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Old 02-29-2020, 11:56 PM   #1
skyvue
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Default Austin Reaves

I perused a bit of the game thread this evening before watching today’s game on DVR-delay. Again, Austin Reaves came in for criticism, with one poster even suggesting we’d have won by 20 more points if he hadn’t played). Then I watched the game and was left shaking my head.

Was Austin out of control at times? Yes. But he made some terrific plays in every facet of the game. He scored 13 points and contributed five rebounds, four assists (leading the team), and two steals.

Manek had a stretch recently where he wasn’t playing at his best, but he came in for virtually no criticism (that I saw, anyway). Doo had a four or five-game stretch where his scoring dropped way off. No one pointed fingers. But I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a game thread from this season, win or lose, where someone or other (usually more than one) wasn’t singling Austin out for criticism (it usually starts very early in the game, often the very first time he misses a shot).

On the season, Reaves is…

1st on the team in assists (just ahead of Bieniemy)
1st on the team in free throw percentage.
1st on the team -- by an amazing margin of 45 -- in free throw attempts. He’s also #1 in free throws made by a margin of 38.
3rd on the team in points per game (one per game behind Manek)
3rd on the team in rebounds per game (one per game behind Manek)
4th on the team in steals (less than half a steal per game behind Doolittle, the team leader)

I hope Austin continues to improve (I think he will) and that he continues to let the game come to him more than he sometimes does, but regardless, I’m glad he’s on the team. He’s a much more important contributor, in my view, than he’s often given credit for.
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

Well stated,but the critics of Austin want him to do more of what you just stated, which is to play more in control and let the game come to him and not press the issue in the process.
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

Good post OP and, to your point, his critics should have faded quite a bit over the last several games, or at least acknowledged that he's playing better and one of the reasons we've won the last two (vs. stating we would have won by more if not for Reaves). Even Fraschilla and the analyst from today commented that Reaves is playing different, e.g. driving more, and better, e.g. more under control. Yes, he still has a moment or two in a game that make you scratch your head, but it seems like lately those moments are not any more prevalent than those from JB, Doo, Manek, etc.
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

Great post and I do agree, Austin is a great contributor to our team, and when he is playing team basketball under control, he is maybe the key to us being a pretty good team. Of those stats that impress me the most is free throws and rebounds, especially for a SG.

However, let's be honest about what drives folks crazy about Reaves. His shot selection and playing out of control. Let's look at those stats:
3 pt attempts- 2nd
3 pt FG%-6th at 26.4%
FGA- 3rd
FG%- 7th- 37.4% (I only counted those who actually play meaningful minutes)
TOs- 1st

I still agree he is as an important player as anyone on our team and contributes in a big way. When he plays like he did the last two games and the second half, he can help take us to the next level. When he plays like he did the first half, I would rather play JB and Harmon. Maybe the biggest enigma love/hate player I remember at OU.
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Originally Posted by sheepdogs1 View Post
Well stated,but the critics of Austin want him to do more of what you just stated, which is to play more in control and let the game come to him and not press the issue in the process.
Bingo
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Originally Posted by MJSooner View Post
Great post and I do agree, Austin is a great contributor to our team, and when he is playing team basketball under control, he is maybe the key to us being a pretty good team. Of those stats that impress me the most is free throws and rebounds, especially for a SG.

However, let's be honest about what drives folks crazy about Reaves. His shot selection and playing out of control. Let's look at those stats:
3 pt attempts- 2nd
3 pt FG%-6th at 26.4%
FGA- 3rd
FG%- 7th- 37.4% (I only counted those who actually play meaningful minutes)
TOs- 1st

I still agree he is as an important player as anyone on our team and contributes in a big way. When he plays like he did the last two games and the second half, he can help take us to the next level. When he plays like he did the first half, I would rather play JB and Harmon. Maybe the biggest enigma love/hate player I remember at OU.
What some tend to overlook is volume shooters are to be measured just like those who are not volume shooters. For example, Russ Westbrook clearly has made a ton of threes throughout his career, but at the same time he likely does not qualify as a proficient three point shooter.
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

The definition of "volume-shooter" is just a term used to justify a low FG% for someone that doesn't have good shot selection and just jacks up shots. Westbrook may have made a ton of threes, but you can't argue his shot selection is good or he is a good shooter. If you can't shoot them well, you shouldn't be shooting them that often.

