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Hoosierhoopster

Thoughts on the Slow Starts?

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Was thinking the slow starts deserves its own thread.

It's hard to pin down why we keep having them. The team is repeatedly playing from behind early regardless of the level of the opponent. 

Heard CAM say it was about toughness. That kind of surprised me, first time I thought he had something of a cop out answer. This team is clearly tough, that's one of its strengths and a large part of how it is able to keep battling back and win close games. Teams without toughness do not do that. If CAM is saying he wants the team tough out of the gate, great, but that takes us back to what's causing the the team, which is clearly "tough," to let the other guys get up on them early.

Thoughts on what is causing our guys to play from behind early in almost every game? Lineup? Focus? The early offensive sets/coaching? Not enough ball movement? What do you guys see?

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I think it's focus and not enough ball movement.  They don't seemed very focused on what they want and need to do out of the box.  They have to realize that they are going to get the other team's best from the get go and be determined to match and exceed that.

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Personally, I see young players making careless passes and taking unwise shots early, shaking their head, and it throws them off their game a bit.  After the 16:00 and 12:00 timeout when CAM has a chance to calm them down a bit, they get better.  We do start 2 Freshmen (normally), 2 Sophomores, and a Senior.  The youth shows at the beginning of games against talented teams.  I think it's mostly mental, but you do have to give the coach credit for his in game adjustments.  Also, in this system, defense comes first.  That was the difference to the hot start against Marquette vs our other games.  Marquette is a good team this year, and I think we forget that we blew them out.  In BIG play, there's so much familiarity with more experienced teams that those teams can focus on game play rather than just getting over the nerves.  It will still take our underclassmen time to figure this out, but hopefully we see some improvements soon.

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2 minutes ago, btownmd said:

 I think it's mostly mental, but you do have to give the coach credit for his in game adjustments. 

This...... 

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11 minutes ago, slojoe said:

I think it's focus and not enough ball movement.  They don't seemed very focused on what they want and need to do out of the box.  They have to realize that they are going to get the other team's best from the get go and be determined to match and exceed that.

These are CAM's thoughts:

We have to come out tougher defensively and more disciplined on offense. The freelancing on offense in the first four-to-six minutes is not giving us quality offense. … We shoot too many perimeter jump shots, then we get back to what we do.

Setting the tone, to me, starts with your upperclass players. For me, we’re gonna have to look at Juwan and say, ‘Set the tone and start demanding the ball.’ Our guards have to think more about playmaking ability rather than trying to shoot early in the game. Think about making somebody better. Make the extra pass. Drive not to shoot, but to pass.”

 

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I have noticed, at least in games prior to Michigan, that Romeo and to some degree Morgan, tend to ease their way into the offense and not get their first shots until the 5th, 6th, etc possession of the game.  In many cases, they don’t even touch the ball (on the offensive end) until then.  The first shots are typically being taken by Durham or Green.  Once we get down by 4-6 points or more, Romeo will finally touch the ball and no matter what, he drives to the basket or takes a step back shot in the lane.  My thought is that both Romeo and Morgan need to be more assertive on the first few possessions to get us going.  That doesn’t mean that they always have to take the first shot(s) but by being more assertive, it may open things up for the other three players On the floor.  Maybe run some special sets, aimed at getting one of these guys an easy shot early on.  Currently, I see too much dribbling and not enuf ball movement. I also would replace Al with McBob in the starting lineup.  McBob’s energy at the beginning of the game could provide the spark we seem to be missing as well.  No, he isn’t a scorer but he is energetic every second he is on the floor.  

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23 minutes ago, 13th&Jackson said:

These are CAM's thoughts:

We have to come out tougher defensively and more disciplined on offense. The freelancing on offense in the first four-to-six minutes is not giving us quality offense. … We shoot too many perimeter jump shots, then we get back to what we do.

Setting the tone, to me, starts with your upperclass players. For me, we’re gonna have to look at Juwan and say, ‘Set the tone and start demanding the ball.’ Our guards have to think more about playmaking ability rather than trying to shoot early in the game. Think about making somebody better. Make the extra pass. Drive not to shoot, but to pass.”

