What does it take to reach the Final Four? (Part I)

Thanks to a sports injury I was laid up in bed with nothing to do for the better part of a week. During that time I had some time to watch basketball, both good and bad, and reflect on the state of the Wolfpack basketball program. Since the Pack’s 2014 Epic Fail in the round of 64 we’ve had transfers and early departures announced, discussions of Gottfried vs Archie Miller as the coaching carousel attraction has started spinning, and what does the future hold for NC State. All of this can be found on the main page or over on our forums. (Just click on the Forums button above in the header)

As we head into the Final Four (FF) weekend to determine the national champion I asked, Is NC State moving towards hanging another national champion banner? If the ultimate goal of the program is to win titles then shouldn’t we see what it takes? More specifically the goal the program should be striving for is reaching the Final Four because once you’re there it’s only 2 games in 3 days to become a national champion. Yes you have your occasional Cinderella’s crashing the party but most years all four teams are usually teams who aren’t sneaking up on anyone.

This will be Part I of a series of articles breaking down what a Final Four team looks like, is NC State realistically close to becoming a Final Four team, and what is Gottfried’s teams history to see if he can NC State to the promise land or unless there is a major change in philosophy does he have a ceiling.

I’m going to look at data from 2004-2014 (11 seasons) using Tempo Free Stats from KenPom.com. Why KenPom? I have a subscription so I might as well get my money out of it. Why did I pick this time frame? When I started I was looking at the last 10 years and we now have the current season Final Four Teams to add into it. I’m starting off Part I with a simple comparison of each Final Four team’s Offensive Rating (ORtg) and Defensive Rating (DRtg) to get a top of the mountain look at what a Final Four team looks like. I also included the average NCAA team rating and Mark Gottfried coached teams (Alabama and NC State) during the specified timeframe.

Note: For those not familiar with Tempo Free Stats, ORtg, and DRtg here is a breakdown of them from Ken Pomeroy.

“The purpose of this system is to show how strong a team would be if it played tonight, independent of injuries or emotional factors. Since nobody can see every team play all (or even most) of their games, this system is designed to give you a snapshot of a team’s current level of play.”

“I try to measure skills based on the opportunities for those skills to be observed. On the team level, this often means ratings the offense (and defense) on points scored (and allowed) per possession. Since we need to know things in terms of possessions and possessions is not an official NCAA statistic, it must be estimated.”

“Adjusted offensive efficiency – An estimate of the offensive efficiency (points scored per 100 possessions) a team would have against the average D-I defense.”

“Adjusted defensive efficiency – An estimate of the defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions) a team would have against the average D-I offense.”

1.21JW: Basically tempo free means removing the pace at which teams play out of the equation to get all things equal. You can’t compare PPG between teams as to how well they play because some teams like to slow the game down and have as few possessions as possible. That way they can try to be more efficient with each possession versus the opposing team, thus a low scoring affair where they try to force (or hope you’ll make) more mistakes than them and thus they will outscore you. On the flip side a team may want to speed up the game, get as many possessions as possible to negate not being as efficient with the ball. Which team is better? This is where looking at how effective they are with their possessions is able to compare apples to apples.

So moving on to the topic of comparing Final Four teams, Mark Gottfried coached teams, and the NCAA average. Here is a graph of just the Offensive Ratings since 2004.

NCAA Tournament Final Four Teams – Offensive Ratings (2004-2014)

What you see is there is some variation from year to year but the typical Final Four team will usually be between 110-120 ORtg (meaning if they had 100 possessions during the game they would score between 110 – 120 points), with the average team showing around 102 ORtg. We overlay Mark Gottfried’s Alabama and NC State teams during the time period and you can see, with the exception of his final 1.5 seasons at Bama, he usually has his team’s offense Final Four worthy. This doesn’t mean they don’t have flaws. What it means that his teams are just as efficient scoring on each possession as the Final Four teams are. If you can get your team to an ORtg of 115 then you’ve set yourself up just fine.

Now let’s move on to defense. We’ve all talked about the lack of defense we’ve seen from Gottfried’s teams while at State but how do they stack up against the FF teams? Is it just because he’s still building a foundation at State or is it because we’ve been really young at times?

