Take a chill pill.
The Billiken’s are 4-0 and off to a great start. I know, I’m excited too.
The offense is buzzing and our rebounding is way up from last year. But here is why you can’t get too excited about the Billiken’s this year:
Our record isn’t too different from last year at this time.
The Bills are happily sitting at 4-0 with a win against the most productive 3 pt shooting team in the nation. However, through the first four games last year the Bills sat at 3-1. Through twelve games they were a respectable 8-4. They then went a devastating 3-17 the remainder of the season, finishing last in the A10. Conference play is hard, they make you play real D1 teams (sorry UMSL) and the A10 is only getting better.
The offense struggles when defenses switch it up.
Chris and I always joke that Crews looks like he forgot about his 5th period pop quiz every time the defense switches to zone against us. Fumbling around and asking his assistants “I didn’t know this was today!! What’s the capital of Maine? I think I’m good on the rest.”
SLU played a good team last night, and they played zone the majority of the time and the offense prevailed. The issue came from when UNF switched to zone from man in the middle of the first half. It took SLU too long to adjust, and UNF choked the lead out of us before half. Teams with many different defensive schemes are going to be a struggle for us, and Jim Crews’ classmates seem to be withholding answers.
SLU still sucks at shooting free throws.
Sure, they’re getting there more often, but each time they do I swear I’m watching toddlers trying to figure out their shape toy for the first time. SLU is only shooting 65.3% from the line, which matches last year’s terrible percentage. The Bills have yet to participate in any last minute games when fouling becomes a strategy, but you can bet when they do, teams will hack-an-agbeko and our lead could be in jeopardy. On a more personal note, our new studs’ (Ash and Miles) FT% is down 12.3% from last year. With the amount those two are getting to the line this year we better hope that improves.
The Billiken’s still don’t have an intimidating down low presence.
Majerus could deal with it, but Jim Crews has shown through the last couple of years that he doesn’t know how to use the lengthy big man. As a result, SLU leaves itself incredibly vulnerable to teams with a heavy inside presence. Reggie Agbeko had himself a solid game last night, but he is still only 6’7 and I’m still convinced he doesn’t understand what constitutes a travel call. Gillman looks to be a solid passer from at the top of the key…which is a great quality for a big man that can do other big man things, but he’s doesn’t fit that criteria. Brett Jolly is *inexcusable cursing and ranting, I’ll spare you*. And Malik seems to have distanced himself from having any type of “big man” role, which I think even he might be confused about. Which brings us to my last point…
Jim Crews is still an idiot.
This is unavoidable and something we’ll have to deal with for the next few years. But I’ll admit that he hasn’t been terrible this year. Hell, he didn’t even play Jolly last night, that’s improvement!
But let’s not forget the Witchita State game of 2013, when Crews thought that finishing with extra time outs got you bonus points. Or that one time that he admitted that he doesn’t put anyone on the blocks for free throws because that’s how Majerus did it, but he wasn’t sure why. His ability to manage games this year hasn’t truly been tested, but when it is you will understand my rants and you will hear them often.
Be careful not to get all hot and bothered by the fast start, but you already know that.