I said Reaves is an important part of our team, he just needs to play in control. His stats on FG% and TOs back that up. His stats that Sky pointed out shows how important he is.
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Well stated,but the critics of Austin want him to do more of what you just stated, which is to play more in control and let the game come to him and not press the issue in the process.
I think I made it pretty clear that I understand what his critics want.

And I acknowledged that I too want to see improvement from him. But it's one thing to ask/hope for improvement from him (there's not a player on our team who doesn't have room for improvement), and quite another to rag on him relentlessly, as regularly happens in the game threads (and to a lesser extent, in other threads).

My point was less to call out other posters than to offer food for thought. I'm guessing that, if they're honest, even Reaves' most vocal critics will be surprised by some of the stats I've shared. I heard on TV the other day that there are only three teams in the country that have three players averaging double figures, and OU, as we know, is one of them. I hate to think what our record might have been this season without Reaves.
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

Sky- you're right, without Reaves I know there are a few games we don't get out with a W. I think of at UNT and home against K State right off, and I would argue maybe OSU at home.

I am vocal against his faults, but also agree with his importance to our team. His interior passing to bigs may be the best since AJ or Terrell Everett. Trae attempted to do it, but didn't have guys catch and flush, but Reaves his special in that regard. His rebounding for a SG is very impressive.

I admit I'll be the first to call out his TOs, shot selection, flopping into guys to draw a foul or bone-headed plays. But I'll be right there jumping up screaming when he dishes like he did to Brady today or gets to the line to seal the W.

Like you, I just wish everyone didn't blame every mistake on the team or every loss on Reaves.
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Old 03-01-2020, 06:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Originally Posted by skyvue View Post
I perused a bit of the game thread this evening before watching today’s game on DVR-delay. Again, Austin Reaves came in for criticism, with one poster even suggesting we’d have won by 20 more points if he hadn’t played). Then I watched the game and was left shaking my head.
Sky: That was me who made the comment you mentioned (in bold) above. I thought it was clear to everyone that I was being facetious and poking fun at those who go after the kid so unmercifully. Sorry if my attempt at irony was unclear or confusing to anyone.
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:49 AM   #11
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

Reaves is a baller. Don’t be so surprised if he wins conference player of the year next year.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:02 AM   #12
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

I was thinking about this and here’s my problem with Reaves: he’s the quintessential front-runner. He plays well if we are ahead by 20 or if we are getting crushed by 20 by our in-state rival he will go out and get a meaningless 24 points, but what does he do in close games against good teams? He either throws up 20 shots and makes 4 or he totally disappears.

Of course you’re going to lead in some statistical categories if you are a decent player and your usage/volume is as high as Reaves’s is, but I’d rather have a guy that plays smart winning basketball consistently. As I’ve said before, if I had a choice between him and Bieniemy, I take Bieniemy every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

It’s nothing personal, I’m sure he’s a good kid, but his game on the court? I hate hate hate hate it. If the game was on the line and you needed a winning play would you want the ball in Reaves’s hands? For me the answer is not no but hell no. He’s more likely to throw up a crazy circus shot or turn the ball over than he is to get you that basket. That’s how I feel about it, YMMV.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:02 AM   #13
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Originally Posted by TINY View Post
Reaves is a baller. Don’t be so surprised if he wins conference player of the year next year.
lol, I'd be very surprised.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:12 AM   #14
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I was thinking about this and here’s my problem with Reaves: he’s the quintessential front-runner. He plays well if we are ahead by 20 or if we are getting crushed by 20 by our in-state rival he will go out and get a meaningless 24 points, but what does he do in close games against good teams? He either throws up 20 shots and makes 4 or he totally disappears.

