Loved the rotations tonight

Think CMA may have finally found the perfect rotation.

Watkins, Barford, Macon, Thomas, and Kingsley started the game. Really brought the defensive intensity. All 3 of the guards can really hound you. Then you come in with the second unit of Beard, Hannahs, Bailey, Cook, and Thompson. Bailey and Cook and both athletic long guys that can really rebound the ball and cause havoc that way. I also like Dusty with this unit because he kinda catches the other teams first unit when they are a little winded so it opens up the 3 point shot for him and really allows him to get some quality looks, which he hasn’t really had last few games. Then bring in CJ Jones as that 11th man and he joins right before the starters re-enter, he’s a guy that doesn’t need a ton of minutes, he’ll get you 6 points in 5 minutes or so. And he’s out there with other guys that are defensive minded, so it can kinda hide is lack of defense right now.

It sure worked tonight! Although the second unit looked better much of the game. The first unit needs to pick it up. I hope Macon is ok after that injury tonight, we need his offense. I definitely agree dusty off the bench is a great idea. That is no slight to him (well maybe his defense a little bit) it is serious flash backs to James Harden sixth man of the year award! What a good time to break the slump. Let’s win out in December and get the bud filled for conference play!

I agree. I liked the rotation tonight. Definitely like bringing offense off the bench. But I think CMA will change all season long base upon who wer are playing. The only 2 for sure starters will be Moses and DT. The other 3 will constantly change I bet until he finds a PG. He’s going to have to decide who’s going to be his starting PG. From a size standpoint it needs to be barford. But if it’s not and it’s beard it needs to stay that way. I suspect it will be barford and sometimes beard will start with him and sometimes beard will come off the bench. The other 2 positions will be a revolving door.

I liked it a lot, too. To me, it will come down to who takes to and accepts not starting.

I’m not sure Barford and Macon liked that. Macon seemed to mope around the couple of games he came off the bench.

If the guys accept their roles and play hard, I think this is a good mix.

The one thing that CMA often does that frustrates me the most is he will put in a second unit for an extended period that has very little scoring.

And, although that unit will often play good D and ultimately impact the effort to tire out the other team, we often lose leads and momentum because that group has no scoring.

With this mix there is scoring, ball-handling and defense in both groups.

I think one of MA’s toughest tasks will be finding minutes for so many quality guards, including CJ Jones.

People bag on Manny but the guy is a very valuable player and tone setter. Beard is in that mold. He will guard you. He hits big shots and he also looks for assists to others.

On the other hand, Jones has immense scoring potential this year and down the line.

And, Barford, Macon and Dusty all want the ball and are volume shooters and scorers.

My guess is the guys who value the ball and play hard on defense will get the most minutes and opportunities to show off their offense.


One thing is for sure. Everyone will get an opportunity to prove they are worthy of starting. If they don’t start it’s because the didn’t earn it. How they respond will likely be what determines how good this team becomes. I don’t want anyone to accept a role if it means they lose their motivation to be better. I haven’t seen a player that doesn’t deserve to start. All have that potential.

Yea, I noticed Macon wasn’t his normal energetic self when he was coming off the bench. He didn’t really seem to like that role. But, CMA had to send a message you don’t get to be careless with the ball in his system and get to start. The way them came out and valued the ball the last 2 games, looks like they got the message.

And I agree It’s kinda tricky managing lineups and personalities because now he has his leading scorer in Hannahs coming off the bench. How is Dusty going to deal with that? From his look and attitude today, he embraced it and actually got his three point shooting back on track. And he still ended up playing the second most minutes. Hope CMA keeps this rotation it looks to be the most effective he’s had so far.

Bailey being a major plus at both ends as a true three was a revelation. At least against Austin Peay it turned the second group into a lockdown unit. Jones has got to get his minutes, though. He’s too good on O to sit, and his defense looked okay. He had 3 blocks.

Jones has a high ceiling in terms of talent. He may very well already be our best shooter. I know you may disagree with me on this, but as the season progresses he should get more of Manny’s minutes. His 3 point shooting is going to be very important when teams make us get into a half court game.

