More Okafor Less Lars

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RedlessWardrobe
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When Okafor is in the lineup our defense is so much better. More quickness, the other four players are able to be more aggressive because Okafor poses a shot blocking threat. Lars game would be better if he played fewer minutes.
Civil Bear
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RedlessWardrobe said:

When Okafor is in the lineup our defense is so much better. More quickness, the other four players are able to be more aggressive because Okafor poses a shot blocking threat. Lars game would be better if he played fewer minutes.
Agreed. I was about to come here and start a thread that Okafor needs to start over Lars. Whatever plus Lars gives on offense is given back due to his poor hands. Okafor looks to have some game on both ends of the floor that just needs developing.
oskidunker
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Civil Bear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

When Okafor is in the lineup our defense is so much better. More quickness, the other four players are able to be more aggressive because Okafor poses a shot blocking threat. Lars game would be better if he played fewer minutes.
Agreed. I was about to come here and start a thread that Okafor needs to start over Lars. Whatever plus Lars gives on offense is given back due to his poor hands. Okafor looks to have some game on both ends of the floor that just needs developing.
Go Bears!
RedlessWardrobe
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Civil Bear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

When Okafor is in the lineup our defense is so much better. More quickness, the other four players are able to be more aggressive because Okafor poses a shot blocking threat. Lars game would be better if he played fewer minutes.
Agreed. I was about to come here and start a thread that Okafor needs to start over Lars. Whatever plus Lars gives on offense is given back due to his poor hands. Okafor looks to have some game on both ends of the floor that just needs developing.
Don't like to slam our players, but defensively Lars is such a liablity. We've won one game. This is the time to be giving Okafor as many minutes as possible. He is so much more athletic and alert than Lars. The team is more watchable with him in there. Time to make the move.
KoreAmBear
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RedlessWardrobe said:

Civil Bear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

When Okafor is in the lineup our defense is so much better. More quickness, the other four players are able to be more aggressive because Okafor poses a shot blocking threat. Lars game would be better if he played fewer minutes.
Agreed. I was about to come here and start a thread that Okafor needs to start over Lars. Whatever plus Lars gives on offense is given back due to his poor hands. Okafor looks to have some game on both ends of the floor that just needs developing.
Don't like to slam our players, but defensively Lars is such a liablity. We've won one game. This is the time to be giving Okafor as many minutes as possible. He is so much more athletic and alert than Lars. The team is more watchable with him in there. Time to make the move.
Someone please teach Okafor to use the glass on his layups. He seems to be hesitant about either going directly to the rim and slamming it or using glass. Just use glass (unless there is a clear path) it's a more reliable thing. He had a spin move yesterday that looked like he Ayton of Phoenix. Then he couldn't finish. He has a very projectable future.
stu
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Looking at our shooting stats (for players who have attempted more than 10 shots) I see:
* Thiemann at .547, by far the best on the team. I think that's why he's playing 28 minutes per game
* Brown at .435, I think because he knows how to take only good shots
* Everyone else under .400, though Newell at .396 and Askew at .393 are close
* On threes Askew at .306, everyone else under .270

I'm waiting to see what Clayton can do.
HoopDreams
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Okofor had his best game and agree he should be getting more PT, but can't agree he is better than Lars defensively (or offensively)

for one thing, Lars changes (and blocks a lot of shots, and is mostly in the right place. Okofor makes lots of mistakes defensively.

not a dig on Okofor as just a freshman
Civil Bear
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stu said:

Looking at our shooting stats (for players who have attempted more than 10 shots) I see:
* Thiemann at .547, by far the best on the team. I think that's why he's playing 28 minutes per game
* Brown at .435, I think because he knows how to take only good shots
* Everyone else under .400, though Newell at .396 and Askew at .393 are close
* On threes Askew at .306, everyone else under .270

I'm waiting to see what Clayton can do.
I'm guessing if you counted each fumbled pass as a missed shot, Thieman's shooting percentage would be a lot worse.
KoreAmBear
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Civil Bear said:

stu said:

Looking at our shooting stats (for players who have attempted more than 10 shots) I see:
* Thiemann at .547, by far the best on the team. I think that's why he's playing 28 minutes per game
* Brown at .435, I think because he knows how to take only good shots
* Everyone else under .400, though Newell at .396 and Askew at .393 are close
* On threes Askew at .306, everyone else under .270

