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Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby DC-Pony » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:21 am

My expectations for this year’s team keep going up and down, more so than for most teams I’ve supported across all sports. In the pre-season there were rays of sunshine with transfers following two tough years. Those rays were intermittently bright and clouded with the NCAA approval process and delays. The talent of the team is now a clear step or two above the teams from the last two years, and the depth is better than it has been since the sole NCAA tournament team of the Brown era (before the Brown error blocked the ability to have any depth).

When all the players finally were eligible and playing it felt like the upside of this team was the NCAA bubble. This notwithstanding the Georgetown game (willing to set that one game aside) and the weak non-conference schedule that the Mustangs would have to overcome through a VERY strong conference record. The keys to success for the season finally felt like they were in how this team jelled and matured. I still this that is the case. But, the jelling and the maturing (both at the individual player level and as a whole team) looks like it will require some more lessons that will include enough losses to prevent any at-large tourney bid. Though if the team keeps growing its ability to execute cleanly and resiliently fight, I don’t rule out an AAC tourney championship and resulting NCAA automatic bid.

I have read a lot of frustrations others on this board have expressed about Coach Jank. I get where they come from, given the past two years of futility. And, I think it’s also come from the G’town clunker/no-show and in-game executions at Georgia and ECU. A bunch of that could be coaching and a bunch of that could be coaching not fully sinking in and being executed by players. Unless I’m at all the practices it really isn’t possible to judge to degree to which it is one versus the other. But, a huge key to the program’s longer term trajectory will be in Coach Jank’s ability to get this group of players to execute cleanly for 40 mins and to fight for 40 mins. The Vandy game was both maddening at times through the team’s flashes and inconsistency, and also really promising through its fight in the end. The ECU game was really deflating and feels like a step back. But those are two games only, and so it goes with a young team that was put together just this year (4 of their top 7 players weren’t Mustangs until this year and 2 weren’t Mustangs until a few weeks ago). Up and down play is predictable if not unavoidable.

If this team can maximize its talent in games, then a NCAA tournament seems likely next year. And then Jank starts to make a name for himself in a G6 conference independent of Larry Brown (both from Brown’s success and the poison pill he left in his wake). And that “name” will be tested in Jank and Avis coaching staff’s ability to lure a few top flight recruits for the class of 2021 (may not be any spots for 2020 with no one graduating this year).

There are a lot of indications from great coaches and players that have worked with Jank that he’s up to the challenge.
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby JasonB » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:29 am

The teams themselves are very different, but from a mental and performance standpoint, there are a lot of similarities between this team and the first year Moody team that went to the NIT final.

That team was a bit up and down. They had a young point guard who was brilliant but also prone to turnover spurts and also was inconsistent about getting the team into an offensive flow. They beat good teams at home (discredited unfortunately by "experts" because Moody was so incredible that year), but also had some bad road losses. UConn was the one good team they beat on the road that year.

The interesting difference, in my opinion, is how the team itself is structured. That LB team had a bunch of "junk yard dogs". Physical players who could really mess the game up defensively. They had a constant defensive effort they brought to every game. The offense was inconsistent, and between the lack of a lot of true scorers and the spurts of turnovers, a lot of games were closer than they perhaps should have been.

This team has the great point guard. But it is built with more athletic offensive players than physical defensive players. It is generally more effective offensively, with better three point shooting and a quicker pace than what LB had. But the LB team was a much better defensive group because of their physicality. It was like an old big east team. Specifically, the old Georgetown teams with Iverson running the point.

In general, teams that are good offensively will win a lot of their home games because they put so much pressure on lesser teams to score, and those other teams just can't keep up. Very similar to the high pace teams in college football. The challenge is that when you go on the road, you are going to have some halves like yesterday, where you can't shoot, you can't get your usual offensive rebounds, and unfortunately your defense isn't good enough to get stops consistently.

From a coaching perspective, it is going to be fascinating to watch this play out. Some folks on Pony Fans were highly critical of LB's teams because they played a slow pace and didn't shoot the three - the lack of transition to a modern game made a lot of games closer than they should have been, and probably cost the team the upside that it could have had. Now we have a coach that pushes pace a bit and promotes shooting three and attacking wing play, a very modern style. But the defensive side of the game doesn't seem to be as strong. This is going to result in some good wins but also some ugly losses, especially on the road.

