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Old 01-19-2023, 12:18 PM   #1
OUSKINS
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Default A Stillwater Epiphany

First of all, nothing I am saying here is groundbreaking and many on the board have said/hinted as much. But I went to the game in Stilly last night and for the first time think I came away with a true understanding of what is happening here and it changed my perception of Moser to a degree.

--This is the least talented team in the B12.

--It's not fair midway through year 2 to blame the lack of talent on Moser.

--The offense is really bad and often hard to watch; the inclination in that case is to blame the coaching. But they do NOT have size, athleticism, OR shooting. Man, it's hard to design a highly functioning offense without at least one of those traits.

--Sherfield is a good example. He is a solid basketball player. He is a good natural scorer. But he isn't very big and he is NOT particularly athletic or quick. He cannot beat B12 guards off the dribble or create good looks for himself or his teammates. He still makes it work on occasion by hitting tough shots, but it's always a struggle. Last night we had a 3-1 break and he chose to kick out to Jacob who bricked a long 2-- awful shot. But the issue is that Sherfield just isn't athletic/talented enough to make a play in the paint there so kicking it out was probably his best decision.

--We are not physical capable of getting some of those easy lob/dunks that OSU got last night. You could cite bad defense/rotations, but it's hard to constantly defend at a high level players that are a bigger, stronger, and can jump higher than you can. Sometimes, the athletic gifts just win out.

--Our team plays hard. The more I watch, the more I realize we are probably fortunate to be 2-4 in B12 play. Of the 6 teams we've played, Tech is the only one I thought kind of looked like we did in terms of overall talent-- and they were missing a key piece or two. I don't necessarily think OSU is a "better team" than we are, but they absolutely have more gifted players. So I guess you could then spin that into if OU is equal to or better than OSU despite that athletic difference, maybe coaching is what is keeping them as close as it is?

--Tanner has gotten worse. Jacob has stayed about the same. I don't think it's because they aren't working hard or because the coaches are idiots who don't know how to use them. It's just that they are sort of fish out of water. I wouldn't go as far to say they aren't B12 caliber players-- but they aren't B12 caliber starters-- they are role guys at best on a good B12 team and here they are pivotal starting pieces. They have moments, but cant' sustain.

--The defense is generally good and consistent. The effort is generally great and consistent. Good signs as far as coaching goes. And offensively, they probably do about as well as they can-- it's ugly, but it's actually somewhat efficient. A plodding, grinding, brawling style is probably their best bet and it's what they try to do. I am NOT saying there isn't ANYTHING that can be done- there are times when literally no one is moving on offense. There are times when players hesitate on open looks. There are times when the team looks terrified on offense. I do think there are things Moser and staff could do to improve in those areas-- but again, it's really tough when you don't have the horses.

--I plan to support the team and root for them to somehow squeeze into the tourney because now I realize how big of an accomplishment that would be. Because they really are NOT a tourney team. They do not pass the eye test in that regard. I still hope they can earn their way there though.

--They must go 6-6 over their final 12 (assuming a loss to Bama in there as well) to be in a better position than they were last year. I would say 8-10 in conf would likely either have them in or needing maybe one win in KC to clinch it. 7-11 or worse and I think it's NIT again... or if it's REALLY worse then maybe no post-season at all. And that IS a possibility. I wouldn't be shocked if they go 3-9 the rest of the way or something like that. They will have the inferior talent in each of the 12 games. To expect to win half of those is a tall order. Baylor is probably a must win if you want to stay anywhere near on track. And must win games in Jan against good teams are not ideal.

--Again, tough team to watch. Anyone hoping for something to light the fire of the fanbase and get them out to the LNC the rest of the season can probably forget about that for this year. They are what they are. Can they scratch and claw their way to 6 more wins? I'd say highly doubtful, but I'll still be rooting for them to do it.

