Updates since I first wrote this: TWear has appendicitis. Less mystery around the starting lineup. It would be very telling if Tony Parker did not start, and Alford uses the "4 guard" lineup instead. Norman Powell pretty much said he's starting and his role is to guard the opposing 1. I saw Arizona on PAC-12 Network. The transfer point guard, McConnell is good. This alone makes them much better than last year. The center, Tarczewski, is not big deal. Aaron Gordon is good, but I don't think transformational. He's only a freshman so let's wait and see on this. Oregon got yet another transfer , I think 6 now, cleared by the NCAA, so they are climbing.
I guess we're a basketball school again...for this week. I'm setting up this thread early because I'll be fighting to get to Pauley on time for the tip-off. Those of you who live near the 405 anywhere between Santa Monica Bl and Sunset know what I mean--we are literally trapped in our homes.
Let's keep things in perspective--its only an exhibition game (he said as he recalls your PAC-12 champs losing at Pauley to CPSLO last year).
If you're at Pauley, please chime in. No television coverage, so let's pass on scores and other observations.
So what am I looking for tonight?
1) The starting lineup. This is one data point. Even Ben made changes (Indiana State game: Kyle, Wear twins, Powell and Drew) before he settled on Shabazz, Jordan, Kyle, Drew and Travis
I'm expecting Kyle, Jordan, Norman and the Wear twins. Tony Parker instead of David Wear will be a pleasant surprise. I will be shocked but delighted if Zach starts-not even sure where it would be: instead of Norman, or part of a 4 guard lineup? If Bryce starts,the first comment will be heavily profanity-laced.
2) Playing time: I'd be surprised if the eligible 8 scholie players all don't get significant time. I do have a theme here. Is Zach going to be on the floor alot beginning tonight?
3) How are the point guard duties divided amongst our candidates and does it matter in a motion offense--as Alford has been arguing? I expect to see Kyle as the primary ball handler, but I don't expect this to be a Larry Drew situation. Also, how is the defensive 1 time split between Norman, Bryce and Zach. I'm pulling for Zach to get time any way possible.
4) How much zone do the Bruins they play? I expect the percent zone to be high--only because this will be the first time against someone besides themselves. I think that percent will go down significantly in the season. My guess in seasson: 15% zone, 85% man, and that's alot for Alford. Conversely, if CSUSB playz zone, are we standing around, or do we have purpose?
5) Rebounding. Is Tony boxing out? Are the Wears better? Is Kyle under the boards given his potential man-to-man assignments.
Those are some of the items I'll look for. Again, I don't want to read to much into it--but that's what we do, don't we? OK folks, see you again in about 1.5 hours.