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Justin Smith


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At times, I think yes, but then he gets beat (again) defensively for his 4th foul, so 🤷‍♂️

No question, he gets stats, but I see so many of the same bad shots and bad defensive habits.  The other night I was watching highlights of their game and I saw about 3-4 bad defensive plays by Justin.  Stuff like getting beat defensively and not helping when a teammate got beat (actually going away from the basket a couple of times).

It's hard to not recognize the stats he's putting up but every time I see Arkansas highlights, I zero in on Smith out of curiosity and too often, I see some of the same maddening plays I saw at IU.  That said, he obviously provides value or Musselman wouldn't play him, but I just see so many paradoxical moments with Smith.  I'll probably always have a love/hate relationship with him.

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1 minute ago, Lizard said:

Kid deserves more credit than was given, yes or no?

Honestly, I don't know...I'm truly conflicted.  I believe he's improved, but (1) he's a year older and more experienced, (2) I believe he's in a system more compatible with his talents and (3) I still see some of the same old things that drove me crazy at IU.  One minute, I'm admiring a good play and the next minute, I'm shaking my head at a lapse.

For me, trying to come to a definitive conclusion on Justin is like trying to nail jello to the wall.  I wish him well and will watch with interest his career after college.

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Smith was a bad fit for our offense. He had no business handling the ball on the wing, facing up and trying to drive or shoot, and because of our shooting woes had no space to operate. I will say this. He played some of the best defense on our team at IU. He also had times where he would trot back and drove me nuts. Nothing about that changed with him. In fact I think his defense at Arkansas was markedly worse...but his offense became much much better. He had open lanes to drive, he was kept around the basket more, flashing and cutting. It was the right fit for him. Because it was a good fit he was happier and his demeanor on the floor and sidelines changed. He isn't an NBA talent..but Musselman was able to use him to his best abilities. Because we could never find shooters our offense looked terrible and Smith was forced to play out of position. I wish him the best because he was a bright young man and a good kid it seems. He didn't deserve the hate he got....he was product of a terrible fit/failure in team building by Archie.

Edited by dgambill
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50 minutes ago, dgambill said:

Smith was a bad fit for our offense. He had no business handling the ball on the wing, facing up and trying to drive or shoot, and because of our shooting woes had no space to operate. I will say this. He played some of the best defense on our team at IU. He also had times where he would trot back and drove me nuts. Nothing about that changed with him. In fact I think his defense at Arkansas was markedly worse...but his offense became much much better. He had open lanes to drive, he was kept around the basket more, flashing and cutting. It was the right fit for him. Because it was a good fit he was happier and his demeanor on the floor and sidelines changed. He isn't an NBA talent..but Musselman was able to use him to his best abilities. Because we could never find shooters our offense looked terrible and Smith was forced to play out of position. I wish him the best because he was a bright young man and a good kid it seems. He didn't deserve the hate he got....he was product of a terrible fit/failure in team building by Archie.

Agree with what you said about Justin. My question, and I don't mean it as a smart a$$, but have we had anyone in the Archie era that was a good fit for Archie's offense?

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1 minute ago, IUaic said:

Agree with what you said about Justin. My question, and I don't mean it as a smart a$$, but have we had anyone in the Archie era that was a good fit for Archie's offense?

I think the more operative question is: what IS Archie's offense?  You can't find players to fit your offensive identity if you have none.

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10 hours ago, Madison22 said:

Justin just finished a great season playing for a top 10 team.  Shot 50% from the field.  Respected and liked by his new coach, his teammates, and their fans.  Good for him.  He earned every bit of his success.

Meanwhile, Archie got fired for leading his fourth year team (remember get old and stay old?) to these season-ending stats.

It's pretty clear Justin wasn't the problem.

IU stats small.JPG

What's sad is that the only stat that IU wasn't completely awful in (Points Scored at 110th) is a raw total value instead of per game so it would likely have had a lower ranking in a normal year where everyone played the same number of regular season games. I bet the points scored per game was lower than 110th.

Edit: yep, #191 in points per game.

https://www.teamrankings.com/ncaa-basketball/stat/points-per-game

Edited by go_iu_bb
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28 minutes ago, IUaic said:

Agree with what you said about Justin. My question, and I don't mean it as a smart a$$, but have we had anyone in the Archie era that was a good fit for Archie's offense?

Trayce fits it just fine. I think Morgan fit ideally in it. He was able to step out on bigs and take smaller defenders in the post. He and Romeo were great pieces but they had nothing around them to help space the floor properly. I think Armaan fits it. Problem being we've just lacked shooters to make the offense open up perfectly. We just didn't have the right combo of players at the right time. I think Archie was getting closer on the player front but ran out of time to start showing growth on the floor. He just didn't have what he needed to succeed...and he didn't adapt to what he had.

