Most people here know that I am the kind of person who hate whining and always want to seek solution. A lot of us have already penciled us to be in the bottom of the B1G next year, and frankly I like that sentiment. We usually play best when no one gives us any hope, so after calming down I am already thinking of how we can actually be better without Ronnie.
One thought is that we may want to run more set plays rather than a more fluid motion offense. I know it isn't ideal, but with a young team (sadly, again) and without a reliable floor general, this may be our best bet. Here are some suggestions:
1) Against m2m defense, isolate Stephens and Hammons on one side. Either Hammons get a one-on-one opportunity, or Stephens' an open 3 if Hammons get doubled. Let the defense pick their own poison.
2) Pick-and-roll between Bryson and Hammons. It is ridiculous to expect Bryson to be passing like Ronnie, but one thing he can work on over the summer is perfect the P&R with Hammons. Make it his bread-and-butter play. Bryson has shown his fearlessness in taking the ball to the hoop and is a good FT shooter. Now he can't just bull his way to the basket, he should learn to use Hammons as a screen to beat his man, drive hard to the basket and draw Hammons' man to help, then dish it back to Hammons who is rolling to the basket. Just perfect this one play and he'll make himself useful.
3) Set up multiple screens for Stephens like they do for Reggie Miller or Ray Allen. Kendall ran across the baseline to the wing on the opposite side. The defender chasing him will have to fight through multiple screens to prevent Kendall an open 3.
Furthermore, I also thought about how Bryson and PJ Thompson can be an upgrade to Ronnie. The biggest thing is to listen to the coaches, make good basketball decision, keep the TO low, and play superb defense. Do those things and we have a chance. I don't expect them to have fancy passes or superb foot speed to break down the defense. But just do the simple things well and I'll be happy.
Really, if Hammons is an upgrade to Matt Howard, and if Kendall can make a leap that makes him in the same conversation like Gordon Hayward, why can't we make some noise at the NCAA like the 2010 Bulldog? (Kendall just needs to find a way to get to the FT line and make a living there; if he can train his body to absorb contact he is unguardable) The bottom line is always about playing like a team. I don't mind some fans giving up hope that the team can do well next year; I just hope the players pick up a "no one is gonna pity us and it's us against the world" attitude and really commit themselves over the off season and believe they can succeed. Coz I believe.