--The bigger question is will Moser be able to upgrade the roster enough by next year? Because I do think a third straight year of no Tourney (assuming they miss this year) and then it starts to get REAL uncomfortable.
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Old 01-19-2023, 12:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: A Stillwater Epiphany

Good post. I agree with all of it. Except I think 8-10 in conference and we are a shoe in for the tourney. That won't happen though
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Old 01-19-2023, 12:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: A Stillwater Epiphany

Really good post. I can't really disagree with any of your points except for one...."it's not fair midway through year 2 to blame the lack of talent on Moser". Yes it is fair. This has been proven to be the case in our own conference (see ISU 21-22 and KSU this year) as well as our womens program. As far as I know and from what I've read on this board, Moser appears to be recruiting HS kids well. However, if you want to improve your team immediately whether it be skill, athleticism (or both)....you have to get impact guys in the portal. And outside of Sherfield, he has failed to do that. As you mentioned, the Groves are serviceable, but should be no more than complimentary role players at this level/conference.

You, me, and many have all said it until we are blue in the face, athleticism had better improve drastically or he will never win in this conference.
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Old 01-19-2023, 12:43 PM   #4
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Really good post. I can't really disagree with any of your points except for one...."it's not fair midway through year 2 to blame the lack of talent on Moser". Yes it is fair. This has been proven to be the case in our own conference (see ISU 21-22 and KSU this year) as well as our womens program. As far as I know and from what I've read on this board, Moser appears to be recruiting HS kids well. However, if you want to improve your team immediately whether it be skill, athleticism (or both)....you have to get impact guys in the portal. And outside of Sherfield, he has failed to do that. As you mentioned, the Groves are serviceable, but should be no more than complimentary role players at this level/conference.

You, me, and many have all said it until we are blue in the face, athleticism had better improve drastically or he will never win in this conference.
Precisely. I think it's hard for people to adjust to the new world of college sports. Before the portal, it would obviously be tough to expect a coach to completely overhaul a roster in a year, perhaps two. But it happens all the time now, including in our league. I'd also note once again that while he did have to replace a lot of guys who graduated or transferred when Lon retired, he also returned three starters, which is actually not bad in this era.

Moser needs to identify and sign more Sherfields in the portal. He may not be a great athlete, but he is a big time player. He would start and be an impact guy on basically every team in the Big 12. But he can't do it alone, or with just Los and Hill helping.
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Old 01-19-2023, 12:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: A Stillwater Epiphany

This team has exceeded expectations all year... I am stunned they are 11-7 and as competitive as they are.
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Old 01-19-2023, 12:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: A Stillwater Epiphany

I'm not ready to give up on this team either.
I think we started 2-4 in conference play last year as well. And we finished winning 3 conference games.
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Old 01-19-2023, 01:26 PM   #7
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I'm not ready to give up on this team either.
I think we started 2-4 in conference play last year as well. And we finished winning 3 conference games.
You’re using last year’s 5-7 finish, which resulted in missing the tournament, as reason to be encouraged that this team can finish strong? How low has the bar fallen?

This reminds me so much of our football fans. They spent the entire summer hyping up Venables and getting offended when national writers predicted they would lose four or five games. Then when the team couldn’t even finish .500, the revisionist history was that Riley left the program in such bad shape that it was ridiculous to expect the team to be any good.
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Old 01-19-2023, 01:36 PM   #8
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You’re using last year’s 5-7 finish, which resulted in missing the tournament, as reason to be encouraged that this team can finish strong? How low has the bar fallen?

This reminds me so much of our football fans. They spent the entire summer hyping up Venables and getting offended when national writers predicted they would lose four or five games. Then when the team couldn’t even finish .500, the revisionist history was that Riley left the program in such bad shape that it was ridiculous to expect the team to be any good.
I think winning 5 more wins would be great.
Am I happy with the season? No. But I thought our ceiling was 8-9 wins in conference before the season.
So I wasn't as high on this team as others were.

The point of my post is that people need to back off the ledge. People are acting like we won't win another game all year.

This has nothing to do with Football. Your negativity on one sport is enough for me...no need to get into it on football as well
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Old 01-19-2023, 01:37 PM   #9
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Wichita, are you 87sooner from the old Landthieves board? That would make a lot of sense if so
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Old 01-19-2023, 01:59 PM   #10
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This reminds me so much of our football fans. They spent the entire summer hyping up Venables and getting offended when national writers predicted they would lose four or five games. Then when the team couldn’t even finish .500, the revisionist history was that Riley left the program in such bad shape that it was ridiculous to expect the team to be any good.
I read the football boards regularly and plenty of fans approached last season with lowered expectations. Many said that if everything went just right, we might reach 9-10 wins (and considering how close many of our losses were, they weren't wrong) but those same fans freely acknowledged the possibility of a worse record.

