2018 Team

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211N-69
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Re: 2018 Team

Postby 211N-69 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:49 pm

You can take Taylor and Smith, multiply them by 5 and still come up with a 1-8 road record in the MVC, which was what they did.
The point being, those two guys couldn't prevent a 1-8 road record, so how are the Aces worse off without them? And being 'injured' doesn't fly. All teams have injuries.

You have to win SEVEN (or more) conference games at home and FIVE on the road -- not ONE. That gets you a top 4 seed in St. Louis.
If you can go 9-0 at home, you seal the deal ... Ford court should be a hammer, not just a home game.

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Re: 2018 Team

Postby UE11 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:31 am

211N-69 wrote:You can take Taylor and Smith, multiply them by 5 and still come up with a 1-8 road record in the MVC, which was what they did.
The point being, those two guys couldn't prevent a 1-8 road record, so how are the Aces worse off without them? And being 'injured' doesn't fly. All teams have injuries.

You have to win SEVEN (or more) conference games at home and FIVE on the road -- not ONE. That gets you a top 4 seed in St. Louis.
If you can go 9-0 at home, you seal the deal ... Ford court should be a hammer, not just a home game.


Is your question really how are the Aces worse after losing their starting point guard and top scorer? Have you ever watched an MVC game before? In a guard dominated league, I'm not sure how a team with less D1 point guard experience than mathlete on prom night can expect to be better off after having unquestionable their best PG option with remaining eligibility transfer.

Taylor and Smith both had guys who make a lot of money (~$3mil/year) make the determination that each could help their teams who play at a level above the MVC succeed. I will trust their judgement.

I've said many times that I don't care how many wins the Aces have next year (Although, I can say with 100% certainty 12 isn't happening), but I'd have a better feeling about more wins if those two were on the roster, and I have a suspicion you "Taylor and Smith weren't that good" crowd would as well.

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211N-69
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Re: 2018 Team

Postby 211N-69 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:23 am

UE11 wrote:
211N-69 wrote:Is your question really how are the Aces worse after losing their starting point guard and top scorer? Have you ever watched an MVC game before? In a guard dominated league, I'm not sure how a team with less D1 point guard experience than mathlete on prom night can expect to be better off after having unquestionable their best PG option with remaining eligibility transfer.


You appear to be quite angry at the comment. Sadly, it's the way of social media now.
But your reply is easy to address.
I never said they would be BETTER OFF ... but nice try in your attempt to ridicule my comment. I asserted they won't be WORSE OFF. Try to at least do the mathlete on that and see which one is not like the other.

When the top scorer graduates, the following year, you have a different top scorer. I found that Taylor's 20 ppg average to be interesting and productive; however, it scarcely moved the needle on the team's 1-8 road record in the Valley. Without him, they could go 0-9, I suppose. I doubt it, so they aren't really worse, are they? A different top scorer will emerge and you will simply say, 'he's our top scorer.' Top scorers don't help you do anything. They just score more points. Unless they are Larry Bird, it doesn't matter who scores the points in the modern era. They brought in a grad transfer who scored 30-some a game last year. If you can shoot, you can shoot.

I will say that Dru Smith's defense (at times) would make the team better, but since I have virtually no idea on how good/bad this team is, not having Smith means Walt will develop an offense that doesn't include him. I suspect that offense will be in line with a strong coach's philosophy. The Aces need height to win. That has a little to do with a point guard, I suppose.

Aces were 7-11 in the Valley last year. They will be no worse than that this year. You haven't done much to win that debate other then find a way of lumping me into some group and attacking it as uneducated, uninformed, and obtuse. Seriously, Evansville will win at least one conference road game this year and will go at least 6-3 at home. That is NOT worse, regardless of who transfers.

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Re: 2018 Team

Postby UE11 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:38 am

211N-69 wrote: You appear to be quite angry at the comment. Sadly, it's the way of social media now.
But your reply is easy to address.
I never said they would be BETTER OFF ... but nice try in your attempt to ridicule my comment. I asserted they won't be WORSE OFF. Try to at least do the mathlete on that and see which one is not like the other.


I'm not sure where you sense anger in my comment, but I can assure you there is none. I guess you can play semantics if you want but saying they will be neither worse off nor better off pretty much only leaves you with the assertation they will finish with the exact same record. Forgive me, but I don't think taking the leap is exactly Evel Knievel circa 1971 when someone says they won't be worse off to take it they are implying they will be better off.

