I just don’t see that happening soon. He needs to show he can stay out of foul trouble on a consistent basis before Mike starts him. I think he will come off the bench for a while, but his PT will go up gradually. I don’t think Mike wants to see Gafford pick up two fouls in the first five minutes and spend rest of the half on the bench.
Of course, if Trey performs poorly like he did against Col State, Mike could make the switch sooner.
One other thing to note with Gafford is he gets really tired after 3-5 minutes. My theory is that he put on 25-30 lbs since he came on campus (and still needs to gain more lbs/strength) and he is adjusting to the extra lbs. Also with him there are no “plays off”. He sprints every time on offense and defense, tries to rebound/block everything. While that is admirable trait, he will eventually learn to pace himself better (pick his spots on blocks) and adjust to the pounding he takes inside to be able sustain his energy level.
So much upside in this kid. We all knew about the athletic ability, rebounding and blocked shots. He is starting to show a spin move and at some point he will start hitting that 15 ft jumper. The form on his jumper looks good and he is much better from the FT line than expected (without looking at the stats I think he is around 70%). If he stayed all 4 years (which he won’t) he would go down as one of the best players we ever had and probably the best C (with apologies to Kleine and Miller). Just a joy to watch when you combine the skill level and his “want-to”.
He needs to start every game if healthy. He may not be here next year. He needs all the seasoning he can get. If he fouls, then he fouls, but not playing Gafford is ludicrous. He is our most talented and dominating player. This reminds me of Houston Nutt finally letting Dmac play his freshman season only to find out he was the best running back in the country. what is he being saved for?..he’ll be gone too soon. Let the big dog eat.
His minutes have not been limited due to not starting. He only played 21 minutes last night due to foul trouble and maybe had a couple of minutes taken away because of the fall. Gafford got more minutes against Fresno (30) and OU (25) coming off the bench. He has fouled out in 17, 16, and 14 minutes in three other games. The good news is that his foul rate is on a decline. CMA has never not been willing to put him on the court as long as stamina will allow.
We were fortunate last night that Lynch already had 3 fouls when Gafford picked up his third only one minute and change into the second half. It might not have mattered. Trey played well in the second half. Having Cook around also makes foul trouble on the other centers less of a problem.