NCAA Tournament Final Four Teams – Defensive Ratings (2004-2014)

As you can see in 2011 and 2014 the teams that reached the FF weren’t as efficient at stopping the opposition as the other years but where in 2011 the country moved towards the average on both ends of the court, 2014 the national collectively increased offensively. Why? I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and say the NCAA’s new rules on contact and the FT contest we saw so many times this year had a lot to do with the sudden change. Overall though you’ll see the FF teams are usually between 87-93 DRtg. So that’s the goal. If you want to have a chance at reaching the FF and winning the title then you better be shooting for a Defensive Rating in that range to go along with the FF Offensive Rating range. We overlay Gottfried’s teams and we see why his teams struggle. Why is it we don’t see many blowouts and thus getting the starters rest and more playing time to the developing players? Simple, if you’re philosophy is to simply out Offense the other team, then don’t expect to have many comfortable leads. This also shows why the 2014 version of the Pack struggled in so many games this year, they were simply not good defensively. Dare I say they were Average at best.

Now let’s combine the two graphs and get a better picture on both ends of the court and how Gottfried’s teams compare overall to FF teams.

NCAA Tournament Final Four Teams – ORtg & DRtg (2004-2014)

This is a clear cut goal of where you want to be if your goal is to reach the FF and cut down those nets. Being good at only one aspect of the game (In Gottfried’s case Offense) will never equate to obtaining your goal if you continue to ignore the other aspect. While Gottfried should be commended for doing such a great job with the offense, his defenses are historically slightly better than average and as such he will never reach the FF without either a major fluke in the tournament or a drastic overhaul of his defensive philosophy.

I wanted to add the following graph to the article after it was brought up in the comments section. This graph is a look at the Spread between ORtg and DRtg (ORtg – DRtg = ODSpread) with the Final Four teams and Gottfried’s teams. The previous graph shows you the band of ORtg and band of DRtg but what it doesn’t show is a team may have a great offense but a “bad” defense. What this graph shows is the difference between each teams O/D and gives a zone for that. As you can see below while Gottfried may be within 4-8 percentage points of the worst team in the FF he’s never been able to even get in the zone of what Final Four teams were during that particular season.

Gottfried’s 3 best ODSpread seasons at least have met the minimum of what teams had to reach the Final Four. So there’s that.

Next installment I’ll breakdown what goes into being a good defensive FF team and if there are any common denominators between them using the Four Factors.

About 1.21 Jigawatts

Class of '98, Mechanical Engineer, State fan since arriving on campus and it's been a painful ride ever since. I live by the Law of NC State Fandom, "For every Elation there is an equal and opposite Frustration."

College Basketball Mark Gottfried NCS Basketball

Home Forums What does it take to reach the Final Four? (Part I)

This topic contains 42 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  Wulfpack 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #50403

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    Thanks to a sports injury I was laid up in bed with nothing to do for the better part of a week. During that time I had some time to watch basketball,
    [See the full post at: What does it take to reach the Final Four? (Part I)]

    #50405

    Deacon Blues
    Participant

    Jig – Great stuff as always. Thanks. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

    #50406

    Wulfpack
    Participant

    This is awesome. Thank you. Unless we learn to D up, expect more of the same.

    It is also interesting to look at this years Final Four coaches.

    Donovan and Cal – what more needs to be said? Both excellent. Both with a lot of miles left to go.

    Bo Ryan – Mr. Wisconsin. Rock solid for that program. First Final Four. 12 consecutive tourney appearances (never missed). Six Sweet 16s and an Elite 8. Championship coach, wherever he’s been. A true systems guy that gets the most out of his players.

    Kevin Ollie – Second season at UCONN, following a legend, with a break through season. NBA journey man. Probably the wild card in this Final Four. Kids seem to love him and play very hard for him. Can he sustain success?

    #50410

    Wufpacker
    Keymaster

    Nicely done Jigsy and looking forward to the rest of the story.

    You should get hurt more often. ;)

    #50415

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    Really impressed by Ollie, how he’s done things his own way and excised most of the douchiness from that program.

    #50416

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    In general terms, Dick Sheridan vs ECU in the Peach Bowl proved to me that the bend-but-don’t-break defensive philosophy is a losing one. You have to attack with both offense and defense…and the same holds true for basketball. In BB, strong defense leads to fast-breaks and easy points…and can often pull you through when your offense is not clicking that night.