I'm waiting to see what Clayton can do.
I'm guessing if you counted each fumbled pass as a missed shot, Thieman's shooting percentage would be a lot worse.
Poor Lars. I really think you can't teach hands. On the other hand (no pun intended), I saw one play last night where Okafor ripped a rebound in the middle of 3 other guys. It's kind of a natural thing and something to look for in big men.
stu
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Civil Bear said:

stu said:

Looking at our shooting stats (for players who have attempted more than 10 shots) I see:
* Thiemann at .547, by far the best on the team. I think that's why he's playing 28 minutes per game
* Brown at .435, I think because he knows how to take only good shots
* Everyone else under .400, though Newell at .396 and Askew at .393 are close
* On threes Askew at .306, everyone else under .270

I'm waiting to see what Clayton can do.
I'm guessing if you counted each fumbled pass as a missed shot, Thieman's shooting percentage would be a lot worse.
Correct, but that pertains to everyone. Current TO/FGA (for players with more than 10 FGA):
0.165 Newell
0.196 Alajiki
0.210 Kuany
0.214 Askew
0.233 Bowser
0.239 Thiemann
0.300 Okafor
0.365 Brown
0.688 Roberson

Thiemann is in the bottom half but closer to PF Alajiki and Kuany than to C Okafor.

Brown is better than this calculation indicates because he shoots so little and handles the ball so much.
calumnus
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Both need to play, but the balance of minutes between them should depend on matchups. I also think playing them both at the same time should be an option.

Statistically, Lars is still our best player (of the the players who have gotten significant minutes). Part of that is his success against the smaller teams we play OOC. In conference, against guys his size but with more athleticism, he struggles and Okafor is relatively more effective. Part of it is we need to stop going to Lars on offense against teams with good interior defense. Of course, we would need another option on offense.

The bottom line is Lars vs. Okafor is not our biggest issue. This is not freshman and sophomore Lars vs. sophomore and junior Kelly where it was clear (at least to me, not to the Fox defenders) that Kelly needed to be playing the vast majority of the minutes.

This team desperately needs outside shooting.

Civil Bear
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stu said:



Correct, but that pertains to everyone. Current TO/FGA (for players with more than 10 FGA):
0.165 Newell
0.196 Alajiki
0.210 Kuany
0.214 Askew
0.233 Bowser
0.239 Thiemann
0.300 Okafor
0.365 Brown
0.688 Roberson

Thiemann is in the bottom half but closer to PF Alajiki and Kuany than to C Okafor.

Brown is better than this calculation indicates because he shoots so little and handles the ball so much.

The problem with your stats is that Thiemen rarely gets attributed for the turnover on fumbled passes because he never technically had possession. Also, when he actually catches the pass, he shoots.
Civil Bear
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KoreAmBear said:

Civil Bear said:

stu said:

Looking at our shooting stats (for players who have attempted more than 10 shots) I see:
* Thiemann at .547, by far the best on the team. I think that's why he's playing 28 minutes per game
* Brown at .435, I think because he knows how to take only good shots
* Everyone else under .400, though Newell at .396 and Askew at .393 are close
* On threes Askew at .306, everyone else under .270

I'm waiting to see what Clayton can do.
I'm guessing if you counted each fumbled pass as a missed shot, Thieman's shooting percentage would be a lot worse.
Poor Lars. I really think you can't teach hands. On the other hand (no pun intended), I saw one play last night where Okafor ripped a rebound in the middle of 3 other guys. It's kind of a natural thing and something to look for in big men.
Yup, that was about when I came to the conclusion he needed more of Lars' minutes.
stu
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Civil Bear said:

The problem with your stats is that Thiemen rarely gets attributed for the turnover on fumbled passes because he never technically had possession. Also, when he actually catches the pass, he shoots.
In such a case is the turnover attributed to the passer or to the team?
Civil Bear
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stu said:

Civil Bear said:

The problem with your stats is that Thiemen rarely gets attributed for the turnover on fumbled passes because he never technically had possession. Also, when he actually catches the pass, he shoots.
In such a case is the turnover attributed to the passer or to the team?
It goes to the player foolish enough to throw him a contested pass. Maybe if we could put electrodes under the eyelids of our guards they would stop doing it.
HoopDreams
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Civil Bear said:

stu said:

