First things first, a tip of the cap to Caleb for predicting that we stand a good chance to knock off Michigan. We went up there and handed it to them; I don't know that I've ever seen a ranked team get crushed on the boards like that. James Farr is a monster.
I was listening and got so locked in on each possession that when Joe said we were up 13, I was a bit surprised. They hit us with with their best shot, twice, and we never floundered.
What. A. Game! That was everything I wanted to see from this years Musketeers team. I think we're going to be top 25 in a few days. Where do y'all think we'll fall?
One thing I haven't seen that I would like to is good two-point shooting. We're a top 20 offense basically on the back of free throw shooting and offensive boards; we're 239th in the nation in 2P%. Even if this offensive rebounding is sustainable, we might want to clean that up a hair.
As for the polls, I don't really care about them... until we're ranked. I know all the logical reasons not to, but there's just a visceral thrill you get from seeing that number by your team's name. Put me down for 22nd.
I was briefly concerned about my pick to beat Michigan in the season preview making me look foolish, but that was as good a performance for a whole game since Butler at home last year. It felt like everyone contributed something and the staff had the substitutions and foul management absolutely on point.
As far as polls I will just guess the fickle early season nature of these things will see us up at 21 come Monday. Are we any more hopeful going in to Thanksgiving now that we have some evidence that this team is capable of demolishing someone ranked on the road or is neutral court still a concern?
It has been since 2011-2012 since we got a good win on the road this early in the year, and that's when we went to Vandy and beat them in OT. That team played a Christmas tournament and finished 7th of 8 teams, but it was also hitting that tournament on the back of the Shootout fight.
I do feel good about this team's ability to go to that Thanksgiving tournament this year and not lay an egg. We can score in enough ways that I think we will be able to put up enough points to stay in tough games, and I think we can close down the stretch.
Speaking of which, I think I like LAJ as the crunch time point guard. Edmond Sumner is probably more dynamic, but he's certainly more profligate. With four of Myles, Remy, Trevon, James, and Jalen on the floor, I think I'll lose the dunk over Albrecht and the dagger three in favor of keeping those four turnovers off the floor and Larry's defense on it. If we're up three on Wichita State with Baker and van Vleet breaking the huddle out of the final media timeout, who do you have at the one?
I have JP out there somewhere, I know that. Crisler was rocking last night when he drilled that last three. I'd be tempted to go with Sumner and see what he's got when it really matters. LAJ needs to at least take a jumper before I see him out there late.
To me it depends on how quickly you think Sumner can develop. If you think he can really improve that ball discipline by tournament time, I think it's worth rolling the dice in November. If there's a question about that, I think LAJ is your guy; he gives you a more narrow range of potential outcomes, which is fine because we don't need the point guard to win the game for us.
How deep is this team? I shouldn't have left JP off the crunch time list because he has a motor that doesn't quit and a set you could bowl with. We've got any guys that you wouldn't blink at seeing in the starting lineup.