Potential opponent Illinois (they play UCLA, we play Baylor, in Vegas) comes in at #16 in 3MW’s countdown:
I’m less optimistic than them, mostly around how Shannon and Mayer adjust to more leading roles.
Mayer has a good offensive rep, but that was built off the national championship season at Baylor that kinda looks like an outlier in the context of the rest of his career. Can he keep it up playing 80% of minutes instead of 50%?
Similar concern with Shannon; minutes percentage going down in your 3rd year is usually not a good signal, especially when the other guards on the team aren’t exactly lighting it up, though I don’t follow Texas Tech closely enough to know whether it was an injury issue or something idiosyncratic that we wouldn’t expect to predict future performance.
That being said, the overall talent level is high, they’ve had several strong years in a row, so they should be a tough matchup.
Yeah, tbh, #16 feels like an optimistic outcome. They could be really good (like, final 4 good) if a lot goes right, but I basically agree with your take. I think Shannon did have some injury last year. Mayer feels like a guy who’s a great sixth man spark, but not someone you want to depend on. And PG is a total question mark.
Challenge opponent Michigan at #24
Potential Vegas opponent UCLA at #8
First Vegas opponent Baylor at #3
And #2 Houston, coming to JPJ
So that means 3MW has Zags at #1. Meaning their love for the Zags is undying.
Poll: If a 24 second shot clock were put into place, it would ____ our style of play?
Stop changing the college game! I have the NBA for NBA basketball!
It would be what Tony likes to call a “painful gift.” It would make him a better coach, but he’d hate it.
Is Houston losing its 2 starting bigs a bigger deal than is being discussed? The guards are really good and all back (plus Sasser back from injury), but they only bring back Chaney from the 3 bigs that played the most. Lose Carlton and White. Get back Chaney. And also Roberts, who played a bit.
The bigs and bully ball seemed to be a big part of their identity, IMO, esp. on the offensive boards. I know they have a good/big frosh coming in (Jarace Walker), but he’ll be a frosh. The national pundits I’ve heard talk about it seem to note it, but don’t really have a good answer for it. Back of the hand basically.
As a reminder, I’m pretty sure Chaney started when we played, then got dinged, and they got better when they went to the bench. He lost his starting spot a few games later.
Anyway, something interesting to keep an eye on. Or not. It’s really up to you.
It’s a very good point. If they are an average offensive rebounding team, and take a little hit on their 2P%, then they become an average-to-good offense rather than good-to-elite. Roberts has a good statistical profile but a career usage rate of 11%, so not really a big offensive factor.
They’re also relatively light on proven rim protection too, pending how good Walker is at that, whereas last year they were a top-5 block% team. Though I’d probably bet on them being an elite defense still given Sampson’s track record.
Yeah, agree. I think on balance they’ll be really solid but may have to change how they played the last couple years.
Just an absolute gauntlet of a non con schedule. Bring it on
They’ve got a type in the front court and churn them out. Like when we went Akil to Darion to Isaiah to Mamadi. The reason no one is talking about it is because they’ve already proven they can replace that spot year after year. There will probably not be any noticeable drop off or change in style.
Fair point. I think their guards may be good enough that it’s all a bit moot. And that frosh big man is very highly regarded. Look, if I were putting $$ on a natty winner right now, I’d go with Houston…
… but I think where your line of talented, athletic UVa bigs ends kind of gets at the thing worth keeping an eye on. Prior to last season, there was a lot of “I don’t know this roster, but it’s Tony, so they’re top 25.” Well, it turns out the roster matters. That’s basically my feeling with Houston: if they are a final 4 caliber team, it will be because Chaney ups his game and Jarace Walker lives up to the hype, NOT because Sampson and co. have a magical PF creating machine.
Wait when did Rings of Power come into this? Thought we were talking college basketball
In all seriousness it’s an intentional roster building choice. Go look at the roster and they have the forwards there. Guess it’s an assumption they’ll ‘hit’ but I think that’s an easier projection for guys you are relying on to do dirty work than for guys you need for skilled purposes.
To our example, it seems to me at least, we stopped getting that ‘Akil’ type of big because we decided to head in a different direction stylistically. Not because we couldn’t get those guys anymore. The realities of our guard performance have just created an uncomfortable gap between when we made that switch in roster planning and when we’ll actually get to see it on the court.