Of course you’re going to lead in some statistical categories if you are a decent player and your usage/volume is as high as Reaves’s is, but I’d rather have a guy that plays smart winning basketball consistently. As I’ve said before, if I had a choice between him and Bieniemy, I take Bieniemy every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

It’s nothing personal, I’m sure he’s a good kid, but his game on the court? I hate hate hate hate it. If the game was on the line and you needed a winning play would you want the ball in Reaves’s hands? For me the answer is not no but hell no. He’s more likely to throw up a crazy circus shot or turn the ball over than he is to get you that basket. That’s how I feel about it, YMMV.
Sounds like it is personal. Reaves and Doolittle have been our clutchest players this year by a decent margin.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Sounds like it is personal. Reaves and Doolittle have been our clutchest players this year by a decent margin.
That’s your personal opinion lol
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:28 AM   #16
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Sky: That was me who made the comment you mentioned (in bold) above. I thought it was clear to everyone that I was being facetious and poking fun at those who go after the kid so unmercifully. Sorry if my attempt at irony was unclear or confusing to anyone.
I figured you were exaggerating for humorous effect (and meant to include that in my post), but didn't get the true nature of your joke. That's on me, sorry.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:06 AM   #17
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

One thing overlooked by many is how many times a move or shot is taken with the clock running out. You don't have a lot of options in that situation.

The problem with the internet is that it allows the schoolyard bully to do their thing without the risk of someone beating the crap out of them.

I only read game threads after the game. There is usually a mob type assault on the team, coaches, maybe even the water person early in the game. If the game goes bad like at OSU the assault continues. If the Sooners play well then most of the mob fades away.

I have respect for those who comments on both bad play and good play. Don't pay a lot of attention to those who can only criticize. They must live a tough life.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:14 AM   #18
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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That’s your personal opinion lol
I wouldn't say it's personal on your part, but -- and I think this happens often with fans (not just with you) -- it does sound as if your opinion of him as a player was cemented early and you've viewed him through that lens ever since.

The free throw stats are hugely important -- again, no one else on the team has gotten to the line remotely as often as Reaves, and he hits free throws at a team-best rate.

His assists are also a very key factor in considering his contributions to the team, as are his rebounds, especially considering he's a guard. You don't rank high in those categories by only playing well in garbage time.

And if Reaves' accomplishments had come mostly in garbage time, you'd have to figure that he had been a less consistent scorer than Doo and Manek, since we haven't had that much garbage time this season. Well, Doo and Reaves have each scored in single digits six times this season, while Manek has failed to reach double digits five times.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

When I watch Austin, or any of our players for that matter, I ask myself one question:

1) Is he a better player at the end of the season than at the beginning?

There is no question in my mind that he's a better player now than he was in November.

He's one of those players who might need an IV after every game because he plays so hard. Sometimes, that serves him well. Sometimes it doesn't. Doolittle always seems cool, calm and collected. Austin walks a fine line between being in control and being out of control. But all in all, I like having players on our team that wear their feelings on their sleeve. His positives outweigh any negatives for me.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Originally Posted by MsProudSooner View Post
When I watch Austin, or any of our players for that matter, I ask myself one question:

1) Is he a better player at the end of the season than at the beginning?

There is no question in my mind that he's a better player now than he was in November.

He's one of those players who might need an IV after every game because he plays so hard. Sometimes, that serves him well. Sometimes it doesn't. Doolittle always seems cool, calm and collected. Austin walks a fine line between being in control and being out of control. But all in all, I like having players on our team that wear their feelings on their sleeve. His positives outweigh any negatives for me.
I guess that is just a difference of opinion. I bet his stats overall are pretty similar for Nov/Dec to now.