Civil Bear said:

The problem with your stats is that Thiemen rarely gets attributed for the turnover on fumbled passes because he never technically had possession. Also, when he actually catches the pass, he shoots.
In such a case is the turnover attributed to the passer or to the team?
It goes to the player foolish enough to throw him a contested pass. Maybe if we could put electrodes under the eyelids of our guards they would stop doing it.
I've said this before, but many turnovers are on the passer. Yes, Lars has poor hands, but players need to adjust, and too often they just stare him down before the pass to him. In last game, Brown and Lars were on the baseline and Brown dribbled the ball 7-8 times staring at Lars. When Brown passed the ball it was deflected. Brown got the loose ball in a broken play so it wasn't a turnover. Is that on Lars? (partly)

In contrast, there were at least 3 great passes to Lars, who caught the ball and either finished or was fouled. Two were quick decisions/passes from Askew and 2K. The 3rd was from Clayton with the best pass hitting Lars perfectly while he was moving to the basket.

A big part of basketball is making quick decisions. Balls shouldn't be in a player's hands more than 5 seconds on average. Great players/passers like Josic only have the ball for an average of 2 seconds.
Big C
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You gotta get it just right, passing to Lars. Too quick and he fumbles it; telegraph it too much and they defend it. But if you hit the sweet spot right in the middle, he likely converts!
BeachedBear
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KoreAmBear said:

Civil Bear said:

stu said:

Looking at our shooting stats (for players who have attempted more than 10 shots) I see:
* Thiemann at .547, by far the best on the team. I think that's why he's playing 28 minutes per game
* Brown at .435, I think because he knows how to take only good shots
* Everyone else under .400, though Newell at .396 and Askew at .393 are close
* On threes Askew at .306, everyone else under .270

I'm waiting to see what Clayton can do.
I'm guessing if you counted each fumbled pass as a missed shot, Thieman's shooting percentage would be a lot worse.
Poor Lars. I really think you can't teach hands. On the other hand (no pun intended), I saw one play last night where Okafor ripped a rebound in the middle of 3 other guys. It's kind of a natural thing and something to look for in big men.
You can't teach hand size and shape, but there is ALOT that can be done about Lars problems with receiving the ball in the paint. Most of it deals with practice, training and speed of the game. And it takes time. Lots of time and repetition. This is not unique to Lars, but at this level, he came to Cal far behind many P12 level competitors - who probably started focusing on this issue in 3rd grade. I've seen lots of improvement from him over the last few years, but it seems like he has gone from a 2 to 6 (on a scale of 1 to 10), where most starting P12 big men are coming in as a Freshman at a 7 or 8 and improving to a 9 or 10 (think Andre).

And as with most development, I've observed a lot of "3 steps forward, 1 step back" with Lars. Again, not a knock on Lars - I think he has made VERY good advances and can continue to do so, but he started much further back than most P12 starting big men.
oskidunker
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Cal 46. Colorado 58
Go Bears!
RedlessWardrobe
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HoopDreams said:

Okofor had his best game and agree he should be getting more PT, but can't agree he is better than Lars defensively (or offensively)

for one thing, Lars changes (and blocks a lot of shots, and is mostly in the right place. Okofor makes lots of mistakes defensively.

not a dig on Okofor as just a freshman
Honestly, have you been watching the games? Lars is terrible defensively. He can't guard a decent post man one on one, and now in his fourth year he still has no ability to defend a drive. To say Lars is in the right place is really inaccurate. A 7 foot center should have some ability to clog the middle but it ain't happening.
HearstMining
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Agreed. He's willing, but just doesn't have the agility and foot-speed. Quick centers and PFs blow right by him. To his credit, he no longer collects stupid fouls, so he's gotten smarter but is limited by athleticism.
HoopDreams
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i'm not saying Lars is a great rim protector. See WSU's center for that.

Lars is also not good in space or on the perimeter, but he's a solid post defenders who knows where to be and doesn't commit many bad fouls.

but he is by far our best post defender. did you see the game three or four games ago where Okofor was abused by their post?

