Defense is also part of the game. Battle wasn't good at it. I think we need to wait and see how the guys we have fit together on both ends of the floor. Watching how Hawkins plays- he would have helped Battle a lot on offense. Cooper couldn't beat his man on the drive- too slow. So he didn't draw the defense and everyone held to their man. Payne didn't get much help from the guards- let's see if he gets fed better this year. Will the guards help Garcia get better looks as well?Ya, all these analysts who list him as one of the top transfers from a Big Ten team...what are they thinking? Why don't they agree with you?
The Gophers had trouble scoring as a team. Battle was the guy expected to score for them. He averaged 12.4 ppg. The other team's coach game planned to stop Battle first. They put their best perimeter defender on him. Our coach ran no actions to help Battle...to put him in a position through screens or movement to get him the open looks in spots on the floor where Battle was most effective. So Battle was taking random shots he couldn't make in an attempt to fulfill his responsibility of scoring for the team. That's what you saw.
Now, they will game plan for Christie or Mitchell or Carrington or somebody else...who ever our best perimeter scoring threat is gonna be? And that group will try to avg 12.4 plus Cooper's 9.8 with the other team's best defender game planned to take away whatever it is we do well.
If Steph Curry is on the floor does the defense play different? Are the Timberwolves more of a threat to the defense with Ant on the floor? Does the opponent have less to worry about when guys like that are not out there? That's who Battle was for the last place Gophers.
We get rid of Battle and Cooper hogging all the shots and we're gonna score now, boy! We'll move the ball side to side, make 7 passes without any dribbles, set up lob dunks, run back doors, isolate Payne in the post on the block with all our 3 point shooters....it's gonna be great!
We'll run pick and roll on top and put our shooters in the corners. Can't wait. Oh wait, we'll switch to showtime now and with our new guards we are going 7 seconds or less...we will fast break our opponents into submission and then we'll press. Maybe we are better...maybe we are not. But, losing Battle does not make us better.
Battle had a bad year. He is not a bad player.
We have a different team. Let's see what happens.