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The Daily Hoosier

Justin Smith 2019-20 Preview

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Great article, and completely agree, the comments from both Miller and Smith are fascinating. A bunch of us were saying during the season last year, that Smith would be great if he would just focus on being a junkyard dog type of player. Measure success by how many offensive rebounds and total rebounds he gets, measure success by how many points he gets in transition, etc., and by how he defends consistently. 

That's who he needs to be to begin with. Focus on those things and he can be an extremely valuable player, and if he focuses on those things then his confidence will rise and then maybe with it will come better shooter, ball handling, etc. But the effort, hustle and athletic plays need to come first. 

The two issues with all of that though are 1) does Smith see it that way, and 2) can a player that has struggled so much with consistent effort and focus all of the sudden turn into a junkyard dog player? I kind of think you either have that mentality or your don't, it's difficult to just turn that on. 

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CAM’s comments are dead on and should put to rest the idea Smith will play on the wing. Play to his strengths, to who he is — he can be a really good forward, he can score on rolls and ball movement and getting to the rim, and he can hound boards and lock guys down — the guy can have a big year, playing to his strengths 

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Good catch, Mike  I had not seen those quotes.  Every time I see or hear quotes from Archie, I am struck how bright and sharp he is.  That's always a litmus test for me.

Justin has nice raw tools.  Hopefully he will deploy them in a much better fashion this year.  If he sets his mind to it, he can an intimidating defender.  Maybe not at quite an OG level, but close.

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47 minutes ago, BGleas said:

I kind of think you either have that mentality or your don't, it's difficult to just turn that on. 

Well that's interesting too, because Miller also said "you are who you are" in response to one of my questions on Smith, but it wasn't so much about being a junkyard dog as it was Smith not getting down on himself when things don't go right.  He's just going to be really interesting to watch this year.  We've seen massive sophomore to junior leaps with guys, most recently Morgan.

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10 minutes ago, The Daily Hoosier said:

 We've seen massive sophomore to junior leaps with guys, most recently Morgan.

You're right about Morgan, but I remember when he was a freshman, he played with a dislocated shoulder for most of the season, or it might have been sophomore year, but whatever. Morgan was a junk yard dog mentally. Smith is not. And I don't see him being wired that way.

Maybe if Green gets in his face, along with a couple of others like DeRon, he could become tougher mentally. Sure hope so. We need him.

Go Hoosiers!

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1 hour ago, BGleas said:

Focus on those things and he can be an extremely valuable player

Agree...Show him Draymond Green makes $18 million a year with a 9 ppg, 7 rpg, 5 apg career stat line and a reputation as a defensive stopper. 

Edited by IUFLA

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7 hours ago, BGleas said:

But the effort, hustle and athletic plays need to come first.

Agree with you completely Gleas on your post, but I would add to this statement Justin needs to work on being a physical player! Especially, if he is going to become a "Junkyard Dog"!

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I just wonder if Justin and his daddy will be pleased with his minutes.  It sounds like Archie is planning to go big which I assume means playing 2 of the big 3 which are TJD, Deron, and Brunk as often as possible.  I won't be surprised if TJD averages 30 minutes or close to it.  Deron and Brunk will fill out the 5.  Justin is also not a 3 as most agree to and we have Jerome, Al, and Demazi anyways.  There is also Race Thompson.  I just can't see Justin getting many minutes.  Where do they come from if we don't have any major injuries?

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Remains to be seen but do think how much time Justin gets is going to turn on how he contributed defensively and on the glass, with less emphasis on his offense. CAM is high on his D — as he should be — when Justin has his mind in the game. I would not discount his potential to play big minutes, he can be a major piece on this team. 

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If I was Justin Smith I would take 500 corner 3's a day...500 free throws...and work my butt off on ball handling drills. If he could master a little floater too he would be lights out.....add that to a junkyard dog defensive mentality the kid might actually make the pros on a two way deal he has so much athleticism. That corner 3 is the closest one...and one he could master. He doesn't need to be Romeo Langford handling the ball all over the floor. He just needs to be able to put it on the floor in regards to finishing after a dish. Kid has been blessed by God with some size and athleticism few could ever have. Realize your limitations but maximize your potential.

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9 hours ago, The Daily Hoosier said:

Well that's interesting too, because Miller also said "you are who you are" in response to one of my questions on Smith, but it wasn't so much about being a junkyard dog as it was Smith not getting down on himself when things don't go right.  He's just going to be really interesting to watch this year.  We've seen massive sophomore to junior leaps with guys, most recently Morgan.