 

Those strike me as good thoughts, and better than his earlier "toughness" comment. It also tells us that the team is "freelancing" early, and not running the plays / offense he has set up. Interesting on the "demand the ball" comment, it does seem that Morgan and Romeo defer early on. Would expect that to change against MD.

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27 minutes ago, 13th&Jackson said:

These are CAM's thoughts:

We have to come out tougher defensively and more disciplined on offense. The freelancing on offense in the first four-to-six minutes is not giving us quality offense. … We shoot too many perimeter jump shots, then we get back to what we do.

Setting the tone, to me, starts with your upperclass players. For me, we’re gonna have to look at Juwan and say, ‘Set the tone and start demanding the ball.’ Our guards have to think more about playmaking ability rather than trying to shoot early in the game. Think about making somebody better. Make the extra pass. Drive not to shoot, but to pass.”

 

I feel reassured that Archie mentioned the "too many perimeter jump shots" problem.  It's something I've been complaining about (i.e. everybody seems to have the green light to chuck it up anytime they're open).  He's addressed the slow starts, and the poor FT shooting a few weeks ago.  I love the fact that the coach sees and comments on the same issues I (believe I) see.

Now if he just addresses the need for a deadeye shooter.....

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8 minutes ago, Zuckerkorn said:

I feel reassured that Archie mentioned the "too many perimeter jump shots" problem.  It's something I've been complaining about (i.e. everybody seems to have the green light to chuck it up anytime they're open).  He's addressed the slow starts, and the poor FT shooting a few weeks ago.  I love the fact that the coach sees and comments on the same issues I (believe I) see.

Now if he just addresses the need for a deadeye shooter.....

Clear evidence that Archie is an avid follower of HSN. 😁

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Let me remind everyone last season  the team appeared to have issues finishing games. 

 

Hard  to know why they have difficulty getting going- from the outside  and not being their coach.

If better defense leads to better offense in Miller's philosophy,  improving their early D isn't going to hurt anything.  

 I do trust Miller to adjust/ force the group to adapt in some way to address the tendency to struggle early.   I think he hit the nail on the head when it  comes to challenging the upperclassmen.    

 

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We are halfway through our schedule, so I don't buy the youth argument.  I wonder if it is adrenaline?  The kids come out so amped up and try too hard?  Takes them awhile to settle down and get in the flow?  I dunno.  

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1 hour ago, CTrojan88 said:

I have noticed, at least in games prior to Michigan, that Romeo and to some degree Morgan, tend to ease their way into the offense and not get their first shots until the 5th, 6th, etc possession of the game.  In many cases, they don’t even touch the ball (on the offensive end) until then.  The first shots are typically being taken by Durham or Green.  Once we get down by 4-6 points or more, Romeo will finally touch the ball and no matter what, he drives to the basket or takes a step back shot in the lane.  My thought is that both Romeo and Morgan need to be more assertive on the first few possessions to get us going.  That doesn’t mean that they always have to take the first shot(s) but by being more assertive, it may open things up for the other three players On the floor.  Maybe run some special sets, aimed at getting one of these guys an easy shot early on.  Currently, I see too much dribbling and not enuf ball movement. I also would replace Al with McBob in the starting lineup.  McBob’s energy at the beginning of the game could provide the spark we seem to be missing as well.  No, he isn’t a scorer but he is energetic every second he is on the floor.  

This is hitting it pretty close to the mark.  Romeo is not nearly aggressive enough at the start of the game.  What I don't know is whether it is by design (to get others involved) or if it is a case where Romeo needs to feel the flow of the game before he gets going.  But, what it does is put added pressure on others to make it happen, and they may not be as adept as Romeo in doing that.

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contrary to what Mr. Smith thinks, i feel strongly that it is generally because the first few possessions end up with shots from guys not named Romeo or Juwan.  they need to ouch the ball and hopefully take the first few shots to get going.  

