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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

If I'm Sidney Lowe...

...and today, I'm glad I'm not, but if I were, here's the lineup I take forward for the rest of the year:
  • PG Mays
  • SG Williams
  • SF Johnny Thomas
  • PF Costner
  • C Tracy Smith
with a bench of
  • PG Degand
  • SG Ferguson, when healthy
  • SF Fells
  • SF/PF Horner
  • PF/C McCauley
Play your starters as long as you can, for as long as they can expend the kind of effort they showed last night in the second half, and spell them with your bench only when necessary for rest/fouls.

There will be growing pains putting a lineup that young out there, and probably some grumbling from the old guard relegated to the bench, but at this point it's time to move forward with the lineup of the future. Trying to placate the remaining members of the previous coach's lineup with playing time hasn't worked; in fact, it blew up in Lowe's face last night as cold, unused players that had rightfully ridden the pine for most of the second half entered the game and promptly shot the team out of it.

There will be talk and debate about Lowe's lineups and substitution patterns for the rest of this season if Lowe continues to play two different lineups--old guard, new guard--in the same game. Screw that. Reward your young players that hustled last night, let them gain some ACC experience, and see where the chips fall.

(The one exception to the old guard/new guard theory you'll notice is Brandon Costner in the starting five. I think he's the most talented player on the team right now, and he plays well when he goes all out. His effort level at the beginning of the FSU game was the primary factor in State jumping out to a 12-4 lead. I think if you surround him with guys going all out, playing smarter basketball, his effort and level of play should rise to that of the guys on the floor with him.)


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