Efficiency and lineups: last year versus this year

DisplacedRam

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Speaking of efficiency and MBJ...

Mikeal's +3 defensive box +/- is 6th on the team and his our second leading rebounder while in at a 13.8% total rebound percentage. His 63% true shooting percentage is third on the team as well and he's played 82 minutes, so while small, definitely not a walk-on sample early in (he's played dub-digit minutes five of his 8 games).

I think right now until Levi starts SPRINTING back out of traps, MBJ prob deserves to dig into some of his minutes, who's -1.9 overall +/- ranks 10th on the team -- all nine people in front of him are at least +3.6 and keep in mind Levi plays a large percentage of his minutes with the starters who are posting +8.7 (Bones), +6.3 (Vince), +6 (Corey) and +5.9 (Ace), so it's a real statistical outlier, which is basically always either a red flag in a situation like that OR...in a situation like with Javonte Green at Radford (now with the Celtics) where it's so much higher than everyone else's, it's a sign that you've got a serious hooper in your midst. I just think all of that is something to monitor (and address if you're the staff).

MBJ ain't no freshman shrimp either. Dude is passing the numbers tests, but eye test as well (plus he played a post-grad year for a LEGIT IMG program...a team that could beat a ton of college squads). That guy has the body of an NBA player already and can REALLY move at 6'8 220 (and fly). His time will clearly come and I think he'll have more double-digit minute games this season (and he'll hit double-digit scoring again like he did against ODU just two games ago), but personally I'd make it my business to make sure he was getting double-digit minutes even this early into his career.

I want to climb to the top of the VCU sign/tower on the street corner by the Siegel Center and read this with a bullhorn. I've been saying it and SEEING it, MBJ who is a freshman has the look of an NBA player. He could walk across the draft stage and shake hands with Silver and whoever else and nobody would blink. Once he finds his groove, which heck there is PLEEEEEEEEEENTY of time to do it, he is going to be a wrecking ball for us.
 
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Ramikin

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The difference is we’ve got a happy & healthy backcourt this year and they’re anchored by a couple of point guards playing (and excelling in) their natural position. Ace plays so smooth. Tre explodes off the bench. Bones. What can you say? In addition to being one of the most promising guards in the United States of America, his energy, enthusiasm, swagger... man, the dude just loves basketball and teamwork so much, you can’t help getting fired up.

I’m just as high on the frontcourt. While they could definitely stand to grab some more boards, looking over the numbers they’re putting up right now, there’s nothing but improvement over last season. More points, more blocks, fewer turnovers, and they’re making free throws. Stockard’s proving to be a reliable scorer. Corey’s simply playing the best ball of his career. I wouldn’t be surprised if things continue to come together for him down the stretch. And Ward. Is there a more exciting player at the rim?

Vince Williams is his own category and he is my guy! 47 from the field, 46 from three, 84 from the stripe, leading the team in rebounds, second only to Ace in assists, second only to Bones in scoring.

Really, everybody’s shining right now. Watkins, Curry, Banks and MBJ—I don’t know who I’m more excited about. These Rams are destined for greatness.
 

BaNgMyPrOgRaM

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Mar 27, 2009
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The difference is we’ve got a happy & healthy backcourt this year and they’re anchored by a couple of point guards playing (and excelling in) their natural position. Ace plays so smooth. Tre explodes off the bench. Bones. What can you say? In addition to being one of the most promising guards in the United States of America, his energy, enthusiasm, swagger... man, the dude just loves basketball and teamwork so much, you can’t help getting fired up.

I’m just as high on the frontcourt. While they could definitely stand to grab some more boards, looking over the numbers they’re putting up right now, there’s nothing but improvement over last season. More points, more blocks, fewer turnovers, and they’re making free throws. Stockard’s proving to be a reliable scorer. Corey’s simply playing the best ball of his career. I wouldn’t be surprised if things continue to come together for him down the stretch. And Ward. Is there a more exciting player at the rim?

Vince Williams is his own category and he is my guy! 47 from the field, 46 from three, 84 from the stripe, leading the team in rebounds, second only to Ace in assists, second only to Bones in scoring.

Really, everybody’s shining right now. Watkins, Curry, Banks and MBJ—I don’t know who I’m more excited about. These Rams are destined for greatness.
And we have capable backups and NO injuries!
 

LQuarles

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Mar 10, 2012
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Ace
Bones
Watkins
Williams
Ward/Douglas

 

LQuarles

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@HBK I'll accept that if it means we are going on overall big runs, which seems to happen every time that lineup is together. Turnovers also drop dramatically.
 
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Ace, Bones, Tre and Curry all do different things. People have different opinions of how they like basketball. Ward, Williams, Bones, Watkins and Clark are studs. I just wish Bones decision making for shots was better, and he could work on his defense.
 
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Ramlove81

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Gotta add one HUGE reason we've had a ton of success this year is the double-big lineups, particularly with Corey & Hason (that I was BEGGING for last year)...is working amazingly.

Consider that we are 8th in the nation in defensive steals percentage. That is scary for our opponents and it's something we've always been pretty good at the last decade plus. NOW...add a lineup we've been using that employs BOTH Corey & Hason, a combined blocks percentage of just shy of 25%....and we have a brutal brutal brutal defense for our opponents to face. Just having not one but TWO bucket-erasers on the court is such an advantage. Our team's 15.3% blocks percentage is the best blocks percentage defense we've had since kenpom has tracked the stat (so our best since at least 2002). That is just suuuuch an underrated thing right now. Lots of talk of havoc obviously because that's what VCU is known for, but it really frees up your guards a bit to take some Weber-like chances on steals when if you get beat you've got those Ward and Douglas walls back there. Hason's 15.3% blocks percentage is currently better than Larry's sophomore and junior seasons.
When you add in that both are capable of defending on the perimeter, Corey is a master of the hedge, and this make it even more of a potent defensive line up.