some chatter from mike and d'gordon ...

Discussion related to the K-State men's basketball team
tmcats
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some chatter from mike and d'gordon ...

Post by tmcats » May 8th, 2020, 9:32 am

May 8, 2020
By Austin Siegel

During an offseason when so much is uncertain, it makes sense that Mike McGuirl and DaJuan Gordon don't even agree on who has the better Air Jordan collection or video game skills.

McGuirl and Gordon spoke to the media this week about staying focused on hoops, while social distancing and what next season could have in store for the Wildcats.

Sneakers and NBA2K were also discussed.

"Talking about Jordans," McGuirl said. "I would like to say that my Air Jordan collection is much better than DaJuan's."

Returning Talent

It's no secret that K-State will look to their freshman and sophomore class to play a major role in 2019-20, but the importance of the returning Wildcats can't be discounted.

The only senior on next year's squad, McGuirl will be in a position to build on a season in which his shooting improved dramatically. Dialing in from distance at a .398 clip, McGuirl led K-State in three-point percentage despite never finishing among the top five Wildcats in that category before last season.

"Me being the only senior, I will be a leader, but we have a lot of good, young guys," McGuirl said. "DaJuan and same with Montavious [Murphy] and Antonio [Gordon]. They've been here for a year. They know really what it's going to take."

Gordon was a standout from Bruce Weber's 2019-20 freshman class, finishing third on K-State in minutes while making an immediate impact on the defensive end of the floor.

Put on your basketball nerd glasses and take a look at these advanced defensive stats.

Gordon finished his freshman season in Manhattan third on the Wildcats in steal percentage and defensive box plus/minus, which estimates how many defensive points per 100 possessions a player was responsible for over an average player.

"What I learned most about myself last year is I can play under pressure against any big competition," Gordon said. "I just have to be patient and keep working and wait my turn. The biggest challenge is coming in next year and taking a bigger role, even though I don't think it's a challenge because I've taken that role before."

Meeting the New Guys

When you've got the nation's 14th-ranked recruiting class (Rivals.com) headed to Manhattan, it's easy to feel good about some of the pieces arriving in purple next season.

"I know we have a lot of good, young talent coming in, and older talent as Rudi [Rueadale Williams] is coming in as a junior. We have a lot of good players coming in, a lot of good kids, and we've all been in group chat, text and Snapchat," McGuirl said. "We're all talking, getting along really well and getting to know each other as much as we can through all of this."

Five freshmen in the newest class will give Weber a young core to build around as Nijel Pack, Davion Bradford, Selton Miguel, Luke Kasubke and Seryee Lewis arrive in Manhattan.

"My senior year I played against [Lewis] before he moved schools," Gordon said. "We're both from Chicago. Just growing up playing against him and getting to know him on the court, going to basketball games with him…me knowing Seryee is pretty cool."

Rudi Williams and Carlton Linguard will give the Wildcats a pair of experienced JUCO players alongside UTEP transfer Kaosi Ezeagu.

Putting the Puzzle Together

Coming off a disappointing 2019-20 season, K-State's roster next season will feature a combined 55 starts at the Division I level (Ezeagu started seven games at UTEP).

"No pressure at all. A lot of motivation. A lot to prove," McGuirl said. "I mean, I'm not too worried about having a whole new team and people leaving. People have to do what they have to do, but I'm really happy with what we've got, and I couldn't be more happy, more excited."

Putting together a starting five and rotations that give K-State a chance to compete in conference play will be one of the biggest storylines to watch heading into next season.

With opportunities for starting minute available at point guard and in the front court, K-State fans won't need to wait long for a look at this highly-touted recruiting class in action.

Just don't expect the returning Wildcats to sit back and let the new guys have all the fun.

"I don't think we want to put [last year] in the past. It just wasn't our best year," Gordon said. "When the hard times come, that can motivate us to keep pushing and to know that we don't want to have a losing season again, to keep pushing and to know we want to win."
"There ain't anybody stoppin' our ass!" CK

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Post by pulitzerdave » May 8th, 2020, 10:29 am

I like Gordon's attitude. I'm just not sold yet on his overall ability. He'll have to do much, much more this season to convince me. I think we recruited better players.

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Post by katlander » May 8th, 2020, 2:23 pm

I found McGuirl's comments interesting regarding his approval of our younger guys both at basketball and personal levels. You get the feeling he thinks the new guys are better people than those who are leaving.
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tmcats (May 8th, 2020, 3:00 pm) • stlcatfan (May 8th, 2020, 3:31 pm)

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Post by ToledoCat#3 » May 8th, 2020, 4:12 pm

I know it makes no diff about McGuirl's playing ability, and I'll cheer him on regardless, but I sure hope he changes his hair style before next season. ;)

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Post by Sir Ocelot » May 8th, 2020, 4:49 pm

I would have agreed with you 20 years ago when I had a nice head of hair.

