(Editor's Note: Glad to see you back Jim - we knew you couldn't stay away forever!)
Hi everyone - I have been reading the posts and the articles the last few months and have enjoyed the discussions. I have enjoyed the postings of many people and it is nice to see RTrain come here and the postings he has had with good insight. Honestly, there has been a lot of good discussion and 99 percent of what I would have said here was said by others. There are many good people on this site so I am going to focus on that and not the few people who crossed the line.
First off, to clear it up I got off here as I was threatened by someone on here who used the words "I am going to kill you" on here (NC State game thread or game summary I forget) and I received a phone call at 3am at home the night we were eliminated by a private caller who said "I will kill you and will do something to your child." That crosses the line. Discussion is fine but physically threatening someone and family is wrong.
Enough about that. Some points.
1. Darrun Hilliard - Am so proud of him. Saw him play in high school and am so proud of the work ethic he showed to get where he is today. One of my favorite Nova players ever. It shows hard work and determination pays off. To see his growth from High School is amazing.
2. Mohamed Bamba - As I had posted last year many times this kid was ready to blow up and I knew it would come soon. Honestly, he is a lottery pick and a great kid to boot. He gets better every day. I have been up at Westtown this summer with a family member there and have seen him working at the gym shooting hundreds of foul shots with determination and very focused. Honestly, I fear we will finish second for him. Jay has been all over him and has done so much to land him. He has an unlimited upside. But I sense for reasons I will not spell out that we will finish second. He is a program changer.
3. Lamar Stevens - I have said many times I like him a lot. Have seen him play maybe 20 times and he has the heart and determination. I saw him get injured very bad at Donfrio with a bad fall and two minutes later in pain he was back in playing hard. You cannot coach motor. He has it. He also drives very strong to the bucket which we need.
4. Dylan Painter - This is the type of player I have been saying that we need. When I kept saying we need another big it is for many reasons. Not to play two at a time (that often) but to have someone for our big to bang with in practice and work on moves against height or to have him if you need it with foul trouble. As I have said before Jay has been playing russian roulette with just one big. I understand what he is trying to do but he needs two bigs on the roster and a bit more balance in the offense. Learn how to feed the post properly and at the right time it is vital.
5. Lonnie Walker - Is the real thing. In my opinion we lead and he is someone we can land. He gets better and better.
6. Jay - He has to lose some games this year. Seriously. He has to sacrifice short term for long term. This means developing inside-out balance and trying different things that he may need in the tournament. It is why I kept saying try a full court press or a zone. The tournament is all about match ups and sometimes surprising teams. You have to adjust. Jay is the key - if he adjusts some we will do well in the tournament. If not, the results will be the same. It is about long term and he has to realize that. I am a huge fan of Jay but he has to do some soul searching for this year. With Brunson and Arch at guards on D he has to throw in some zone this year against super quick guards.
7. Coach K - I talked with him a few years ago a few times when he was scouting some players. He actually felt that he "relied to much on the 3 in the past" and was going to readjust. He felt that is what did him in against Lehigh and others in the tournament early. He felt that in the tournament it is harder to shoot 3's so he had to have more balance. This year he won a National Championship. Next year one of the venues is in Houston I believe which is the hardest place to shoot a 3 as was pointed out this year in the regionals. As one player said it has "horrible sight lines." You have to have balance in the tournament. I have never liked Coach K but I give him credit for making the change. He is now getting every major recruit with the balance.
8. DeAndre Hunter - Jay and Baker watched him against Westtown (when they were watching Bamba) and Hunter had a great game. They have seen him numerous times and honestly I was hoping he would get an offer. He made many key shots in the games I saw him and has great form on his shot . He is a great shooter who will only get better.
9. Jalen Brunson - Have always been a big fan and cannot wait to see him play at Nova. A leader in every sense of the word. I think we will finally see a lob to Ochefu this year and maybe one or two to Donte off a back screen. Donte can leap have seen him many times. Not comparing totally but he has a similar game to Grayson Allen of Duke.
10. Mikal Bridges - Has built his body up which was my major concern. He has a very good three point shot and the upper body will help him on D and drives to the bucket.
So there are some points. If people disagree that is fine. Just please treat people with some dignity here and do not make personal threats. I also want to point out that many players do read what is posted here so try to take that into account. One kid who is a great kid and graduated said it really hurt him. Discussion and dignity. And thanks to Chris for the daily updates. Very appreciated. All the best