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Thread: Jordan Brown Thread

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by 6956bear View Post
    So does everybody else. If Cuonzo is somehow able to get a commitment from Brown I will be stunned. Rabb committed to Cal with little knowledge of how Martin really likes to play. Jordan Brown has seen this Cal program for 3 years now. It is not ideal for a highly skilled athletic big man. He will play on the block get pushed and shoved and doubled every game as Cal tries to play Gene Keady style Big 10 hoops in an area that has no affection for that style of play. Big players with skill are really hard to find. They do not want to get beat up every game playing 65-64 games. Look around the country the best teams do not play this way any longer. They push the ball, play 4 out with 1 in most of the time. There are some exceptions but it is about skill and athleticism. I love Cuonzo and his integrity and life lessons. He is a very good man. But what we are seeing is what we should expect to see. It is what he is, and what he knows. Cal can be a decent to good program under Martin but most years will be sweating the bubble. This style will not attract he better players. Right now Cal is firmly behind the big 3 (Oregon, UCLA and Arizona) and fighting with USC, Utah and Colorado for next tier status. I fear UW will gets it act together and actually hire a coach and ASU has promise under Hurley who will recruit and play attractive ball.

    Guys like Brown are necessary to join the big 3 programs. I hope he wants what Cal has to offer, but fear he will go where he will go where he will be able to play a style that is more open and suits his skills. Every broadcast this year we hear about how offensively challenged the Bears are. They were somewhat challenged last year and they had Brown and Wallace along with Rabb and Bird. The Cal program is built around hard nosed defense first. That is fine but is unlikely to attract top really skilled players. They do not want to play this way. It can change but only if you win. Cal does not win enough right now. That is why making the NCAA tourney is so damned important. They likely will miss this year after last nights loss. Top recruits typically do not select NIT level programs. That is why the are NIT level programs.
    6956bear, you make a case based on the use of Rabb. I question doing that.

    Rabb is an unusual, talented player. However, he has close to zero mobility. He also is relatively a lightweight when it comes to power.

    So where alternatively should Cuonzo have played him? He has no "handle," to use that term. He has not the skills to be a perimeter player. Compare him to the Finn at Arizona, for example.

    Had we Martinnen and not Rabb, my guess is Cuonzo would have used a different offense, likely better results.

    Also, had we Swanigan in Rabb's stead, we would have seen a different team and different, better results.

    Also, would you not want King and Kam to play on our team? With this roster, they were critical to what success we had.

    As I see it, we had 3 bigs, all of whom helped this team achieve the success it did. They all needed to play.

    I think Cuonzo by and large did the best with what he had.

    We have only one player on this team that can break down a defense, and he, Charlie, is a Cuonzo recruit.

    How do you play a 4 out, one in, with this squad?

    It will require observation of more years before we can say Cuonzo is committed to a style that will not attract top recruits.

    More basic is the fact that simply it is an uphill battle for Cal to recruit the best players. This will only change if we can get better over the next several years. I doubt that right now anyone has the knack to get the best players immediately. Cal has to earn this by dogged improvement. And Cuonzo might be the man for that.

    It never has been easy in the last many decades to recruit at Cal.

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by south bender View Post
    6956bear, you make a case based on the use of Rabb. I question doing that.

    Rabb is an unusual, talented player. However, he has close to zero mobility. He also is relatively a lightweight when it comes to power.

    So where alternatively should Cuonzo have played him? He has no "handle," to use that term. He has not the skills to be a perimeter player. Compare him to the Finn at Arizona, for example.

    Had we Martinnen and not Rabb, my guess is Cuonzo would have used a different offense, likely better results.

    Also, had we Swanigan in Rabb's stead, we would have seen a different team and different, better results.

    Also, would you not want King and Kam to play on our team? With this roster, they were critical to what success we had.

    As I see it, we had 3 bigs, all of whom helped this team achieve the success it did. They all needed to play.

    I think Cuonzo by and large did the best with what he had.

    We have only one player on this team that can break down a defense, and he, Charlie, is a Cuonzo recruit.

    How do you play a 4 out, one in, with this squad?

    It will require observation of more years before we can say Cuonzo is committed to a style that will not attract top recruits.

