Evening with Pike today

Yeah Baby

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Not everything..he also said that Cliff and Agee were his best options at the 5…By far.

He also said last year’s team was his best. I’d argue that regardless of the number of wins vs. ranked teams, both of his prior two year’s teams were better than last year’s team.
We beat 4 ranked teams in a row. I hope we can do that again some day. During that stretch it was our best team since 1976 with no disrespect to any of our former players.
 

RUChoppin

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Cliff played 30+ minutes in 11 of the last 13 games. One was the Penn State game with the two early fouls, the other was the Illinois game that we were up big. And he still played 28 in that game. He didn't foul out of any games and the last time he even had four fouls was January. I'm knocking on wood but I'm not too worried about his ability to stay on the floor.

I think the only games where his minutes were really limited by foul trouble were probably DePaul (19 min, 4 PF... 2nd foul with 8min to go in 1st, 4th foul with 15 to go in 2nd) and Nebraska (17 min, 3 PF.... 2 PF in the first 6 min, but we were blowing them out by halftime).

He's been very good about staying out of foul trouble, thankfully.
 

PSAL_Hoops

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We beat 4 ranked teams in a row. I hope we can do that again some day. During that stretch it was our best team since 1976 with no disrespect to any of our former players.
Yes - that was great. And we also lost 3 games in a row to DePaul, Lafayette and UMass (after needing OT to get past Lehigh) not long after Pike raved about nearly every player on our roster. If everything he said was accurate, that simply doesn’t happen. He deserves all the credit in the world for turning the season around and he’s a great coach. That doesn’t change the fact that he oversold how good our team was collectively last year pre-season.
 
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PSAL_Hoops

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The bottom line is based on what he said pre-season nobody would’ve signed up for First Four.
 

Eagleton96

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Go play last year’s pre-season clips again. He made it seem like the team would be competing for the National Championship. Like every single player we had was a star. Then right when the season started we lost to Lafayette. I love Pike, and he’s been a fantastic coach but anyone who doesn’t realize after last year that his pre-season style is to oversell his team is just in denial. I’m not criticizing him - so please don’t put those words in my mouth here. I’m simply saying that nothing he says pre season is going to influence my outlook for the team.
We had our best ever finish in the B1G. So objectively, when Pike said that this was he best team ever, he wasn't wrong. Looking at the 3 game stretch of losses is cherry picking to support a conclusion. Look at the whole season.

Losing Young and Mathis and Johnson most people were pretty low on this team last year. Pike and Carino and others raised expectations pre-season. There were ups and downs, but again, in the END, they weren't wrong.
 
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kcg88

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We had our best ever finish in the B1G. So objectively, when Pike said that this was he best team ever, he wasn't wrong. Looking at the 3 game stretch of losses is cherry picking to support a conclusion. Look at the whole season.

Losing Young and Mathis most people were pretty low on this team last year. Pike and Carino and others raised expectations pre-season. There were ups and downs, but again, in the END, they weren't wrong.
Looking at the whole season does not support this argument.
 
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RUsojo

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Can Reiber defend, and does he have the conditioning to play 20+ minutes? That's the big question. I like his offensive game a lot but Pikiell had to put Cliff back in sooner than he wanted to (imo) a bunch of times last year because Agee and/or Reiber were getting scored on every time down the floor.
I have same question on Reiber but reality is in this conference he can probably get by every game at minimum, save one or two opponents.

This is not the big 12, ACC, pac 12 where that would be a problem
 

Eagleton96

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Looking at the whole season does not support this argument.
Which argument?

I think it's fine to say that the previous year (20/21) was the best team or even the year before. Reasonable arguments can be made on either side. But I do think it's not being fair to Pike or just generally being accurate to conclude that Pike was just blowing smoke preseason last year. Before Pike started hyping, most people thought last year would be a big drop off. It wasn't. We had our best ever finish in the B1G.
 

PSAL_Hoops

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We had our best ever finish in the B1G. So objectively, when Pike said that this was he best team ever, he wasn't wrong. Looking at the 3 game stretch of losses is cherry picking to support a conclusion. Look at the whole season.

Losing Young and Mathis most people were pretty low on this team last year. Pike and Carino and others raised expectations pre-season. There were ups and downs, but again, in the END, they weren't wrong.

Yes - it is cherry picking. That’s why it was a direct response to another post cherry picking on the other side -taking the 4 games in a row that we won against ranked teams and using those as the defining basis for how good the team was. Neither can be looked at in isolation.

Again - the bottom line is if you go back and replay the pre-season presser, nobody would sign up for a one and done outcome in the First Four after listening to it.
 

PSAL_Hoops

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Which argument?

