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Jericho Sims


Goo Punch
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Maybe the most improved player Shaka has ever had at Texas. Sims was painfully bad and just generally unaware of how to play basketball/where to even be on the floor during his first year or two here. He actually looks like a basketball player now despite still having a very limited skill set. But his footwork, positioning, movement without the ball, his rebounding timing and instincts, they're all massively improved. For me his play has been one of the very few bright spots of this season.

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No, he really was incredibly raw. He constantly found himself out of position defensively and had a lot of trouble simply knwing whee he was supposed to be. You could see him having to think on the court, instead of just playing. He also was committing way too many fouls to ever get consistent, meaningful PT. He's one of those guys who didn't start playing until later in life, and it showed. He looks much more natural and polished out there now than he ever did either of his first two years.

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12 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

He’s improved but all of that was there his freshmen year. You were probably watching Tennessee. Can’t say I blame you. 

Yes he’s improved a lot. No, he wasn’t anywhere close to as raw or limited as you say. 

Wut? He had no clue where to be on the floor more often than not as a freshman. He also was atrocious at positioning for rebounds and boxing out. 

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Jericho seems like a low-key guy and that probably gets mistaken for disinterest or lack of effort.

Still dribbles too much, but he's got good touch. Would be nice if he polished that promising hook he's had out of high school.

Well above average athletically (reserving "elite" for athletes like Jaxson and Kai).

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he's way late to the party on Sims, but I'm going to have to agree with Goo on this one.  Sims was fundamentally atrocious his first year here.  Remember the bricks he used to throw up from the line?  And he really didn't have any clue what to do with the ball on the block.

the next steps in his game are to learn an up and under move, learn to stop going for pump fakes himself, and become a threat facing the basket from 10-15 feet.

He's going to make money playing basketball somewhere.  I don't know how much was Darrin Horn, but big men have improved under Shaka.

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1 hour ago, ClubWhatever said:

he's way late to the party on Sims, but I'm going to have to agree with Goo on this one.  Sims was fundamentally atrocious his first year here.  Remember the bricks he used to throw up from the line?  And he really didn't have any clue what to do with the ball on the block.

the next steps in his game are to learn an up and under move, learn to stop going for pump fakes himself, and become a threat facing the basket from 10-15 feet.

He's going to make money playing basketball somewhere.  I don't know how much was Darrin Horn, but big men have improved under Shaka.

Its called development. The worst I ever saw his freshman year was a skinny kid at UH, He came from Nigeria and you wondered how he could walk and breathe at the same time. Some kids have better coaching in high school than other kids, some are physically ready for this level and for some.it takes some time for the light to come on. To write off a young man before his freshman year is over is nonsense and I am speaking in general terms and not specifically about Sims..

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He looked like a raw talented freshman who always could board and never had much of a post up game. The offense has improved immeasurably I’ll give you that. But I never thought he was a James Banks kind of waste. Always knew he had talent. His “regression” last year was Hayes. Nothing about his progression should surprise. 


You guys are both saying “raw” but still arguing with each other. That implies there is an analog continuum of raw, with “kind of” at one end and “extremely” at the other end and you will never find common ground. Give up.

For the record, Goo’s right, he was very very raw.
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4 hours ago, cashman said:

Isn't James Bank doing fine at GT?

i think he's been averaging something like 10 and 10 with 2.5 blocks in his two years there. he should have been utilized here under Shaka, but Shaka has the most bizarre bench/young player usage of any coach i've ever seen in any sport.

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1 hour ago, Goo Punch said:

i think he's been averaging something like 10 and 10 with 2.5 blocks in his two years there. he should have been utilized here under Shaka, but Shaka has the most bizarre bench/young player usage of any coach i've ever seen in any sport.

He's much more useful than Hamm if we're being honest about it.  

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3 hours ago, Dbeasy said:

 


You guys are both saying “raw” but still arguing with each other. That implies there is an analog continuum of raw, with “kind of” at one end and “extremely” at the other end and you will never find common ground. Give up.

For the record, Goo’s right, he was very very raw.

 

I get where their disagreement lies. Freshmen year Sims was raw in terms knowledge of the game, and about different positional and movement aspects of the game. However, he wasn't totally raw or devoid of any basketball skill whatsoever akin to someone like freshmen year Alexis Wangamene or other bigs who can't even dribble or hit a jumpshot.

One of Sims better traits also hindered his basketball development. He's super ambidextrous to the point of not having a good sense of which hand is more dominant than the other. It's clear that having the ability to use either hand actually hurt him as he was developing because he never developed any true refinement or elite proficiency that typically results when one hand is truly your superior hand. The idea that he could bounce back and forth between shooting something that requires the precision of free throws without knowing he was way better shooting with his right hand than his left hand is amazing to me. 