When the top scorer graduates, the following year, you have a different top scorer. I found that Taylor's 20 ppg average to be interesting and productive; however, it scarcely moved the needle on the team's 1-8 road record in the Valley. Without him, they could go 0-9, I suppose. I doubt it, so they aren't really worse, are they? A different top scorer will emerge and you will simply say, 'he's our top scorer.' Top scorers don't help you do anything. They just score more points. Unless they are Larry Bird, it doesn't matter who scores the points in the modern era. They brought in a grad transfer who scored 30-some a game last year. If you can shoot, you can shoot.


How do you know Taylor didn't move the needle on last years team? It is difficult to tell because of the games he missed, 2 were against teams that would have been losses regardless, two were wins regardless, but replace him with a freshman theatre major and my guess is you would see a sizable impact. Also, top scores don't help you do anything? I thought the point to the game was to score more points than your opponent? As far as if you can shoot, you can shoot, I agree, but unfortunately in this game there are 5 other guys on the floor that don't want you to shoot.

I will say that Dru Smith's defense (at times) would make the team better, but since I have virtually no idea on how good/bad this team is, not having Smith means Walt will develop an offense that doesn't include him. I suspect that offense will be in line with a strong coach's philosophy. The Aces need height to win. That has a little to do with a point guard, I suppose.


Apparently, you do have an idea on how good/bad this team is, because they will be no worse this year than last, correct? Any offense that gets developed, by a 3rd grade coach, Marty, Walt, or Coach K needs the resources to run it. No one on this roster has run a D1 offense for long stretches. That doesn't mean no one can, but no one is going to convince me at least having Smith on the team next year wouldn't have at least helped in the transition.

The answer to my question on if you have watched an MVC game must have been no. On the team that dominated the Valley and won the conference by 4 games, how many of the top 7 contributors were taller than 6'6". How about on the team that finished second? I'll give you a hint, you could cut off your thumb and pinky and still count the combined total on one hand. 4 of the last 5 MVC POY winners have been point guards, and only 4 centers have won the award in the last 50 years.

Aces were 7-11 in the Valley last year. They will be no worse than that this year. You haven't done much to win that debate other then find a way of lumping me into some group and attacking it as uneducated, uninformed, and obtuse. Seriously, Evansville will win at least one conference road game this year and will go at least 6-3 at home. That is NOT worse, regardless of who transfers.


If you don't believe there is even the slightest chance a team that lost 60% of their minutes played and 70% of their scoring from the previous season, could, probably, might, maybe not win as many games the next year when the majority of its competition has improved, I'm not sure there is much debate to have. Let's face the facts, this team will be heavily inexperienced in just about every facet of the game, including coaching, which quite possibly may result in a temporary drop in wins. I don't see how anyone could logically disagree but for the team wearing purple and orange. Next year is a wash. There is almost 100% certainty there will be growing pains. So, what? Not making a coaching change would have again almost certainly resulted in a better year this coming than making the change. I'm glad the change was made.

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Re: 2018 Team

Postby PurpleWhiskers » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:49 am

UE11 wrote:If you don't believe there is even the slightest chance a team that lost 60% of their minutes played and 70% of their scoring from the previous season, could, probably, might, maybe not win as many games the next year when the majority of its competition has improved, I'm not sure there is much debate to have.


Here we go again. Slow-footed Blake played 1108 minutes last year, which was a whopping 442 more minutes than Dru Smith and 228 minutes more than Ryan Taylor and he led the MVC in minutes per game, exceeding the minutes per game of Yarbrough, Custer, Fayne, Fletcher, Barnes, and Alize Johnson. Good grief! Losing that nepotist "experience" instantly makes the Aces a better team. And big deal, a Marty team loses 70% of its scoring every year because he only allows a few players to shoot, mainly just one, no matter how open the others are. The Aces may or may not be good this year but if they aren't it will not be because they lost Blake's 1108 mediocre and detrimental minutes. If anything, bench players now have an incentive to practice harder and have a fighting chance to have their number called instead of watching the arena-emptying Slo-mo Blake & Daddy Show. After all, how important were those minutes lost from last year when the goal of those minutes was to shorten the game by eating up 90% of each possession before shooting?

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Re: 2018 Team

Postby 211N-69 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:11 pm

The answer to my question on if you have watched an MVC game must have been no. On the team that dominated the Valley and won the conference by 4 games, how many of the top 7 contributors were taller than 6'6". How about on the team that finished second? I'll give you a hint, you could cut off your thumb and pinky and still count the combined total on one hand. 4 of the last 5 MVC POY winners have been point guards, and only 4 centers have won the award in the last 50 years.