At the end of the day, this team has the talent to be at least an NIT team this season, and an NCAA team next year. That should be our expectation that we are judging the coaching staff around.
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby ponypatrick » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:10 pm

JasonB wrote:The teams themselves are very different, but from a mental and performance standpoint, there are a lot of similarities between this team and the first year Moody team that went to the NIT final.

That team was a bit up and down. They had a young point guard who was brilliant but also prone to turnover spurts and also was inconsistent about getting the team into an offensive flow. They beat good teams at home (discredited unfortunately by "experts" because Moody was so incredible that year), but also had some bad road losses. UConn was the one good team they beat on the road that year.

The interesting difference, in my opinion, is how the team itself is structured. That LB team had a bunch of "junk yard dogs". Physical players who could really mess the game up defensively. They had a constant defensive effort they brought to every game. The offense was inconsistent, and between the lack of a lot of true scorers and the spurts of turnovers, a lot of games were closer than they perhaps should have been.

This team has the great point guard. But it is built with more athletic offensive players than physical defensive players. It is generally more effective offensively, with better three point shooting and a quicker pace than what LB had. But the LB team was a much better defensive group because of their physicality. It was like an old big east team. Specifically, the old Georgetown teams with Iverson running the point.

In general, teams that are good offensively will win a lot of their home games because they put so much pressure on lesser teams to score, and those other teams just can't keep up. Very similar to the high pace teams in college football. The challenge is that when you go on the road, you are going to have some halves like yesterday, where you can't shoot, you can't get your usual offensive rebounds, and unfortunately your defense isn't good enough to get stops consistently.

From a coaching perspective, it is going to be fascinating to watch this play out. Some folks on Pony Fans were highly critical of LB's teams because they played a slow pace and didn't shoot the three - the lack of transition to a modern game made a lot of games closer than they should have been, and probably cost the team the upside that it could have had. Now we have a coach that pushes pace a bit and promotes shooting three and attacking wing play, a very modern style. But the defensive side of the game doesn't seem to be as strong. This is going to result in some good wins but also some ugly losses, especially on the road.

At the end of the day, this team has the talent to be at least an NIT team this season, and an NCAA team next year. That should be our expectation that we are judging the coaching staff around.



Wrong ! No NCAA or NIT bid until we have a coach who believes in and teaches tough , physical defense.
In the long run , consistently good defense always wins out over offenses built on shooting (see Baylor, TT, KU,etc.)
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby JasonB » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:06 pm

I think things have changed.

If you can't play on the offensive side in basketball or football now, you just flat out can't keep up.

Defense ultimately wins championships. But if you don't have an offense, you aren't even in the conversation.
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby PonyTime » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:39 pm

Speaking of the trajectory of SMU Basketball:

What do SMU Basketball, Ukranian Airways flight 752, and a TCU Delta Gamma with a White Claw all have in common?
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby PonyLaw90 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:00 pm

UH game is a must win in my opinion. If we don't win that one on the road and lose two in a row, its over.
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby geezerdonk » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:44 pm

The trajectory of SMU basketball is a counter clockwise porcelain encased swirl.
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby mrydel » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:00 pm

geezerdonk wrote:The trajectory of SMU basketball is a counter clockwise porcelain encased swirl.

Still won’t let you back on the Houston board huh Cargo?
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby Charleston Pony » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:14 pm

Big question right now is whether this year's team can even go .500 in AAC play. I just don't see this bunch winning many, if any road games but they probably have to sweep two or three series with USF, UCF, Temple & Tulane to do so. Right now, I'm fearing we get swept by Houston & Memphis and not feeling comfortable we can defend Moody given the balance in the AAC this year. Lots of "pretty good" teams and it looks like almost anybody can beat anybody on any given night. Should be fun but I don't have any great expectations.
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby EastStang » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:44 pm

One word: Brick. We're laying a lot of bricks. Got to have better shot selection.
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby 78pony » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:41 pm

If Jank is still here next year, you can play the game on court and have skeet/trap shooting competitions in the loge and above levels. No worries about hitting anybody.
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby Charleston Pony » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:04 pm

Looks like OTP pulled the original post that asked whether Jank has replaced Tiki as the most hated coach in recent history that brought my response:

To me, Tiki is the hands down winner. He took a bad program to a mid level and flushed it to the bottom of Division I FBS football. Jank inherited a legitimate Top 25 program built by a Hall of Fame coach and brought it back to the mid level program we have been accustomed to for years. SMU bball has had only 6 post season appearances in the last 30 years and that includes Doherty's 2011 CIT appearance.

