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Opinion Thoughts on this team and Its future going forward


Jul 3, 2017
I just wanted to share my thoughts on this season and the next upcoming one. I am much more of a lurker but I wanted to share my thoughts. I love reading opinion pieces on the football board and with basketball being my favorite sport (what made me a U fan S/O Angel) I wanted to do one here. I would like it if everyone else would do some too. I left my scatterbrained topic in bold if you want to jump around.

Thoughts on the tournament run and the season

This season was extremely fun, it took me by surprise as I didn't think we would even make the tournament this year and they kept proving me wrong to the point that I just stopped trying to make predictions, and just enjoyed the games. Making the elite 8 like that's amazing this is the most fun I've had watching canes hoops since the Angel Sheldon Mac years. It was an amazing run for us, being overlooked at every step of the season, being one of the best 8 teams in the country is amazing. This run will be remembered for a long long time. Now here's to hoping we can ride this momentum and really take off as a program.

Fully embracing small ball saved our season, I remember early in the season being so frustrated when coach L played the two big lineups as nothing positive was happening, but once we figured the small ball out it was magical.

Coach L deserves to be in the conversation for coach of the year. I mentioned this on my Twitter but Coach L and Miami could beat any opponent in any way.

We beat Duke attacking the basket, UNC from outside than in the tourney, we beat USC with our defense and Auburn in transition, then finally Iowa st in the half-court game. Even hung with Kansas with some tough shot-making and great defense. It's a testament to the game planning and commitment of the players.

Thoughts on the new AD and coach L's future and staff

I don't think hiring the knew AD scared coach L into worrying about job security, but probably gave him extra energy knowing that he will get actual support from the admin. And just with the whole Mario movement, there was a new breath of fresh air into the athletics at Miami with a big commitment from the top-down. Just seeing the footballers and baseball players support this team made me happy.

I used to be on the fire coach L train, mainly because he seemed unenergized (similar to CMR in his last season) but again they proved me wrong and I couldn't have been happier. with the FBI thing in the past and Miami gaining momentum again I can see him coaching for at the most another 5 years. ( I think he will be retiring within the next 5 years)

The assistants surprised me with their ability to the game plan, help with the installation of the new defense, and an effective motion style offense.

We do need to either expand the staff or make room for some coaches with local ties to help recruit Florida, I think we recruit the DMV really well, but with larger DMV recruiting programs like Villanova locking it down more and more, I feel we need to start taking advantage of our local talent. Eventough Basketball recruitment is extremely different than football with recruits being less loyal to their hometowns, and more traveled (AAU). It's still important we make our presence known in the local community.
I would like it if Miami would start looking more internationally as in Canada, Oceania, Africa, and South America.
I'm being a little biased with Canada as I'm Canadian, but theirs a ton of great talent coming up in Canada especially big men and forwards who are upcoming. I would like to get our foot in before Purdue, SC, and Gonzaga steal it. (again I'm being biased).

Thoughts on the future offense and defense:

I loved how fluid our offense was especially as we had 5 players who could handle the ball a bit, stretching out the defense, and with NCAA teams being stuck in the 80s it forced the out of date bigs into an uncomfortable position on the perimeter guarding multiple switches.
One thing I didn't like was our ineffectiveness against a zone at times, this is the same problem we've had for the past could of years. I feel it's a mix of player development and coaching.
Ex being we don't move the ball fast enough to attack the zone or move off-ball enough to attack the zone. it takes until coach L is forced to call a timeout then we make progress against it. that combined with our inability to hit open shots gives the other team confidence in the zone.
Most zone's goal is to force the offense's 'bad' shooters to shoot while protecting your interior defensive integrity (at least in my opinion) especially if they are in a 2-3 zone. there is a reason why NBA teams rarely use zone as they are extremely easy to break if the players know what they're doing.

I was really impressed with our defense at all levels with even our true freshmen competing, it seemed everyone brought in and it paid off. I'm no defense savant when it comes to basketball x and o's but I firmly believe that defense has four pillars. Constant Effort, communication, rebounding, and intelligence.
Our players excelled at these and committed to all four. Especially playing with a short bench how well we competed and stayed out of early foul trouble most of the time.

