Why we will be better next year
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    Why we will be better next year

    I am noticing that most people here don't think we will be better next year. I completely disagree. I am going to run through my top 5 reasons.

    1. Players make their biggest leaps from their first year in D1 to their second year. Think about how many guys we have playing their first year of D1 ball. Garrett, Peterson, Haluska, Lee, Brackins, Boozer, and Thompson (played at Iowa, but still in his first year playing under Gmac). That is seven guys in their first years in the program. Considering that, the fact that we even have a winning record is quite astounding. Garrett, Brackins, Lee, and Boozer are all going to develop by leaps and bounds, mentally with the game and physically with their bodies. Brackins will most likely be in the 240 lbs range and much stronger. Boozer and Lee both have frames that can support more muscle (Boozer especially). I don't think that Garrett is going to add much weight, but you don't have to be 220 lbs to be strong, he just needs to focus on increasing strength. Peterson and Haluska prolly won't get that much bigger or stronger, but it is well documented that Juco's make a huge jump from year one to year two. I do think both guys are going to see their rolls greatly diminished, but both will have moments where they help us. AT has all the post moves, he just needs to actually put the ball in the basket. I have been encouraged by his development this year, he seems to have a good understanding of what Gmac wants. He will be fine next to Brackins, because he won't need to score much, just hit the occasional jumper, play D and rebound. Brackins could come in and go from first team freshman in the Big 12 to first team period in the big 12. He'll be one of the top returning bigs in the conference, and with his talent and a year in the weightroom could be unstoppable.

    2. Lucca, Lucca. While I think his legend might be growing past the point it should, there is no doubt in my mind that his skill set matches exactly many of the things this team is lacking. Great passer, outside shooter, and a big body at the guard spot. Anyone who watched him in summer league could tell he had the highest basketball IQ on the court. Everyone else there would be playing streetball, while Lucca was still playing basketball. I really think we would have seen him some at the point as well, as our guards have been bullied at times by bigger opposing guards. He will step in a take the majority of Rahshon's minutes next year, IMO.

    3. Healthy Wes J. Regardless of what Gmac and Wes have said in the media, there is no doubt in my mind that Wes hasn't been at 100% yet this year. The fact that he re-aggravated his injury proves that is was not fully healed. We'll see him at his more natural 3 spot. And yes there is a difference, watch the games and it is pretty obvious. Against man to man defenses the 2 and 3 are very similar, yes, but against zones they are different. And on the defensive end they are very different, not to mention the 2 has more ball handling responsibility. Wesley has the kind of frame that can hold allot more muscle as well. I don't think it inconceivable to see him around 220 next year, making him more capable of playing the power forward spot when needed while Brackins plays the 5. I really think the sky is the limit for Wes. he is a great player already, IMO, but he still has tons of room for improvement. With his length and some more strength he could turn into a great defensive player, and most importantly, he is that kind of player who would take great pride in being a great defender.

    4. New guards. Buckley and Ike. Not sure if we are going to need Ike to play next year, but he he certainly is a player and a great shooter. Buckely has a Big 12 ready body right now, and is a pass first point guard. He will be able to guard some of the bigger guard that have given us trouble this year. I think Ike redshirts if every stays and stays healthy, but he gives us a quality insurance plan if they don't.

    5. Gmac's 3rd year. Look at his track record, year three is when he typically turns it on with his teams. Things are shaping up the same way again. We will have allot of experience back, and even a guy like Cory Johnson will be better and ready to make more contribution.


    I really think we will dance next year. People are underestimating the improvement Brackins and Garrett are going to make from year one to year two. With a healthy Wes and Lucca back, this is going to be a fun team to watch.



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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    Garrett seems to improve every game. He is getting much more comfortable and is actually looking to penetrate and dish...



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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    Quote Originally Posted by snowcraig2.0 View Post
    I am noticing that most people here don't think we will be better next year. I completely disagree. I am going to run through my top 5 reasons.

    1. Players make their biggest leaps from their first year in D1 to their second year. Think about how many guys we have playing their first year of D1 ball. Garrett, Peterson, Haluska, Lee, Brackins, Boozer, and Thompson (played at Iowa, but still in his first year playing under Gmac). That is seven guys in their first years in the program. Considering that, the fact that we even have a winning record is quite astounding. Garrett, Brackins, Lee, and Boozer are all going to develop by leaps and bounds, mentally with the game and physically with their bodies. Brackins will most likely be in the 240 lbs range and much stronger. Boozer and Lee both have frames that can support more muscle (Boozer especially). I don't think that Garrett is going to add much weight, but you don't have to be 220 lbs to be strong, he just needs to focus on increasing strength. Peterson and Haluska prolly won't get that much bigger or stronger, but it is well documented that Juco's make a huge jump from year one to year two. I do think both guys are going to see their rolls greatly diminished, but both will have moments where they help us. AT has all the post moves, he just needs to actually put the ball in the basket. I have been encouraged by his development this year, he seems to have a good understanding of what Gmac wants. He will be fine next to Brackins, because he won't need to score much, just hit the occasional jumper, play D and rebound. Brackins could come in and go from first team freshman in the Big 12 to first team period in the big 12. He'll be one of the top returning bigs in the conference, and with his talent and a year in the weightroom could be unstoppable.

    2. Lucca, Lucca. While I think his legend might be growing past the point it should, there is no doubt in my mind that his skill set matches exactly many of the things this team is lacking. Great passer, outside shooter, and a big body at the guard spot. Anyone who watched him in summer league could tell he had the highest basketball IQ on the court. Everyone else there would be playing streetball, while Lucca was still playing basketball. I really think we would have seen him some at the point as well, as our guards have been bullied at times by bigger opposing guards. He will step in a take the majority of Rahshon's minutes next year, IMO.

