This was one of those weird games where the good was particularly good and the bad was alarmingly bad, so it’s been an interesting evening/morning of processing the game.
- The four-headed ball handling quadrumvirate that is Coleman/Roach/Long/Ramey looks to be the unquestioned strength of this team. People certainly could have come away from the tip-off scrimmage un-wowed by Ramey, but I thought he looked great last night as a creator and someone who can step in for Coleman and keep the tempo/playmaking at a solid level.
- I think the quicker play during the latter stages of the first half and into the second were indicative of how that seven-second style is going to work. Inside of that span, you had one player stay back as a quick release after the rebound (last night, that was often Long, but Coleman and Ramey also did it plenty) and the other two backcourt players sprinted to the low wings. This created immediate spacing and meant the retreating defense would be spread out to cover shooters. That’s a specific way we can utilize the plethora of ball handlers we’ve got.
- Coleman, Febres, Roach and Hepa as shooters have a chance to be Texas’ best collection since the 2010-11 season. Liddell shooting two (that was silly) and Jones kind of hoisting two of them (that was understandable), likely won’t happen in that fashion very often. If you take away those guys, Texas shot a very respectable 38%. And that’s without Roach, who should be one of the top shooters on the team. Long and Ramey are better perimeter shooters than they showed yesterday, too.
- I simply can’t get over the fluidity with which Jaxson Hayes moves. It’s really incredible. How can a guy that big have that level of agility/ability to contort his body? He’s a marvel, to me.
- If Long can play with the kind of attacking mindset that he showed last night, it’s entirely possible that our rotation will be much shorter than I anticipated. Physical limitations aside, he looked like a legitimate threat with the ball with the understanding that he’ll get the third perimeter defender pretty much anytime he’s on the floor.
- Hepa’s the real deal. For a freshman to play that quickly but still not look lost (and to see his perimeter shot go down) was a lot of fun. He and Ramey are gamers.
- The rebounding was not good, sure, but it’s the way in which it wasn’t good that was so frustrating. EIU out-hustled Texas all night on the glass, which is a joke for our starters in particular. Neither Jericho nor Dylan had the kind of nights they would have liked, but there’s simply no excuse for their lack of energy/aggressiveness on the glass.
- Speaking of Jericho and Dylan, they both looked SLOW on offense. They didn’t show well. They were late on picks. They didn’t run the pipe with energy. Whatever last night was, it was disheartening to see two guys who have played as much as they both have look that lethargic when you have Hayes and Hepa sprinting all over the court.
- Perhaps surprisingly, I’m not overly concerned with the turnovers from both Sims and Osetkowski as the switch from a more methodical offense to the more free-flowing, tempo offense is tougher on big men than it is on guards. Still, when Texas does get into some more purposeful sets, those seven turnovers aren’t going to help matters.
I wouldn’t lose much sleep over the poor free throw shooting. Ramey will be better than that as the year goes on.
Poor rebounding notwithstanding, I was pleased with the defense, especially how little we switched. Teams with this length/quickness don’t need to switch all the time.
Tomorrow’s a big day with the announcement of Will Baker’s future plans. Texas is the likely destination.
Arkansas Friday, which should be fun. Hopefully Texas is ready to go on the boards because Mike Anderson teams will compete