This is a long post from some idiot on the internet and as such recognize I am probably absolutely wrong on all points. And by writing this wasted my time and by posting it am wasting your time. In reflecting on the season so far I think our issues fall into 2 categories. Player development stagnated and coaching.
Player development first. Guys typically make big jumps under Schmidt in years 1 to 2 and 2 to 3. The handful of guys that started as freshmen and stayed to be seniors hasn't really gone up a level in their senior campaign. I think that has happened to the core 3.
- Lofton has improved at getting to the free throw line but his 3 pointer is inconsistent at best. Smart teams give him space until he proves he is having a hot game preferring to cut off driving and passing lanes. He doesn't have a plan B for when defenders do this and his shot isnt falling.
- Welch has never developed as a threat to pump and drive when teams close out on him. The most he has is the pump and side step. And that that shot doesnt feel like it falls very often. I love the idea of what Welch brings. He is a 3 and D guy that doesnt need the ball to have an impact. The problem is when he goes cold from 3 he goes stone cold. That being said I just cant quit him even writing semi negatively about him causes me distress.
- Osun: I cant judge whether we are seeing stagnant development but it feels like he is chasing the blocks record to the detriment the team. There... I said it and meant it. His defensive rebounding numbers have dropped this year while his block rate has risen. What I see matches what the numbers say. And that is a guy chasing blocks and leaving good defensive position to for the big play. When guys get to the paint against us there are 4 outcomes. Sometimes we get the block, sometimes the guy finishes over Osun, sometimes the guy misses and Osun's man is in perfect rebounding position and sometimes the guy passes to Osun's man who is wide open. 3 bad outcomes to 1 good one. Dayton was really able to take advantage of getting Osun out of position.
- Adaway has made the typical year 2/3 jump depending if you count the transfer year. He added more confidence in his 3 and has become a better rebounder and all around 4. He has single handedly been a bright spot from a development standpoint
- Holmes has been forced into a different role of being the primary ball handler for several games and done well in that role but when he moves back to playing next to Lofton his numbers are similar to prior years and his 3 has abandoned him. So on net I would say we haven't seen an improvement.
In summation we are a very similar offensive team to who we were last year and a worse defensive team. The team we were last year struggled to hit 3s for long stretches and played stifling defense to make up for our lack of shooting. This year the defense is a bit worse because we are taking bigger risks when helping off the ball.
As for coaching. Schmidt is letting a senior lead team work through it on the floor. It isnt working. And the other thing that isn't working is making the bench guys play the same style as the starters.
The bench is getting limited minutes and one of the reasons seems to be the bench cant play the same way as the starters. Adams doesnt have the shot/passing vision of Holmes and AKC isn't Osun (not many big guys can do what he does). Instead of playing to Adams and AKC's strengths we run the same offense and have the same defensive principles when they are on the floor. AKC is not the guy you want initiating out of the high post but yet we get him a touch there the first possession he is in almost every game. For a team with 1000 set plays we dont seem to change which section of the playbook is available based on the guys on the floor.
The letting guys work through it on the floor I'm ok with it for stretches but when that stretch leads to a 23-4 run as the last 10 minutes of the first half of the Dayton game did, maybe we need to let guys think about it from the bench. Or simply use our timeouts to talk it over. I dont think Schmidt should have a quick hook with any of the seniors but some intervention to try to help when your team is in the middle of scoring twice in 14 possessions.