    More basic is the fact that simply it is an uphill battle for Cal to recruit the best players. This will only change if we can get better over the next several years. I doubt that right now anyone has the knack to get the best players immediately. Cal has to earn this by dogged improvement. And Cuonzo might be the man for that.

    It never has been easy in the last many decades to recruit at Cal.
    Agree with much of what you say. However we have seen 3 years of Cuonzo and that is what we have. So he plays a style he is familiar and comfortable with. That ends up being how you are defined. My larger point is that you need to commit to a style of play that can move the program forward. So is he advising Jordan Brown the program will be different if he comes? Or does he believe that he must play this way because Cal will not be able to attract enough skill via recruiting to play a more skill based game? I believe it is a combo plate. Comfort with his style and belief that Cal cannot year in and year out attract the type of player to play the more skill based game.

    As for Rabb. I disagree with your assessment on him but agree with your assessment of the team. I believe he would be phenomenal in a 4 out 1 in style. The problem for Cal is they do not have that additional perimeter player that makes the opponent play Ivan straight up. Domingo would have been that guy, but his shooting has been so poor he became nearly unplayable. Yes Rooks and Okoroh have a role. But neither are players to build around. Okoroh is a great shot blocker and can change shots as we have seen in this P12 tourney. But is very limited offensively and his presence on offense allows teams to easily double Ivan. Ivan IMO if allowed solo coverage in the post and FT line area would have been a terrific scorer. He is in constant foul trouble not just because of how he defends, but because he commits a foul or 2 every game trying to make moves in the post with almost no room to operate.

    I love Cuonzo. He brings a lot to the table. The one nit I have is offensive style of play. He may be able to recruit enough good players from the 50-150 recruit range to be competitive, but IMO unlikely to land those truly superior players that can really elevate a team. Can Cuonzo put a team on the floor that year in and year out is in the upper half of the Pac 12 and makes the NCAA tourney? Or is it more likely that they are an occasional NCAA and a mid tier P12 program? I am hopeful that he adapts a different offensive footprint for future teams as he is a very impressive man that does get interest from top players. But in the end the basketball part of it wins out. Troy Brown and Ira Lee are 2 players that come to mind. And Lee would have been perfect what Cal is currently doing. Now it is Jordan Brown. He likes Cuonzo and likes Cal, but UCLA plays a style that may benefit him personally. We shall see.

    It is very difficult to remain in one place as a coach to observe "the next several years" to determine if he can or will adapt. You become what you do now. Cal is hard to recruit to no doubt about it. But this style of play IMO will make getting top players even more difficult. Can they be reasonably competitive doing what they do now? Yes. I guess that will have to suffice. NCAA once every 2 or 3 years, the NIT most other years.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by 6956bear View Post
    Agree with much of what you say. However we have seen 3 years of Cuonzo and that is what we have. So he plays a style he is familiar and comfortable with. That ends up being how you are defined. My larger point is that you need to commit to a style of play that can move the program forward. So is he advising Jordan Brown the program will be different if he comes? Or does he believe that he must play this way because Cal will not be able to attract enough skill via recruiting to play a more skill based game? I believe it is a combo plate. Comfort with his style and belief that Cal cannot year in and year out attract the type of player to play the more skill based game.

    As for Rabb. I disagree with your assessment on him but agree with your assessment of the team. I believe he would be phenomenal in a 4 out 1 in style. The problem for Cal is they do not have that additional perimeter player that makes the opponent play Ivan straight up. Domingo would have been that guy, but his shooting has been so poor he became nearly unplayable. Yes Rooks and Okoroh have a role. But neither are players to build around. Okoroh is a great shot blocker and can change shots as we have seen in this P12 tourney. But is very limited offensively and his presence on offense allows teams to easily double Ivan. Ivan IMO if allowed solo coverage in the post and FT line area would have been a terrific scorer. He is in constant foul trouble not just because of how he defends, but because he commits a foul or 2 every game trying to make moves in the post with almost no room to operate.

    I love Cuonzo. He brings a lot to the table. The one nit I have is offensive style of play. He may be able to recruit enough good players from the 50-150 recruit range to be competitive, but IMO unlikely to land those truly superior players that can really elevate a team. Can Cuonzo put a team on the floor that year in and year out is in the upper half of the Pac 12 and makes the NCAA tourney? Or is it more likely that they are an occasional NCAA and a mid tier P12 program? I am hopeful that he adapts a different offensive footprint for future teams as he is a very impressive man that does get interest from top players. But in the end the basketball part of it wins out. Troy Brown and Ira Lee are 2 players that come to mind. And Lee would have been perfect what Cal is currently doing. Now it is Jordan Brown. He likes Cuonzo and likes Cal, but UCLA plays a style that may benefit him personally. We shall see.

