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  1. #21
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    I wish we were playing in this tournament with any other team from the last 4 years. Oh well

  2. #22
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    2015-16 team just absolutely pummeled through its non-conference. Would’ve been nice to see them play this tournament. They might’ve had 7 close games all year.

  3. #23
    Senior Moderator xeus's Avatar
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    This tournament is a great opportunity to sneak up on people.

  4. #24
    Supporting Member GIMMFD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markchal View Post
    I wish we were playing in this tournament with any other team from the last 4 years. Oh well
    I don't know, it would be great if it were a little later in the non-conference, because it would give the guys some more time to work kinks out, but I think we have a pretty solid roster, Q and Scruggs are pretty damn athletic and can get to the hole, if they can show that their three point shot actually did improve (which it had every indication it did) and get it a little better over the off season it would help out tremendously. We've seen flashes of Naji's potential, but now he'll have a bigger stage to step it up, and Tyrique is great when not fouling. It's just all about if the new pieces fit in well, if Welage and Hankins are as good as advertised, then I think we have a solid core of weapons to score, and with Steele focusing on defense more, it could come together well. I really think we're going to be pleasantly surprised next year.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIMMFD View Post
    I don't know, it would be great if it were a little later in the non-conference, because it would give the guys some more time to work kinks out, but I think we have a pretty solid roster, Q and Scruggs are pretty damn athletic and can get to the hole, if they can show that their three point shot actually did improve (which it had every indication it did) and get it a little better over the off season it would help out tremendously. We've seen flashes of Naji's potential, but now he'll have a bigger stage to step it up, and Tyrique is great when not fouling. It's just all about if the new pieces fit in well, if Welage and Hankins are as good as advertised, then I think we have a solid core of weapons to score, and with Steele focusing on defense more, it could come together well. I really think we're going to be pleasantly surprised next year.
    This. The core-4 from last year and auxiliary pieces. We will be different, and not top ten, but borderline top 25 I think is a good spot for this team to land.

  6. #26
    Sophomore sirthought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIMMFD View Post
    I don't know, it would be great if it were a little later in the non-conference, because it would give the guys some more time to work kinks out, but I think we have a pretty solid roster, Q and Scruggs are pretty damn athletic and can get to the hole, if they can show that their three point shot actually did improve (which it had every indication it did) and get it a little better over the off season it would help out tremendously. We've seen flashes of Naji's potential, but now he'll have a bigger stage to step it up, and Tyrique is great when not fouling. It's just all about if the new pieces fit in well, if Welage and Hankins are as good as advertised, then I think we have a solid core of weapons to score, and with Steele focusing on defense more, it could come together well. I really think we're going to be pleasantly surprised next year.
    I admire your optimism. I'm excited about this team, so let's not get that wrong, but:
    - Steele focusing more on defense and seeing it first game are two different things. Training camp may break out the beast, or it might take a while.

    - Goodin and Scruggs struggled against quick guards in key games. (They did improve!) Fitness will be key. Can they move better laterally and close the gaps? Will they get tired trying and lose their shooting legs? I'm glad we brought in some shooters to help Steele's offense.

    - Goodin, Scruggs and Marshall will be great this season, but none have been the go to. Calling on them to perform first game out against a team of Auburn mostly juniors and seniors that are top 10 is asking a lot. Again, I like that the transfers have starter's experience and not be completely in the weeds.

    Great tournament to gauge these guys. Auburn is a big challenge with a lot of scoring power. Two guards in Brown and Harper were first and second team SEC. They'll be starting one of the best 2017 freshmen in Okeke. And 6'11" 260 pound center Wiley and 6'8' wing Purifoy sat out last year due to the FBI investigation in Chuck Pearson, but as a freshmen Purifoy averaged 12 ppg and Wiley 8 ppg. As a team they didn't rebound anywhere near as well as XU, so hopefully that continues.

  7. #27
    Supporting Member GIMMFD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
    I admire your optimism. I'm excited about this team, so let's not get that wrong, but:
    - Steele focusing more on defense and seeing it first game are two different things. Training camp may break out the beast, or it might take a while.