    The Greatest Show on Turf as well as UNLV with Stacey Augmon and Larry Johnson showed that it is possible to win with only offense. But history shows that an offensive-only philosophy falls short more often than not.

    #50417

    TheCOWDOG
    Participant

    “Work on defense, rest on offense.”

    -CD senior

    Of course the “rest” is not in the literal sense, but you get the gist.

    #50418

    Wufpacker
    Keymaster

    “offense sells tickets, defense wins championships”

    Bear Bryant IIRC. But as Va astutely points out, especially in basketball the offense often feeds off of defensive execution/intensity.

    TJ Warren is an offensive weapon without a doubt, but my lingering memory of him will likely be him notching up his defensive intensity and creating easy transition scores.

    #50419

    wufpup76
    Participant

    Nice work. Thanks for the comparison layout.

    One thing I will throw out for discussion is/are teams that are “playing their best” when tourney season rolls around – and how that may (may not) belie any ratings.

    I think it’s safe to argue that Gottfried’s initial squad (’11-’12) was easily playing their best ball at the end of that season – due in no small part to picking it way up on the defensive end.

    I would say the same about this season’s squad (’13-’14), but the defense never really saw a huge uptick (based on the highly quantitative ‘eyeball’ method of analysis – haha). It can be argued that they were playing their best ball – I believe they were – but ultimately a lack of a true defensive presence sealed any fate. It would’ve been nice to finish off SLU and see what happened – alas, no go.

    The ’12-’13 squad seemed destined to finish the way the did. Good performances against Duke, etc. – blew Virginia away in the ACC tourny – but you (I) never got the feeling that they would really put it together due to whatever reasoning (chemistry, etc.).

    I’m a believer in “just get to the tournament and be playing your best ball when you get there – then hope for good match-ups” – however, that’s not to say that ratings systems don’t have their place or that regular season results do not predict postseason success rates. We all know that we need to see consistently better defensive performances (and rebounding) to have real hope of a ‘Final Four’ type success.

    Thoughts on “playing your best at tourny time” vs. ratings? Also, I think Gottfried sets his teams up well for playing their best at the right time (this in no way is intended to start a referendum on Gottfried – it’s just an opinion) – I’d be interested to hear opinions on that well, opinion :)

    #50420

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    Thoughts on “playing your best at tourny time” vs. ratings?

    It takes both. In the NCAAT (especially after the first round), good teams have to beat other good teams to advance. The good teams that peak at tourney time have a distinct advantage. For instance, was anyone shocked when Syracuse was beaten in the second round?

    #50421

    SqlWolf
    Participant

    1.21JGW – This data is the best way to present what I and other fans have been unable to express when watching our team struggle through frustrating moments, stretches within a game, or whole games. I wonder if our coaching staff looks at their data in this way (or just as well sees this data you present) and comes to understand where “the system/team” needs to be better developed. I also wonder if the coaching staff/Gottfried is so single minded in philosophy with regard to focusing only on offense at the expense of defensive preparation. I doubt any good coach and his staff would leave such a glaring hole in their preparation of a team. When I see videos of the previous Wolfpack teams play with such defensive tenacity, I can’t stop the questions running through my mind like “What if we played that hard on defense nowadays?” or “Would we still be dancing if we played defense at all?” Is this simply a generational difference? Do players now just not have the same set of fundamental skills that we witnessed back in the 70s,80s?

    #50423

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    The “data” is impressive when presented clearly and concised… good job Jiggs…

    But isn’t there a fundamental question underlying the data… ??

    What’s the difference between ‘Not playing good defense’ and ‘Not able to play good defense’ ?
    Doesn’t that need to be addressed before delving into constructs like…

    ‘How much did our defense improve over the season?’
    ‘We we playing our best ball at the end of the season?’
    ‘How good a job did our Coaches do teaching our kids how to play defense?’

    -- bill.onthebeach
    #50426

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    What’s the difference between ‘Not playing good defense’ and ‘Not able to play good defense’ ?

    No significant difference because they both lead to the same place.

    #50427

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    I’m not part of the staff nor do I have a connection to it so I have absolutely no idea what they do in practice or what the coaches philosophy is when it comes to defense. All I know is what is on paper and what I see on TV and when it comes to defense we’re average and average doesn’t win championships.

