Great referential post!!! This explains a lot and potentially pushes both the conversation and the questions about GW basketball and where we are going in the right direction. The advantage of a "team ball" system is that it gets players an advantage against an individual approach team in an apples against apples game. Done well, apples will compete with oranges even if oranges are "better on paper"
Indeed, this past year was a bit of both for us--we just couldn't close out games and didn't have the outside shooting to take part of the advantage of the system. It also may help us understand why guys like WHite and McCoy may have more attractiveness to coach Lonergan and (to me). They are not guys who will scare you with the ball one on one like James standing 25 feet from the hole, but in an offense that will unlock an 8 footer, then you have something.
The premium of the system is that there are 5 passers on the floor. .Will it work at GW? Well, I think that it already has started with all the first year players added onto the holdovers (at various levels of buy-in) and getting us to a high of 86 on offensive efficiency. It already has in that we have been within a couple possessions in almost every loss with little outside help.
So what is the true value of having 14 or 15 guys on a squad who play this way. THe discussion upthread about the conflict with the classic AAU style is so true--this can rub the nerve of many a player coming out of 3 years AAU showboat basketball. In fact, you need skills to score, but more to finish the play and not to create the play. I contend that it is all about how you can open up the defense in a team format and then finally using the talents to drop the shot into the twine.
This means that there is a less obvious point as fans to see player development. Here, I would make Kopriva exhibit A. Elsewhere, someone asked if John would ever develop into a productive player (liberally rephrasing here) and I would say that GW would be very hard pressed to recruit a guy fresh out of high school with as much to add to GW right now at the position and responsibilities needed at this time. If you follow the site and GW ball you know that he is working on his jumper and you can see it in shoot arounds, but it is under a coaching/player wrap at this point. I pointed to the final game of last season where Kopriva played 7 minutes and still would have been UMass' 2nd leading rebounder. AND around January and on, he started to gain some success in the low blocks against decent competition. He is backing good defenders down and banking in with good accuracy against shot blockers.
That's poor little John Kopriva in a 5 to 12 minute shot on the floor--tossing good passes to cutters and getting an assist or two and working the boards. That's against very decent A10/D1 players. People can make the claim that Kopriva was playing against the backups of UMass because of the success of Larsen and Armwood (not all the time), but that begs the point that our "BACK UPS" are better in many ways than theres (say Umass--picked by some to finish at the top of the A10).
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT is where I am really more impressed with this group of coaches. I see each player becoming more effective and adding a bit hear and there to their games' in a complimentary way. Demanding coaches? Yes--it is hard to be a player with coaches constantly harping about your game (work on this and that). When your entire game is taking someone on the dribble and the coaches want all the rest, I am sure that life can be uncomfortable.
THE GONZAGA MODEL is alive and well with GW.There was an interesting article about their recruiting and how, even after a decade plus of amazing success, they still get locked up in recruiting battles with state schools with 10K seat arenas and coaches brandishing future team success and stardom. In that article, they discuss how they have to keep working the international connections to get the talent and the team-oriented quality--guys who can work within their system. They have the luxury to "stockpile" players and develop--see the development of Kelly O. Which brings me to the next paragraph.
From another thread :::> I don't see Lonergan playing Mikic at the 3 -- more likely that we will see Creek or Savage there in the rotation than Mikic. He struggles in the man against smaller faster players on the defensive end and he can't create space on the offensive end. More likely, Lonergan will use him when we can control the match-ups against a big--which means he has to play the part of a big--which he did do in HS/Prep. With this comment I think that this is the year that St Joe's old GW scounting report will NOT survive the test of time and GW team development--AGAIN why I am more bullish (no pun intended) about this upcoming season and beyond. AND also why I am not in the sky-is-falling crowd OR the tomorrow the sky-will-fall crowds.