December 31, 2013

How Tony Bennett Can Fix Things:

1) Play Brogdon at his position -- shooting guard.  Stop playing Brog at point guard.  Tony was wrong, I was wrong, Brog can't handle the 1.

2) Find a way, any way, whatever works, but find a way to fix Joe Harris.  Maybe funnel every single offensive play through him against Florida State.  Encourage him to jack up shots and even celebrate the misses.  Being unselfish is a good thing, but he has grown way too unselfish, and we really need him to be an assertive sniper.  We won't win without it.  So even if it means blowing smoke up his ass until he figures out this funk, just find a way to fix Joe Harris.

3) Settle on a starting lineup and tighten the rotation.  Here's who should be starting: Perrantes, Brogdon, Harris, Mitchell, Atkins.  Traditional lineup, with a true 1, a true 2, a true 3, a true 4, and a pogostick 4/5 big at center.  Bring Teven Jones off the bench for 8-12 minutes per game to spell Perrantes at the 1 (again, no more Brog running the point, ever).  Justin Anderson off the bench to spell both Brog and Harris (and as such, he gets starter's minutes).  The Janitor (Anthony Gill) and Tobey off the bench for scoring punch, and keep them in if they are generating points.  I like this plan because it brings the "energy" guys - Anderson, Gill, Jones - off the bench, and Tobey's ability to score can give us a boost if things start to stagnate.

4) Feed the post, feed the post, feed the post, feed the post, feed the fucking post.  Attack the rim whenever possible and feed the post.  If it's not a layup, a Joe Harris 3, or a Mike Tobey bunnyhop jumper, then it's a bad shot.

5) Actually, I take that back.  There's one more shot I want to add to the list of acceptable shots.  GIVE THE GREEN LIGHT TO LONDON PERRANTES.  Kid's a shooter, let him shoot.

6) Recommit to defense.  As in, the best packliners should play.  I know this directly contradicts what I said above (Brog at the 1 is probably our best defensive option and Justin Anderson is definitely one of our better defensive players), but we're a system-based team, Bennett is a system-based coach, and we can't win without that system taking us there.  A poster named Hoos500 on the 247 board made a great comparison: "I think we're the equivalent of GT's football team in basketball right now." To me, that's spot on.  GT doesn't win if the flexbone isn't sharp, we don't win if the packline doesn't slow the game down and force the opponent into bad, impatient shots.  Our system works, but it's not necessarily fun to watch and it can't cure all ills.  However, the system is all we really have, so we have to win with it because we'll surely lose without it.  Put the best packliners out there and totally commit to defense, embrace the fact that we have some fatal offensive flaws.  It's the only path to success this season, unless a guy like Perrantes and/or Brogdon experience mercurial in-season improvement.

7) Find a way to locate and recruit to fill our glaring missing ingredient --- a guy (or a few guys) like [2014 recruit we just barely missed out on] Nate Mason.  What I'm talking about is small, quick, CONFIDENT guards with some swagger, who know how to score.  Back off on the size and pure shooting ability of the guards and wing players, and pursue more pure athleticism, more instinctive scorers, and a bit more dribble-drive ability.  This is more of a long-term fix, I guess.

I like Tony Bennett a lot.  I don't really like watching his system on the court, but I do acknowledge that it can be extremely effective, and can help us overcome recruiting limitations that otherwise would doom us.  However, nights like last night simply cannot happen.  Yes, Tennessee went unconscious from deep, and without a few jets added to the roster, we'll struggle to score against any set defense.  But look, we can't make defense our calling card and then give up 87 points to an average team like that.  We just can't.

Every season will have its hiccups.  But that was a pretty fucking big hiccup.  It was more like a vurp.


  1. Loved the post, K. Really liked the idea of re-committing to the pack line. If that's our identity/strength, we need to always make sure it's a strength at all times.

    That game was awful, but in my opinion, completely meaningless UNLESS it affects the team (confidence-wise?) in the start of ACC season.