Now that mine is just about gone, I want the young fellows to enjoy it all they can while they still have it.
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Quietstorm5 (May 8th, 2020, 7:53 pm)

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Post by Highway26north » May 8th, 2020, 9:07 pm

pulitzerdave wrote:
May 8th, 2020, 10:29 am
I like Gordon's attitude. I'm just not sold yet on his overall ability. He'll have to do much, much more this season to convince me. I think we recruited better players.
Respectfully, I think you're wrong about Gordon's ability. I think he performed at a good level for a freshman this past year in an environment where there was essentially no consistent take-charge person in the classes above him. His inexperience showed, esp in getting himself into positions of no return and no good options. I'd guess that will be corrected going forward. His willingness to take charge was obvious.
I think he'll take a big leap next year.
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tmcats (May 9th, 2020, 9:39 am) • stlcatfan (May 9th, 2020, 8:28 pm)

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Post by KSUbetcha » May 9th, 2020, 7:35 pm

I think a player can improve greatly from one season to thr next. Gordon, If he's getting in the gym this summer ( when gyms open up) and puts in the work to improve, he'll get better. If he takes on more of a leadership role, then the team will improve. That's what the team missed from having Wade, Brown, and Stokes... We often had 2 or more of these guys on the floor at a time. That's what made the difference in our Big 12 title run.

Our team is still young, but with the new guys we've got coming in, we'll be better, without a doubt.
Last edited by KSUbetcha on May 10th, 2020, 9:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by stlcatfan » May 9th, 2020, 8:31 pm

KSUbetcha wrote:
May 9th, 2020, 7:35 pm
Ii think a player can improve greatly from one season to thr next. Gordon, If he's getting in the gym this summer ( when gyms open up) and puts in the work to improve, he'll get better. If he takes on more of a leadership role, then the team will improve. That's what the team missed frrom having Wade, Brown, and Stokes... We often had 2 or more of these guys on the floor at a time. That's what made the difference in our Big 12 title run.

Our team is still young, but with the new guys we've got coming in, we'll be better, without a doubt.
I like Gordon's attitude and work ethic. He is always trying to make himself a better player and leader. I think that will pay dividends as soon as next season, even though he will be only a sophomore.
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Post by tmcats » May 10th, 2020, 10:20 am

d'gordon's leadership coupled with the absence of a sulking cartier diarra will be a meaningful improvement for weber's squad.
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Post by pulitzerdave » May 11th, 2020, 10:54 am

D. Gordon's freshman year was a disappointment. There was enough preseason hype to believe that he would be slotted into the starting lineup, and provide much needed scoring. It didn't happen. Many freshmen in past years have made more significant contributions to the team.

My assessment of his freshman year -

Getting steals does not mean you are a good defensive player. Steals are only one part of playing good defense. Putting too much emphasis on overplaying your man can actually lead to worse things. Gordon was often rubbed off of screens and caught chasing his man to the basket. I saw it numerous times. I'm not saying he can't be a good defensive player in the future, but he's far from that now.

For a guy who plays the 2 position, his ball handing is a major weakness. In fact, it was so bad at times, I couldn't believe that he was a 4-star recruit. Being able to dribble effectively with BOTH hands, and being able to move swiftly while dribbling with the ability to change directions is essential for great players. There are no exceptions. Unless Gordon improves drastically in this area, he will continue to be primarily a 3-point shooter, which is not the role a player with his athleticism should fill.

He will obviously have to get stronger. This is one area where I expect him to improve. He was "swallowed up" often and easily when he tried to penetrate the lane and score at the rim. Sometimes he got there, but most of the time it appeared to be a struggle. Much of the struggle had to do with his poor ball handling and lack of quickness with the ball. Getting to the rim is the result of "opportunity drives". By that I mean taking advantage of certain times in a game where there is an advantage gained. That comes with experience. Gordon often "forced" drives, trying to beat his man who was in a great position to guard. Offensive basketball is all about creating advantages through screens, movement and getting defenders off balance.

Into mid-season, there was much discussion as to Gordon's potential as a player, and what he may be able to achieve past his college years. Gor, for one, surmised that he could be a good player, but not a great player. That's where I am at this point. And maybe that will be good enough to fill a role with this future team.

Can he be a leader? Probably. Can he star on a team with improved talent? I'm not so sure.

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