Player development.

I'm concerned with how the next up will perform especially with sam gone (our x-factor) and with the possibility of losing all three starting guards (we're losing 30+ points in production).
I like what I seen from joseph and poplar as freshmen, but if they can't take the next step in their development I'm concerned for this upcoming season, guard-wise.
I still think we can play small ball with many of our RS-freshmen and T-freshen next season being long tall and athletic.
I expect us to go after 1-2 portal guards and maybe 1 portal big.
I expect Miller to have a much larger role next season.

Incoming freshmen

I will probably do this again later with more thoughts on the incoming class, but Christian Watson and Aj Casey will be studs at the college level. I'll preface this by saying when I say NBA potential I mean if everything works out perfectly, and their athletic and physical profile is basically in a perfect vacuum world. I'm a hopeless optimist.

Casey is a modern-day forward/wing hybrid and has a prototypical NBA build. being 6'8 and long and athletic. He's similarly built to Anthony Walker but much more refined. my favorite part of his game is that he is always in control and never rushing (at least in highlights couldn't find any game tape on youtube). He's a smooth athlete that won't jump over you but if you time your jump wrong he will finish on you. Pause. He definitely needs time in the weight room, I'm not expecting much impact until his soph or RS-fresh year.

Watson is my fav, I'll say it point blank, the kid can shoot. He has the potential to be an NBA player. long and athletic he competes on both ends and should be a good off-ball and help defender. I feel like he was overlooked but will be a great contributor at the D1 level. He also likes to block shots and finish above the rim.
I don't expect him to have an impact until his 2nd or 3rd year. Def and 4-year kid IMO.

Danilo is interesting as he is 6-7 but in all the film I see of him, he is a back-to-the-basket player, with a good turnaround jumper, hook shot, and post moves. My favorite thing about him is how he competes on the boards, especially as he's not an amazing athlete. I'm not sure how his high school game will translate, but based on his upper body
form when shooting he should become a good shooter. At the best, we get a good spot-up shooter who can score from the post and make use of mismatches and can play a similar role to Sam this year. At worst we get a body who can play minutes without being a net negative. I don't see an impact until year 3, maybe earlier if his shot translates quickly.

Favour, this was a big get. The kid has NBA potential, he blocks a lot of shots, grabs a lot of boards, but my favorite is that he moves his feet on defense. He won't be a world-beater on the perimeter, but I don't see him as a defensive negative (Rodney Miller, or Gak). I don' expect a world-beater at D-1 level as big's don't really do much in college unless they are an elite prospect that can create their own shot in some way. But, I can see him getting a nod to the league off his athleticism. He should catch a lot of lobs and will do most of his damage around the key with putbacks and hook shots. He is long and very athletic. I can see him having an impact as a freshman. I see him as a three-year player. I can see him being similar to R. Williams on the Celtics.

RS-Freshmen and sophs:

Jakai, I'm intrigued by him as when I watched his high school film he easily got his shot off, he jumps high and has a quickish release. Not much of a shot creator and dones his damage on pull-ups and cuts. Besides that I'm excited about what he can do next year, can never have enough shooting.

Wooga, I hope he continues to work on his shot and slows done a bit. I like the versatility he showed this year. I have I hope for him to become our next go-to guy when we need a bucket. Just needs to slow down a bit sometimes, and be more assertive on offense.

Bensely, he blew me away this year. Pause. Even though we ran a short bench he was able to come in and give the starting guards a break without giving up to much. One thing I liked was that stretch where he shot like 75% or something from three. he did make a lot of mistakes this year, but that is typical for a young guard going from high school to D-1. I would like to see him be more assertive when he drives, not pick his dribble up in the lane. I think one thing he could add to his game is a dribble pull-up. I expect him to start next season, so it'll be interesting to see how he will do, or even if he can beat the incoming transfer for a spot.

Yeah, that's it, thanks for reading let me know what you think, agree with, disagree with. Let's talk some hoops.