I have seen some posts saying stuff like "We are going to miss JR more than most realize," and such. I agree, how do you replace JR? Perhaps more specifically, how do you replace JR's production? We can't replace JR. He was so stinkin awesome last year. However, I do think we can replace his production, and perhaps even be a little stronger. I will try to cover each area, and feel free to add what I miss.
Defense: JR was a great defender. Do we have a guy that can take the other teams stud out of the game for all intents and purposes? Well, first of all, I think TD is a much better defender than most give him credit for. He played good defense under McKay, and after Alford gets done with him, I expect him to be an awesome defender. In some sense, we could be stonger defensively against certain teams. We don't have to have a guard like JR try to guard a true post this year. We have some great help in Brown and AJ. That is even before we get CRusher or Kem. Guard wise, I think we are quicker and taller than in the past. PMac, Curtis, others are quick, and look like good defenders to me. So, while maybe not being able to take them out of the game, like JR did, we can contain them, and limit their production, and force teams to beat us with someone else.
Rebounds: Again JR was a stud. However, TD, Ro, Gary, PMac..... are guys who are going to be around helping to rebound if we are running a 4 guard lineup. We have a lot of tall guards, and it looks to me like Brown and AJ will pick a bunch of those rebounds up when they are in, along with some garbage points. In the 3 guard line up, I think we are going to be a very good rebounding team. In the 4 guard, probably not quite as stong as last year, but still good.
Scoring: We have so many weapons on offense this year. So many guys can shoot from the outside, so many can drive, and with the addition of AJ and Brown, we can have more of an inside game this year. Last year Faris was the only offensive player underneath, imho. I think TD, PMac, and perhaps a couple of others have the ability to take over a game. Top, Ro, Gary, and a host of others should help keep teams from collaping into a tight zone on us this year. I think we will be better offensively this year than last. Just too many weapons to not be very good offensively.
Leadership: I am not sure where this will come from, perhaps from the top, ie Alford. Some may come from TD or Faris.
So, while we can't replace JR as an individual, I think we can as a team replace his production and perhaps be even stonger. We are more well rounded as a team, and other teams will not be able to double, triple team one guy w/o having to pay for it. We are quicker overall, more athletic overall, and looks like stonger and more physical than last year. We are deep like last year, but more athletic & talented from top to bottom I think. We should be able to play up tempo and run other teams to death, and never let up defensively.
Just my thoughts, and perhpas we cannot replace JR's production. Perhaps we won't be as good as last year. However, if I was a bettin man, I would bet we are better!
Excellent analysis Lobodawg92 !!!
However, the biggest question is this: who'll step to the plate and be as charismatic and give the media the sound bytes that he did which, in my opinion, helped the program in many other ways??? EmotWOW :bow EmotWOW
Great post Dawg92, and like you I say one person won't replace JR in any of his three strong points, one on one D, rebounding and scoring. He was an exception and will show it in Boston I feel. Now I feel the same as you also in how athletic this team is going to be, that said, I feel that we should have the scoring, but who is going to be the one that demands the ball at crunch time? I see three players who might step up, Gary, who I also see as the new leader of this team until someone takes it away by dominating the game, Phillie who is an untested waiting star, Tony D. who has the ability but in the past never pushed himself for an entire game. Tony is to me as big a question as Phillie, they both are great athletes and have great abilities, so I feel they can carry the scoring part that JR left, I don't think Tony has the D to take up all the slack though. I see the bigger inside game taking some pressure off Daniel and Daniel will be more productive this year too. Rebounds are going to be a team effort and the inside size has to help, but the whole team will have to help. The last part will have to be team defense and I have confidence Coach Alford will pound this into them by the first of December.
Replace JR wont happen this year, but the athletes that have come in could be just that in the next few years!
Everybody is eventually replaced.........
I'm more interested to see if we play 4 guards again this year, or if we transition into a 2 forward/3guard team.
Sure, we have new post players, but at the moment we only have 3 of them healthy, and we MAY have 5 if Rusher shows and Kem heals. Even then, 4 of the 5 haven't played a single minute of D1 ball. One of our biggest problems the last 4 years has been the "4" position.
Is this the year that finally gets cleared up?????????????
Or are there too many quality guards to keep off the floor?????
Nice problem to have for once, isn't it?
Gary will be the undisputed leader of this team.
Excellent post, Dawg. I agree with all your points. You can't completely replace JR, that's for sure. However we're also replacing Harris and Pegues. TD with some help from the new wings can take up much of the slack. And our new 4/5's will be an upgrade over last year. Overall we will certainly be much more balanced offensively. Don't forget about Curtis who provides us another sharpshooter who may be Toppert's equal. I honestly think this year's team could be better than last years, despite the loss of JR. And next year's team could be insane with the influx of more athletic types (Hobson and Adams) and a new sharpshooter in Staff and a new PG sharpshooter in Fenton. I hate to look ahead, but next year's team could be the special team we'll all been waiting for. Next year is when I start holding SA and staff accountable to a higher set of performance expectations.
Not comparing this team personel-wise to the Ute team that started the post-Van Horn era, nor am I suggesting we were or will be as successful as that era of Ute teams were, but many wondered how they (the Utes) would replace Van Horn after he left. No one Ute did- they collectively stepped up, and everyone knows they experienced more success the year afterwards without him than they had in the four years they had with them.
Not saying... just saying.
Remember: pillage first, THEN burn!
I agree that Gary will be our leader on the floor, he is a mean Lobo on the floor. I am wondering how many touches Faris will get if he is in the post? Seems like we will be faster and shoot the pull up 3's better than ever. I expect some reverse slams, up and under lay ups, many thrilling moments and The Alford Gang will never give up or hang their heads during a game. We are in for a great year. ALL of our freshmen expect to and will play alot of minutes, glad Roman is athletic and a scrambler, he will also provide leadership. PACK THE PIT FOR THE HOWL !!!!!
You dont. But having one of the best ever recruiting classes in UNM history helps alot. We are stacked this year, wait till the ( Crusher )comes here for the second semester . Our team is going to be very tough.
WE ARE NEW MEXICO !
Back to Farris and how open he will be, based on what everyone is saying about how there will be more slashing and driving to the basket, Farris should get more open baskets since the defense will try and stop the drives and leave their big man open, should make some easy open baskets underneath!
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