Yes...Justin has a tendency to be hard on himself...and when he gets down it filters into the defensive end/hustle too. He is a smart kid...some kids confidence is a huge hurdle to overcome. I think Justin just has to focus on what he does well...not worry about missing a jumper or losing minutes etc and just stay confident and optimistic about the things he can control....and that's effort level and the other will take care of itself.

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1 hour ago, dbmhoosier said:

I just wonder if Justin and his daddy will be pleased with his minutes.  It sounds like Archie is planning to go big which I assume means playing 2 of the big 3 which are TJD, Deron, and Brunk as often as possible.  I won't be surprised if TJD averages 30 minutes or close to it.  Deron and Brunk will fill out the 5.  Justin is also not a 3 as most agree to and we have Jerome, Al, and Demazi anyways.  There is also Race Thompson.  I just can't see Justin getting many minutes.  Where do they come from if we don't have any major injuries?

I think matchups will dictate a lot. There will be games Justin and Trayce may man the 4 and 5 a lot. Justin has the opportunity to garner as many minutes as he played last year. Freshman bigs have a big leap...I wouldn't expect Trayce to avg 30 mins a game. I'd say around 25 give or take a couple. Foul trouble and just mismatches sometimes will take him off the floor. If Justin plays well he will get more and more minutes. You don't take a kid out who is hustling, rebounding, defending, and if he can finish even better. He will have the opportunity to force Archie's hand in giving him more minutes if he does those things. Archie is going to play who is playing well. Last year we were so limited in numbers and size he was forced to play people that shouldn't have been out there. Now everyone will earn their minutes. It's up to Justin but I see no reason he can't get 15-20 minutes a game depending on opponent and his play....and let's be real..thats plenty of time to influence a game and show case your ability. Guys at UK don't often get much more than that because of rotations and competition.

Edited by dgambill

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26 minutes ago, dgambill said:

If I was Justin Smith I would take 500 corner 3's a day...500 free throws...and work my butt off on ball handling drills. If he could master a little floater too he would be lights out.....add that to a junkyard dog defensive mentality the kid might actually make the pros on a two way deal he has so much athleticism. That corner 3 is the closest one...and one he could master. He doesn't need to be Romeo Langford handling the ball all over the floor. He just needs to be able to put it on the floor in regards to finishing after a dish. Kid has been blessed by God with some size and athleticism few could ever have. Realize your limitations but maximize your potential.

Walter McCarty carved out a 10+ year career in the NBA, and almost all he could do was play defense and hit corner 3’s. He couldn’t dribble and he couldn’t shoot from anywhere else on the court except that corner 3, and he’s beloved in Boston for it and made a lot of money doing it. 

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2 hours ago, dbmhoosier said:

I just wonder if Justin and his daddy will be pleased with his minutes.  It sounds like Archie is planning to go big which I assume means playing 2 of the big 3 which are TJD, Deron, and Brunk as often as possible.  I won't be surprised if TJD averages 30 minutes or close to it.  Deron and Brunk will fill out the 5.  Justin is also not a 3 as most agree to and we have Jerome, Al, and Demazi anyways.  There is also Race Thompson.  I just can't see Justin getting many minutes.  Where do they come from if we don't have any major injuries?

I think the going big thing is getting a little blown out of proportion. He did say they’ll try playing big at times, but he also said they could only do it if the bigs were capable of playing perimeter defense while on the court together. 

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5 minutes ago, BGleas said:

I think the going big thing is getting a little blown out of proportion. He did say they’ll try playing big at times, but he also said they could only do it if the bigs were capable of playing perimeter defense while on the court together. 

That's all probably true but I think anyone that thinks Archie is going with a 10-11 man rotation is nuts.  The last 2 great IU teams that we had really only went 7-8 deep.  In 2002 it was Moye, Newt, and occasionally Donald Perry off the bench.  In Zellers final season it was mainly Sheehey, Elston, and occasionally Remy getting some time.  It's just not necessary to go any deeper barring injuries.  We all remember Crean's insane subbing at times that took certain guys out sink.  I think Armaan, Demazi, and Race are there simply if injuries occur and we all hope that doesn't happen.

