It's time Mike....

To go ahead and unleash CJ Jones and Daniel Gafford. They need to be starting next game.

I get the whole rewarding your seniors and going with upperclassmen, but you have guys that are better fits. I think Beard is having a good start to his senior season, but CJ Jones athleticism and ability to shoot the ball pairs better with Macon and Barford’s driving/attack the basket style of play. You can’t have 3 ball dominate guards out there like we currently have. That’s how you get a first half like we did against Houston where we’re looking stagnant and guys are just holding on to the ball too long.

As far as Gafford, he’s just a flat out better player than Thompson let’s be honest. Thompson absolutely gets abused by athletic centers. I’m not trying to bash him here, he’s a high IQ player, but he doesn’t get off the ground much and athletic bigs are punishing him on the boards for it, and he can’t score in the paint against them. And teams have him figured out now on the passing, teams are starting to watch those back cuts he likes to pass to. When Gafford is in the game we look like a completely different team. I get that he gets in foul trouble, but I’d rather him be in to start the game to help dictate the pace, rather than bringing him in when we’re down 11-0 then he gets in foul trouble trying to do too much.

I’d like to see CMA start out like this next game…


I also think Thomas stretches the floor a little better than Bailey right now, although Bailey has been playing well. Thomas brings a little bit more toughness though. I think you could start either of those guys, both have been playing well. But, I think at minimum you gotta get Gafford established and get him starting the game. Thompson is averaging 3 points 4 rebounds as the starting center, that’s not getting the job done.

That is the lineup I advocated for in the preseason. I don’t think he’ll start Gafford until the foul issues start to slow.

I do think C.J. fits well as a spot-up guy next to Daryl and Jaylen. Trey and Anton have a good rapport off the bench.

I still like Adrio playing off Daryl and Jaylen in the starting lineup, but I’m all for having C.J. in the starting lineup. It also basically guarantees him 10 easy minutes, which is big because the 3 seniors are going to get time regardless.

Agree with all of that. Thompson on high post ineffective. Teams have figured out back door cuts. He has very limited post moves and little vertical lift. Wish he had Oliver millers mentality’s but he doesn’t. We got mauled in a couple of games last year then turned it around but this team looks to me like an 11 type seed again if they make it. We got whipped physically tonight. Cant blame him for not starting Thompson but he is a better option than bailey as far as mid range shot. How disappointing for 2 senior forwards to get into trouble. Not smart. Gafford does offer a low post presence. Gotta teach him not to get silly fouls. Adding Jones would add length also.

That’s the lineup I said would be starting by SEC play during our preseason starters threads

I like that lineup. But how bad is dan’s shoulder? And honestly Macon and Barford are the ones standing stagnant forcing isolation one on five killing the offense worse than beard.

The whole team needs to get on the same page about movement and passing, and it must include some more effective pick and roll post game with dan

Comments: I tend to agree at this point Trey and Beard from what I’m seeing in these recent games should not be considered as part of Mike’s strongest lineup. I’m not sold on Thomas at this point stay with Bailey for the time being. Besides CJ will stretch the defenses plenty

I disagree about changing the starters unless slow starts become a trend. Until yesterday we were +20 after the first four minutes, never worse than -2. Gafford is averaging 4.8 minutes per PF. That’s on average 24 minutes before he fouls out. I’d like to see him get more minutes, but starting him might actually make him available for less. We’re eventually going to play a close game and having him available late will be more important. Likewise, there’s plenty of room to get Jones more minutes in the rotation by getting the senior minutes down, which needs to happen.

I like having both Jones and Gafford get some minutes against winded, first-unit guys and reserves. We can make runs in the middle of halves to seize control. Hall is mainly a defensive player right now. He and Jones complement one another on the first rotation. Plus, Beard is solidly the most consistent ballhandler on the team. I actually like the balance of offense and defense in the rotations at present. The minutes can be tweaked.

Our big problem on O seems to be going against quick, physical man defense in the halfcourt no matter who is on the court. Our offense is spending too much time with the ball sticking up above the key. We just aren’t putting enough pressure on the defense on too many possessions. Against slow-paced teams in man defense Thomas may need to start to give us another scoring option for spacing. He looks like he can shoot to me. Bailey is probably the better choice when the game is uptempo. Bailey is a much better defender. Hence, until slow starts on O become a trend, I’d stick with the same starting lineup.

BTW in our two losses the PFs, not the centers, have abused us.

Response:I believe the key phase here is strongest lineup, Gafford and CJ is a winning combination you can also pair Trey with Gifford along with CJ and our other two senior guards. Beard is fearless and tough I hope he can regain that mojo he played with his freshman season he has got to be able to knock down wide open looks currently he is streaky at best, plus he struggled against length and speed…?i have all the confidence in Coach Mike getting it right