Obama and McCain Walked That Floor…And I’d Still Vote For Loren Stokes…

Side note: we’re off to DeeCee very early tomorrow morning. I have no clue how it will turn out, but I plan on culling a trove of goodies. Stay tuned, but no promises on tomorrow.

***

Every season I struggle mightily trying to figure out one team. For whatever reason I cannot get a grip on their fortunes because there are too many arguments to make. So I reduce the drama and slot the team somewhere in the middle. Then, I start asking questions to smart people I trust and listen closely to the responses. Usually I find a trend and that helps immensely.

This year’s that team is Hofstra. Oh sure, Georgia State was difficult, but everything you need to know and everything you need to question is in front of you. I know what has to happen in Atlanta. In Hempstead, not so much.

I do know this: the Pride lost 23ppg of production, and 22.7 belonged to the school’s alltime leading scorer Antoine Agudio. And I know that Tom Pecora has brought in a couple of heavyweights.

But I also know this, and it could be the most telling statement, at least before we get to the Three Key Statements: I don’t know that Agudio was that good and will be missed, when you consider a stat most of us follow called “wins.”

Don’t get me wrong, Agudio was a great scorer. What I mean is that while Agudio may have filled up the hoop, he wasn’t the best player. I think he may have had about three double-doubles his entire career. I’d bet Carlos Rivera had more dub-dubs. And Loren Stokes? Fuggetaboutit. Those guys made everyone better.

Think Adrian Dantley and the mediocre Jazz teams, and John Stockton and the great Jazz teams. Think Marc Egerson.

So what do you do this year?

Three Key Statements

  1. Play Johnson has got to run the offense not just efficiently, but well.
  2. Pecora believes his three transfers are going to make an immediate impact, and he’d better be right.
  3. The Different Duo of Greg Washington (6-10, 210lbs) and Dane Johnson (6-10, 260lbs) needs to produce 15ppg without losing their effectiveness on the backboards.

Season Shaper(s)

  1. This may seem odd considering he is the freshman of the year, but Charles Jenkins needs to be consistent. The Pride needs a “bad night” to be 14 points, four assists, and five turnovers. He needs to be Loren Stokes, just with his own style.
  2. It’s time to make the doughnuts: So many players need to accept the responsibility of success. Washington needs to impact the game on offense, Miklos Szabo and Tony Dennison need to fulfill promise, Play Johnson needs to actually do something.
  3. Get mean: Nat Lester and Darren Townes are in jeopardy of losing playing time. That has to make them mad, because they will improve and it makes everyone better.

The Underdog
Arminas Urbutis. “Pitzie” can do a lot of things on the floor, and that includes getting the trainer some PT. Dude is always hurt. Urbutis has been forgotten with all of the newness, but he is a crafty scorer who is far more effective than a box score of 8pts and five rebounds. The most telling game from last season was against James Madison, when Urbutis tied his career high with nine points in the first half, but sat out the second half with an injury.

Hey Coach, What Happens If…

  • G. Johnson ushers in the new year with another three point, four assist, six turnover night?
  • D. Johnson, Washington, Szabo, Lester, Townes, and Urbutis are all killing it and suddenly you are coaching a big team?
  • Despite being big you still need a shooter on the floor, and the one-dimensional Zygis Sestokas swishes a few?


If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak:

I’ve got to say I think I underestimated this bunch earlier this fall. Dennison can score to complement Jenkins, and the Pride has size and experience. Mostly, they don’t have to rely on one guy. Place range is fourth through ninth.

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~ by mglitos on October 21, 2008.

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