Playing Time

I think I mentioned this last year or the year before about this time in the tournament. When you look at the box score for the teams that are playing for the Final Four, one thing that pops out is that they ride their best players over 30 minutes a game. In most cases, only two bench players get double digit minutes and that is usually in the low double digits. And, these are teams that should be stacked with 4-5 star players. Now, take Arkansas, who in the game against NC only played one player over 30 minutes, Moses Kingsley. Granted, Coach Anderson’s stated philosophy is to wear down the opponents and the best way to do that is to keep lots of fresh legs on the floor. But, that also means that your ‘best’ players are not on the court for as many minutes as the ‘best’ players for the other team. In the NC game, Dusty Hannahs didn’t even play 20 minutes. Could it be that we really only have a couple of players that are so much better than the rest that they merit 30 minute games?

I think you answered your own question. If we had five players that are high 4-star or 5-stars, I am sure they will get 30 plus minutes. Every coach wants to win, including Mike and I am convinced he will do that.

When you play a lot of players, it means there is not a clear separation between players. so, when there is not a clear separation, it comes down to if a particular player is having a good game. That is why there have been game or two when Thomas logged 30 plus minutes, I think Cook got close to that in one game. Barford, Macon and Hannahs all have had quite a few 30 plus minute games.

By the way, in the UNC game, Dusty was having a whole lot of trouble with UNC’s length, kept making turnovers and missing shots. That is why he only played 19 minutes.

Dusty Hannah’s was getting abused trying to defend those McDonald AA’s plus he uncharacteristically turned into a TO machine.

He wasn’t the only one, Cooks & Thomas as well.

Portis, Madden, and Qualls played 30+ minutes against UNC in the NCAAT two years ago. Hannhas was pulled on performance. Barford and Macon both played 26 minutes, and both had to be pulled for injuries. Macon would never have sat in the second half if he hadn’t cramped or whatever was wrong with him. He was having one of the greatest NCAAT performances in the uniform. That’s among the many what-ifs.