Personally I would like to see ML, MR, TH, RN, JM starting. I would like to test bobo and see what he has. I would protect him and MR some by mixing in zone. It’s a crazy trial for me, but I saw signs on offense if he can’t get experience. Initially he was an easy double, but in the 2nd half he showed more awareness actually passing out of a double to TH, who actually threw it back in on a repost and a nice bank. No offense, but ND will not do that once this season. I don’t care how many boards ND gets he lapses big time either boxing out or just not battling someone he should be at least battling for a board. Granted JM is hesitant to mix it up, but I think with time and other players banging him he will self-motivate more to not get beat. ND gets some rebounds because of his length on tip outs over the top, but other than that I am pretty sure he has never boxed out anyone.
The reality is that when Keefe and ND are in we have 2 players on the interior that can’t hold their spot. RN is by far the best player that can hold his spot and even move someone out with his lower body. He also has some surprising hops and a knack for the ball. He should be logging most of the interior minutes from here on out. At least bobo is not easy to move.. he does however need to be scolded to find a body and get it on someone when rebounding. TH actually is the only other guy who can go and get it on the glass and he should be starting soon. I can live with ND playing decent minutes, but I’d rather have him come in as a specialist to knock down some shots.
Until JA proves he can play in control and make a consistently positive impact I can’t see him getting more than 15 minutes. ML and MR should get the bulk of the minutes and JA should spell some rest for them and that is it. I would rather see Moser, TH getting minutes with both Roll and Lee on the court than have a smaller lineup with JA, MR, ML. I think we need to play with size and get anyone active in there who can get us extra chances with our inability to shoot the ball consistently.
In all I think we gave our best effort tonight. We seemed in general to have a good attitude out there. I don’t think there were nearly as many breakdowns and players were helping out more albeit sometimes late. Better than not at all. Our days of being able to contain man-to-man with little or no help off the dribble are gone right now. MR and JA can’t stay in front of any decent guards, so I can’t see how it’s possible to play 40 minutes of tough man to man defense without cheating our help to their aide and consequently leaving other big men open for passes or easy 2nd chances off misses.
I am probably the biggest cynic around, but I have not given up hope on this year yet. As far as the committee is concerned we are 0-1 without gordon and with honeycutt in a loss to the number 1 team in the country. Yes that is wishful thinking, but I do not think the cupboard is bare in this program. And I am certainly not convinced the pac 10 is littered with more than a couple programs that have more talent than us this season.