I think Beard should be starting ahead of Watkins, mainly because he is a ballhandler that is another three-point threat to draw attention away from Moses. That said, I don’t know why fans always want to take minutes away from Watkins. He’s playing very well. Among the guards he’s first in rebound rate, third in assist rate, first in TO rate, second in steal rate, and first in FG percentage. He scores the least often, but at over 6 points per game in 21 minutes he isn’t a non-scorer. The coach seems to believe he is the best defender in the backcourt. I wouldn’t start him, but neither would I say that he doesn’t deserve to start.

BTW Watkins getting minutes over Babb is still a sore point with many fans, and I really like Babb’s potential. However, two years later with Babb as the sixth man at Iowa state…

Min per (Watkins, Babb)
pts (3.3 , 3.6)
stls (14.9, 12.2)
ORB (18.6, 14.6)
DRB (7.8 , 7.3)
FTM ( 49.7, 24.3)
blk (-, 146)
a (9.3, 10.4)
TO (74.5, 48.7)
EFG% (57%, 52%)

Watkins actually gets the slight the edge in scoring as well as ballhandling. Babb is a bit better in rebounding and steals. They are almost doppelgangers in production.


I believe MA will handle rotation based upon shot selection and attempts. Every shooter on the team is going to get his shots. If he misses them then he will have a low scoring night. It won’t be the Kobe process where you just take more shots to score your average. Macon, Barford and Hannahs will get 8-12 shots a night. With FT’s, there’s no reason they can’t score 16-22/night with 50% shooting.

They don’t have the same role on the team and there’s absolutely no way you can swap one for the other. Apples to oranges here, so, yes, I completely disagree with you.

If and when CJ gets more minutes, it will be because we are have a different lineup in the game and thus his minutes will come from 2-3 players, not just 1, namely Manny. That’s like saying Al Dillard is going to take Clint McDaniel’s minutes.

I’m one of the guys that thinks Watkins needs less minutes, however I would never diminish his role on the team. I actually really like him in the starting lineup, he’s a senior, he’s a captain, brings energy, and arguably the best on ball defender. I think those qualities are something that should be in the game from the start. With that said, there’s other guys that just have more talent and a lot higher upside than Watkins, energy and hustle can only get you so far, talent ultimately wins you the games.

I’d like to see both Macon/Barford/Hannahs around 25 MPG. Beard around 18-20 MPG, Watkins around 18 MPG, and Jones/Bailey both around 5-10 MPG.

That would leave 80 minutes to go around.

So Moses with 25, leaves 55
DT with 25, leaves 30
Cook ?? 15
Thompson ?? 15

Moses needs about 27-30 MPG, he’s too important on defense and rim protection, nobody else can do what he does on the team. Would say DT needs anywhere from 20-25 MPG. Cook at about 15 sounds right, and Thompson is probably a 12-15 MPG guy.

25+25+25 = 75.
+18 = 93
+18 = 111

  • 5 + 5 = 121

Which leaves 79 minutes for the bigs. And if you then give Moses 26, which is what he’s averaging go far, that leaves 53 for everybody else. If you give Jones and Bailey 15 combined minutes, that’s 74 for the bigs and the squeeze gets even worse.

That’s one thing that makes coaches earn their salaries. Not only do they have to win, they have to distribute the minutes in such a way that the players are happy enough not to transfer. Obviously MA couldn’t do that with Nick Babb (who is averaging 4.7 ppg at ISU on 20 minutes a night so far).

We can agree to disagree then. Comparing Jones to Al Dillard and Manny to Clint McDaniel is as “apples to oranges” as you can get.

Manny serves a purpose on this team. He is a very good defensive player and is a hustler. When we are able to force our opponent into a fast paced full court game he is a valuable asset. On the other hand, when our opponent is able to force us into a half court game, he is a big liability on the offensive end. He can’t hit the broad side of the barn if he shoots a jump shot outside of 8 feet. You can get away with that when you are a big man. Not so much when you are a 6’3" guard.

CJ Jones has the height, length, and athletic ability to be much more than just a very good shooter. He simply needs more minutes to gain experience and develop other skills.

I am not saying don’t play Manny. I would just like to see Jones play more than Manny.