Also, on the playing hard comment, I think b/c he is seen flying around playing FAST, some equate that to hard. I don't watch Reaves play and think wow, he plays hard. Not saying he loafs either, just saying I wouldn't say he plays hard. Fast? Yes. Hard? I don't see that with my eyes.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:55 AM   #21
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Originally Posted by MsProudSooner View Post
When I watch Austin, or any of our players for that matter, I ask myself one question:

1) Is he a better player at the end of the season than at the beginning?

There is no question in my mind that he's a better player now than he was in November.

He's one of those players who might need an IV after every game because he plays so hard. Sometimes, that serves him well. Sometimes it doesn't. Doolittle always seems cool, calm and collected. Austin walks a fine line between being in control and being out of control. But all in all, I like having players on our team that wear their feelings on their sleeve. His positives outweigh any negatives for me.
Great post, MsPS. The fact that Reaves always gives it his all is exactly what endears the kid to me. And, yes, Austin's play has and is continuing to improve. None of our players are perfect; they all turn the ball over occasionally and don't always make the correct decisions in pressure situations. But we could say the same for every player in college basketball – and in the NBA, for that matter.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:08 AM   #22
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Originally Posted by MsProudSooner View Post
When I watch Austin, or any of our players for that matter, I ask myself one question:

1) Is he a better player at the end of the season than at the beginning?

There is no question in my mind that he's a better player now than he was in November.

He's one of those players who might need an IV after every game because he plays so hard. Sometimes, that serves him well. Sometimes it doesn't. Doolittle always seems cool, calm and collected. Austin walks a fine line between being in control and being out of control. But all in all, I like having players on our team that wear their feelings on their sleeve. His positives outweigh any negatives for me.
And if he is playing better, it's stuff that mostly isn't showing up in the box scorer. Here it is broken down by month.

https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb...-1/splits/2020

November was his best 2 point shooting %, best 3 point shooting %, best or 2nd best rebounding month (per minutes played), fewest turnovers per minute played, and least fouls committed per minute played. About the only hard stat that appears to be better is assists.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:28 AM   #23
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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Reaves is a baller. Don’t be so surprised if he wins conference player of the year next year.
I could completely see that happening. His instincts are good and he's really active. These are the things that must be present and can't really be coached.

Problem is still his judgment AND his first step isn't as fast as he thinks. Not to say he's slow ... he just isn't quicker than some of these kids he thinks that he can drive by.

BUT - it's a great move when he dishes the ball. He draws them in and someone else finishes. And that's the growth he's making mentally in his game. The staff has been trying to wedge this knowledge into his head while giving him that green light because he can be a deadly distributor when he figures it out.

The downside has been his learning curve because things have often turned ugly for him when he kept trying to finish. He takes these crappy, off-balance shots or gets stuck under the basket ... death if you're trying to score but excellent if you're just drawing them in. He's gotta pitch it out more. And he has been. When he does it more they will lay off more and suddenly his moves will turn to gold.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:41 AM   #24
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

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And if he is playing better, it's stuff that mostly isn't showing up in the box scorer. Here it is broken down by month.

https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb...-1/splits/2020

November was his best 2 point shooting %, best 3 point shooting %, best or 2nd best rebounding month (per minutes played), fewest turnovers per minute played, and least fouls committed per minute played. About the only hard stat that appears to be better is assists.
He’s a better player now & it’s not close. He’s taking more catch & shoot 3s, less fade-away jumpers, making more ball movement passes other than just passing for assists. He’s also battling on rebounds & is playing good defense now. He took 4 tough shots yesterday & 3 were at the end of the clock, but unlike earlier in the season he wasn’t dribbling around waiting for the shot clock to get down. I really like the way he’s played lately.
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:06 PM   #25
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Default Re: Austin Reaves

I love Reaves, shot selection and all because he looks like he wants to win every second of every game. Underrated defender too. When he drives and kicks to set up his offense, he is a REALLY good player.

If he were shooting 35% from 3 everyone on here would be calling him a hero. Good player, can be great next year/
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