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Some Thoughts on Jordan Hamilton vs. OU

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First off, I wanted to address Fran Fran's frothing of the mouth about Jordan Hamilton.

I don't think he's watched Texas play more than a handful of times so he doesn't understand the problems our team has with scoring the ball in the halfcourt. Yes, Jordan shoots a lot, but in the context of lacking efficient scorers or or 60% foul shooters, I can't really blame Hamilton for playing aggressive. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, because it's not like Hamilton is stealing shots from Blanks, Mays, or Wright.

As for Hamilton never passing the ball it's simply not true. Jordan had two post entries right off the bat in the second half of this game, one resulted in a weak charge call on a lay in by Gary Johnson, the other was a drawn foul on an entry pass to Pittman.

Jordan also had a nice dime to James for an easy layup that Damion blew. And of course he had the early first half dime for the 3 point play to Gary Johnson. In reality, JH should have finished with four or five assists, which would have made the boxscore crowd much happier.

On shot selection, I'm going to offer a counterpoint to the thought that Jordan's 3-15 was as drastically detrimental to the team as some are claiming. Look, I get that 3-15 is pretty bad, but it wasn't like all 15 were bad shots. Not even close. I would suggest that the vast majority were better than the average shot this team gets in any given halfcourt possession. And more than 50% of the shots Jordan took led to points.

How?

Well, there were five driving layups or missed floaters that resulted in put-backs or tip ins from our bigs because the defense was collapsed by Hamilton's penetration and OU's smallish frontcourt couldn't block out after helping to the ball. It's a pseudo-assist or entry pass because it's an effective way to get the ball in the hands of the big men. At best, when shots are falling you have a chance at an 11-15 shooting night from the team's best scorer with minimal downside. These penetration plays are one's that Jordan consistently makes because he's the only player on our team, other than Bradley, that defenses have to respect beyond the arc. Unlike Bradley though, Jordan has the willingness to drive to the rack.

Despite Fran's uninformed carping over JH's shot selection, the only bad shots he had were a bad 3 in transition late in the second half and his first 3 of the game. All of his other shots were fine especially in the context of how crappy the rest of the team was playing with the exception of Bradley. I've discussed the driving shots, but any open 3 Jordan gets on a kickout is a good shot for us. I encourage everyone to go back and watch the game and see which shots you thought were bad ones.

Again, not a good shooting night, but the team was something like +15 when JH was on the floor. Did Jordan play well? No. But you'd be crazy to think he didn't help us offensively on Saturday.

As for Jordan's ability/effort to play defense, it's horrible. It's borderline comical how lost he looks out there. The fact of the matter is that we must find a way to hide him defensively because he has to be on the floor on offense alongside Bradley if we want any kind of a chance at an interior game. Brown is a possible solution if he gets it together mentally, but until then, Hamilton has to keep getting 15 attempts and playing 25 minutes, or you can kiss our post up game goodbye.

There are no other options.

Thoughts are appreciated. Thoughts without cussing a blue streak and we'll refrain from putting you on HenryJames' email list.