I think it's fine to say that the previous year (20/21) was the best team or even the year before. Reasonable arguments can be made on either side. But I do think it's not being fair to Pike or just generally being accurate to conclude that Pike was just blowing smoke preseason last year. Before Pike started hyping, most people thought last year would be a big drop off. It wasn't. We had our best ever finish in the B1G.
I don’t know what to tell you here. Perhaps you should go back and listen to those pressers again.

The emphasis at the time was all about how Hyatt and the utility players were going to step up and surprise everyone. That didn’t happen. Our bench barely played - it was his veterans who carried us. Also - he didn’t just say it could end up being his best team ever - he doubled down on how special the team was going to be. Again, I’m not saying this as criticism. I will no longer take issue either way if his pre-season commentary lines up with the season. But I will never again set my expectations based on it.

Honest question - If you were to believe what he was saying at this time last year, would you have projected we’d be at least a fringe top 25 team? I can’t see how you could say no. The top 32 teams are seeded 1-8 not First 4.
 
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rufeelinit

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Was there any discussion about physical conditioning and guys getting bigger? Reiber for one would benefit from another 10-15 pounds of muscle. Mag too.
 
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babbs09

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If Oskar actually is really going to make a significant contribution this year, that would be a nice extra boost. He can shoot the 3 and we have heard how athletic he supposedly is even though that part hasn't translated into games.

Mag comments expected. He is oozing with potential. If he can just stay healthy, he is the break out player this year.

Dean THREEIBER ready to be our 3 point sniper. Interesting Pike mentioned him playing some 4. If Pike is legitimately hyping Oskar, his minutes should be at the 4. Hyatt showed last year he was much better at the 4 and struggled at the 3. Mag can play some 4 with Caleb eating up minutes at the 3. It'll be interesting to see how Pike divides up these minutes.

Miller's highlights from HS showed nice finishing with both hands around the bucket. I'd like to see him be able to penetrate and finish around the rim or drive and dish. If he still can't shoot the 3, that's OK for now if he can make something happen off the dribble. He has the quickness and we need players who can drive

Dean THREEIBER? Well thats a thing now. Well done.
 

kcg88

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If the argument is to "look at the whole season" then...

Overall adjusted efficiency margin:

2020: +17.7
2021: +17.5
2022: +10.8

Big Ten only efficiency margin:

2020: +3.0
2021: -0.9
2022: +0.7

2020 was our best team. Our Big Ten record and finish were helped by going 6-2 in games decided by three points or fewer. Some part of that is luck.
 

RUChoppin

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I don’t know what to tell you here. Perhaps you should go back and listen to those pressers again.

The emphasis at the time was all about how Hyatt and the utility players were going to step up and surprise everyone. That didn’t happen. Our bench barely played - it was his veterans who carried us. Also - he didn’t just say it could end up being his best team ever - he doubled down on how special the team was going to be. Again, I’m not saying this as criticism. I will no longer take issue either way if his pre-season commentary lines up with the season. But I will never again set my expectations based on it.

Honest question - If you were to believe what he was saying at this time last year, would you have projected we’d be at least a fringe top 25 team? I can’t see how you could say no. The top 32 teams are seeded 1-8 not First 4.

I don't think anyone (most of all Pike) expected the first 6 games to see Baker shooting 24/60 (10/32 3P), McConnell shooting 8/37 (0/10 3P), and Mulcahy 17/52 (3/15 3P). That's a combined 49/149 (.329) FG and 13/57 (.228) 3P from three veterans.

You really don't need to look down the bench toward the utility players to see why we struggled out of the gate - 60% of our starters kicked off the year in a 6-game slump that saw us go 3-3 with an OT win over Lehigh. If Baker/McConnell/Mulcahy shot their season averages at the start of the year, we finish the season 21-10 for our best record in 40 years.
 

Eagleton96

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I don’t know what to tell you here. Perhaps you should go back and listen to those pressers again.

The emphasis at the time was all about how Hyatt and the utility players were going to step up and surprise everyone. That didn’t happen. Our bench barely played - it was his veterans who carried us. Also - he didn’t just say it could end up being his best team ever - he doubled down on how special the team was going to be. Again, I’m not saying this as criticism. I will no longer take issue either way if his pre-season commentary lines up with the season. But I will never again set my expectations based on it.

