I think Tim Jr. deservers a lot of credit for his game last night. He still couldn't shoot from long range, but in the second half he kept his head in the game and took the ball to the hole, had some nice assists, and took that charge. His chearleading for Vogrich was also nice to see. I think it showed that Hardaway is not a kid with his head in the clouds. He cares a lot. FWIW, my guess is that he's been pressing too much...But anyway, that was a mature effort in last night's game.
Credit to Hardaway for last night
He had a decent night, and at some point his shots have to start falling right? I mean this can't go on forever...can it?
This reminds me of Daniel Horton's sophomore year. He, too, was in a slump that just wouldn't end.
I noticed that he did not seem to take as many low percentage shots last night as he has been. Hopefully this is a start to smarter play, which will ultimately start pushing his percentages back up.
His inside game is pretty nice. I would say the one upside to him playing under expectations this year is that he'll be back next year (would be ridiculously surprised if he entered the draft).
Next year, with McGary and GR3 stretching the defense I could see Tim with a wide open driving lane for either easy dunks or little underhanded scoops to Morgan for the finish.
Truly think a starting lineup of Hardaway, Burke, Robinson, McGary, Morgan could be top-4 in the nation. Not saying they're "final four bound" because nothing is guaranteed (look at OSU last year, Kansas the year before, etc.) but having a team with a realistic shot is going to be amazing.
I'm not sure THjr has the handles to run at the 2 spot in this offense. He plays the 3 now with Burke and Stu at the 1-2. I think Coach likes having two ball handlers on the court. In order for THjr to play the 2 he's gotta improve his handles and the 2-4 position really have to be stroking it or else teams will pack it in.
You may be right, I was under the impression it was more the personnel of our team this year. We simply dont have the depth at the bigger positions (especially given the Horford injury) to have 3 bigs out on the court.
Next year, we have a natural 3 in GR3, and two legitimate bigs in Morgan/McGary. This still leaves Horford and Smot as extremely legit backup options to come in when starters need rest or get in foul trouble.
Don't get me wrong, I'd be great if THJR got better handles this summer. But what better group of 5 is Belein going to put on the court besides THJR/Burke/McGary/Morgan/(GR3/Smot/Horford)? I can't imagine pulling one of those guys for Brundidge who is probably the 2nd best ballhandler on the team next year.
The small task of Hardaway driving consistently will make this team a lot better and I think that showed somewhat last night when we started pouring it on in the second half (correlation but possible slight causation as well).
I'd also watch out for Smotz next year if he can fix his mental game. He has all the skills to become a great player, though he probably won't ever have a dominate rebounding game because he doesn't weight enough, but, right now, he's thinking and worrying to much instead of just playing (like Burke does - one of the only guys on our team that really does that).
I think his shot selection was better in that he didn't take as many contested threes, early jump shots, or long twos. And in the second half he went to the hoop more. I also agree that his ability to create shots for his teammates in the second half was a nice improvement.
However, I still want to see him rebound more and not take as many threes like he did in the first half. (Though the entire team felt content to throw threes up in the first half.) I think if he played in the first half like he did in the second then his confidence and effort would have improved - perhaps helping his outside shot.
I don't know what's happened to his outside shot and that of Smotrycz, but simple regression to the mean would be a huge improvement for both of them.
I coach basketball.... prolonged slumps (to this magnitude) are not very common... he just needs to get in the gym and put more shots up and build his confidence back up. I think it's mental and like Erik said, hes pressing at this point. Those drives were definitely a good start though.
...is to get them going on the defensive side of the ball. The leakout or steal can lead to the easy basket thus decreasing the *press* having to make baskets. THJ game against sparty speaks to this. I posted while the game was being played,that THJ required a couple of throwdown slams to help vent and to get going. Although,THJ cameout in the second half with a couple of drive(with neither resulting in a score)he cameout and took it to the hoop. Hopefully last night game gets the ball rollin.
Was really worried that we'd see a THJ in the 2nd half with slumping shoulders, and settling for long 2s... instead, he got to scrapping. Good for him.
Up until last night, I was frustrated with THJ. It got to the point where I actually felt sorry for him. This has got to be the most disheartened he has been in his basketball career (obviously I don't know that for a fact). I've theorized that he's been unable to embrace his role on the team, due to Morris departing and Burke emerging.
