.



 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1856

Reg: 02-15-15
02-12-18 04:34 PM - Post#247565    
    In response to Silver Maple

I agree. That wasn't my comparison.

 
Jeff2sf 
Postdoc
Posts: 3795

Reg: 11-22-04
02-12-18 04:37 PM - Post#247566    
    In response to PennFan10

I love Jarrod.

It's a terrible sign when you can't unseat a guy with a 99 ORAT.

It's an even terribler sign when you can't unseat a guy who had problems with his seat - Steve decided he'd rather play Matt and other guards than let Jarrod play.



 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1856

Reg: 02-15-15
02-12-18 04:39 PM - Post#247567    
    In response to Jeff2sf

Nice play on words. Well done.

I am pretty sure Max plays not because of his ORat, but because of his defense, among other things.

 
Silver Maple 
Postdoc
Posts: 3275

Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
Reg: 11-23-04
02-12-18 04:43 PM - Post#247570    
    In response to PennFan10

The list of players who will be realistically competing for Foreman's and Wood's minutes will be long. I make it as (roughly in class order):

Silpe
Donahue
Jerome
Kuba
Goodman
Scott
Williams


 
Jeff2sf 
Postdoc
Posts: 3795

Reg: 11-22-04
02-12-18 04:47 PM - Post#247572    
    In response to PennFan10

Yeah listen, Max is who he is.

But even when Max wasn't capable of playing, Steve decided not to play Jarrod. As you guys are so fond of telling me about Steve Jobs, er Donahue, this speaks volumes as to Steve's opinion of Jarrod.

 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1856

Reg: 02-15-15
02-12-18 05:00 PM - Post#247573    
    In response to Jeff2sf

Agree with that.

 
HARVARDDADGRAD 
PhD Student
Posts: 1152

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
02-12-18 05:27 PM - Post#247574    
    In response to PennFan10

Penn pundits.

From an outsider's perspective, have you considered that maybe Coach Donahue plays Max out of necessity. Last year, Matt Howard was your rebounding forward, grabbing about as many boards as Brodeur. Beyond Betley, it appears that most of the rebounds are distributed among guards. Forcing Betley to guard a 4 and rebound would likely impact his offensive upside and could land him in foul trouble. Thus, it seems to me that inserting Max and playing him 30 minutes is by necessity.

If this year's freshmen or the incoming class provides a big 3 or even a small 4, then there are other options.

 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1856

Reg: 02-15-15
02-12-18 05:35 PM - Post#247575    
    In response to HARVARDDADGRAD

That may have been true initially though I am pretty sure SD thinks Max is one of his 5 best players at this point.

 
Quakers03 
Professor
Posts: 8063

Reg: 12-07-04
02-12-18 05:57 PM - Post#247576    
    In response to PennFan10

The first impression I got from watching Jarrod at the scrimmage was one of athletic ability, but I wondered if the motivation was there. It seems pretty silly to evaluate a Freshman just on the way he carries himself and his expressions, but I just didn't see that "spark". It's definitely not a fair evaluation, but it stuck with me and months later, based on the little growth we've seen, I'm still left wondering. The fact that he is not seeing minutes says a lot and it's obvious that something isn't clicking yet.

 
mrjames 
Professor
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Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
02-12-18 06:14 PM - Post#247580    
    In response to SomeGuy

I wrote this in March...

  • Quote:
From what I'm hearing, the entering class is:
Tier I: Djuricic, Much
Tier II: Cambridge, Faulds, Haskett, Williams, Simmons, Desrosiers, Schweiger, Atkinson, Swain, Yess
Tier III: DeWolf, Newman, Hanson, Stefanini, Knight, Scott, Barnes, Gabiddon



From March on, the only ones that really changed were Cambridge, Atkinson and Knight - heard great things about all three that I shared on here.