Again, no dig on Okofor and he's getting better, but not yet close to Lars

RedlessWardrobe said:

HoopDreams said:

Okofor had his best game and agree he should be getting more PT, but can't agree he is better than Lars defensively (or offensively)

for one thing, Lars changes (and blocks a lot of shots, and is mostly in the right place. Okofor makes lots of mistakes defensively.

not a dig on Okofor as just a freshman
Honestly, have you been watching the games? Lars is terrible defensively. He can't guard a decent post man one on one, and now in his fourth year he still has no ability to defend a drive. To say Lars is in the right place is really inaccurate. A 7 foot center should have some ability to clog the middle but it ain't happening.
RedlessWardrobe
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Gotta say that giving Okafor more minutes seemed to be beneficial to the team. Okafor definitely showed strong around the hoop and Lars seemed to be more effective when playing less minutes.
HoopDreams
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Okofor played very well offensively and rebounding. good hands. he's improving

defensely he missed some rotations leading to easy scores

Lars was dominant in the first half, but didn't play much past first 5 minutes of second half

thats because colorado coach saw lars dominate (and get in foul trouble) their two bigs so he changed strategy and went small. To match, fox also went small

good to have options based on matchup

RedlessWardrobe said:

Gotta say that giving Okafor more minutes seemed to be beneficial to the team. Okafor definitely showed strong around the hoop and Lars seemed to be more effective when playing less minutes.
SFCityBear
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calumnus said:

Both need to play, but the balance of minutes between them should depend on matchups. I also think playing them both at the same time should be an option.

Statistically, Lars is still our best player (of the the players who have gotten significant minutes). Part of that is his success against the smaller teams we play OOC. In conference, against guys his size but with more athleticism, he struggles and Okafor is relatively more effective. Part of it is we need to stop going to Lars on offense against teams with good interior defense. Of course, we would need another option on offense.

The bottom line is Lars vs. Okafor is not our biggest issue. This is not freshman and sophomore Lars vs. sophomore and junior Kelly where it was clear (at least to me, not to the Fox defenders) that Kelly needed to be playing the vast majority of the minutes.

This team desperately needs outside shooting.


This is entirely correct. I would only add that that Cal needs not just shooting, but we need a guard who can run offense or a mindset to look for the open shot, both by each player looking for it, and each player looking for a teammate who is more open than he himself is.

One of Cal's problems when Kelly was on the team was that not only was the best option at center, he was also the best option for power forward as well, and he couldn't play both positions at the same time. Cal needed at least two serviceable bigs on the floor at the same time against most lineups, and the only way we could have that would be to play Lars and Kelly at the same time. Neither one, especially Lars, could play anything close to 40 minutes for various reasons. Anticevich was a big who played his best out on the perimeter on offense who was not very effective inside. He did improve as a rebounder, but Cal really lacked effective bigs to complement Kelly during those years. The loss of Thorpe to injury hurt the team as well. Kelly improved a good amount each year (as did Lars and Grant, just not as much) to help Cal be competitive against some teams.
SFCityBear
SFCityBear
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RedlessWardrobe said:

Gotta say that giving Okafor more minutes seemed to be beneficial to the team. Okafor definitely showed strong around the hoop and Lars seemed to be more effective when playing less minutes.
According to the play-by-play account on the Calbears website, Lars started the 2nd half, and left the game with 11:30 minutes to go in the game, with Cal up by 13 points, and did not return. He was replaced by Okafor at that point, and Okafor left the game with 3:50 minutes to go in the game, with Cal up by 19 points. Neither Okafor nor Lars would return to the game, which is when Colorado made their huge comeback to get within 3 points, only to lose by 4 points at the end. What should be clear to all of us (especially Mr Intensity, the head guy in a suit and tie on the bench) is that Lars or Okafor, one or the other, MUST be in the lineup when we have a lead to protect at the end of a game. This team of ours has little experience being ahead in the score, and doing what we have to do to hold that lead. When both Lars and Okafor were out of the game at the same time, we came very close to losing that game.
SFCityBear
calumnus
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SFCityBear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