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i honestly don't even know what you're tying to say. 

also, lol at your, "no. he hasn't been" comment. in his two years at GT he's been averaging 10.5 points, 7.7 reb, and 2.6 blocks, which is just soooo far off from  the 10/10/2.5 that i said i thought he was putting up. 

also Banks has always been better than Sims, and is easily better than Hamm, particularly defensively. Banks was ready for 10-12 mpg in the post from day one. too bad he didn't get the chance to play and grow at Texas. he played in 46 games here but only averaged 1.5 ppg and 2.2 reb because Shaka preferred the likes of Eric Davis Jr to Banks in the post. 

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49 minutes ago, GotThatFire said:

I wish this dude would come out of his shell already. I’ve been waiting for a while. So much potential I think it’s mental that’s holding him back. He can be great despite Shaka

you continue to give the worst takes this side of cameltoe. 

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8 minutes ago, GotThatFire said:

What part of that do you disagree with you fucking no life shit for brains? 

the part where you're still waiting for Sims to "come out of his shell". maybe you've just been watching lhn replays of last season? 🤷🏼‍♂️ 

also, it's always funny when someone who is having a message board meltdown at 3am tells someone else they must be miserable.

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You of all people know what a message board meltdown is. Calling you shit for brains and writing a haiku is not that.

yes he is absolutely still in his shell. How can you not see that, are you blind? He’s the shyest looking athlete I’ve ever seen. He’s got that small dick energy, or something 

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He’s been the only bright spot on the season. I feel bad for him when we deploy the 4-guard line up; it’s him trying to get a rebound against 4 opposing players while our guards sit on the 3-point line with their hands up waiting for him to grab the ball and kick it out. A quiet kid like that is just one vocal outburst away from getting his teammates attention to how shitty they’ve been this season.

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Really happy for this lone bright spot. Hopefully he is able to turn it into a solid professional career somewhere.

He does still have the usual young, big man issue of bringing the ball down to his waist when in the paint.

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  • 1 year later...

Pretty good article by the Athletic on Sims

Spoiler

Almost all of the national title contenders this year feature a massive big man whom most teams simply have no answer for. Drew Timme at Gonzaga. Hunter Dickinson at Michigan. Kofi Cockburn at Illinois. If the coaches of those teams had the chance to really study every team in America, they would all tell you that there’s one big man stopper they would really prefer to miss in the bracket. His name is Jericho Sims. 

The Texas senior, who often has not realized how good he is, had something click this week in Kansas City, Mo., culminating in the performance of his life on Saturday night in a 91-86 win over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 championship game. Sims was too big, too powerful, too fast and so dominant that even Cade Cunningham doing Cade Cunningham things was not nearly enough. Sims’ line was splendid — a career-high 21 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and two blocks — and his presence was felt on nearly every possession. 

This is how the college experience is supposed to play out. Sims should be applauded for sticking it out at Texas and waiting his turn. His first two seasons he backed up one-and-done lottery picks, and maybe the sense he was a backup did not allow him to realize his abilities.

Or maybe he was just too darn nice to take advantage of being built like a brick house. Even after helping Texas win its first Big 12 tournament, Sims answered questions like he was in a library. But on the floor, something is changing. The quiet, unassuming big fella is turning into the monster Texas needs him to be, and Texas may want to thank the Big 12 coaches for that. Shaka Smart said he could see fire in Sims’ eye on Thursday night in a win against Texas Tech after finding out he did not make the All-Big 12 defensive team. 

“I don’t know who was voting or what it was, but for him to not make the all-defensive team in our league is a joke,” Smart said. “He’s one of one in the country in terms of a guy that size that can defend that way in different ways.”

It was an unforgivable oversight. Sims does not block a lot of shots — and maybe that’s why he got overlooked — but these are awards supposedly voted on by coaches, and they should know better. You could make an argument for Sims as the best defensive center in the whole damn country.

But while Sims has been consistent on the defensive end most of the last two years, he hasn’t been as dominant as you’d think he could be offensively, like the bigs mentioned up top. It’s puzzling to study the breakdown of his offense, and see that he has scored only 25 points on 54 post-ups this year, and before Saturday, he’d finished only six isolation sets this year, according to Synergy. 

In basketball, it’s usually smart to trust the trends when it comes to the numbers, but Texas would be smart to throw those out this month and try to ride the Sims who destroyed the Cowboys.

Sims is the student at the back of the class who knows the answers but is too shy to raise his hand. It’s time to put him in the front row and call on him repeatedly. 

Simply watch the tape from Saturday night. Sims has remarkable balance and quickness, able to stop and start, pivot and make moves through, around and over people like few bigs his size in the world. He showed the full arsenal to the Cowboys — between-the-legs dribble moves, up-and-unders and rim-rattling dunks. 

