Now, this is somewhat difficult to write. I have to preface it by saying that I don't really mean Maui, I mean after Maui when we (hopefully) have the entire team back.
I still think that Reeves will come back Reeves is back; he is too important to the team and Howland has little left to lose if bringing Reeves back somehow blows up.
So what I am trying to do here is say what I think the lineup and rotation should be with the entire team, no suspensions, no injuries. Thus, Stover too would be back for this lineup.
What I am trying to go for here is a two-pronged attack, one being the starting lineup at one pace and the other being the reserves at a different pace. The starters would play a slower, more grind-it-out type of game (possibly with some zone) while the reserves would provide energy and play an up-tempo game. I would love to see CBH implement some press into the reserve lineup for a big change of pace.
The rotation after the jump.
PG: Lazeric Jones. I still think that Zeek is more talented than Andersen, but really I think Andersen fits better with the reserves. Jones is a better passer and should be a better shooter, which also works better with this lineup.
SG: Tyler Lamb. Howland still says that Lamb is the best perimeter defender on the team and that person needs to start. He has shown more confidence and slightly improved shooting the first two games and I believe he will improve that shooting as the season goes on.
SF: David Wear. David has shown he can play the 3, at least offensively. He shot very well in the first half of the LMU game and if we can just teach him some defense, which like I said, could (should?) be zone, he could guard opposing small forwards just fine.
PF: Travis Wear. Travis has also shown good versatility and above average shooting the first two games and I think he should continue to start. Once again, still an issue of defense.
C: Josh Smith. Josh proved against MT that he is definitely the best player on this team and he also did a good job of staying out of foul trouble. He needs to start.
The strategy with this lineup is very, very simple: get the ball inside. Josh should be the first option every time down the floor and with two other 6'10" players on the floor, the paint should be dominated. Zeek can run a slow paced team and pound the ball down low. If he and Lamb can hit some threes, we are golden.
PG: Jerime Andersen. He is the only other PG on this roster and is a big time energy guy who can provide a big spark off the bench, perfect for backing up the slow tempo starting rotation.
SG: Norman Powell. The freshman showed some great flashes of athleticism and talent against MT. That is perfect for a backup guard. All great teams seem to have a freshman coming off the bench and providing a huge spark of raw talent and athleticism and that is exactly what Powell is. He is the type of guy that can get the crowd going with steals and dunks and exciting plays.
SF: De'End Parker. Another athletic wing who can drive to the hoop and bring the crowd into the game as well as dish the ball out to open shooters.
PF: Reeves Nelson. Here is where I will probably get heat. Bottom line is even if Nelson comes back with a better head on his shoulders, it will still be the same head. He will still want the ball most of the time he is on the floor and he will still be a little insane. He is also a big time energy guy who feeds on excitement and runs. He loves to run the floor and that is exactly what this lineup can do. He is obviously the best offensive player on the floor with the three wings and Stover at center, so he will be the number one option. He will get more than enough touches to satisfy him and he won't have to compete for touches with Josh and a Wear down low. By bringing Reeves off the bench, we can get him his touches, play him in a style that fits him very well, and cut him down to size a bit all at the same time. Now that he is back on the team, he needs to be shown that he won't get another chance. Benching him will send that message in a big way.
C: Anthony Stover. Stover is very simple: he will provide virtually zero offense (an average of more than one point per game would be a success in my mind) but he is a game changer on defense. He is big, runs the floor well, and blocks the hell out of the ball. He has extremely long arms that help him block and rebound, which he also does well. Stover is the perfect backbone to this lineup: let Reeves focus on offense while Stover mans the interior defense.
The odd man out: Brendan Lane. We all know this will happen no matter what. While I believe in rewarding the hard work that Lane has put in, bottom line is we need to play our best players. Lane won't get no playing time, he can come in rather than Stover when we need some offense or when someone gets in foul trouble. CBH can still find him a way to get 8 or 10+ minutes a game.
Well that is what I think. I think that basically swapping Josh and Reeves on the bench and in the starting lineup will put Reeves with players that better match his skills while also getting our best player (Josh) more minutes. Thoughts?