But would Dickerson's impact mattered if Brandon Taylor doesn't hit 4 treys? Or Newbill was absolutely clutch in the last minutes?
I think that really sums up your whole POV here. You want to disregard the defensive end of the court. Would DJ's or Brandon's offensive contributions have even mattered if JD hadn't come in and clogged up the lane to keep us in the that game? It's chicken or the egg. But you seem convinced that only the offense matters here because it's the only thing easily measured on an individual basis.
I'm all for trying out different lineups this year. If we find something that really works which doesn't have Travis in the mix so much? Great! I think we would probably be a really good team if that's the case.
But Jack shot 23% from 3-pt in B10 play last year, even if I agree with you that he's a better offensive player than he showed last year, he still shot the ball terribly last year. That really happened. And it could happen again this year, maybe he's another late bloomer who won't get it until his senior year. Or ever. Lots of guys with potential never pan out.
You seem to have written Ross off as a guy who could potentially breakout, but you're ready to assume Jack is a lock to figure it out this year. And I'm just not so ready to assume those things. If guys step up and prove they're worthy of taking minutes, they will get minutes. But what Ross does is not something we should write off so easily imo.
No, I don't. Both offense and defense are of equal value to me. Please don't assume that I think otherwise.
I also firmly believe scoring (and conversely, stopping scoring) is the single-most important aspect of a team's offense (and conversely, defense). Rebounding, turnovers, fouls, they all factor in, but they can't have as much of an impact on the overall end product. It still comes down to who can score and who cannot score in today's game.
Penn State's offense has been woeful under Chambers. The defense hasn't been much better, but their adjusted KenPom defensive efficiency has outranked their offensive efficiency for each of the past 3 years. The primary cause for the Lions' offense has been terrible shooting. This seems to be universally accepted here, since everyone is pointing that out as a key to the season.
So why isn't anyone analyzing why Penn State's shooting has been poor? Well, for one, Tim Frazier took a great portion of the team's shots and did not convert them at an efficient rate. Then there was Ross Travis, who attempted the fourth most shots on the team, at an even worse effective percentage. Frazier's gone, so his shots need to be distributed evenly to more efficient shooters like Jack, Taylor and Newbill, who all posted 48.0%+ eFG% even with their well known struggles with the 3-ball in conference play. Then there's Travis, who if he takes the same shot volume, is still a terrible shooter. C'mon guys, it's gotta be acknowledged that he's a primary reason for the shooting struggles.
So either he breaks out, which I suggested in my article and don't think it's a farfetched as others, or he takes less shots. Penn State already has one man on the floor that the defense doesn't have to worry about in Dickerson/Moore (although it's not fair to say Julian has no offensive game, but past history suggests that's the safe assumption). Travis doesn't use many possessions when he's on the floor anyway, so how do you decrease his shooting volume? You decrease his playing time.
So when you make that decision, then you move on to how does his absence affect the defense and you try to compensate. With incredible help-side shot blockers in Taylor, Jack and Dickerson, maybe they can get away with it. But it depends greatly on how much Jack/Dickerson can limit their fouling.