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Old 02-11-2019, 09:18 AM   #1
cowboysooner
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Default My Take on Lon

I like most but not everything about Lon. I would say the same thing about the other coaches we have had. Didn't like Bliss, but have liked the rest, for the most part.

Lon inherited a completely depleted roster. He has done a good job rebuilding the program. He has made some recruiting mistakes and has some bad luck.

Last year, if McGusty and Doolittle are what they should have been, Trey would have had a different role and we would have been a better team.

This year, if Muni doesn't get injured, we are a better and different team.

From a recruiting standpoint, Lon has done a decent job but is mistaken, in my opinion, in focusing on recruiting kids with "pro" potential in every instance and not taking some bigs that would have been much better college players, but whom had less pro potential. Case in point would be the Morris kid that went to Wichita. Lon favors height over girth, and then counts on those players developing, which they mostly haven't done (lattin, Muni, Freeman).

At least for me, Lon has earned enough good will to get a couple more years to turn the program into a more consistent conference competitor. Hopefully next years kids can shoot the ball a little better.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:42 AM   #2
thebigabd
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Default Re: My Take on Lon

Lon screwed this team by taking Miles Reynolds and Aaron Calixte over Devonte Bandoo and Mason Jones.. Mason Jones was a juco in Oklahoma that Lon didn't even look at, went to Arkansas...

He averages 14.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, and 3apg in his first year at Arkansas and he has 3 years to play. Didn't even get a look. He is 6'5'' 210 shooting guard.

Bandoo was one that we talked about a lot on this board, and he wanted to come to OU but they filled it with Reynolds instead. Bandoo isn't the setting the world on fire this year but averages 7.5 ppg and shoots nearly 39% from 3pt line. I'd also bet that Bandoo averages 11+ next year at Baylor.

Reynolds is shooting 21% from 3 and has just as many turnovers (33) as assists (33). He has tanked since Big 12 play started.

I really don't have a problem with Calixte, but you have Lazenby, Freeman, Kuath, etc sucking up oxygen here. There were better options right in your backyard that were better than Reynolds, Freeman, Polla, Kuath, etc.

PG: Aaron Calixte/Devonte Bandoo
SG: Christian James/Jamal Bienemy
SG: Mason Jones/Rashard Odomes
PF: Kristian Doolittle/Jamuni Mcnease
PF: Brady Manek/Hannes Polla

Different story... different record.

This is the same stuff we have been dealing with for years... He isn't recruiting well enough for OU. Too many horrible mistakes. Not finding the local talent well enough that previous successful coaches have done.

He, like Capel, doesn't get it. He doesn't understand OU.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:42 AM   #3
WichitaSooner
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Default Re: My Take on Lon

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboysooner View Post
I like most but not everything about Lon. I would say the same thing about the other coaches we have had. Didn't like Bliss, but have liked the rest, for the most part.

Lon inherited a completely depleted roster. He has done a good job rebuilding the program. He has made some recruiting mistakes and has some bad luck.

Last year, if McGusty and Doolittle are what they should have been, Trey would have had a different role and we would have been a better team.

This year, if Muni doesn't get injured, we are a better and different team.

From a recruiting standpoint, Lon has done a decent job but is mistaken, in my opinion, in focusing on recruiting kids with "pro" potential in every instance and not taking some bigs that would have been much better college players, but whom had less pro potential. Case in point would be the Morris kid that went to Wichita. Lon favors height over girth, and then counts on those players developing, which they mostly haven't done (lattin, Muni, Freeman).

At least for me, Lon has earned enough good will to get a couple more years to turn the program into a more consistent conference competitor. Hopefully next years kids can shoot the ball a little better.
I think your criticism is fair and more level headed than most. I will say, though, that Morris was at WSU for five years and was only productive for the last season and a half. Before that, he was constantly in the doghouse for lack of effort and not being in shape. If he had been on our roster, I am certain most would have viewed him as a waste of scholarship and been begging for Lon to "process" him. And his lack of height would have been a bigger obstacle in the Big 12 than in the Mo Valley, which has very few legit bigs. But I do think it is fair to say that we have probably gambled on some guys who weren't very polished when they walked in the door.

I think that bigs need to be counted on to provide toughness, physically and mentally, and Lattin was a huge failure in that area. Muni's season has obviously been beyond frustrating. And even though I agree with those of you who note that guard play is more important these days and that we might need to add another backcourt player, I also think that if a QUALITY grad transfer big is available, it should be a priority.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: My Take on Lon

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigabd View Post
Lon screwed this team by taking Miles Reynolds and Aaron Calixte over Devonte Bandoo and Mason Jones.. Mason Jones was a juco in Oklahoma that Lon didn't even look at, went to Arkansas...

He averages 14.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, and 3apg in his first year at Arkansas and he has 3 years to play. Didn't even get a look. He is 6'5'' 210 shooting guard.