    It is very difficult to remain in one place as a coach to observe "the next several years" to determine if he can or will adapt. You become what you do now. Cal is hard to recruit to no doubt about it. But this style of play IMO will make getting top players even more difficult. Can they be reasonably competitive doing what they do now? Yes. I guess that will have to suffice. NCAA once every 2 or 3 years, the NIT most other years.
    While I really admire your thoughts and posts, we differ markedly on Rabb. I don't see him, at his present level, being a dominant post player either offensively or defensively.

    As for Cuonzo, I hope for the best, recognizing he has need for growth. I hope he has the will and capacity for it as well. I think it's too early to assume that what we have seen is all that he can be.

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by south bender View Post
    While I really admire your thoughts and posts, we differ markedly on Rabb. I don't see him, at his present level, being a dominant post player either offensively or defensively.

    As for Cuonzo, I hope for the best, recognizing he has need for growth. I hope he has the will and capacity for it as well. I think it's too early to assume that what we have seen is all that he can be.
    You have to look at how he projects in a few years. He's got great hands, good feet in the post, a developing jumper, and room to build out his frame; he's already a NBA level rebounder. He wasn't the transcendent player we hoped for and needed, but showed he's still a first rounder. Last night he schooled dudes 1 on 1. He probably went 3 for 5, drawing 2 fouls. That's why teams usually double him all day long. The biggest knock on his stock I think is the fact that he can't defend out on the perimeter. Small ball 4s are going to destroy him and teams are going to target him for switches.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by south bender View Post
    While I really admire your thoughts and posts, we differ markedly on Rabb. I don't see him, at his present level, being a dominant post player either offensively or defensively.

    As for Cuonzo, I hope for the best, recognizing he has need for growth. I hope he has the will and capacity for it as well. I think it's too early to assume that what we have seen is all that he can be.
    Cal landed Ivan Rabb, who was a consensus Top 10 player coming out of HS. What more do you want? The number 1 guy every year? For better or for worse, players either improve or not after they enter a college program and coaching does play some factor in the development.

    Rabb was superb in a supporting role as a freshman. He's got decent skill, can use both hands, has great rebounding instincts, and great hands, along with good length. As a sophomore, in a more featured role, he wasn't as efficient and struggled with his finishing near the hoop. Perhaps that is due to his limited strength at this time, but I also felt the way he was used was an issue. I've watched where he touches the ball closely and he's used mainly post-ups, where his lack of strength is an issue. He needed to be deployed more in ball screens and flashes in the mid-post, where the threat of the double team would be less likely. There just wasn't enough creativity in this offense and the Efficiency ratings are evidence of that.
    Last edited by tsubamoto2001; 03-11-2017 at 03:19 PM.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by tsubamoto2001 View Post
    Cal landed Ivan Rabb, who was a consensus Top 10 player coming out of HS. What more do you want? The number 1 guy every year? For better or for worse, players either improve or not after they enter a college program and coaching does play some factor in the development.

    Rabb was superb in a supporting role as a freshman. He's got decent skill, can use both hands, has great rebounding instincts, and great hands, along with good length. As a sophomore, in a more featured role, he wasn't as efficient and struggled with his finishing near the hoop. Perhaps that is due to his limited strength at this time, but I also felt the way he was used was an issue. I've watched where he touches the ball closely and he's used mainly post-ups, where his lack of strength is an issue. He needed to be deployed more in ball screens and flashes in the mid-post, where the threat of the double team would be less likely. There just wasn't enough creativity in this offense and the Efficiency ratings are evidence of that.
    This is true enough. I also feel his game was stymied by the constant double teams he faced. Cuonzo tried at times to feature him at the high post. But there in the low block is Okoroh or Rooks. Hard to get to the rim when you have another big player down on the low block dragging an additional defender to the area. Rabb would have been much more effective IMO if the Bears played without the big guys and had a stretch 4 or even a multi purpose 3/4 like Brooks. Isolate Ivan individually on Bell and he becomes much more likely to score or draw fouls. He is an elite rebounder despite his lack of strength. He is not an elite on ball defender, but can block shots as a help defender.