And for the record, Riley (and Grinch) did leave the program in bad shape. In 2021, the team won the close games, but those games were close indeed, and Riley took or ran off many of that team's key players.

It seems to really rile up certain posters that many fans are (perhaps overly) optimistic, but where doesn't that happen? And what's the point of calling them out afterward (a favorite pastime for many on this board)?

And if you can't reassess following a bad season, when can you? It sounds as if you would only have been satisfied with fans trashing BV rather than saying, basically, "You know what--I was wrong. Our team was less talented than I thought going into the season." Which is, in effect, what most of those fans you're calling out are saying.

The Venables hype has not yet been proven unwarranted--not by a long shot. And most fans knew we were facing a rebuild under him. Not that they expected a losing season (I certainly didn't), but I would say a majority of the fans knew there was a lot -- a lot -- of work to be done and few expected a full turnaround in a single season.

BV and Co. salvaged a top 10 class last year and signed a top 5 class this year, despite the 6-7 season, so fans have every reason to be optimistic going forward. But it won't last forever if the on-the-field results don't improve, but I'll be very surprised if that occurs.

Coach Moser hasn't yet come close to matching the roster turnover and upgrade that BV is achieving, and I understand that the difficulty he faces in that regard is different and arguably more challenging, but Moser has to improve his use of the portal. Not to the exclusion of high school recruiting, but the portal can make a huge difference in hoops--larger, I would argue, than in football--and he's mostly made poor choices there.

I also think he has experienced some failings as regards coaching. Turnovers again killed us last night and the second half was simply not reflective of the team's true talent. Considering our performances in all of our other conference games, that second half performance was really inexcusable. When year 2 is not noticeably better than year 1--and it isn't so far--that's worrisome. And if the same thing happens to BV and the football team in the fall, I'll say the same thing.
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Old 01-19-2023, 03:22 PM   #11
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Good post op:

We can't have our cake and eat it too. OU has been competitive (other than last night) with the top teams in the country. Obviously, fans would like most of them to end better, but you can't deny that OU has had a chance every night. That is worth SOMETHING. Either A.) OU is more athletic than fans give them credit for and it is coaching that is holding the team back from winning those crunch time games, or B.) This is the least athletic team in the conference (which I think is the consensus) and that means good coaching is the only thing keeping them in games against the best competition in the first place.

I tend to think it's somewhere in the middle. I also think two things can be true. 1. Moser is a good coach. and 2. He just isn't the guy to take OU to the next level, which is where we all want it to be. Missing the tournament two years in a row should be unacceptable at OU. Whether it's lack of talent, bad coaching, whatever. Especially when programs like ISU, KSU, and hell even Marquette are lightyears ahead of OU with new coaches.
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Old 01-19-2023, 03:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: A Stillwater Epiphany

Can we just hire kelvin back?
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Old 01-19-2023, 03:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: A Stillwater Epiphany

GREAT post, OUSKINS. I found that to be very realistic and astute.

Quote:
I can't really disagree with any of your points except for one...."it's not fair midway through year 2 to blame the lack of talent on Moser". Yes it is fair. This has been proven to be the case in our own conference (see ISU 21-22 and KSU this year) as well as our womens program.
To stormspencer's point (above^), while I do certainly agree that some blame came be based on Moser at this point for the lack of talent, comparing the OU men's situation to the OU women is incorrect. Coach Jennie inherited THREE players who will finish in the top-10 in OU history in multiple categories, and she got them in their 4th and 5th years in the program. Not only that, but all three of them are elite, extremely proficient scorers who fit in perfectly with her style of play. The reason the team was losing with these players before Jennie got here is because they had ZERO depth or leadership helping/teaching them how to win, and frankly, their coach appeared to be checked out much of the time.