But if you look at that March list in terms of win share rank:

Tier I: 5, 6
Tier II: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 13, 16, 21, 34, DNP
Tier III: 7, 11, 12, 17, 18, 23, DNP, Decommitted

 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1856

Reg: 02-15-15
02-12-18 06:44 PM - Post#247582    
    In response to mrjames

I don't think putting Djuricic, and Much for that matter, on the Tier 1 level with Cambridge is remotely reasonable. Maybe Cambridge has his own Tier 0?

After him I think Atkinson, Knight and Much are full time players. The rest are role players at this point and not comparable to the others in my view.


 
HARVARDDADGRAD 
PhD Student
Posts: 1152

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
02-12-18 07:48 PM - Post#247585    
    In response to PennFan10

Absolutely!

But I look at lineups as puzzle pieces. Max is a strong rebounder and fills the lane - something Penn would be lacking without him. Penn is clearly better with him in the rotation and even starting. Obviously, Max has replaced Matt Howard. Whereas Matt Howard was more creative with the ball, Max can post up and has developed into a nice distributor. A win win for Penn.

 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1856

Reg: 02-15-15
02-12-18 08:49 PM - Post#247591    
    In response to HARVARDDADGRAD

Saturday's game notwithstanding, I think Max has become one of the better defenders in the league as well.

 
91Quake 
Masters Student
Posts: 631

Reg: 11-22-04
02-12-18 10:04 PM - Post#247605    
    In response to PennFan10

Agreed. And it may be just a drop early to declare anyone but Cambridge a star recruit. And that is very normal.

And let's be fair to Simmons. Just because everything has not clicked should not be equated with a lack of effort/desire/whatever. You are jumping to conclusions that are not fair or substantiated.

 
Silver Maple 
Postdoc
Posts: 3275

Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
Reg: 11-23-04
02-12-18 10:37 PM - Post#247613    
    In response to 91Quake

C/PF players often take awhile to develop. Brodeur is an anomaly. Let's see how Simmons looks next hear. Right now he's on the steep part of the learning curve.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4632

Reg: 11-22-04
02-13-18 12:45 AM - Post#247635    
    In response to Quakers03

I think the depth argument and the references to Simmons not playing are making a little too much of how we chose to match our recent opponents. Harvard played small against us. So while Max was sick and Lewis was killing us, the most logical response was AJ on Lewis and play small at the 4. Simmons isn’t a physical match for Towns or Bassey. We’ll probably see him back in the rotation against Columbia, because they play more 2 bigs at a time.

 
Penndemonium 
Masters Student
Posts: 776

Reg: 11-29-04
02-13-18 12:59 AM - Post#247636    
    In response to 91Quake

  • 91Quake Said:
Agreed. And it may be just a drop early to declare anyone but Cambridge a star recruit. And that is very normal.

And let's be fair to Simmons. Just because everything has not clicked should not be equated with a lack of effort/desire/whatever. You are jumping to conclusions that are not fair or substantiated.



I think it's a bit of semantics. I think the post was commenting on the fact that Simmons doesn't have a full time motor and has negative body language. That gets interpreted as an issue of effort/desire. I think that can be a misunderstanding - Simmons may care as much as any other player, but doesn't know how to express that in behaviors that will reinforce and raise his game. The behaviors that people are looking for are confidence, resilience, ability to energize his team-mates, and non-stop activity. When Simmons or players he is guarding are off the ball, he is not doing all of the things that make a player great. He is not improving his positioning at all times. He is not making opponents chase or respond to his physical pressure. He is not clearing space for a potential rebound or to set a great screen.

When he does have the ball or when he is guarding the player with the ball, he is much more attentive and looks better.


 
Quakers03 
Professor
Posts: 8063

Reg: 12-07-04
02-13-18 01:09 AM - Post#247638    
    In response to Penndemonium

What he said. Negative body language is a good way to describe what I was seeing at that first scrimmage. Again, some players just hold themselves in a quiet way and then explode, so I still hold out hope. We've had plenty of players who couldn't stay on the court early in their careers because of silly fouls/mistakes (some even on the current roster) and many overcame it and went onto productive careers. Others, however, did not.

 
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