    Cal plays the way they play because of both personnel and coach preference and comfort. They do not have the personnel to play the 4 out 1 in style that many teams play. But they have size and shot blockers. So we see this defensive style which generally keeps them in games. They are a great rebounding team. They shoot poorly. They have games where the ball goes down and in those games they look really good. But most games they struggle to score and need the huge rebound advantage they generally enjoy to get enough shots up to be competitive. They say defense travels. Well so does talent. Good teams win everywhere. Cal is very tough at home and average to below average on the road. Oregon, Arizona and UCLA are good wherever they play. But really good at home. Almost unbeatable. You need players. Coaching matters, but so does talent. UCLA added Ball and leaf and went from bad to excellent in just one season. Coincidence? I think not.

    I do not expect top 10 recruits every year. But I do hope the team will play a style that allows for more free flow so they have a chance to attract the top players. Rabb was local. Brown was a very fortunate one year recruit. I believe winning is more important than style of play, but I do believe Cal will be hard pressed to attract the better recruits playing the style they play. You do not change your entire program to accommodate a single player. But you can and should make alterations if you believe it will reap future benefits.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by 6956bear View Post
    This is true enough. I also feel his game was stymied by the constant double teams he faced. Cuonzo tried at times to feature him at the high post. But there in the low block is Okoroh or Rooks. Hard to get to the rim when you have another big player down on the low block dragging an additional defender to the area. Rabb would have been much more effective IMO if the Bears played without the big guys and had a stretch 4 or even a multi purpose 3/4 like Brooks. Isolate Ivan individually on Bell and he becomes much more likely to score or draw fouls. He is an elite rebounder despite his lack of strength. He is not an elite on ball defender, but can block shots as a help defender.

    Cal plays the way they play because of both personnel and coach preference and comfort. They do not have the personnel to play the 4 out 1 in style that many teams play. But they have size and shot blockers. So we see this defensive style which generally keeps them in games. They are a great rebounding team. They shoot poorly. They have games where the ball goes down and in those games they look really good. But most games they struggle to score and need the huge rebound advantage they generally enjoy to get enough shots up to be competitive. They say defense travels. Well so does talent. Good teams win everywhere. Cal is very tough at home and average to below average on the road. Oregon, Arizona and UCLA are good wherever they play. But really good at home. Almost unbeatable. You need players. Coaching matters, but so does talent. UCLA added Ball and leaf and went from bad to excellent in just one season. Coincidence? I think not.

    I do not expect top 10 recruits every year. But I do hope the team will play a style that allows for more free flow so they have a chance to attract the top players. Rabb was local. Brown was a very fortunate one year recruit. I believe winning is more important than style of play, but I do believe Cal will be hard pressed to attract the better recruits playing the style they play. You do not change your entire program to accommodate a single player. But you can and should make alterations if you believe it will reap future benefits.
    One interesting comparison this year for Rabb is Wake Forest's John Collins, who's also a sophomore. Collins is putting up All-American type numbers and has boosted his draft stock from being off the radar to 1st Round. Rabb was way better than this guy last season, and even when I watch Collins play now, I'm not seeing anything that Rabb doesn't have except Collins plays in a way better offensive system. Rabb is taller and longer and their athleticism is similar. Rabb has better instincts (can pass) and BB IQ. Collins feasts on catches off of his guards dribble penetration and on mismatches created from ball screen action. Ivan rarely gets those opportunities. Ivan has to work really hard just to get quality looks at the basket. It's maddening, when you think about it. Perhaps Wallace and Brown really were huge losses, despite all the knocking on them (my own included) after last season.

    I think if he adds the needed strength, his NBA career will look more like his freshman season than this season.
    Last edited by tsubamoto2001; 03-11-2017 at 04:21 PM.