I am not in the habit of sustaining a pissing match on a forum but to answer, I have a 10-minute walk from my house to the ARC where Valpo plays. I have seen dozens of games there when VU was in the Horizon and last year, the Valley. I got to meet Taylor's family. They care about their son.

I personally don't much care if the Aces are the same as last year, better than last year or worse than last year.
I assert that Taylor, one of my favorite players, is one-dimensional. A different one-dimensional player is sufficient. Dru Smith is good, and I liked him. Walt also knows what he needs to replace him. If he had to settle for somebody, oh darn. (I don't see this coach as a messiah, as some on this board are wont to do.)

Semantics ... whatever.

I don't also care how tall the rest of the league is. I saw inertia at the Ford Center over the last 2 years after Egidius left. David Howard? Chats? Traore? Seriously, that's not how you win. You gotta get rebounds and control the lane. Taylor never added much there. Dru actually did. That will be missed. Leading scorer in the Valley the last 4 years was an Ace. They passed the torch from Balentine on down. Taylor can do the same.

Walt needs rebounders and a bench. Those guys are hard to find. I don't see that yet.

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Re: 2018 Team

Postby acecard » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:27 pm

Nobody knows how many games this team will win this year. But what is really the question that needs an answer is how exciting is this team going to be to watch. There were times during the last 11 years that the Aces were really hard to watch because of the regimented, and boring style that was used, never mind the lack of talent. I feel that is not going to be the case going forward. We are going to see an exciting brand of basketball that brings the ball past center court, and takes the first GOOD shot that it gets. If we hit that first good shot 50% of the time we are going to win some games. If we don't, and shoot 35% for the game we are not going to win very many. Now, how many exciting losses are we going to be able to put up with? I think if all our losses are exciting, we will be able to stand quite a few of them. 60 point losses leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and are no fun to watch. I think that the talent we have this year, and the new system of play will make the Aces a better team to watch than they were last year. Whether that will lead to a better record, only God knows.

P.S. Let's not forget that defense, and rebounding, will play a large part in next seasons record, as it is every year.

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Re: 2018 Team

Postby Ace78 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:13 pm

The discussion on what this year's team will or will not accomplish has been interesting. As far as indicators are concerned, I know these things seem to be apparent:

1. Coach McCarty is a proven winner. He was a standout HS player at Harrison, he won as a player at Kentucky, and he had a long, successful career in the pros. With that incredible background, he knows what it takes to be successful! And the obvious, charismatic influence he has had on players, encouraging them to work hard and improve, will undoubtedly lead to success.

2. This outstanding coaching staff that has been assembled with Coach Lickliter, Coach Graves, and Coach Commodore has to be one of the best in the college ranks. Their proven success, wealth of knowledge, and teaching skills will also undoubtedly lead to success.

3. The returning players and the new recruits seem to be HIGHLY motivated, extremely talented, and eager to learn. Kudos and shout out to our returning players who chose to stick with Evansville!! This seems to be a very well rounded team with quickness, good shooters, and more available height, especially on the front line. It seems every player realizes they can contribute in their own unique way, rather that depend on one or two coach-determined options from the past offensive schemes. I think that will lead to a lot of success.

4. Fans are highly motivated, indicated by the phenomenal season ticket sales. Look out if your opposing team visits the Ford Center this year! Opposing teams won't be able to use the same strategy of shutting down our key offensive player and taking our crowd out of it. The new look, fast paced offense will frustrate and pressure opponents to cover all areas of the floor. The defense will be quick and relentless. Our players are going to feed off of the energy they create among the fans. And the fans are hungry to finally see a KICK A** team that will only get more competitive, more cohesive, and harder to beat as the season progresses.

5. The Athletic Dept. and Coach McCarty have done an outstanding job of promoting the program through public outreach and masterfully utilizing social media PR to their advantage. Pat Hickey has also done a fantastic job in keeping his readers informed and interacting with the fan base.

So, for these reasons, and also considering I'm the optimistic sort, I believe there will be a lot more wins and quality competitiveness from this year's team. It's not that I EXPECT it ... I just believe that we all might be pleasantly surprised. All of the ingredients are there!