“I think everybody knows how talented he is,” Smart said. “As well as he played tonight, I don’t think any of those individual plays, anyone is like, wow, that’s surprising that Jericho did that. It was more all of them together.”

We’ve seen glimpses. Sims was the only dude in the Big 12 last year who was a problem for Kansas’s Udoka Azubuike, who was the most dominant big man in the country. Sims averaged 18.5 points per game last year against Azubuike. In the game in Lawrence, Sims had a swagger he has rarely shown. You could tell he believed he belonged in the same class as Azubuike. 

It was back on Saturday, Smart convinced that OSU’s Kalib Boone outplaying the UT bigs in a win last month in Stillwater serving as another motivator. 

It’s been building to this, as Sims has now scored in double figures in four straight games for the first time in his career. “He’s been enforcing his will,” Longhorns sophomore forward Brock Cunningham said. “We knew Jericho could be this player the whole season, his whole career. For him to pull it out when we needed has been amazing.” 

If Smart can figure out which buttons push to keep Sims playing with that level of aggressiveness, this could be a fun month for the ’Horns, who have one of the best rosters in college basketball because of their combination of talent and experience. 

Senior Matt Coleman, who poured in 30 points, is playing with a different kind of bounce, and Smart has other guards in Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones who can get hot and carry the team as well. Smart also wisely tightened his rotation in Kansas City, and because of Greg Brown’s outburst on Thursday, he started Kai Jones in his place on Saturday. That is probably UT’s best frontline and the way to start the game, as their combination of quickness and length is instant intimidation for an opponent. 

Smart played Sims a season-high 35 minutes, which is only the fifth time all year he has played 30-plus minutes. Smart should keep playing him heavy minutes. Smart also made Cunningham, not Brown, the top reserve. Maybe Brown earns that role back and is inspired to play with the kind of energy of Cunningham, but a perk of playing Cunningham is he’s always looking to feed Sims. Then there’s his contagious energy. 

“It’s really easy to see when you look at Brock out there, he’s either overthinking things and a little bit skittish, or he’s the ultimate warrior, man. Like ultimate,” Smart said. “When he has the look of the ultimate warrior, that guy is going to play heavy minutes for us. I don’t care who else we have on our team.”

These are winning thoughts from Smart, who has done a good job of righting the wrongs from what was a troubling midseason stretch, one in which the ’Horns lost six of 10 and included Ramey wanting to fight Jones in the huddle after a low-energy, poor effort play from the latter in a loss at West Virginia. 

It felt as if Texas had turned a corner by beating Kansas in overtime three days later. But the Longhorns followed that up with mistake-riddled nine-point loss at Texas Tech. It felt like a here-we-go-again moment. 

But since that loss in Lubbock, the ’Horns have won five straight, and a team that has been known as an underachiever seems ready to fight the narratives that have followed them and their coach. 

“People shit on him — excuse my language — (but) he takes the heat for those bad years that Texas had, and it has led to this,” Coleman said of Smart. “I’m just happy for him because I want this for him, not just myself, but I want this for him because he’s been through a lot. He’s been through it all here, and I’m happy for him.”

All together, it has been a solid season for the ’Horns, although with their level of talent and experience, you could still argue they’ve underachieved a bit. But that’ll be forgotten if they continue to play like this in March and possibly into April. 

To keep it rolling, they’ll need to maintain the effort, minimize the selfishness and keep the good Sims going.

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/29/2020 at 8:12 PM, Goo Punch said:

Maybe the most improved player Shaka has ever had at Texas. Sims was painfully bad and just generally unaware of how to play basketball/where to even be on the floor during his first year or two here. He actually looks like a basketball player now despite still having a very limited skill set. But his footwork, positioning, movement without the ball, his rebounding timing and instincts, they're all massively improved. For me his play has been one of the very few bright spots of this season.

annnnnnd then he stagnated or regressed across the board as a senior. he's Shaka's Connor Atchley.

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Guest Lobo

Yeah, I don't think you can tell your second round picking franchise to pound sand while you head back to Austin.  Withdrawal deadline is July 7th.  Which is extra interesting this year because it comes 6 days after the transfer portal closes.  And Beard has been hitting that thing hard.  So Sims could get some draft feedback that first week of July which would place him in a precarious position of "Hey Coach, I'd like to come back after all" and all 13 roster sports being full.  Not likely, but possible.  

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Guest Lobo

Not the roster limit maybe, but surely at some point---our Athletic Dept. can't just give full checks to everybody who came back/transferred in and wants one.  But you're right, that's a less than 3% chance.  Can we pretend they're all coming back and divert that money to baseball scholarships instead?  

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