Honest question - If you were to believe what he was saying at this time last year, would you have projected we’d be at least a fringe top 25 team? I can’t see how you could say no. The top 32 teams are seeded 1-8 not First 4.
We were a win or two from being fringe top 25. That's how the cookie crumbles. We were in the ballpark of the level of preseason hype Pike was delivering. You may be right on the specifics about Pike being wrong on specific utility players. I remember the hype being about PM mostly...and we saw that in flashes. So in terms of what was accomplished vs. the Pike hype...let's put it this way. The gap between Pike's hype and the actual season results was smaller than the gap between what most fans and prognosticators were saying about the team (prior to Pike's hype) and what was actually accomplished. No coach or person is a seer. So I'd say how the team did was close enough to Pike's preseason prognostications that it falls within the normal margin of error. And it actually increased my trust in him because he was more right than the rest of the self appointed experts who were predicting a very down year.
 

rudad02

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I was really impressed as usual by the love he showed for Rutgers in general, not just the basketball program, and the fact that his daughter will be attending RU this year as well as the son who I think he said will be a senior.
Seen & spoken with him at a Rutgers field hockey game as well as at the send off for women's soccer to the final four. A Rutgers guy.
 

Yeah Baby

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Yes - that was great. And we also lost 3 games in a row to DePaul, Lafayette and UMass (after needing OT to get past Lehigh) not long after Pike raved about nearly every player on our roster. If everything he said was accurate, that simply doesn’t happen. He deserves all the credit in the world for turning the season around and he’s a great coach. That doesn’t change the fact that he oversold how good our team was collectively last year pre-season.
Funny thing when the ball goes in like Purdue and Indiana on top of the 4 other ranked wins in a row you win and when it doesn’t or the other team makes great shots you lose. We had a shaky start but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t his best team or a great season. I don’t get why you are bothered by a guy who is positive all of the time. I think it’s great to be positive. I am a believer that positive thinking and hard work yield positive results while negative thinking and finger pointing yields Poor results.
 

LotusAggressor

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- He seems legitimately high on Palmquist. Consistently mentioned him several times in several contexts without being prompted.

-expects big things from Mag. Says he is the most improved player this year.

-called Dean Reiber now a premier 3 point shooter, and has in fact confirmed that Dean will play the 4 and 5. Specifically noted that he couldn't take Ron's minutes last year. So some vindication for some of us there as of now at least.

-Truly believes players get better here and he was prepared for Ron and Geo to leave. Although it won't be easy, he has guys who develop.

-Jalen Miller is already one of the best defenders on the team, but apparently we'd be blown away by how much better he's gotten on offense.

Anyone else who was on the call, add what you remember. A bit of a mess up on the part of the admin with signing in on weber, buy the call worked fine. Was a great thing for them to do. Very good content. Jerry Recco was awesome as usual.
It's great to have an RU basketball coach that puts an emphasis on players developing and getting better. Let's see it on the court.
 

Loyal_2RU

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Yes - it is cherry picking. That’s why it was a direct response to another post cherry picking on the other side -taking the 4 games in a row that we won against ranked teams and using those as the defining basis for how good the team was. Neither can be looked at in isolation.

Again - the bottom line is if you go back and replay the pre-season presser, nobody would sign up for a one and done outcome in the First Four after listening to it.
How many unranked teams have ever beaten four ranked teams in a row?

That is an extraordinary feat that is unprecedented. Pointing it out cannot legitimately be called cherry picking. But pointing out three early season losses as the lineup was taking shape, not that is some 🍒 picking there.
 

mildone

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Looking at the whole season does not support this argument.
Disagree. I think, looking at the whole season, that last year's team was better than the prior year's team.

Of course, "best team" is entirely subjective. There is no definitive right or wrong answer. And both teams were inconsistent.
 

mildone

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Again - the bottom line is if you go back and replay the pre-season presser, nobody would sign up for a one and done outcome in the First Four after listening to it.
Disagree about this as well. RU MBB fans who have formed an expectation to be in the NCAAs every season, let alone go deep into the tournament, are either very new fans or else they have an overinflated view of where the program is at. Doesn't matter what Pike said during any press conferences.

At the start of last season, I would've totally signed up for just getting into the tournament. Same the prior two years. Same this year. Would be great if we do better. But wishing and expecting are two different things. And all our opponents are working hard to improve and win, just like us.

The program has made huge strides under Pike. He's done an excellent job, IMO. But there's still plenty of room to improve. Consistency and depth can be improved. And I think they are slowly improving. But there will be peaks and valleys. Progress in sports is very rarely a straight upwards line.
 

PSAL_Hoops

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How many unranked teams have ever beaten four ranked teams in a row?

That is an extraordinary feat that is unprecedented. Pointing it out cannot legitimately be called cherry picking. But pointing out three early season losses as the lineup was taking shape, not that is some 🍒 picking there.
Okay - I’ll flip it again. How many NCAA caliber At Large teams in CB history have a 3 game losing streak that includes multiple opponents like Lafayette and UMass? My guess is not many. I’m not singling that out. I’m trying to say you have to think about both.
 