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OK quoting some of CAM's thoughts, as quoted at ITH:

• Miller also emphasized multiple times the importance of Morgan setting the tone for the rest of the team as it searches to become more consistent in its effort and its overall play. “Setting the tone, to me, starts with your upper-class players,” Miller said. “And to me, we’re going to have to look at Juwan from this point forward and say, ‘Start setting the tone for our basketball team to start the game by demanding the ball, running good offense, communicating a little bit more.’”

• “It starts and stops with him and it filters into the other guys,” Miller continued. “I think that’s part of the slow starts, too. I think that’s part of what we need to figure out, and maybe what he needs to figure out a little bit more. That mentality that he played with in the second half – if he starts that race playing like that, I think we have a better chance of maybe getting some better opportunities in those first four, six, eight minutes of the game.”

-- Here's to hoping this is what we see against MD

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If this is what he wants, this seems pretty easy to me.  Call 3-4 offensive sets for the first 3-4 possessions of the game.  If you don't execute, enjoy your early seat on the bench.

I love what he is saying.  I want to see him begin to execute.  And that doesn't necessarily mean that it's all fine and dandy -- Archie isn't Jesus, he can't magically make players execute -- but he can clearly implement a system, tweak it until they understand it, and hold them accountable to executing it.  That is coaching.  

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8 hours ago, Hoosierhoopster said:

Was thinking the slow starts deserves its own thread.

It's hard to pin down why we keep having them. The team is repeatedly playing from behind early regardless of the level of the opponent. 

Heard CAM say it was about toughness. That kind of surprised me, first time I thought he had something of a cop out answer. This team is clearly tough, that's one of its strengths and a large part of how it is able to keep battling back and win close games. Teams without toughness do not do that.

I don’t think it’s a cop out answer at all, and I think it holds a lot of merit.  He’s not saying we’re not tough, he’s saying we need to start the game tougher.  How many lazy passes, not fighting toward the ball, bad jump shots, giving up easy shots defensively and other issue happen in the first 4-6 minutes of every game?  A ton, and that’s what’s contributed to every one of our slow starts.  We get punched in the mouth at the start of every game and don’t respond well until 5 minutes has gone by.  That’s what he’s referring to when he’s saying we need to be tougher to start the games.

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1 hour ago, Proud2BAHoosier said:

IU hasn't had a real floor leader since Yogi graduated.....

I think Rob could be that guy, we really need him back

I think this is where some of this slow start stuff rests. I think a slow or fast start among a lot of things begins at the point and the leadership and IQ of that player. I love the growth Green has shown and think he’s better but will probably never have the IQ if a great general on the floor. And his spastic nature doesn’t help at all at times. 

Meanwhile Rob was a frost who first had to earn the spot (several games), grow into the spot (several more), and gain his own confidence and the confidence of his teammates (a few more). And NOW he’s injured. We need a smart, level headed PG to run the show and get the ball where it should be and keep it away from where it shouldn’t be.

Our slow starts won’t be “fixed” by Ron coming back, but I believe it would help a lot. I think he’s maturing enough he can see things happening.

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I'm thinking the strength of this IU team in terms of closing out games in the last 10 minutes may also contribute to the slow starts.  In other words, as close games are wrapping up the team is able to recognize the need for confident composure to value each possession.  I think this team is very confident, almost to a point of playing too laid back at the beginning of the game(s).  I think it is the composure piece that is missing early on; the team should not have to be down by double digits in order for the "value each possession" realization to kick in.  A laid back approach would certainly explain the lazy passes and questionable shot selection at times early in the game.

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I think the key to a better start is for us to score more points while not allowing the opposition to score as much especially early on.

I should be a coach, this is genius. (Yes, I am a few drinks into the night on a Tuesday)

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36 minutes ago, bluegrassIU said:

I think the key to a better start is for us to score more points while not allowing the opposition to score as much especially early on.

I should be a coach, this is genius. (Yes, I am a few drinks into the night on a Tuesday)

Honestly you have something here. Just need a little time to let it soak in...

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With this team I feel there is really no sense of urgency until they either get down or realize that they are allowing an inferior team to hang around. That shows in the fact that we have pulled out so many close games. For some reason they can turn in on and off and that is not necessarily a good thing. My opinion is that we are a very laid back group and it takes a little kick in the pants to get them going. 

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