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Justin is the same player this season at Arkansas that he was at IU. He's just in a faster paced more open offense.

Going to Arkansas didn't result in much difference in his overall game. He could defend but was not a shutdown defender. He could score in the open court, but he was not a great offensive player. He still can't shoot the three pointer and he still can't shoot free throws. But he can rebound and score in transition at the college level. He was good at finding openings along the baseline if his teammates could find him. Great athlete. I'm glad he had the opportunity to get to the tournament and he played well. He should take advantage of the opportunity to return for another season.

Reality is he didn't turn into a lottery pick or a guaranteed draft pick by transferring. There is no position in the NBA for a 6'7 forward who cannot shoot the basketball unless you can specialize and really dominate in something. Not sure what that would be for Justin.

Edited by Euroclydon
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12 minutes ago, Euroclydon said:

Justin is the same player this season at Arkansas that he was at IU. He's just in a faster paced more open offense.

Going to Arkansas didn't result in much difference in his overall game. He could defend but was not a shutdown defender. He could score in the open court, but he was not a great offensive player. He still can't shoot the three pointer and he still can't shoot free throws. But he can rebound and score in transition at the college level. He was good at finding openings along the baseline if his teammates could find him. Great athlete. I'm glad he had the opportunity to get to the tournament and he played well. He should take advantage of the opportunity to return for another season.

Reality is he didn't turn into a lottery pick or a guaranteed draft pick by transferring. There is no position in the NBA for a 6'7 forward who cannot shoot the basketball unless you can specialize and really dominate in something. Not sure what that would be for Justin.

Tough to argue against any of what you offered.  That said, do you think we were too tough on him by hanging the "bad teammate" tag on him?  (I did it too lol)

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17 minutes ago, Lizard said:

Tough to argue against any of what you offered.  That said, do you think we were too tough on him by hanging the "bad teammate" tag on him?  (I did it too lol)

I never read or heard anything from the team that would suggest he was a bad teammate. Fair or not there were things about Justin that frustrated many and I think it had more to do with him not playing to his potential. He'd take a terrible shot or turn it over and you'd see him casually jogging back on defense.  He didn't seem to improve on his shooting or ball handing over three seasons. His dad did him no favors by publicly sharing his "insights". Seems like the fans just tired of waiting for him to flip the switch and that may have been perceived as not being a good teammate. But i don't think that was the reality.

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30 minutes ago, jefftheref said:

To me he was like the crazy ex-wife. Couldn't wait for him to leave and never missed him one bit. Lazy with Uwe Blaab hands. 

I think the team missed his presence plenty this year and as a fanbase, we are fooling ourselves to think otherwise. 

That being said, Arkansas was a better fit. I'm happy for him and the success he had down there. 

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6 hours ago, dgambill said:

Trayce fits it just fine. I think Morgan fit ideally in it. He was able to step out on bigs and take smaller defenders in the post. He and Romeo were great pieces but they had nothing around them to help space the floor properly. I think Armaan fits it. Problem being we've just lacked shooters to make the offense open up perfectly. We just didn't have the right combo of players at the right time. I think Archie was getting closer on the player front but ran out of time to start showing growth on the floor. He just didn't have what he needed to succeed...and he didn't adapt to what he had.

Totally agree with “he didnt adapt well”.  The other big failure IMO is sticking with Rob and Al too long, rather than recruiting over them after year 2.   

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6 hours ago, dgambill said:

Trayce fits it just fine. I think Morgan fit ideally in it. He was able to step out on bigs and take smaller defenders in the post. He and Romeo were great pieces but they had nothing around them to help space the floor properly. I think Armaan fits it. Problem being we've just lacked shooters to make the offense open up perfectly. We just didn't have the right combo of players at the right time. I think Archie was getting closer on the player front but ran out of time to start showing growth on the floor. He just didn't have what he needed to succeed...and he didn't adapt to what he had.

It still bothers me to see TJD trot back in transition, too often.  

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25 minutes ago, John S said:

It still bothers me to see TJD trot back in transition, too often.  

Of course it bothers me but mostly that happened after the team started losing and he was unengaged. Also doesn’t help he had to play entirely too many minutes. Kid needed a break sometimes but we couldn’t afford to take him out. I think when things were going well our defense was some of the best in the country...but eventually you have poor enough offense even the best defenders start to give in. By the end of the year our will was broke...you could see it happen each and every game.

Edited by dgambill
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