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BillyC80

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Great info from everyone on the call- sorry I spaced out on this. #3 stands out to me. Did he mention any specific reasons he thinks that we'll be a better rebounding team?
Regarding rebounding, Pike started by saying we “underachieved” in that area last year. He said Mag is an outstanding “block out” guy, as is Oscar, and that Paul and Caleb are elite rebounders from the guard position.

He said Cam has good size and strength as does Woolfolk and Hyatt (who he said will play more minutes). I think he mentioned Dean as well. He said something to the effect that he was always big on being a rebounding team and that he’s re-emphasizing that.
 

BillyC80

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Can Reiber defend, and does he have the conditioning to play 20+ minutes? That's the big question. I like his offensive game a lot but Pikiell had to put Cliff back in sooner than he wanted to (imo) a bunch of times last year because Agee and/or Reiber were getting scored on every time down the floor.
Reiber’s D reminds me of Paul’s. He’s a good help defender with sneaky quick hands for a big guy, leading to deflections and blocks. Agree he needs to work on his stamina and lateral movement.
 

Greene Rice FIG

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I don't think anyone (most of all Pike) expected the first 6 games to see Baker shooting 24/60 (10/32 3P), McConnell shooting 8/37 (0/10 3P), and Mulcahy 17/52 (3/15 3P). That's a combined 49/149 (.329) FG and 13/57 (.228) 3P from three veterans.

You really don't need to look down the bench toward the utility players to see why we struggled out of the gate - 60% of our starters kicked off the year in a 6-game slump that saw us go 3-3 with an OT win over Lehigh. If Baker/McConnell/Mulcahy shot their season averages at the start of the year, we finish the season 21-10 for our best record in 40 years.
I think the bigger surprise based on what he was saying was that Agee, Hyatt and Jones were unplayable.
 

Mr Magoo

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How many unranked teams have ever beaten four ranked teams in a row?

That is an extraordinary feat that is unprecedented. Pointing it out cannot legitimately be called cherry picking. But pointing out three early season losses as the lineup was taking shape, not that is some 🍒 picking there.
The fact that we were unranked is actually part of the argument. Last year’s team was unranked whereas the prior year’s team got up to number 12, I believe. They also won a game in the tournament and should have beaten an eventual final 4 team in the tournament, while last year’s team lost in the play-in.….and the 20-11 team with Myles and Yeboah was even better, IMO.
 
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BillyC80

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Disagree. I think, looking at the whole season, that last year's team was better than the prior year's team.

Of course, "best team" is entirely subjective. There is no definitive right or wrong answer. And both teams were inconsistent.
Agree with this. Let’s also think of what Pike must have been seeing in practice before the season began: Cliff, Ron, Geo, Caleb and Paul — all outstanding returning starters, plus Dean knocking down threes, Jalen’s in your face D, a confident and athletic Hyatt, with Mag bringing his intensity and athleticism as well. And I’m sure Oskar and Jaden were knocking down shots. So there was a lot to like when he made that statement.
 

PSAL_Hoops

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Maybe so 3 people can be happy Pike should say we have no talent and will lose a lot of games from now on. I mean every coach does that right?😂
Nobody is complaining about Pike. Some of us simply said we are not changing our own expectations for the season based on Pike’s current optimism about the vast improvements of role players from last year’s roster.

But that’s not a complaint. I’ll be just as happy being surprised if Miller turns out to be an offensive force. Those of you who feel like buying in now to this pre season hype can go into the season expecting Miller to be an 8 ppg contributor or whatever. To each his own. I bought in last year and it made the Lafayette loss feel even worse. So I’m not going there this year. That’s all.
 

PSAL_Hoops

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Last years team finished tied for fourth place in the Big Ten. To me thats the deal breaker in making them the best team Pike has had.
That part is besides the point. We were close to a bubble team all 3 years, ok? We were never a top 8 seed so the difference between 9-11 is splitting hairs anyway. You want to call 2021-22 the best team ever - fine.

Regardless, Pike raved about quite a few guys pre-season last season who didn’t turn out to be major contributors. Lots of coaches do this. Im not complaining but rather putting his comments in perspective. The most meaningful comment was what he said about Dean playing the 4. He’s probably wouldnt go public with that statement the way he did if it wasn’t in the cards.
 

Scarlet83

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It's great to have an RU basketball coach that puts an emphasis on players developing and getting better. Let's see it on the court.
It IS GREAT to have a positive coach that emphasizes player development, extra hustle and team cohesion.

You say, “Let’s see it on the court.” We have already seen it on the court. EVERY season Pike has been here we have seen it on the court. That is Pike’s secret sauce and it will continue.