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There has been a lot of discussion on other threads about whether Justin is a 3, a 4 or does it matter. IMO, what matters is what Justin envisions himself to be. Doesn’t really matter what we think. What Justin believes about himself is going to be the determining factor in how successful he is on the court. 

I really hope, for his sake first and foremost, that Justin tears it up this season 

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3 minutes ago, dbmhoosier said:

That's all probably true but I think anyone that thinks Archie is going with a 10-11 man rotation is nuts.  The last 2 great IU teams that we had really only went 7-8 deep.  In 2002 it was Moye, Newt, and occasionally Donald Perry off the bench.  In Zellers final season it was mainly Sheehey, Elston, and occasionally Remy getting some time.  It's just not necessary to go any deeper barring injuries.  We all remember Crean's insane subbing at times that took certain guys out sink.  I think Armaan, Demazi, and Race are there simply if injuries occur and we all hope that doesn't happen.

Agree. Though I think we’ll see a larger rotation early, and then the guys that perform will rise to the top and it will settle into an 8 or man rotation. I do think one of Anderson or a Franklin will be in the rotation. 

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11 hours ago, BGleas said:

Agree. Though I think we’ll see a larger rotation early, and then the guys that perform will rise to the top and it will settle into an 8 or man rotation. I do think one of Anderson or a Franklin will be in the rotation. 

People writing off Dem based on his Frosh season... the guy can shoot, CAM has already publicly commented on his shooting and how it can help spread the floor. How much he plays is going to turn on whether he has acclimated to the speed of the college game and has raised his defensive positioning and awareness. He’s not there to sit on the bench, kid is a skilled player and has the capability of putting up some points 

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2 hours ago, Hoosierhoopster said:

People writing off Dem based on his Frosh season... the guy can shoot, CAM has already publicly commented on his shooting and how it can help spread the floor. How much he plays is going to turn on whether he has acclimated to the speed of the college game and has raised his defensive positioning and awareness. He’s not there to sit on the bench, kid is a skilled player and has the capability of putting up some points 

Agree. I have high hopes for Damezi. There’s something about him that I like. Can’t put my finger on it, I just like the kid. I would love to see him turn into a guy that as a sophomore can play regular rotation minutes and be a reliable shooter and effort guy off the bench. I’m pulling for him. 

I think Franklin is going to surprise too. I don’t know how the minutes will shake out, but I think he’ll be a player. 

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12 minutes ago, BGleas said:

Agree. I have high hopes for Damezi. There’s something about him that I like. Can’t put my finger on it, I just like the kid. I would love to see him turn into a guy that as a sophomore can play regular rotation minutes and be a reliable shooter and effort guy off the bench. I’m pulling for him. 

I think Franklin is going to surprise too. I don’t know how the minutes will shake out, but I think he’ll be a player. 

“I think there’s two guys who, hopefully, knock on wood, can become more bonafide shooters for us in Damezi Anderson and Jerome Hunter,” Miller said. “Both those guys have to contribute from the 3-point line.”

there are reasons to believe the statistics Anderson produced as a freshman aren’t an accurate measure of his potential. The South Bend Riley product hit 43 percent from 3-point range as a senior in high school.

“I think the great thing about Damezi is he’s a fantastic kid,” Miller said. “He wants to learn. He’s very coachable, and just in his communication in this offseason and what we tried to do with him, he’ll be the first to tell you that he had a lot to learn, and there’s some things he needs to do better. But I’ll tell you what, he went to work on them.

“Just in watching him practice even yesterday, he’s a much different player, he’s a much different guy out there than he was as a young player as a true freshman.”

https://www.hoosiersportsreport.com/2019/10/anderson-primed-to-give-iu-a-shooting-boost/

"There's only one other kid I've ever experienced in all my years that could shoot like he does," South Bend Riley head coach Eric Brand said. "And they both had a little bit of an unorthodox shot."

Brand noted that other player was LaceDarius Dunn, a four-star shooting guard in the class of 2007 who committed to Baylor when Brand was a graduate assistant there.

"They both just had a natural gift for getting the ball in the basket," Brand said. "He [Damezi] has great touch. He just has a gift for shooting the ball.

"It's effortless. It really is. He's got deep range. It's not like he's trying to heave it up there or anything - it's just an effortless, unique jumpshot. He's got great wrist strength - some guys have more than others. He's got a nice arc on it. It's a soft touch."

https://indiana.rivals.com/news/damezi-anderson-will-add-effortless-shot-to-iu-roster

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