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Bayfieldgopher
11-27-2008, 09:21 AM
I have been disappointed with the D of Nolen and Joseph thus far. How a 5-7 guard can have his way with our guards is a concern.

Will they show us and are they capable of some in your face shut down D? Nolen seems to lack the intensity that he showed last year. Maybe he will show up against Woodside and give some hope getting ready for the BT.

tjgopher
11-27-2008, 09:35 AM
I have been disappointed with the D of Nolen and Joseph thus far. How a 5-7 guard can have his way with our guards is a concern.

Will they show us and are they capable of some in your face shut down D? Nolen seems to lack the intensity that he showed last year. Maybe he will show up against Woodside and give some hope getting ready for the BT.

Al Nolen is averaging 2.8 steals per game this year. That ranks #1 in the Big Ten and #11 in the country.

Holy Man
11-27-2008, 09:48 AM
Nolen's stats put him as one of the best defensive point guards in the country, yet what is observed seems so different. It does prove that looks can deceive. I think Mr. Valentine might be a very good player, in the Earl Boykins mold. Boykins probably had fans of opponents thinking their guards could not play defense, either.

shikenjanski
11-27-2008, 09:51 AM
The commentators for the game last night said they don't remember seeing a quicker and more agile point guard in the past several years (when speaking of Valentine for Eastern Wash.).

Mikie S
11-27-2008, 09:54 AM
Al Nolen is averaging 2.8 steals per game this year. That ranks #1 in the Big Ten and #11 in the country.

I'm already on record as saying that Nolen is getting those steals at the cost of playing solid on-the-ball defense. And that was before Mr. Valentine came to town.

Bayfieldgopher
11-27-2008, 10:15 AM
The Illini held Bennie to 14 and 27% FG. He was averaging 18 ppg prior to last night which is nothing to sneeze at.

Steals are good but don't tell the whole story. No doubt Valentine is a good player and we will see a lot more down the road. We will need better D play from our guards.

XMan
11-27-2008, 10:50 AM
I have always been impressed with Nolan's D. I have only been to one game this year, so I can't really comment much on this year, but Al is a tough defensive player.

Drex96
11-27-2008, 11:47 AM
I have been disappointed with the D of Nolen and Joseph thus far. How a 5-7 guard can have his way with our guards is a concern.

Will they show us and are they capable of some in your face shut down D? Nolen seems to lack the intensity that he showed last year. Maybe he will show up against Woodside and give some hope getting ready for the BT.

Before I get into my response, I'm gonna guess that this in one of those posts meant to generate more activity on the board. Okay, game on.

Nolen is the team leader and along with Damian Johnson, the best defensive player on the team. Without Nolen playing "poor defense" this team would be 1 - 4 not 5 - 0.

Watching Nolen play this year, he is doing what he needs to do--game-to-game--to get the team win. Some nights that's score 16 or 18 points, some nights it's get 9 steals and 9 rebounds, other nights it's dish the ball to Colton Iverson so he can get 20 points (same with Blake at CSU). It also includes not trying to fill up a stat sheet like Westbrook (and to a lesser degree, Hoffarber--who, by the way, is playing much better team ball this year).

Also noticing that you don't seem to disappointed in Hoffarber's defense--maybe a little help side from the wings and in the middle might have held Valentine to 20 points instead of 29. Or it could have resulted in one of the other players getting more points since Valentine and Brandon Moore were the only Eagles in double figures (and two of 5 players who scored any points). The fact that Valentine didn't score 40 points was the real story last night and you have both Nolen and Joseph to thank for that.

And I disgree with Mikie's suggestion that Nolen's steals come at the "expense" of playing solid "on-the-ball defense." Huh? How many times have you seen Nolen pick the pocket of a guard, making him think about Nolen instead of his next pass, creating a steal for another Gopher who might actually pay attention to more than just his single defensive assignment?

I suspect that once the rest of this team catches up regarding consistent contributions towards winning the game, Nolen's "defense" will pick up. Until then, as Gopher fans, just be happy for the win/lose record to-date.

Happy Thanksgiving. :rolleyes:

Drex96
11-27-2008, 12:07 PM
I have been disappointed with the D of Nolen and Joseph thus far. How a 5-7 guard can have his way with our guards is a concern.