    We all want State to win it all and we all know the best team in the country doesn’t always win it every year but they usually make the FF. Plus remember this is a view from 30k feet up of how State looks when compared to FF teams using TFS as an indicator. There are other stats you can use and many other factors that go into how you get to this view, i.e. Coaching, Talent level, Age, Experience, Injuries, how well a team is playing come tournament time. Those are all legit ways to look at teams when you get closer to the ground to see the rooftops. Also, don’t assume that the teams that make the FF are the only teams who have a high ORtg and low DRtg, there are more teams out there who are close to the FF teams or better but other circumstances prevented them from making it to the final weekend.

    This is a perfect answer:

    Thoughts on “playing your best at tourny time” vs. ratings?

    It takes both. In the NCAAT (especially after the first round), good teams have to beat other good teams to advance. The good teams that peak at tourney time have a distinct advantage. For instance, was anyone shocked when Syracuse was beaten in the second round?

    Bill

    But isn’t there a fundamental question underlying the data… ??

    What’s the difference between ‘Not playing good defense’ and ‘Not able to play good defense’ ?

    Whether it’s not playing or unable to play makes no difference. We’re taking a big picture look at Gottfried’s teams spaning 2 teams in 9 seasons over 11 years to see if there is a pattern when compared to teams who actually made it to the FF. Gottfried has enough of a past that we can look for patterns and draw general conclusions. When it comes to defense, who is out recruiting for defensive guys? Who is being evaluated on their defensive capabilities? Defense is taught, especially in today’s AAU age where fundamentals are sacrificed on the alter for high flying dunks and 3 point shooting.

    The conclusion is as long as Gottfried continues to produce defensive results that he has always produced then short of a miracle we have already seen what he will continue to provide. Is everyone happy with a ceiling of making it to the Sweet 16, maybe Elite Eight? Because even the Cinderella teams are better defensively than Gottfried’s teams have been.

    #50428

    MP
    Participant

    This is ‘like’ my dream post. Awesome work and presentation. Can’t wait for Part II.

    #50429

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    What’s the difference between ‘Not playing good defense’ and ‘Not able to play good defense’ ?

    No significant difference because they both lead to the same place.

    No…it does not affect the raw numbers….

    But it *might make some difference in the conclusions/decisions that follow the numbers…
    …if you are the Coach or Staff or maybe just a fan looking for insight…

    In my “limited” experience, numbers rarely answer the “Why” questions…

    ———
    Just for fun questions…

    Other than Richard Howell or CUZ…
    …name our best defensive player 6’7″ or taller over the last three seasons…

    Other than CJ Williams…
    …name our best defensive perimeter player over the last three seasons…

    Then looking at next season…
    (..excluding freshman… ’cause we all know Freshman cannot play D1 defense… )

    Who will be our best defensive player 6’7″ or taller ??
    Who will be our best perimeter player ??

    ————
    Qualitative Answer to the Query in the OP…
    (category- defense )

    One of each of the above… (over 6’7″ and on the perimeter) better than anyone we have seen in Red & White the last three years…
    AND
    Two More as good as any we have seen…

    And that, my friends, starts with recruiting — includes a whole lot of teaching/coaching — and ends with a couple seasons experience on the floor…
    There are no shortcuts…

    -- bill.onthebeach
    #50431

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    [EDIT]

    List of teams NOT IN THE FF with an ORtg >110 & DRtg <95:
    Arizona (E8)
    Louisville (S16)
    Virginia (S16)
    Wichita State (R32)
    Tennessee (S16)
    Villanova (R32)
    Syracuse (R32)
    Gonzaga (R32)
    SMU (NIT)

    DRtg <94
    Arizona, Louisville, UVA, Wichita St., Syracuse

    DRtg <93
    Arizona, Louisville, UVA

    2 Teams with DRtg >95:
    Wisconsin & Kentucky

    So you see it’s not an exact science but over time you can see trends and as such if you put yourself in that position you’ll increase your chances of success.

    #50432

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    Thoughts on “playing your best at tourny time” vs. ratings?

    It takes both.

    Back in the days of the Great Herb Debate, I did an blog entry on the RPI Rankings at various NCAAT steps (S-16, E-8, and F-4) and included AP Rankings. I found that the AP Top10 was better at predicting NCAAT success than the RPI-Top10. My guess (then and now) is that the end of year success is more likely to figure in the AP rankings.