But that all went away when I saw his reaction to the three Vogrich bombs. He looked genuinely happy for the guy. I took that as a sign that, although frustrated with his game, he is still all about this team.
I have a sneaking suspicion that his, and the team's, patience and perserverance are going to pay off. They still have a shot at the regular season title. Frankly, we haven't put together a complete game virtually all season. Perhaps it'll all come together in the last 6 games and into the tournaments.
His reaction when Vogrich's shots went down was awesome to see. He wasn't just genuinely happy, he was thrilled. Tim took a big charge, drove the hole a couple times, and was really into the game from the bench. That's something you NEED to see from players, especially if they're struggling.
I know many people hate the lack of effort in the NBA, but look at NBA teams, or even talented (not necessarily good) college teams like Calipari's. How many starters jump off the bench like that excited for a bench player? It's rare. He cares, and I agree, awesome thread.
I noticed him delivering several beautiful assists, and I was impressed. There are SO many great ways to contribute to a basketball team when your shots aren't dropping.
& Dennis Rodman would agree.
Moses Malone would repeatedly miss from within a few feet, grab his offensive rebound, rinse and repeat. His stat line would be monstrous - except for FG%.
Despite the bad shooting (again), I loved how THJ took it to the hole in the 2nd half and some very pretty assists. Let's hope this gets him going.
Good to see him keep battling, playing with expectations is huge on the mental side of the game. We have more weapons coming and I see him being a key part of the puzzle when teams are no longer able to gameplan against him. Don't forget he is drawing the best defenders in the nation every night. He proved again last night he is a team guy and lets not forget, only a sophomore.
I wonder if he has played too much hoops recently? He had a nice run to end the B1G last year, and B1G tourney and the NCAA, then he goes off to Europe with Team USA. I think he's tired. That's my guess. When the legs start to go, so does the jump shot and also the quick first step to get into the lane and then elevate.
He can help this team win doing other things than scoring - rebounding, taking charges, passes, and being a teammate (like he was with Matt's 3s). Also, it wouldn't hurt if he had 10 points, 5 assists and 8 boards a gama and he helped Morgan score more.
I will say, there were a few Burke 3s that just looked so smooth. He might be the best pure shooter on the team. And next year with GR3 and Nik....
I started wondering the samething. I'd hope the coaching staff would implore that THJ take the summer off from playing organize ball this summer.
He had a good comeback considering his dreadful showing in East Lansing.
I look at it this way. If THJ continues coming back, Smotrycz gets out of his funk, and Vogrich continues shooting like he did last night, this will be a very dangerous team. Hopefully this will all happen in accordance with other Beilein teams where the MO is peaking at the right time.
THJ is awesome. He acted llike a pro last night. SHots not falling so he did his role as a decoy/dish man and played good defense. He pulled up the team with his attitude.
That said he needs to get out of hi slump if this team is going to make a run in either tournament.
Yeah, it was good to see that his outward demeanor was positive and he's not showing his frustration like Smot is right now. However, I'd rather see him start playing better than focus on how well he's emotionally handling his slump. Having our number 1 guy averaging under 10 pts in the last few games with an embarrassing FG% just isn't going to fly.
He seems to be taking a more supportive role this year with Burke. This means he'll probably stick around for longer, which is alright with me. He can play and eventually the shots will fall. Novak is shooting well from the three point line, which makes me happy. Zack and Stu are reallly stepping up their game as far as scoring goes, with all the defensive know-how they've had in recent years. I'm really excited for them, and I'm beginning to think I'll miss them next year more than I had previously thought.
This post makes Brain's observations about THJ look prophetic. Brian's comments were dead on, and THJ is a different player when he starts grinding and doing the "little things" that eventually make a big difference.
This is how you get out of a shooting slump: grind, play every other facet of your game to the best of your ability, don't force shots, and suddenly a few shots start to fall within the parameters of your team's offense.
Wouldn't it be great if THJ went on a hot streak just in time for the B1G and NCAA Tournaments?
response in the second half may turn out to be the most important moment of the season. He even managed a smile. Looked like he was having fun again.