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Re: 2018 Team

Postby 211N-69 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:52 pm

Ace78 wrote:The discussion on what this year's team will or will not accomplish has been interesting. As far as indicators are concerned, I know these things seem to be apparent:



4. Fans are highly motivated, indicated by the phenomenal season ticket sales. Look out if your opposing team visits the Ford Center this year! Opposing teams won't be able to use the same strategy of shutting down our key offensive player and taking our crowd out of it. The new look, fast paced offense will frustrate and pressure opponents to cover all areas of the floor. The defense will be quick and relentless. Our players are going to feed off of the energy they create among the fans. And the fans are hungry to finally see a KICK A** team that will only get more competitive, more cohesive, and harder to beat as the season progresses.


I think we can focus on this, which I've tried to do a number of times. Winning at home isn't a luxury or a bonus ... it's an absolute necessity. For a number of reasons, the main one being ... the fans become part of the process and, by extension, help sell the program to recruits. Part of the allure at Duke or Carolina is that their venues are worth 4 to 10 points.

The flip side is that a team needs to be good enough to snatch a few games on the road. Do that at the venues where teams aren't as strong -- meaning, you gotta beat bad teams or risk becoming one. McCarty fully grasps this. I'm sure Marty did too, so it's not unique among coaches.

If you can establish a reputation of being really tough to beat at home and have the horses to win 4 or 5 on the road in the conference, you are looking at 13 or 14 Valley wins. That seeds you pretty high and boosts the chances of post-season.

When your team goes 1-8 on the road, um .... that has to change.

All in all, having a kick-butt home record will get you 20-some wins. You can play the numbers game after that, but 17-15 is just not going to rattle any chains in March.

Nothing here that is particularly insightful, but if what I read is genuine, it would seem that the coach needs to instill in the fans that they are part of the process. Players feed off that. I am old enough to remember when the D-2 teams came into Roberts to play in front of crowds like they never saw before. Even the Big 10 teams were affected.

I honestly don't know if this team can win at Normal or Terre Haute or even Loyola. The home court at most Valley venues isn't terribly imposing. I saw a couple of games at Gentile and other than the old nun giving a prayer ... well, who knows now?

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Re: 2018 Team

Postby Purple&Orange » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:15 pm

Since the announcement of Coach McCarty the program, administration, etc has done everything they can to promote not just the program but the excitement of what is to come. The fanbase has bought in, or in many cases re-bought into the program as seen by the season ticket sales. It is a completely 180 from the Coach Simmons era both in terms of how the program has been marketed, the public appearances, the caravan, etc. As a fan you cannot ask for more than that as I believe for a coach to be really successful here the engagement is a must.

As far as what happens next season on the floor, we lost a lot from last year's team. With that said, there's a different philosophy along with a lot of new personnel......I'd even include guys like Noah and Evan in there as sophomores as the roles they play will be far different, more of a green light to shoot the three, etc. We are a team of unknowns, the returners will certainly have the opportunity to have their roles increased along with the new signeees vying for their shot. The same way those returners will be called upon in a different way, so will Coach McCarty. This is his first college job, his first head coaching job outside of a stint as the head coach with the Celtics Summer League team. He will be learning on the job as well.

To me this is Year Zero in some ways. It's more about establishing the vision and culture of what Coach McCarty wants Evansville Basketball to be. The wins and losses do matter but regardless of how you feel about them there were major contributors that will not be back this season off a team that was a tick above .500 overall and 7-11 in the MVC. Losing a scorer like Taylor, a kid in Dru Smith who contributed in many ways is not ideal. Again, others will have a more prominent role than last year and it remains to be seen how any of the holdovers will adjust to a more open style.

There's a lot of questions for me about this year's team. What will be fun is seeing a different approach and an excitement that the program hasn't seen in a while. In some ways I would say it's along the lines of the final game at Roberts Stadium.......the feeling of excitement and celebration that filled the air that Saturday. What I hope the fanbase can agree on is a feeling of patience. It takes a lot longer to build a championship program than it does to have it fall apart. The number of season tickets sold in the offseason is awesome and I hope that those who invested in the program are willing to stick with the Aces regardless of what the record is after the final game this upcoming season. Chances are 2018-19 won't be the season that ends the NCAA drought, but at some point it has to begin somewhere....here's hoping Coach McCarty and company can begin that rebirth, what I tell people was my introduction to big time college basketball in the late 80s, early 90s of sellouts and near sellouts night after night at Roberts with teams capable of getting to the NCAA Tournament.


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