I have a hard time with the Jank haters who seem to think SMU should be able to sustain a Top 25 caliber bball program. Looking back at our history, Doc Hays had 3 good years in the 50's and 3 good years in the 60's before Bliss had 4 good years in the 80's but there has never been a long period of sustained success in SMU bball history. At least we have not become the laughing stock of AAC bball like Tiki made us in football.
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby One Trick Pony » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:17 pm

Charleston Pony wrote:Looks like OTP pulled the original post that asked whether Jank has replaced Tiki as the most hated coach in recent history that brought my response:

To me, Tiki is the hands down winner. He took a bad program to a mid level and flushed it to the bottom of Division I FBS football. Jank inherited a legitimate Top 25 program built by a Hall of Fame coach and brought it back to the mid level program we have been accustomed to for years. SMU bball has had only 6 post season appearances in the last 30 years and that includes Doherty's 2011 CIT appearance.

I have a hard time with the Jank haters who seem to think SMU should be able to sustain a Top 25 caliber bball program. Looking back at our history, Doc Hays had 3 good years in the 50's and 3 good years in the 60's before Bliss had 4 good years in the 80's but there has never been a long period of sustained success in SMU bball history. At least we have not become the laughing stock of AAC bball like Tiki made us in football.
I never said hate. Lol
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby Charleston Pony » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:41 pm

One Trick Pony wrote:
Charleston Pony wrote:Looks like OTP pulled the original post that asked whether Jank has replaced Tiki as the most hated coach in recent history that brought my response:

To me, Tiki is the hands down winner. He took a bad program to a mid level and flushed it to the bottom of Division I FBS football. Jank inherited a legitimate Top 25 program built by a Hall of Fame coach and brought it back to the mid level program we have been accustomed to for years. SMU bball has had only 6 post season appearances in the last 30 years and that includes Doherty's 2011 CIT appearance.

I have a hard time with the Jank haters who seem to think SMU should be able to sustain a Top 25 caliber bball program. Looking back at our history, Doc Hays had 3 good years in the 50's and 3 good years in the 60's before Bliss had 4 good years in the 80's but there has never been a long period of sustained success in SMU bball history. At least we have not become the laughing stock of AAC bball like Tiki made us in football.
I never said hate. Lol


Must have been despised...or was it criticized? Maybe 2nd guessed??? Will admit I'm already about 4 beers into this afternoon of college hoops.
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Re: Trajectory of SMU Basketball

Postby One Trick Pony » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:44 pm

Charleston Pony wrote:
One Trick Pony wrote:
Charleston Pony wrote:Looks like OTP pulled the original post that asked whether Jank has replaced Tiki as the most hated coach in recent history that brought my response:

To me, Tiki is the hands down winner. He took a bad program to a mid level and flushed it to the bottom of Division I FBS football. Jank inherited a legitimate Top 25 program built by a Hall of Fame coach and brought it back to the mid level program we have been accustomed to for years. SMU bball has had only 6 post season appearances in the last 30 years and that includes Doherty's 2011 CIT appearance.

I have a hard time with the Jank haters who seem to think SMU should be able to sustain a Top 25 caliber bball program. Looking back at our history, Doc Hays had 3 good years in the 50's and 3 good years in the 60's before Bliss had 4 good years in the 80's but there has never been a long period of sustained success in SMU bball history. At least we have not become the laughing stock of AAC bball like Tiki made us in football.
I never said hate. Lol


Must have been despised...or was it criticized? Maybe 2nd guessed??? Will admit I'm already about 4 beers into this afternoon of college hoops.
I don't know but I think you just wrote the lyrics for a new hit rap song
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