Obviously, it is WAY to early to panic, but

we’ve been less than impressive in the exhibition games.

How much difference will our Power Forwards make when they rejoin the team?

I think that’s the issue we went from 13 guys to 8 players. I don’t think they’re playing all out (my opinion). Maybe when those two come back they play more loose, since we have extra guys.

They were going to have to make a huge impact anyways. we need productuon at that four spot to ever have a real likely shot at top 25/ sweet 16

#airdrio is the disappointment of the exhibition games but let’s see about Gafford and Hall and Trey. I bet they can inspire Airdrio to get it goin. We need depth. And we need a good plea bargain. Anyways I’m ready to get the Barford Macon Gafford show rolling. Let’s see what happens. That’s a pretty solid big 3.

They definitely need more at the 4. Right now, they’re going to have to play Darious there some and go with the Trey/Daniel lineup, because Adrio obviously can’t play 40 minutes and didn’t play like he deserved 20 in the exhibitions.

I might bet the under on the 4s (Dustin, Adrio, Arlando) combining to average 12 and 12. Last year, they were 9.5 and 7.1. They’re role players. They do need to be better at their individual roles. For Dustin, it’s passing. For Adrio, it’s being a spark with his athleticism. For Arlando, it’s being a hustle guy who outworks people. All need to compete on the defensive end.

They’re still playing extremely fast, even with the limited rotation. Whether that can hold up against better competition is another question. They should have Dustin back when they play 3 games in 4 days in Portland, which will help.

Will Arlando actually play? I think that’s a big question

That’s a legitimate question. I lean toward yes, but how much remains to be seen and obviously we don’t know exactly when/if he’ll be back. If Dustin and Adrio aren’t playing well, he could work his way into the rotation. That is still the weakest position on the team.

I have a predictions column coming out sometime this week. One of them is that Arlando will play less than 200 minutes this year. Adrio was the third 4 last year and played 199.

Thanks for answering.

Oh, and off topic, I agree with you and Dudley about Romo, That last play call alone was great (Hill TD).

He’s a natural. Explains the nuances of the game well and is fun to listen to. He and Nance have a really good chemistry, too.

I’m interested to see what CMA is going to do to start the game against Samford. That starting line up of Thompson, Bailey, Beard, Macon, Barford hasn’t really been effective at all and gotten off to slow starts. I’m wondering does he start Gafford in place of Bailey like he did for the second half of the Missouri Western game and just stagger the lineups to where one of Thompson or Gafford is in at all times.

Also, another option is going smaller and starting Hall at the 4 spot. Either way I don’t think he can risk starting Bailey there again, he’s given him two chances and both times he’s come out tentative and really hasn’t done much and he’s had low energy. Getting off to a slow start against a good shooting team like Samford would not be ideal.

I’d really like to see the game start with Barford, Macon, Hall, Thompson, and Gafford I think with what we have right now that would be our best lineup.

Seem to be some very talented youngsters. It makes me nervous and excited too. We may win by 20 or lose by 20.

Samford has all their primary weapons back from a very good offensive team, though they didn’t accomplish a lot on D last season. They shoot efficiently, but they don’t attack the offensive glass. Their weakness is turnovers. Good - we turn them over and generate a lot of O off of D. Bad - we try to turn them over, don’t, foul a lot, and give up a lot of trey opportunities. Quite frankly their ability to score makes this a really scary game to open the season, especially with Thomas and Cook suspended. Depth would presumably have been one of our advantages in a fast-paced game. There’s a real danger that Macon and Barford could get gassed because we need them on the court to hold serve on O.

The matchups will be interesting. Thompson has somebody to guard in this game. Their center Wyatt Walker is a 6-9, All-SoCon banger that scores efficiently. We need Thompson or Gafford to limit him one-on-one and keep him off the boards. He’s their one guy that moves the needle on the offensive glass, and we don’t want to have to help off their shooters.

Their best player is 6-5 guard Demetrius Dyson. He’s a problem - a great shooter and an all-court scorer. Who guards him? Physically our two best matchups (Hall and Jones) may be coming off the bench. Samford’s PF Alex Thompson, an Auburn transfer, is more of a perimeter player. If we go big, Gafford may be athletic enough to give him some problems, but that takes Gafford out of the lane. We don’t want (Trey) Thompson on him. My guess is that we need both Hall and Bailey to play well if we are to match up effectively on D. Hall on Dyson would be nice. We know Bailey is capable of defending well on the perimeter. It will help a lot of he can take Thompson and allow our bigs to focus on Walker.

Samford hung with good Cincy and FSU teams in nonconference last season. If we escape with a win, I’ll be happy, no matter the score. I don’t know if we can outscore them if the youngsters don’t show up and contribute. We need Jones, Hall, and Bailey to be dialed in for their roles.

I like the idea of starting Hall at the 4, until Dustin gets back. Helps spacing and he’s better defensively than Adrio. About the same height and he’s longer than Adrio. He may need to play the 4 a lot, this year. I also wouldn’t mind Hall sliding to the 3 in place of Anton when Dustin comes back.

Everyone talks about it who finishes being what really matters, which is true, to an extent. But the starting lineup is critical, too. Most games, they’ll play through the first media timeout of both halves, so that’s essentially a quarter of the game, at minimum, with one lineup.

Yea the starting lineup is critical because they set the tone of the game. CMA kinda downplays the starting lineup and always says he has several starters just to keep guys hungry and competing. But we know once he finds those 5 guys that are all playing well he’s going to go with them as the set starting lineup.

I don’t think one game against a four-guard lineup proves that Hall is better defensively than Bailey. Bailey looked pretty good on D against a big UNC team that won the NC.

He did play well against UNC. Has to consistently bring that energy.

But I’m not basing it off one game. I’m also looking at what I’ve seen in practice and what I’ve been told by people who’ve seen Darious more than I have.

They’re about the same height. Darious is heavier, longer and is more versatile. Adrio is the better leaper and probably a better shot blocker.

Adrio should be a shot blocking and rebounding machine. Him with Gafford Hall Barford and Macon should be our best lineup by the end of the year. I don’t see the same potential in Dustin or Cook. Or Trey. That’s assuming Hall has the best offensive game of all our forwards and can make up for Adrios limited offensive game. Nobody needs to take a lot of shots away from our big 3 anyways. Just have to hit the wide open ones and crash the rim.

Other than Barford and Macon, I’m really concerned who can consistently bring a much needed scoring option.

That, to me, is a very big question for this team. Anton is probably going to take the third-most shots. He needs to be more efficient than he has been to this point.

C.J. can get hot and have big nights, but essentially plays off others and isn’t going to create his own shot often. He’ll spot up, attack close outs and maybe slash some.

Daniel will score most of his points within the flow of the game because of his athleticism, off putbacks, running the floor, dump offs.

I don’t think they’ll get many points from the 4. Trey isn’t a scoring threat. Darious isn’t, at this point.

There is a huge scoring and shot creation burden on Daryl and Jaylen. On a somewhat-related note, this is why I think Keyshawn Embery will play a ton next year, because when you forecast that roster, he’s probably the guy who’ll be able to get his own shot best.

After seeing Hall in action I think Hall is a great option for the four. His offensive skills seem to be better than Adrios and defensively there isn’t much difference. Hall is great in transition from what I’ve seen so far.

Ok, Jimmy. If Khalil gets cleared, can he play the three with Darious as the 4? Can he be the answer to just Macon and Barford creating their own shots? Can he create his own shot, is what I’m asking?