    It’s also important to note that the RPI Top25 did a better job than the AP Top 25. My guess is that writers voting on reputation rather than results were more likely to show up in the Top 25 than in the Top 10.

    #50440

    Tau837
    Participant

    When it comes to defense, who is out recruiting for defensive guys? Who is being evaluated on their defensive capabilities?

    Was Anya recruited for offense? I assume defense and rebounding was a big factor in our desire to recruit him. And I assume the same for Freeman.

    I assume Washington may have been recruited more for offense than those two, but still probably with a belief that he could evolve into a good defensive player.

    I think it’s a given that our staff expected both Cat and Lee to be/become strong defensive players when they were being recruited.

    That’s a whole recruiting class for which I assume defense was a strong consideration.

    I’m not sure about the Martin twins, but I’ve read that Abu is a strong defender.

    I don’t think our issue on defense is that our players aren’t capable of playing sound defense. Tyler was a liability on defense, and it obviously is/was not a strength for Turner or Vandenburg. (Though Turner’s deficiency was probably exacerbated by having to mostly defend the 2 rather than the 3 this past season.)

    So it looks to me like our coaching staff is generally recruiting players who are talented enough to play good defense. If there is an issue, it seems to be in the defensive coaching, whether that is time spent practicing defense or scheme.

    #50443

    Pack85EE
    Participant

    Good article Jigs And other input such as Tau837 above provide thoughts on the why and the future. As to your conclusion in the follow on discussion

    “The conclusion is as long as Gottfried continues to produce defensive results that he has always produced then short of a miracle we have already seen what he will continue to provide. Is everyone happy with a ceiling of making it to the Sweet 16, maybe Elite Eight? Because even the Cinderella teams are better defensively than Gottfried’s teams have been.”

    it sounds like a lawyer proving his point but may neglect some pieces of logic. If Gott improves his player personnel, do both lines track upward, offense moves well into FF quality and defense moves up into the low end for FF quality? I hope so. I guess a few more years will tell us, not next but the year after and from then on, I would hope to see both curves higher. But data does show where the focus is, and where it needs to increase.

    #50444

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    it sounds like a lawyer proving his point but may neglect some pieces of logic. If Gott improves his player personnel, do both lines track upward, offense moves well into FF quality and defense moves up into the low end for FF quality? I hope so. I guess a few more years will tell us, not next but the year after and from then on, I would hope to see both curves higher. But data does show where the focus is, and where it needs to increase.

    What have I neglected? I included 9 seasons of 2 teams he has coached and not once has he produced results that come close to entering FF territory on defense? He had plenty of time to improve personnel and implement a defensive system at Bama but that never improved. He hasn’t exactly been lacking in personnel at State, in fact I’d say the talent level at State has been better since day one then any season at Bama. Just how long does it take to improve defense with a team? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Seriously I’d like to know because he’s had more than enough time to prove it on the court through his career and has yet to do it once. Your logic is the same as the HSSS and his improvement on offense will come years from now. My conclusion is based on actual facts. Yours is based on ignoring history and WTNY.

    The question from the beginning was what does it take to reach the Final Four? I’ve presented clear data showing what the last 11 years of FF teams have had at a broad level of what it took for them. Then I compared 9 seasons of teams under Gottfried. Not once has he approached what it takes on the defensive side so again, without a clear change in defense or a fluke run Gottfried has a glass ceiling that is lower than the Final Four.

    #50445

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    I don’t have numbers to back this up…but I always felt that, in a tournament sport, I would rather be “elite” offensively and “solid” defensively (as opposed to the reverse). But if you can’t make it to the “solid” threshhold, then you’re likely fatally flawed.

    Last season, we had four bad defenders. Two are gone (Vandy and Lewis), one will move to a position he should more capable of defending (Turner), and one can get a little bit of a pass due to being a freshman (Washington – who was also the least bad of the four).

    Abu is supposed to be very good on defense. We will have to see on Lacey, and the Martin twins are likely 5-10 mpg players at the outset. So…it looks like we have the raw material to be “solid” defensively next season. The proof will be in the pudding.