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by tsubamoto2001 View Post
    One interesting comparison this year for Rabb is Wake Forest's John Collins, who's also a sophomore. Collins is putting up All-American type numbers and has boosted his draft stock from being off the radar to 1st Round. Rabb was way better than this guy last season, and even when I watch Collins play now, I'm not seeing anything that Rabb doesn't have except Collins plays in a way better offensive system. Rabb is taller and longer and their athleticism is similar. Rabb has better instincts (can pass) and BB IQ. Collins feasts on catches off of his guards dribble penetration and on mismatches created from ball screen action. Ivan rarely gets those opportunities. Ivan has to work really hard just to get quality looks at the basket. It's maddening, when you think about it. Perhaps Wallace and Brown really were huge losses, despite all the knocking on them (my own included) after last season.

    I think if he adds the needed strength, his NBA career will look more like his freshman season than this season.
    This post inspires me to repeat my projection of Ivan as the next Tim Duncan (who, by the way, had the benefit of 4 years at Wake Forest before he went pro - in the era before that became financially absurd for the player and his family)

  9. #24
    Hey tsuba, you ever have mono?

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by mikecohen View Post
    This post inspires me to repeat my projection of Ivan as the next Tim Duncan (who, by the way, had the benefit of 4 years at Wake Forest before he went pro - in the era before that became financially absurd for the player and his family)
    Duncan would have been the No. 1 pick had he left after his sophomore season. You can't say the same about Rabb.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by OldBlue1999 View Post
    Hey tsuba, you ever have mono?
    Nope. I'm also aware that Ivan battled it, which likely affected his training in the offseason. I'm sure it's been a factor in his decline this season, but if you're trying to use that as the main excuse I'm wouldn't be fully on board with that. There's various factors, as I explained, IMO, as to why Ivan hasn't performed to his potential. That's one of them.

  12. #27
    I'm not using it as an excuse, just a fact. He's less than a year out from it. In my experience it's a multiple year deal to get back to anywhere near 100%. Frankly what he's done this year playing through that and going to school has been amazing. There were times early after I had it where as little as 5 minutes of moderate cardio would lay me out for 2 or 3 days. First day was involuntarily nap time. It can be a bitch, and it lingers because there is no medicine for it. Rabb lost a ton of weight coming into the season, but he's just now starting to show some bulk and definition coming back. Early on you could also see how flush his face and chest would get out on the court, man do I know what it feels like when you look like that. Feels like you're breathing through a wet sponge. Not seeing that any more with him now. He's young and an elite athlete, so he'll be fine.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by tsubamoto2001 View Post
    Duncan would have been the No. 1 pick had he left after his sophomore season. You can't say the same about Rabb.
    Saw Duncan play as a senior and he was a dominant player. Number 1 overall pick, rookie of the year, NBA all-star as a rookie. Rabb's a complementary player.

    John Collins is the better comp for Rabb. Unheralded as a recruit, OK as a freshman, but exploded as a sophomore. Collins will be picked ahead of Rabb in this draft.

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by BearDevil View Post
    Saw Duncan play as a senior and he was a dominant player. Number 1 overall pick, rookie of the year, NBA all-star as a rookie. Rabb's a complementary player.

    John Collins is the better comp for Rabb. Unheralded as a recruit, OK as a freshman, but exploded as a sophomore. Collins will be picked ahead of Rabb in this draft.
    Collins is an excellent comp in many ways and probably Rabb's biggest competitor (so to speak) in that late teens part of the draft. He absolutely exploded this year and put up some seriously impressive numbers. And his numbers are even more remarkable when you consider he still played less than 30 mins a game. Probably a better defensive player at this point too. I hate to say it but I'd probably go with Collins right now.

  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by OldBlue1999 View Post
    I'm not using it as an excuse, just a fact. He's less than a year out from it. In my experience it's a multiple year deal to get back to anywhere near 100%. Frankly what he's done this year playing through that and going to school has been amazing. There were times early after I had it where as little as 5 minutes of moderate cardio would lay me out for 2 or 3 days. First day was involuntarily nap time. It can be a bitch, and it lingers because there is no medicine for it. Rabb lost a ton of weight coming into the season, but he's just now starting to show some bulk and definition coming back. Early on you could also see how flush his face and chest would get out on the court, man do I know what it feels like when you look like that. Feels like you're breathing through a wet sponge. not seeing that any more with him now. He's young and an elite athlete, so he'll be fine.
    My daughter had it as a soph in high school. It was tough. No energy, lot weight, absences, grades suffered. It took her more than a year to recover and she still seems susceptible, more than the average person, to the flu.




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