Meanwhile, Moser inherited a young Jalen Hill, and two transfers with one year in the program in Gipson and Harkless. There were some skills there, but certainly not program-altering amounts of skill (though, to be fair, last night Mo had 22 points to lead his mediocre DePaul team to a win over #8 Xavier and boy would it be nice to have him on this team).

Also, all of this really makes me wonder how Joe Bam can't make it on the floor. On paper, he has the tools to really impact this team.
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Old 01-19-2023, 04:02 PM   #14
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GREAT post, OUSKINS. I found that to be very realistic and astute.



To stormspencer's point (above^), while I do certainly agree that some blame came be based on Moser at this point for the lack of talent, comparing the OU men's situation to the OU women is incorrect. Coach Jennie inherited THREE players who will finish in the top-10 in OU history in multiple categories, and she got them in their 4th and 5th years in the program. Not only that, but all three of them are elite, extremely proficient scorers who fit in perfectly with her style of play. The reason the team was losing with these players before Jennie got here is because they had ZERO depth or leadership helping/teaching them how to win, and frankly, their coach appeared to be checked out much of the time.

Meanwhile, Moser inherited a young Jalen Hill, and two transfers with one year in the program in Gipson and Harkless. There were some skills there, but certainly not program-altering amounts of skill (though, to be fair, last night Mo had 22 points to lead his mediocre DePaul team to a win over #8 Xavier and boy would it be nice to have him on this team).

Also, all of this really makes me wonder how Joe Bam can't make it on the floor. On paper, he has the tools to really impact this team.
Ok, so compare Moser to what Tang inherited. Or the ISU coach last year. Or any number of other men's D-1 coaches who would have been thrilled to inherit three returning starters from a tourney team. I didn't expect a top 10 team last year, but was shocked by how poor the team was fundamentally. Moser himself said his biggest emphasis all offseason was better late game play this season. When you make something a priority and somehow get even worse in Year 2 with a VERY experienced team, that is a red flag.
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Old 01-19-2023, 04:06 PM   #15
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GREAT post, OUSKINS. I found that to be very realistic and astute.



To stormspencer's point (above^), while I do certainly agree that some blame came be based on Moser at this point for the lack of talent, comparing the OU men's situation to the OU women is incorrect. Coach Jennie inherited THREE players who will finish in the top-10 in OU history in multiple categories, and she got them in their 4th and 5th years in the program. Not only that, but all three of them are elite, extremely proficient scorers who fit in perfectly with her style of play. The reason the team was losing with these players before Jennie got here is because they had ZERO depth or leadership helping/teaching them how to win, and frankly, their coach appeared to be checked out much of the time.

Meanwhile, Moser inherited a young Jalen Hill, and two transfers with one year in the program in Gipson and Harkless. There were some skills there, but certainly not program-altering amounts of skill (though, to be fair, last night Mo had 22 points to lead his mediocre DePaul team to a win over #8 Xavier and boy would it be nice to have him on this team).

Also, all of this really makes me wonder how Joe Bam can't make it on the floor. On paper, he has the tools to really impact this team.
Every time i've watched him it looks like he's trying to dribble a football.
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Old 01-19-2023, 04:11 PM   #16
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Ok, so compare Moser to what Tang inherited. Or the ISU coach last year. Or any number of other men's D-1 coaches who would have been thrilled to inherit three returning starters from a tourney team. I didn't expect a top 10 team last year, but was shocked by how poor the team was fundamentally. Moser himself said his biggest emphasis all offseason was better late game play this season. When you make something a priority and somehow get even worse in Year 2 with a VERY experienced team, that is a red flag.
we get it. you have a hardon for tang.
We would all love that trust me...but it is a rare exception for a new coach to do what he is doing

