Blog Entry

Dear Gary (on how UT could use Terrence Oglesby)

Posted on: January 8, 2009 3:14 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2009 3:23 pm

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Here's Thursday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Terrence Oglesby, a Tennessee native as you know, sure could help (Tennessee) right now. But we needed more athletes. ... Yeah right.

-- Lee

As I watched the Vols miss 22 of 28 3-point attempts last night in a loss to Gonzaga -- and noted that they are shooting 31 percent from beyond the arc this season, which ranks 265th nationally -- I started wondering, over late drinks with some writers in Knoxville, why we all assumed that losing JaJuan Smith and Chris Lofton wouldn't hurt as much as it's hurting. Say what you want about Smith and Lofton, but those dudes could shoot; both made 38 percent of their 3-point attempts last season, and nobody on this roster comes close to approaching those numbers.

So clearly, Tennessee could use a shooter.

And man, Terrence Oglesby really would be nice.

He's the Clemson sophomore from Cleveland, Tenn. -- about 80 miles from Knoxville -- who is averaging 13.5 points for the 12th-ranked Tigers. More important, he's shooting 42.0 percent from 3-point range. Like Smith and Lofton, that dude can shoot. So I'm with you, Lee. Tennessee would've been wise to pursue the in-state product more seriously. But in fairness, Oglesby was not a highly regarded talent on the national level, and most every high-major program passed on him similarly to how most every high-level program passed on Stephen Curry.

Was it a mistake?

Sure, in hindsight.

But I don't remember anybody criticizing the recruiting decision when it happened, which is why it's difficult to criticize UT for missing on Oglesby just like it's difficult to criticize Duke and North Carolina for missing on Curry. That said, why is it always shooters who get overlooked, whether it's Oglesby, Curry or former Florida Gator Lee Humphrey?

(Humphrey was also from Tennessee, it's worth noting.)

What's wrong with having shooters, even if they can't necessarily run and dunk?

With 13 scholarships available, I'll never understand why one or two can't be used on a kid who can just flat-out bury an open jumper. There's a place for a guy like that on every team, and yet so many teams often find themselves with zero capable shooters, and Tennessee is among those this season, save the possible exception of Cameron Tatum.


Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: January 15, 2009 2:22 pm

Dear Gary (on how UT could use Terrence Oglesby)

I'm sure you think PUKE I mean duke should be #1  instead of PITT, but if you haven't noticed yet, PITT is undeafeated.

Hence they will stay there until they are beaten. Just like N.C. did.  Duke will probably get to #1 sometime during the season so don't lose

hope. They will also get beat in the tourney before they reach the elite 8, as always.  Be a man and grin and bear it, and please don't come back with some kind of reply about how bad U.K. is. We know how we're playing.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2009 11:15 pm

Dear Gary (on how UT could use Terrence Oglesby)

Great point pittbaster.  Pittsburgh is annually in the top-10 only to lose before they reach the Sweet 16.  Why, because they have no shooters.  They have a great athlete in Sam Young, a dominant post -player in DeJuan Blair, and a tremendous leader in Levance Fields.  Who's the shooter, I don't know, but until they find one, this is not the #1 team in the country.

Since: Mar 31, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2009 11:56 am

Dear Gary (on how UT could use Terrence Oglesby)

Sort of the same thing happened with Chris Lofton... not recruited by Kentucky and Louisville in favor of "more athletic" players.  These guys may not ever play in the NBA, but they are part of what makes the college game infinitely more exciting.

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2009 6:58 am

Dear Gary (on how UT could use Terrence Oglesby)

whoops, meant to say, shoots 35-38%.  The way I have it it looks like I mean points.

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2009 6:57 am

Dear Gary (on how UT could use Terrence Oglesby)

What you've got here is exactly the weakness that will probably cost Pitt at whatever point they lose in the NCAA tournament.

I like the way Pitt recruits...going after the big names sparingly, looking for four year players with toughness and athleticism, trying to bring guys that fit the program more than guys who will average 20 and 10 for a year then be gone.  They value toughness, defense, and ball-sharing more than they value shooting, and I can dig that.  It's kept them in the top 25 regularly for almost a decade now.

Still, if they, as you suggest, used just one of those scholarship spots for a pure shooter, they would have one less team weakness.  Imagine that roster minus Nasir Robinson (really, how many big men do you need?) plus someone who averages 35-38 from beyond the arc, and, as importantly, 90% from the stripe.  It would go from maybe Big East favorite to downright scary.

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