Bandoo was one that we talked about a lot on this board, and he wanted to come to OU but they filled it with Reynolds instead. Bandoo isn't the setting the world on fire this year but averages 7.5 ppg and shoots nearly 39% from 3pt line. I'd also bet that Bandoo averages 11+ next year at Baylor.

Reynolds is shooting 21% from 3 and has just as many turnovers (33) as assists (33). He has tanked since Big 12 play started.

I really don't have a problem with Calixte, but you have Lazenby, Freeman, Kuath, etc sucking up oxygen here. There were better options right in your backyard that were better than Reynolds, Freeman, Polla, Kuath, etc.

PG: Aaron Calixte/Devonte Bandoo
SG: Christian James/Jamal Bienemy
SG: Mason Jones/Rashard Odomes
PF: Kristian Doolittle/Jamuni Mcnease
PF: Brady Manek/Hannes Polla

Different story... different record.

This is the same stuff we have been dealing with for years... He isn't recruiting well enough for OU. Too many horrible mistakes. Not finding the local talent well enough that previous successful coaches have done.

He, like Capel, doesn't get it. He doesn't understand OU.
so you don't want the high school guards we have coming in next season?
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: My Take on Lon

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Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
so you don't want the high school guards we have coming in next season?
Sure I do... but you have to aggressively mine the regional talent better. He's taking too many chances, and just flat out missing on guys.

There were 9 players in the Rivals database for Oklahoma recruiting, both juco and high school. Nobody on that list has made much impact on the D1, except Mason Jones. Averaging 14/5/3 at Arkansas in his first year.

In other words... the best player in Oklahoma in 2018 didn't even get a look from Lon Kruger. None of the top 3 Texas jucos got an offer from Oklahoma.

Texas Jucos - Top 3
Marlon Taylor averages 8 and 4 for a 19-4 LSU team
LJ Figueroa averages 14 and 7 for a 17-7 St. Johns team
Wendell Mitchell averages 13/4/2 for Texas A&M

Texas High Schoolers - Top 5
Quentin Grimes averages 7 and 2 for Kansas.
Gerald Liddell averages 0.3 for Texas
Miller Kopp averages 4 and 2 for Northwestern
Kaden Archie averages 2 and 1 for TCU
Matt Mayer averages 6 and 2 for Baylor
*Jamal Bienemy averages 4 and 2 for Oklahoma

These guys, for the most part, are a different kind of investment. I have no doubt the high school top 5 will turn into tremendous players. I think Bienemy will for sure.. Im sure every guy on that list will be all-conference in a year or two, and thats great. You should absolutely sign those guys. Otherwise, throw the kitchen sink at the best juco talent.

But I still maintain at OU, you have to have a juco specific recruiter... You just have to. Kelvin had such a good relationship with these guys that they called him and told him they had a player.

Why doesn't every legit juco in the area have an OU offer? EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. We probably send out dozens and dozens of offers every year. He can't seem to find, offer, or sign the right guys. Doesn't make any sense.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: My Take on Lon

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigabd View Post
Sure I do... but you have to aggressively mine the regional talent better. He's taking too many chances, and just flat out missing on guys.

There were 9 players in the Rivals database for Oklahoma recruiting, both juco and high school. Nobody on that list has made much impact on the D1, except Mason Jones. Averaging 14/5/3 at Arkansas in his first year.

In other words... the best player in Oklahoma in 2018 didn't even get a look from Lon Kruger. None of the top 3 Texas jucos got an offer from Oklahoma.

Texas Jucos - Top 3
Marlon Taylor averages 8 and 4 for a 19-4 LSU team
LJ Figueroa averages 14 and 7 for a 17-7 St. Johns team
Wendell Mitchell averages 13/4/2 for Texas A&M

Texas High Schoolers - Top 5
Quentin Grimes averages 7 and 2 for Kansas.
Gerald Liddell averages 0.3 for Texas
Miller Kopp averages 4 and 2 for Northwestern
Kaden Archie averages 2 and 1 for TCU
Matt Mayer averages 6 and 2 for Baylor
*Jamal Bienemy averages 4 and 2 for Oklahoma

These guys, for the most part, are a different kind of investment. I have no doubt the high school top 5 will turn into tremendous players. I think Bienemy will for sure.. Im sure every guy on that list will be all-conference in a year or two, and thats great. You should absolutely sign those guys. Otherwise, throw the kitchen sink at the best juco talent.

But I still maintain at OU, you have to have a juco specific recruiter... You just have to. Kelvin had such a good relationship with these guys that they called him and told him they had a player.

Why doesn't every legit juco in the area have an OU offer? EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. We probably send out dozens and dozens of offers every year. He can't seem to find, offer, or sign the right guys. Doesn't make any sense.
Bc ts hard to figure out which juco is legit..

