Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First Guys Off the Bench

On to two of the players who played solid minutes in the rotation last season.

Jonathan Peoples-

The backup point guard is a junior this season. With Jackson and McAlarney playing side by side for the second straight year, Peoples will have very similar numbers as last season. In 07-08, he played 11.5 minutes a game, averaging 3.3 points and an assist per contest.

Luke Zeller-

Coach Brey may play around with the lineup a bit in the early going, so don't be surprised to see Zeller starting at some point during the year. For now, I'll keep him as a substitute. He should get an increase in minutes and will need to take over some of Rob Kurz's vacated role. Last year, he averaged 11.8 minutes, 4.5 points, and 2.2 rebounds a game. That 38% number from beyond the arc should be increased a bit. I'd like to see him be a solid 40% guy from three point game.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see the occasional 3 guard lineup this season, which could lead to Peoples getting more minutes. Brey might also sub more frequently depending on the opposing lineup matchups and/or quality of play by the starters.

Brey stressed at the media day presser that after Ireland, because of Peoples play, he really feels he has 7 starters. I would expect his minutes to be upped as well.

This really is a stacked team - and the young guys will also contribute important minutes. It'll be interesting to see the moves he makes this year. In the past he's always stuck to the 8 man [when he could do it] with starters getting the prominent minutes. This year there is a legitimate 9 and possibly 10 man rotation with at least 7 [and maybe 8 depending on Scott's development] fighting for starting positions. [Well, I should concede Peoples will never start on this particular team, but he has developed into having that potential.]

I'm always skeptical - but I really think this team has the potential to be the real deal, barring catastrophic injury. And the best thing about it? Despite the accolades and the top 5 preseason rankings in some circles, they're still hungry as hell, and feel like they've proven nothing [which in the post-season is indeed true].

BlackandGreen said...

The nice thing with this team is that there are a lot of possible combinations. Except for taking Harangody and Mac off the floor, the parts are pretty interchangeable without losing much effectiveness.

A very good point about how hungry this team is. While I have been cautious to anoint them anything better than Sweet 16-caliber, there is certainly the potential for a great run. In Chris Thomas' senior year, there was the same kind of talent but the mental toughness was not there. This year there are no predictions of a thirty win season. Instead the focus is playing to their great potential and competing with anyone in the country.

It's a special group of players, more talent-wise and with their positive mentality.