    3. Healthy Wes J. Regardless of what Gmac and Wes have said in the media, there is no doubt in my mind that Wes hasn't been at 100% yet this year. The fact that he re-aggravated his injury proves that is was not fully healed. We'll see him at his more natural 3 spot. And yes there is a difference, watch the games and it is pretty obvious. Against man to man defenses the 2 and 3 are very similar, yes, but against zones they are different. And on the defensive end they are very different, not to mention the 2 has more ball handling responsibility. Wesley has the kind of frame that can hold allot more muscle as well. I don't think it inconceivable to see him around 220 next year, making him more capable of playing the power forward spot when needed while Brackins plays the 5. I really think the sky is the limit for Wes. he is a great player already, IMO, but he still has tons of room for improvement. With his length and some more strength he could turn into a great defensive player, and most importantly, he is that kind of player who would take great pride in being a great defender.

    4. New guards. Buckley and Ike. Not sure if we are going to need Ike to play next year, but he he certainly is a player and a great shooter. Buckely has a Big 12 ready body right now, and is a pass first point guard. He will be able to guard some of the bigger guard that have given us trouble this year. I think Ike redshirts if every stays and stays healthy, but he gives us a quality insurance plan if they don't.

    5. Gmac's 3rd year. Look at his track record, year three is when he typically turns it on with his teams. Things are shaping up the same way again. We will have allot of experience back, and even a guy like Cory Johnson will be better and ready to make more contribution.


    I really think we will dance next year. People are underestimating the improvement Brackins and Garrett are going to make from year one to year two. With a healthy Wes and Lucca back, this is going to be a fun team to watch.
    I couldn't have said it better myself. Also, watching the G-Mac show, Mac said that Craig and Wes have been putting on a ton of muscle in the weight room recently.
    I also think that Boozer can turn out to be a good college player. He is getting more minutes, and can shoot. Next year, if we can get good rebounding, (depends on Craig gettting stronger, how good Mann is, and how much AT improves) we could be a very good team. We will definitely be a ton stronger at the guard position, and CB will be a lot better scorer with a year of mucle added to his frame. I think year 3 is the first year that JP and G-Mac were expecting to go to the big dance. I think they knew that we wouldn't make it this year unless we were a lot better than expected. I expect a good team next year, a team much better than this year's team.



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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    Expect the starting five at conference time to be Lucca, Craig, Wesley, Wes, and anyone else guard. If you cannot shoot the ball in game time at 40% , you are a hole in the McD offense as players must be able to score in the 250 plays of the playbook.If the someone else for the fifth spot wants to start, they better become a gym rat at shooting over this summer.

    Who will drive the lane with solid purpose to make a layuop proficiently or dish off? I await for the answer next year.

    One problem with the dance next year is we lose Rashon and Jiri, two of our most dependable performers. Rashon defnse has ben second to none. And Jiri gets on streaks once in awhile. I expect the dance in year four at this point. The competition in the North is getting better next year.


    Last edited by Wesley; 02-03-2008 at 01:08 PM.
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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    I agree the team will be better, but still not sure if we'll make the dance. Reason being teams that usually make it have good smart guards who have been in the system a while and know how to control the team. I'm not sure we'll be there yet next year? Perhaps DG and Lucca will fill that role.



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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    People are really hyping Ike too much. I think he can be a good, maybe even great player for us, but he is not going to be ready to be a starter in the Big 12 in year one.



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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    If he can shoot under game pressure he will be more than what we have now.


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    I see the lineup as
    1. Garrett or Buckley
    2. Lucca
    3. Wes Johnson
    4. Craig Brackins
    5. Thompson/Mann/J. Hamilton
    although it would be sweet to have Wes, Wesley, Lucca, Diante/Dominique, and Craig starting

    I don't know much about Hamilton, but ESPN seems to think he's a pretty good player and he is 6-11 220, doesn't sound too bad to me. Does anyone on here know much about this kid.


    Last edited by hiwhatis; 02-03-2008 at 01:16 PM.
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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    Lucca will not have the D ability of Rahshon but his offensive skills should make up for the difference.



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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    Quote Originally Posted by ajk4st8 View Post
    Lucca will not have the D ability of Rahshon but his offensive skills should make up for the difference.
    Other teams will have less "legs" at the end of game, because they will have to play much tougher Defense against us next year.



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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    Quote Originally Posted by snowcraig2.0 View Post
    People are really hyping Ike too much. I think he can be a good, maybe even great player for us, but he is not going to be ready to be a starter in the Big 12 in year one.
    I am curious how many times you have seen him play.



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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    We need some more depth at the post in a VERY bad way for next year. Gonna likely be foul city for us down low. We need one more solid big (I.E. JC guy ) who can step in and provide some minutes.

    That and hopefully Appleton surprises us all and picks the good guys.

    Next year could be either very good or yet another avg./wait till next year type of year.



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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    Great post snowcraig, I agree. I still feel too that we may end up with Appleton who is ready to step in and lead a team. Granted KU and Kentucky and UT have offered, but for a JUCO PG we have more to offer him. He can step in and lead right away. I see him starting and Garrett backing him up with Petey getting some relief minutes when foul trouble ensues or we're playing teams like Baylor with 3-4 guard sets.


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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    IF we got Appleton and could RS Buckley that would be HUGE I believe.



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    Re: Why we will be better next year

    Yeah, let's hope McD pulls a rabbit out of the hat for next year. A big to help out AT and Craig will be needed.


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