And we're back to your automatic assumption that every juco you like would automatically have come to OU if offered just bc theyre near OU.. you talked to these guys personally? Lol

Where's those other jucos you stroked that aren't playing well?
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: My Take on Lon

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigabd View Post
Lon screwed this team by taking Miles Reynolds and Aaron Calixte over Devonte Bandoo and Mason Jones.. Mason Jones was a juco in Oklahoma that Lon didn't even look at, went to Arkansas...

He averages 14.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, and 3apg in his first year at Arkansas and he has 3 years to play. Didn't even get a look. He is 6'5'' 210 shooting guard.

Bandoo was one that we talked about a lot on this board, and he wanted to come to OU but they filled it with Reynolds instead. Bandoo isn't the setting the world on fire this year but averages 7.5 ppg and shoots nearly 39% from 3pt line. I'd also bet that Bandoo averages 11+ next year at Baylor.

Reynolds is shooting 21% from 3 and has just as many turnovers (33) as assists (33). He has tanked since Big 12 play started.

I really don't have a problem with Calixte, but you have Lazenby, Freeman, Kuath, etc sucking up oxygen here. There were better options right in your backyard that were better than Reynolds, Freeman, Polla, Kuath, etc.

PG: Aaron Calixte/Devonte Bandoo
SG: Christian James/Jamal Bienemy
SG: Mason Jones/Rashard Odomes
PF: Kristian Doolittle/Jamuni Mcnease
PF: Brady Manek/Hannes Polla

Different story... different record.

This is the same stuff we have been dealing with for years... He isn't recruiting well enough for OU. Too many horrible mistakes. Not finding the local talent well enough that previous successful coaches have done.

He, like Capel, doesn't get it. He doesn't understand OU.
Did Lazenby transfer or did I dream that? I could have sworn I saw somewhere he transferred out. We never should have signed him. The PCW kid Capel signed was a much better player on the Big 12 level and he wasn't really good enough to play at OU if we are trying to compete for post season play.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:06 PM   #8
cowboysooner
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Default Re: My Take on Lon

Big, your positions are rational, but I just don't agree with all of them. I think it is somewhat complex. If Lon thought he had to bring in " one and dones" in order to keep Harmon and Hill in the fold, then I support his decisions, even if they didn't completely work out with regard to Reynolds.

As for Morris, I have to admit I watched him in High School several times and then his last year at Wichita a few times. I didn't follow his career from start to finish. However, he would have started for us and made us a better team his last year.

Basketball recruiting is far more difficult than football recruiting. Many, if not most, kids just can't sustain the effort, focus and commitment for four years after high school. Just too many distractions. There are the Buddy's and Isaiahs, but most go to practice and hope to just evolve into a good player. It is a dream. In football, only 22 or so can play and you have 85 schollies, and you run some off every year. You can miss on a bunch of kids and still have enough good players willing to pay the price to be good at a high D1 level.

In basketball, you only get 13 schollies and if you need 5 good ones to be good. You don't want to miss, but you are going to miss on many if not most, kids, unless you are Duke, Kentucky or Kansas.

Lon has missed on some kids. I think he would admit to that. He hasn't given enough emphasis on shooting in his recruiting. I think he would admit to that. He hasn't given enough emphasis on girth and strength on his bigs. I would be surprised if he didn't admit to that.

I also think Lon probably recruiting too much looking at the long term, e.g. took Polla from essentially a prep big man school hoping to get his foot in the door there more than seeing merit in Polla.

In the end, Lon runs the program the right way, treats the fans and kids the right way, and has been a winner. Given the right talent, he has shown he can take us to a championship. Understand the complaints and they are fair, but I say give him another couple years to see what he can do with the new players he is bringing in.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: My Take on Lon

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Originally Posted by hoopsaustin View Post
Bc ts hard to figure out which juco is legit..

And we're back to your automatic assumption that every juco you like would automatically have come to OU if offered just bc theyre near OU.. you talked to these guys personally? Lol

Where's those other jucos you stroked that aren't playing well?
Some are playing well, some arent... I am just a fan, I am not a professional recruiter, lol. You look at the stats, the size, the offers, etc and you think they may be good. But again, im not a paid professional.

I remember back in the day I was watching the Tournament of Champions.... Blake and Taylor Griffin vs Marchelo Vealy in the championship game. That tournament also had Obi whoever that went to OSU, and some other good talent.

I could have sworn Marchelo Vealy was going to be way better than Taylor and Blake Griffin... There was another local guy, Kelvin Sango, I thought he was going to be a great college player... Both were just role players at ORU.

You see these guys average like 35 a game... Vealy was taking on both Griffins, successfully... He had to be great, right? Except he wasn't. And professional coaches knew it. He didn't get an offer to Duke, or OU, Texas, Arkansas, etc for a reason. They knew he wasn't good enough.

Professional coaches should be able to watch a player and know he has the goods or not....

However, your point is interesting... It is too hard to know if they are legit or not. Is that really true? When you see Jamal Bienemy playing against high school guys, how do you know? How is it different at the juco level?
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