Any reports from the scrimmage?

thoughts? observations?

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Lets go Ben. you said you were going. deliver here

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Not there but have been watching on periscope.

  1. Kody Sttattmann was in the opening lineup with the the presumed starters. I doubt he’ll hold Morsell off in the long run but he’s gonna be given every opportunity to play. Need guard depth so that Key can spend more time at the 4 spot. He’s been solid today from what I saw. Limited miscues, hit a couple 3s. That’s all we’re looking for.

  2. In the 2nd half reshuffled lineups, Morsell was the point guard. I think that answers the question of who they expect in that role when Kihei is resting.

  3. Mamadi is playing with so much confidence. Been watching him since high school and never imagined it possible he’d be this kind of scoring threat. He’s gonna have a huge year.

  4. To be expected but all the frosh look hesitant. The bigs, Shedrick and McKoy, especially are getting lost on defense. Caffaro to a lesser extent. Morsell had his moments, didn’t shoot it well today though.

  5. Everyone there now realizes that yes it was worth 2 years of scholarship and missing out on any 2020 recruits for one year of Sam Hauser. Should be a pre-season All-American next year.

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Highlights are up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AFL__uYO44&feature=youtu.be

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Scrimmage was fantastic! Mamadi has expanded his game a lot, Kody had a extraordinary game- expect him to be huge for us this year, Chase Coleman caught me off guard with his speed and playmaking ability. Everyone did amazing. I’m very excited for this year!

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What did the offense look like tactics-wise? Continuity ball screen, blocker-mover, a mix of the two, something else?

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Lot of ball screen stuff. I didn’t notice any blocker mover. That could just be a product of too many new players and not enough practice time yet.

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A lot of screens and moving around. Also, there were many instances when the offense took it all the way to the end of the shot clock. Very Tony Bennett esc.

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I came away with three thoughts. Hauser is going to be very good next year. Diakite is poised to take his game to the next level. Stattmann’s game is improving nicely. I am a bit skeptical that he will start, but if he is capable of providing productive minutes during meaningful segments of games, it bodes very well for this season. Having a four player rotation (Clark, Woldetensae, Morsell, & Stattmann) in the back court would give Bennett some nice options for how he uses Key, and maybe McKoy. I thought the team looked pretty rough around the edges. They weren’t polished, at all. Then again, with so many new faces, that was to be expected, IMO. I did wonder, after it was over, if Coach Bennett would use a nine player rotation this year. What Virginia lacks in overall experience, it may make up in depth and versatility. It’s going to be interesting to see if any of this is remotely true.

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Makes sense. Though, it’s possible that it is an intentional shift? Kihei’s quickness makes him a real problem on ballscreens, both rejecting and using them, and my takeaway from Jordan Sperber’s excellent breakdown of last year’s offense is that Mamadi and Jay are both well-suited to the ballscreen offense, given that both are capable roll-men and threats to shoot 3s at the slot. Blocker Mover doesn’t give the bigs many looks at 3, and really benefits from accurate shooting off the pin down, and our perimeter guys aren’t D1-proven from 3 yet (but I have hopes for them establishing that).

I do wonder if we’ll see more of the offensive actions that started with the 5-man handling at the top of the key and picking a side for a dribble handoff, which looked a little similar to continuity-ball screen, but I think has some flexibility to morph into other things. We saw it pretty early, but then it kinda disappeared throughout the season. Both Mamadi and Jay have enough handle to do something like fake a handoff and keep for a drive if the defense overplays it.

Given that Kirk Penney is on staff now, and that he was cited as helping the staff install the ball screen offense for last season, I wonder if we’ll see more tweaks to the offense in general.

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From highlights also looks like both Mamadi and Huff can read ball screen and be real threats to roll OR pop back and hit the 3. CTB may be an offense guy after all… have to remember those were highlights and very early of course.

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Jay off ball screens would be huge on offense. He struggles defending the ball screen, so hopefully running it more in practice will help on that front too. Starting the year vs. a zone will be really interesting and probably not very useful to gauge how we’ll perform this year…

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Despite Sperber’s really informative piece, I don’t think the schemes we saw on Saturday are necessarily indicative of what we’ll see once the season begins. In fact, I am unsure anything Coach Bennett ran last year will inform us of what the team will run this season. This is a very different team, with very different strengths and weaknesses, and Coach Bennett has never impressed me as someone who will waste energy trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I imagine the defense will be much the same, but I could see him tweaking the offensive schemes beyond recognition in order to exploit the skill sets of this team. Especially, the front line. Among other things, I don’t think we’ve seen the ‘pick & pop’ as run with Mike Scott in quite some time, but we also haven’t had the sort of personnel, lately, to make it really effective. I have no idea if we’ll see the ‘bigs’ taking those mid range jump shots, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I do, however, expect more interior scoring, and I am a wee bit skeptical that the bigs will come out blazing shots from behind the arc. Occasionally: yes. But just occasionally. Of course, I’ve been known to be wrong.

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We’re gonna need someone to knock down 3s. It will be interesting to see how we use huff, key and mamadi. Will kihei’s jumper be improved enough where defenses can’t sag? Will tomas or kody be able to hit the open 3?

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Kihei’s jumper is definitely improving, Mamadi was shooting and hitting 3s, Kody was knocking em down, and few of the freshman looked really good shooting them. I think we’ll be good, and will continue to develop the long range shot. After all, everyone has to adjust and expand their range and shot, due to the extended three-point line, this year.

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I feel like this team could be a lot like the '14-'15 team(Darion’s senior year). That team had some droughts on offense, but we made up for it with elite defense. We might struggle to shoot it at times this year, but a lineup with Kihei, Morsell, Key, and Diakite will be scary defensively.

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I like that comparison. 2015 had the lowest % of shots coming from 3 for a TB-coached team, though 2016 was the lowest relative to the national average for % of shots coming from 3. Last season the team was above the national average in that stat, but I’m guessing that comes down some this season. 2015 also was one of TB’s better offensive rebounding teams, especially relative to the national average. Last season the team offensive rebounded at slightly above-average levels, but based on personnel, I could see the offensive glass be a bigger point of emphasis this season. 2015 was also a great 2P defense team, and while last season’s team was very good in that area, this season’s team has the personnel to be potentially elite in defending the paint.

Where the comparison might lead to some unanswered questions is on offense, as noted. In 2015, Gill and Brogdon were both moderately high usage (25%) on offense and efficient, and were coming off of 2014 seasons where they were both around 22% usage. In terms of players available this season, only Huff cracked 20% usage last season, which isn’t surprising given the presence of the big 3, but shows that there a lot of scoring burden to be picked up. Obviously not a new idea, but it was interesting to look at past teams’ division of scoring burden.

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