Gotta say that giving Okafor more minutes seemed to be beneficial to the team. Okafor definitely showed strong around the hoop and Lars seemed to be more effective when playing less minutes.
According to the play-by-play account on the Calbears website, Lars started the 2nd half, and left the game with 11:30 minutes to go in the game, with Cal up by 13 points, and did not return. He was replaced by Okafor at that point, and Okafor left the game with 3:50 minutes to go in the game, with Cal up by 19 points. Neither Okafor nor Lars would return to the game, which is when Colorado made their huge comeback to get within 3 points, only to lose by 4 points at the end. What should be clear to all of us (especially Mr Intensity, the head guy in a suit and tie on the bench) is that Lars or Okafor, one or the other, MUST be in the lineup when we have a lead to protect at the end of a game. This team of ours has little experience being ahead in the score, and doing what we have to do to hold that lead. When both Lars and Okafor were out of the game at the same time, we came very close to losing that game.


Agree 100% makes zero sense to go small "for the defensive matchups" especially given our roster. We need to have at least one of the two in the game. We were winning comfortably, stick with what is working, let the other coach make desperation moves. Crazy that Fox did not put one of them back in sooner when it was clear our smaller lineup was getting beaten badly. Happy for the players that we hung onto the win.
bearister
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He clearly went into vapor lock, like Haase did during the Utah game (at one point calling a time out a split second before his best shooter made a 3 pointer in a 6 point game with less than 2 minutes left). OUCH!
Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside
Civil Bear
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HoopDreams said:

Okofor played very well offensively and rebounding. good hands. he's improving

defensely he missed some rotations leading to easy scores

Lars was dominant in the first half, but didn't play much past first 5 minutes of second half

thats because colorado coach saw lars dominate (and get in foul trouble) their two bigs so he changed strategy and went small. To match, fox also went small

good to have options based on matchup

RedlessWardrobe said:

Gotta say that giving Okafor more minutes seemed to be beneficial to the team. Okafor definitely showed strong around the hoop and Lars seemed to be more effective when playing less minutes.

Lars was +3 for the game while Okofor was +16. The team was -15 for the 5:12 neither was on the floor.

In the Utah loss, Lars was -15 while ND was 0.
HoopDreams
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Civil Bear said:

HoopDreams said:

Okofor played very well offensively and rebounding. good hands. he's improving

defensely he missed some rotations leading to easy scores

Lars was dominant in the first half, but didn't play much past first 5 minutes of second half

thats because colorado coach saw lars dominate (and get in foul trouble) their two bigs so he changed strategy and went small. To match, fox also went small

good to have options based on matchup

RedlessWardrobe said:

Gotta say that giving Okafor more minutes seemed to be beneficial to the team. Okafor definitely showed strong around the hoop and Lars seemed to be more effective when playing less minutes.

Lars was +3 for the game while Okofor was +16. The team was -15 for the 5:12 neither was on the floor.

In the Utah loss, Lars was -15 while ND was 0.
+/- tells a story, but not a complete story

Braun had big praise for Lars. He also recognized how well Okafor played, but called him "raw". That's how I see him. Lots of potential and a college made body, but raw, especially on defense.

if you are saying Okofor is the better player overall?

Civil Bear
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HoopDreams said:

Civil Bear said:


Lars was +3 for the game while Okofor was +16. The team was -15 for the 5:12 neither was on the floor.

In the Utah loss, Lars was -15 while ND was 0.
+/- tells a story, but not a complete story

Braun had big praise for Lars. He also recognized how well Okafor played, but called him "raw". That's how I see him. Lots of potential and a college made body, but raw, especially on defense.

if you are saying Okofor is the better player overall?


Of course, +/- doesn't tell the whole story, but it is particularly telling when the two players substitute for each other and do not share the court together.

Braun also said Lars has great hands when praising him. That is patently ridiculous. Despite having good free-throw numbers, Fox's choice to sit Lars down the stretch shows the lack of confidence in him to help break the press.

The eyeball test says ND has been the better player in the last two games. The stark +/- numbers back it up.
HoopDreams
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Civil Bear said:

HoopDreams said:

Civil Bear said:


Lars was +3 for the game while Okofor was +16. The team was -15 for the 5:12 neither was on the floor.