As for ISU, we need to tap the breaks and see how they finish the year. They could very well fall flat on their face
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Old 01-19-2023, 04:31 PM   #17
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You and I have a vastly different notion of what good defense is. What I see is teams all year long spreading the floor and taking us one on one and we can't cover. It screams "PLAY A ZONE" but we never do. A good defensive team would never let OSU score like they did last night
But I am not ready, by a long shot, to say Porter can't be the one to get us where we want to be. Next year is critical, with the talent coming in we should be upper division conference and a 6 or 7 seed in the NCAA
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Old 01-19-2023, 04:52 PM   #18
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You and I have a vastly different notion of what good defense is. What I see is teams all year long spreading the floor and taking us one on one and we can't cover. It screams "PLAY A ZONE" but we never do. A good defensive team would never let OSU score like they did last night
But I am not ready, by a long shot, to say Porter can't be the one to get us where we want to be. Next year is critical, with the talent coming in we should be upper division conference and a 6 or 7 seed in the NCAA
last night was kind of an outlier. Overall, I'd say we are good defensively. our pace and tempo play into that
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Old 01-19-2023, 05:00 PM   #19
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Great thread, OUSKINS. You made a lot of great points.

After seeing them live this season, I truly believe coach Moser is an outstanding coach. You don't take a mid-major to the Final Four one year and the Sweet 16 another year if you can't coach. The problem is, in college basketball, part of coaching is being able to identify and recruit the talent to play at your school. That's where Coach has struggled as we all know by now. This offseason is going to be critical for him...needs to hit that portal hard. I truly hope he succeeds. As crappy as our fan base is, five consecutive head coaches at OU have gone to the Sweet 16 or beyond. No reason any coach can't win in Norman in spite of the substandard fan base.
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Old 01-19-2023, 05:22 PM   #20
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Great post. Completely agree
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Old 01-19-2023, 05:30 PM   #21
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we get it. you have a hardon for tang.
We would all love that trust me...but it is a rare exception for a new coach to do what he is doing

As for ISU, we need to tap the breaks and see how they finish the year. They could very well fall flat on their face
Uh, they went winless in the league two years ago, hired a new coach, and made the Sweet 16 in his first season with a new roster. I’d say he has proven quite a bit already.
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Old 01-19-2023, 05:55 PM   #22
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Five years ago, everyone would be saying that Moser needs time but after what ISU has done in two years and KSU in one year, patience with fans is going to be hard to find.

I think Moser is doing a good job with the players he has but at some point it falls on him to get better and more talented players to compete.

Plus, the intangibles (fan base, arena, etc.) are not helping. I like Moser and am pulling for him but it's hard to be optimistic.

The program has a lot of work to do.
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Old 01-19-2023, 06:39 PM   #23
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Every time i've watched him it looks like he's trying to dribble a football.
Oweh looked like that last night. Both woofs IMO
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Old 01-19-2023, 07:34 PM   #24
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I don’t care about talent level right now. If we are so bad how can we be leading or so close at halftime in every game? Last night was just a worse version of what has happened at some point in the second half of every conference game. We panicked and we lost our identity. We started to try to do things we are not capable of doing and we got away from doing what our talent level dictates what we should be doing.

Sherfield is a good player but who really thinks he is a great athlete who we can isolate against Big 12 competition? Why did Tanner start pretending he could drive the ball? Why did guards get in the grill of guys who are not great shooters and allow them to abuse us with a 2 man game? Why did we start making terrible passes with no real pressure? Why do we often start holding the ball and not really running anything until there is less than 10 on the clock?

Okie light hit a few shots early in the second half and we started to panic. But we regained some composure and cut it to 5 with plenty of time left. Then we panicked again.

I just think we panic and forget who we are and what often gives us halftime leads. Perhaps we scoreboard watch instead of just playing every possession. I don’t know what it is but either Moser needs to fix it or he needs to hire a team shrink.


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Old 01-20-2023, 04:07 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by WichitaSooner View Post
You’re using last year’s 5-7 finish, which resulted in missing the tournament, as reason to be encouraged that this team can finish strong? How low has the bar fallen?

This reminds me so much of our football fans. They spent the entire summer hyping up Venables and getting offended when national writers predicted they would lose four or five games. Then when the team couldn’t even finish .500, the revisionist history was that Riley left the program in such bad shape that it was ridiculous to expect the team to be any good.
Moser won the last 3 conference games last year and was one unlucky possession way from winning two conference tourney games against quality opponents. How many times did Lon win two conference tourney games? Our fanbase has forgotten what it is to compete in conference tournaments.

But yes, the bar has fallen quite far since Sampson left. Being top 25 was almost automatic at that point, but Lon didn't do it a single time in his last half-decade.
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