    #50447

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    Tau37,

    Here’s from the free section of Scout.com on the last 3 recruiting classes by Gott:

    2015
    Abu: Abu slots as a skilled utility forward. He’s a lively athlete and moves very well for a 6-8, 235-pound physical specimen, and his aggression pays off on both ends. He retrieves caroms for putbacks, muscles his way up as a finisher to score and draw trips to the foul line, and he’s also a scrapper on the backboard. He’s very effective as a high post shooter, smoothly knocking down 15-footers from the elbow. He does need to improve his defense. (Sounds like recruited for offense to me)

    Caleb Martin: Martin is a fine jump shooter with effortless three-point range. He fires in jumpers with an easy, mechanically sound stroke that should translate very well to the collegiate level. He also has broad shoulders and has become significantly stronger over the past couple years. With a college strength and conditioning regimen — along with a first step that’s now markedly quicker — he should be able to incorporate a driving game with his shooting. (Sounds like recruited for offense to me)

    Cody Martin: No free information available

    2014
    Anya: A true old school center, Anya is comfortable in the paint and likes to throw his body around down low. Anya is a good rebounder and is very strong. He has extremely long arms which makes up for being a little bit short. Still needs to run the floor better and show the desire to be great at all times. With that said, Anya is one of the most productive players in the class down low. (I’d agree defense)

    Freeman: No free information. Late addition and project player.

    Washington: No free information but was the worst defender in the front court. He was clearly all for offense.

    Barber: Barber has the natural ability to be one of the best in the class. He has good size for a point guard and is an excellent athlete. Very few players are faster with the ball and get into the lane with the ease he does. His outside shot does need some work. Know as “Cat”, Barber is one of the premier floor leaders going in this class. (He was recruited to run the offense but his speed/athleticism are pluses for being able to defend)

    Lee: No free information available. His JUCO stats showed he was a high volume 3 point shooter and State was losing their lone 3 point shooter to graduation. He was recruited for his offense.

    Turner: No free information available. I’d compare how he plays defense but that would indicate he actually tried.

    2013
    Warren: Sometimes it can look like Warren is coasting, but he has a great skill set. A wing with a thick strong body, Warren can really shoot it from deep and knows how to create for himself despite not being a superior athlete for the position. He’s also starting to develop a mid-range game and he has great touch on his pull-ups and floaters. (Sounds like offense to me)

    Purvis: One of the best guards in the 2012 class, Purvis is a guy that can play both lead guard and scoring guard. Currently classified as a point guard, Purvis has terrific vision and is a talented passer. With that said, he’s a high-level scorer as well, that can put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. His end-to-end speed and athleticism is what stands out the most and he’s a terrific finisher once near the rim. (Sounds like offense to me but his speed/athleticism would be necessary for a good defender, just like Barber)

    Lewis: One of the top players in his class in North Carolina. Heady leader who has command of his team. Will distribute the basketball and has superior court vision. Jumper improves each season. Size, defensive ability are long term factors. However, Lewis continues to elevate his play. No matter the talent level on the floor, he plays a big role and incorporates his teammates into the game. Gifted young guard. (Sounds like offense to me)

    You mention several times about expecting players to become good defensive players. How? Osmosis? If players don’t arrive with sound fundamentals then where are they going to learn them from? It has to be from the coaching staff. So the defensive results are a direct reflection of the coaching staff.

    #50448

    Wulfpack
    Participant

    I’ve come to believe it is just not a focus with Gott. I mean I watch Tony Bennett and he’s expending energy on every defensive possession – he lives for it and expects his players to go all out on that end. Now I’m not expecting Gott to suddenly become Bennett, but it would be a step in the right direction to put a little more focus there. There were critical junctures in big games this year when we just disappeared defensively. Personnel should be better next year overall. But make no mistake TJ was a force on that end as well this year. Probably good for four to eight easy ones with his play alone.

    #50449

    Pack85EE
    Participant

    Jiga, I didn’t say I disagreed with you. But you yourself say the personnel has better at NCSU than at Bama. That feeds into my point that as the quality of players improve, chances are both curves go up. If his talent at Bama was less that what we have had, he did pretty damn good. Maybe I’m wrong but I think all would agree that our players the last 3 years have not equaled Final Four quality, or even Duke and UNC quality. But they are good and getting better.
    If he can get to the point year after year where he has players = to the boys in blue, logic says defense and offense will be better. But as good as FF teams?, that remains to be seen.

    And I do agree with you that your chart clearly shows he develops better offenses than defenses. Would love to see a move (Staff change?) to change that.

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