    - Goodin and Scruggs struggled against quick guards in key games. (They did improve!) Fitness will be key. Can they move better laterally and close the gaps? Will they get tired trying and lose their shooting legs? I'm glad we brought in some shooters to help Steele's offense.

    - Goodin, Scruggs and Marshall will be great this season, but none have been the go to. Calling on them to perform first game out against a team of Auburn mostly juniors and seniors that are top 10 is asking a lot. Again, I like that the transfers have starter's experience and not be completely in the weeds.

    Great tournament to gauge these guys. Auburn is a big challenge with a lot of scoring power. Two guards in Brown and Harper were first and second team SEC. They'll be starting one of the best 2017 freshmen in Okeke. And 6'11" 260 pound center Wiley and 6'8' wing Purifoy sat out last year due to the FBI investigation in Chuck Pearson, but as a freshmen Purifoy averaged 12 ppg and Wiley 8 ppg. As a team they didn't rebound anywhere near as well as XU, so hopefully that continues.
    I didn't necessarily mean it as we're going to take care of Auburn in the first game, I meant it more as the potential is there to do so. I think we do have a lot of questions about our roster currently, but I see a lot of attractive pieces that could mesh together, and we could be playing some very good basketball by March. I would have loved to see last year's team in this tournament, but I still think we have a good roster as Mitten said should flirt with the top 25 teams in the country at times, which would be amazing for a first year head coach. To get into your points now:

    Agreed, I do think it's going to be a transition period for the defense, but the good thing is we have an entire summer to prepare and scout Auburn. I don't expect us to be the top defensive team in the country, but if we can improve on the clear lapses we had last year at times, we'll be fine. I think we're more athletic this year, which means we can be better defensively. It's good that we brought in Castlin as he's known for defense, and hopefully he has some tricks that he can help teach our other guards. Another good thing about that is going up against that in practice every day, it translates to helping us offensively, and defensively.

    Yes they did struggle against quicker guards, especially Arizona State, that game was an absolute nightmare. I don't think we need Goodin and Scruggs to be a constant deep threat, however just show they're capable of making that shot so defenses can't lag on them how they have in the past. It opens up lanes to cut in for our wings, our big men have more space to operate, and just opens up the floor in general. I agree though it's nice that Welage and Castlin again can knock down some perimeter shots, as it'll take a little pressure off of Scruggs and Q. Hopefully Naji improves in that aspect too, even though he only attempted 43 threes, he did shoot a decent 35%, so if that improves even a little bit, it opens up a whole different dimension to his game.

    I also agree, we were blessed with Tre, JP, and even Kanter who could all drop 20 at the drop of a hat last year. It's going to be a huge step up in role for all three of them, and I agree Auburn's experience is going to be a factor. We are lucky that Q is a Junior now and was thrown into the fire his Freshman year, as he's pretty battle tested and should be alright going against them, and luckily we got big minutes out of Naji and Scruggs as Freshman. They won't be used to the new role, but they have seen a lot of game time, so the speed of the play won't be an issue rather than just staying within themselves and not forcing a lot of things. It'll be interesting to see how the transfers mesh with our core, hopefully they build some good rapport over the summer, but regardless you're right, it'll be an adjustment.

    All in all, yup, this tournament is going to be a battle. Even getting by Auburn would be an amazing task in itself, let alone having to play Duke. We have a lot of questions, and you highlighted Auburn's team. They're going to be good. It's going to be a good way to throw our guys into the fire and see what we're made of, at the end of the day I won't be pissed with a loss or anything, but I wouldn't be completely shocked if we were to win this game. Auburn has spread out weapons, as do we, and it should be fun to see what happens.

  8. #28
    Supporting Member UCGRAD4X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMoreX View Post
    9:30 am local time game start.
    9:30 a.m. is Hawaii time. ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. ET

    Duke / San Diego State listed as noon Hawaii time - so - right after X/Auburn
    I only drink to steady my nerves. Sometimes I'm so steady I don't move for months. W. C. Fields

  9. #29
    Matching up with Auburn is a great early season test. They're returning a lot of guys from their SEC Championship roster. I think this'll be a close game, early in the season and teammates need to establish chemistry still.

  10. #30
    Walk-On webxu's Avatar
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    One game at a time....

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