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Old 11-08-2017, 07:25 AM   #1
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Default Random thoughts

I've been able to catch a good chunk of most exhibition games.

My first thought is I don't see this team being that much better than the past couple of years. We just aren't very good defensively, and the offense is streaky. I will say I think this team can be more competitive against some of the best teams, but we're going to need Vivi to be consistent and play a bunch of minutes. Even against inferior D2 schools, I just don't see us dominating any part of the game, which really concerns me. I think we'll be a good team, but we will have some bad performances like last year. I'm very concerned about losing the first game against Belmont. We aren't ready for a team that won 27 games last year and almost beat Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.

Llunasa will be the best offensive player to put on an OU jersey in a long time. She'll be one of the best. She already has offensive skills that I've not seen an OU guard have in quite some time. Literally, I'm blown away by how physically ready she is to compete at the Division 1 level. Yes, she obviously has a ton of room for improvement, but she's fearless and can shoot. She's going to have more 20+ point performances in the next four years than we can count. A superstar in the making. I was pretty impressed with Dungee last year, but Llunasa runs circles around Dungee.

Gabbi at the 2 is a great move by Sherri. Much needed and gives us a big-time weapon at the 2. I also like the fact Maddi, Gabbi, Shaina, or even Llunasa can bring the ball up the floor in transition. Could help get some easy baskets throughout the year.

Pellington will be a real treasure, as well. I love the pace at which she can play. Eventually, she will find a way to keep it under control, but that is going to take some time. Also, she needs to work on her shot. If she can develop the ability to knock down an open shot, she'll be absolutely impossible to defend because if you have to put a hand in her face, she'll blow right past you. Once her and Vivi can get things figured out, I think you could see a lot of easy baskets for Vivi off of Shaina penetration.

I criticize our defense, but in fairness to anyone playing college basketball in this day in age, I have no idea what is a foul and what is not a foul. Especially in the women's game. There is zero consistency from game-to-game. I cannot imagine having to coach college basketball (men's or women's), because whatever you teach might or might not be the way the game is called.

Having said all of that, I love the freshmen. I really think the Llunasa era could be big-time with some of the talent coming in over the next couple of years. While I am not necessarily sold on this particular team being world-beaters, I do believe the future is bright. I think Sherri has something going with Pellington & Llunasa that differentiates us from competition.Mandy is a heck of a competitor and will find ways to get it done on the floor.

By the end of this season, we will be a lot better, and I have a feeling Llunasa might just be someone you can literally build a team around.

Does anybody else think I'm being too high on Llunasa? I just look into the future, and I can see her throwing up 30+ in some games if she gets hot. I can't say I've ever felt that way about anyone on our roster in a long time.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Random thoughts

I think Llanusa will be an all conference player by her junior year. Her best attribute: fearlessness.
/Great move putting Gabbi at shooting guard.
Mandy may be the most important addition because we have never been great at rebounding and this fills a glaring need.
Now, if the freshmen can only learn to play defense in spite of it not being a priority.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:38 AM   #3
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What makes Ana different than most freshman we have had (exceptions to Courtney, Whitney, and Aaron) is the confidence she has when she is on the floor. I agree she is the best freshman to come along since Whitney. She has one of the best step back jumpers in basketball, shoots with authority. She is not a bad defender and will get better. Shaina will be exceptional once she learns to "use" her speed to her advantage, and that won't take long. Mandy is fearless in the paint and anticipates where the ball comes off the rim. Last night she only had 2 rebounds, but they were offensive and she doesn't take shots for granted, in other words she expects all shots to miss on the defensive end and blocks out and positions herself for rebounds.

I really like the youth we have, and agree we can build around Ana as well as the other freshmen. I think this team has potential to be better than last years, it will depend on how the seniors lead. Maddie played last night, like she needs to play all year long. Gabbi and Vivi I think are right where they need to be. Our top 7 kids are really good, it will be up to EJ and Gillie to decide how much they can improve to contribute. EJ has a huge upside if she can learn to finish at the rim. It has been a while since I have been this optimistic about this team. Friday will be a good challenge.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:38 AM   #4
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I think LLanusa combined with Madison Williams and Tatum could be major problems for all but the elite in College Basketball.
One word to describe Ana = smooth. There's a fluidity to her movement that you only see in elite athletes. Add in her high basketball IQ and her shooting ability. she quietly dominated. She could have easily had 35 if her teammates had noticed how many times she had created an easy shot opening.
Pellington is a blur. A real steal by Sherri in evaluation. Control the blur and you have something in the Drob class of PG athlete. Fortunately all indications are that Tatum is as effective as 2 guard as well as a PG, so you can play a foursome of Pellington, Tatum, Llanusa, and Williams along with our best post whoever that will be down the road. The freshman were very encouraging. Just wish there was a post among them.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:40 AM   #5
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I also agree the move of Ortiz to the 2, looks like a very good move.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:10 PM   #6
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Ana definitely likes to shoot the ball, and I think OU has been missing a player like that for a while now, someone the team can look to for a bucket down the stretch, who will say give me the ball and move... I know her numbers haven't been that strong and she takes a lot of shots, but unlike Dungee who Sherri asked to work on shot selection, Ana takes smart shots, nothing forced... Her numbers will only get better and she could become an All American one day...
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:01 PM   #7
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I concur in that the team isn't looking like a team right now. They aren't. Usually, we have about eight returnees who can take the floor and create the illusion of a team, even though some won't play much once the season begins. This year, we are dancing with inexperience from day one.

But, unlike recent years, there is talent. Vivi, Maddie, Mandy, Shaina, Ana, and Gabbi are more talented than Vivi, Maddie, Peyton, Gioya, Gabbi, and T'Ona. There is a potential upside to this team.