Will they show us and are they capable of some in your face shut down D? Nolen seems to lack the intensity that he showed last year. Maybe he will show up against Woodside and give some hope getting ready for the BT.

My apologies to bga, but this comment seems suited to this thread...

bga1
Senior Member

I couldn't resist watching a bit of the late night replay of the game after getting home from the Barn. Trent Tucker was saying that Valentine could play anywhere in major college basketball and compete with the best. He claimed that the Gophers will not face a better point guard this season. High praise from Tucker. Apparently, Valentine was already the conference player of the week last week.

Moonlight
11-27-2008, 12:12 PM
Nolan fills the daily bill - very well put, Drex. He's doing it all and probably the only player on the team ready for the BT. I saw Valentine streak past Hoffarber several times last night. We're going to need a lot more than better play from Joseph and Nolen.
From my perspective, last night's was clearly still a practice game and reinforced my assent to Tubby's preseason plan - it is what they need. Despite the lead dropping to 10 points, I never thought the game was in question for a moment. The point of last night's game was to work the ball inside, giving Iverson and Sampson workout time. And to give the guys who are working their way into the lineup some time. Tubby expressed a lot of pleasure in last night's effort and I agree. Valentine had a great game and made a lot of his shots on the fly.
Maybe watching the game on TV deprives you of the view of Nolen's overall importance and command of the game, otherwise I'm just baffled by this perspective.

From the Barn
11-27-2008, 12:39 PM
Westbrook would have been guarding Valentine if he was healthy, and Nolen could have helped out on switches. Nolen got somewhat run ragged, but if he wasn't out there the whole time, who else did we have, Blake?

leftyslefty
11-27-2008, 03:30 PM
to win a game, and the Gophers seem to have the depth make them tough to play against.

Last night our two leading scorers combined for exactly 2 points, and we wion going away scoring 88 points.

I don't know if anyone noticed:confused:but Valentine was HOT! Al didn't have his best game, but it is silly to say he's not a good defender.

Meanwhile, Iverson, Sampson and Bostick had their best games, so we are becoming tougher to get a scouting report on, and that's good.

Best of luck to Mr. Carter, and get back soon!

Bayfieldgopher
11-27-2008, 05:48 PM
Since everyone else has a ton of confidence in Nolen's ability to defend the opposing guards, then I guess I shouldn't be concerned about someone doing 29. Nor Woodside or anyother top guard we will face. Silly me.

tjgopher
11-27-2008, 06:55 PM
I'm already on record as saying that Nolen is getting those steals at the cost of playing solid on-the-ball defense. And that was before Mr. Valentine came to town.

I couldn't disagree more. Nolen is a great on-ball defender. He is an all-out, in-your-face, on-ball defender that no opposing guard is going to look forward to playing against. I think his only weakness defensively is he - at times - gets beat off the dribble because he is actually TOO aggressive on the ball. Maybe that's what you mean by not solid, but I like the aggressive approach.

CollegeBBallFan
11-28-2008, 01:46 PM
It's called team defense for a reason. The rotation was terrible when Al went for the steal which is probably first on his agenda. I also agree that Valentine had a HOT night, but his team lost. I remember a quote (mostly) from Adoloph Rupp about Pistol Pete Maravich. Let him get his points-we'll beat the rest of the team. Pete usually scored in the 40s - for you youngsters. Rupp usually won, too.

Loyola recently tried the other approach on Curry and Davidson. Loyola lost and was criticized for unsportsmanship(?).

From the Barn
11-28-2008, 02:00 PM
Valentine was 9-21 from the floor. It isn't like he made every shot he took.

MNSnowman
11-28-2008, 11:11 PM
Loyola recently tried the other approach on Curry and Davidson. Loyola lost and was criticized for unsportsmanship(?).Actually, I thought Loyola's coach was criticized for persistence in the face of stupidity ... while Curry would just stand back and loll about in the back-court with two defenders on him, the balance of Davidson's team played four on three and scored pretty much at will.

One would think the coach would say to his team "okay, guys, this isn't working -- let's go to Plan B." Never did.