I recently read a couple of books about Habits. (i'm kind of a self-help, motivation book nerd) One of the things that struck me, is that your habits are engrained. You can replace a bad habit with a better one, but the old bad habit is never really gone. Which is why an alcoholic can be sober for years, but can has just 1 drink, and revert to his or her old ways. Or, when you exercise for weeks or months, then one day, you sit down to watch a movie and eat junk food, you go back to your old habits and can stop exercising all together in a split second. Maybe those are not the best examples, but i think you get the point. But one of the main points of the book was that in times of stress or adversity, you revert to your old habits.
I really think our players have many years of bad habits built up. When in doubt chuck up a 3. And although we replaced that habit early on by running, when we were really taken out of our games (especially by UNM in the later part of the year), or when we faced major adversity on the floor, our team reverted to what they knew best, which is 4 guys stand around and one guy try to make something happen. When that doesn't work, chuck up a three. Anthony Marshall had to literally try and take it all on his back while 4 guys stood around.
My hope, is that Dave can take HIS players, teach them about spacing, shot selection, and to work inside/out, etc. . then, when adversity strikes. . .hopefully, these newer players, who haven't spent 4 years on Lon's offense, won't revert to that old habit of firing up a 3, because they never had that habit in the first place. The other major issue that Lon's players had/have is lack of real confidence. Seriously, if you took a bad shot in Lon's offense, you got YANKED. Imagine what that does to a kids psyche. Of course having better shooters, which i think we will have in Jones and Reinhardt will also help.
I certainly don't think winning recruiting battles = victory on the floor. There is a LOT more that goes into winning games than just recruiting. But, when you recruit the best players you can, some of those other things get a lot easier. I have no grand illusions about walking through this conference. Every night we'll have a target on our backs, and there is some really good basketball in this conference. This will be Dave's 2nd year. I'm thrilled with what he has accomplished so far, but there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to X's and O's.