Mandy was outstanding in the opener, not so much last night. I don't know what the difference was. I will watch it again to see if I can find out why. But, if Mandy can bring half of what she brought in the opener, she is more help than any interior help we had last year. I also like the fact that she went up and took the shot, and it made sense. No wasted effort.

It is easy to get carried away with the numbers on Ana. Ignore them. Most of them were off layups in garbage time. At least, she doesn't miss wide open layups. I've been a bit disappointed with her shooting. But, the shot is there. The touch is there. She is just off a bit, seems to be forcing some shots. Needs to relax into it, which she does more in garbage time. She also knows how to get into position to score. We haven't even had that. I don't expect a twenty point per game year. But, I think she will average double figures, and she will explode at times. She flows to the rim so effortlessly.

Shaina looks like she is 6-2 when she drives to the rim. She gets high on her shot. She gets to the rim and can outrun the field. She is an explosion. I suspect that she will need two years to be among the top five points in the nation. But, I think she will be pretty good by March, 2018.

We didn't have a Shaina, Mandy, or Ana last year.
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:45 PM   #8
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The real test is when we get into real Div I play, but I agree that we appear to have a good freshman class. The difference in speed may change the way they play. I think Simpson is the most likely to have a problem with the speed of the game. She also seems to be the one with the biggest defensive problems.

Pellington has more speed than we have seen for awhile and Ana is very close to her speed. Ana is so smooth he speed is not as obvious as Pellington's. And Pellington's jumping ability is exceptional.

I thought Pellington had a stronger game last night.

Ana reminds me some of Kelcy Plum of Washington. Not that I expect her to be as good but because she, like Plum is absolutely relentless on offense. She is coming at you all the time. I am not concerned about the missed shots as freshman have to get over the "shooting not to miss" feeling and have to learn what shots they should take. And I don't consider her as a garbage time scorer. In time she will also develop more ways to score.

Not sure why Simpson dropped off to two rebounds last night but I don't remember her being close to many. I taped the game so am going to watch at least part of it and just watch Simpson.

In spite of the so called early emphasis on defense I think our defense will be the main thing that will limit the success of this team. We don't switch well and help defense is nearly non-existence. The other teams get too many easy open shots against us and time after time someone is screened off and their opponent drives all the way to the hoop unmolested. In this day and age it is almost impossible to stay in front of a good ball handler and you have to have a good help defense scheme with effective rotation from the weak side. Bobby Knight initiated this concept over 30 years ago so it is not a breakthrough concept. We also do not do a good job a checking a driver (a teammate faking a move toward the driver) and often that is all it takes to slow them down. Gabbi particularly needs help or our opponents are going to be posting her up inside and shooting over her.

Last edited by SoonerinNC; 11-08-2017 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:09 PM   #9
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I very much like the upside of Pellington. We haven't had that kind of penetration and finish ability since DRob. I think she starts by mid-season -- and that's not meant to be a negative reflection on Williams. I think she is fine, but I don't think she is as good as Pellington will be.

Simpson just seemed slow to me last night. I don't think there were all that many rebounds that were within her reach, but I too was surprised she only grabbed two. She seemed a bit out of sorts. Just freshman itis, I think.

Maddie was so smooth and relaxed last night. This is the first time in her career that I saw her be the kind of player Syb has said for years she was. If she can play that confidently and relaxed, then that is going to be a big plus for us.

I said on the other board that for the first time, I don't think she worried about shooting, being the leader, bringing the ball up. I think she just was in the moment and played. It was like for the first time she wasn't carrying the whole team on her back.

Anna, man, I can't wait. I think she is going to be special. So smooth. I can see her gaining minutes from Gabbi and them splitting time pretty evenly -- and that, again, is not a slap at Gabbi.

While it is early in the season, this may end up being the best team Sherri has put on the court in a decade. There is a tremendous up side with this team and those who will join next season.

I think I'm going to love going to games again.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:10 PM   #10
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While this team has talent the margin of error is about zero due to lack of depth. Can't afford injuries or illness to any of the main players. Also points may be hard to come by at times due to the limited offensive abilities of Williams, EJ, Penzo, Simpson. Some games there will be times where a combination of ViVi, Gabbi and Maddie are on the bench together with foul trouble or just need rest and it will be hard to find points with mostly reserves and freshmen on the court.
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:11 AM   #11
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It's funny how this freshman class, in my opinion, is much better than last year's freshman class. I mean considering they were both ranked in the top 60 nationally and only one of our three this year are in the top 100. Goes to show you that sometimes, how you are ranked in high school really doesn't transition into college. Some people are late developers too.
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Soonerguy06 View Post
It's funny how this freshman class, in my opinion, is much better than last year's freshman class. I mean considering they were both ranked in the top 60 nationally and only one of our three this year are in the top 100. Goes to show you that sometimes, how you are ranked in high school really doesn't transition into college. Some people are late developers too.
Shaina wasn't ranked because she was Canadian. She was ranked as the #7 international player by Prospect Nation. Shaina would definitely have been a top 100 girl if a U.S. citizen possibly a top 50. Mandy is a sleeper. Prospect Nation ranked Ana #20.

While Mulkey was ranked #18 in 2016 I think that was totally based on her height as she was not an excellent high school player as she neither scored or rebounded commensurate with what one would expect for her height. May have also got some props for her lineage with both her mother and her aunt being outstanding college basketball players. Dungee was ranked about right except for her tendency to not want to obey team rules.



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Old 11-14-2017, 06:51 AM   #13
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A lot of people wasted a lot of time typing novels here only to call for her job after 1 more game :p
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