In the Utah loss, Lars was -15 while ND was 0.
+/- tells a story, but not a complete story

Braun had big praise for Lars. He also recognized how well Okafor played, but called him "raw". That's how I see him. Lots of potential and a college made body, but raw, especially on defense.

if you are saying Okofor is the better player overall?


Of course, +/- doesn't tell the whole story, but it is particularly telling when the two players substitute for each other and do not share the court together.

Braun also said Lars has great hands when praising him. That is patently ridiculous. Despite having good free-throw numbers, Fox's choice to sit Lars down the stretch shows the lack of confidence in him to help break the press.

The eyeball test says ND has been the better player in the last two games. The stark +/- numbers back it up.
not my eyeballs, but as I've said Okafor had two nice games and has potential. But he makes mistakes including two goal tending calls when the shots weren't going in.

but to your point, here are two nice plays of his. I particularly liked his inside pass (we rarely get easy points like this)
https://instagr.am/p/Cm5FRBVBvOM
Big C
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Civil Bear said:

HoopDreams said:

Okofor played very well offensively and rebounding. good hands. he's improving

defensely he missed some rotations leading to easy scores

Lars was dominant in the first half, but didn't play much past first 5 minutes of second half

thats because colorado coach saw lars dominate (and get in foul trouble) their two bigs so he changed strategy and went small. To match, fox also went small

good to have options based on matchup

RedlessWardrobe said:

Gotta say that giving Okafor more minutes seemed to be beneficial to the team. Okafor definitely showed strong around the hoop and Lars seemed to be more effective when playing less minutes.

Lars was +3 for the game while Okofor was +16. The team was -15 for the 5:12 neither was on the floor.

In the Utah loss, Lars was -15 while ND was 0.

Okay, but what if it's like golf, where the lower the number the better? Lars was 15 under par against the Utes!
SFCityBear
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Civil Bear said:

HoopDreams said:

Civil Bear said:


Lars was +3 for the game while Okofor was +16. The team was -15 for the 5:12 neither was on the floor.

In the Utah loss, Lars was -15 while ND was 0.
+/- tells a story, but not a complete story

Braun had big praise for Lars. He also recognized how well Okafor played, but called him "raw". That's how I see him. Lots of potential and a college made body, but raw, especially on defense.

if you are saying Okofor is the better player overall?


Of course, +/- doesn't tell the whole story, but it is particularly telling when the two players substitute for each other and do not share the court together.

Braun also said Lars has great hands when praising him. That is patently ridiculous. Despite having good free-throw numbers, Fox's choice to sit Lars down the stretch shows the lack of confidence in him to help break the press.

The eyeball test says ND has been the better player in the last two games. The stark +/- numbers back it up.
Do you think Braun could have been talking about the fine touch Lars has in his fingers when shooting the ball, with all the success he has shooting soft shots near the basket? Great shooters usually have fine touch in the fingertips.
SFCityBear
Civil Bear
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SFCityBear said:

Civil Bear said:

HoopDreams said:

Civil Bear said:


Lars was +3 for the game while Okofor was +16. The team was -15 for the 5:12 neither was on the floor.

In the Utah loss, Lars was -15 while ND was 0.
+/- tells a story, but not a complete story

Braun had big praise for Lars. He also recognized how well Okafor played, but called him "raw". That's how I see him. Lots of potential and a college made body, but raw, especially on defense.

if you are saying Okofor is the better player overall?


Of course, +/- doesn't tell the whole story, but it is particularly telling when the two players substitute for each other and do not share the court together.

Braun also said Lars has great hands when praising him. That is patently ridiculous. Despite having good free-throw numbers, Fox's choice to sit Lars down the stretch shows the lack of confidence in him to help break the press.

The eyeball test says ND has been the better player in the last two games. The stark +/- numbers back it up.
Do you think Braun could have been talking about the fine touch Lars has in his fingers when shooting the ball, with all the success he has shooting soft shots near the basket? Great shooters usually have fine touch in the fingertips.
No, Braun wasn't nearly that specific. But if he were, I would downgrade my comment from patently ridiculous to just meh. .548 for a post player that rarely shoots from outside the paint is not that special.

ND just isn't killing Lars on the +/- numbers over the last couple of games:
Shooting %: .625 to .400
Assists: 3 to 0
Turnovers: 0 to 4
Rebounds per Minute: 0.29 to 0.19
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