Question for Dudley, Jimmy and Matt

What do y’all think about trying to get CJ some minutes in a lineup with Beard/Barford and Macon being the other two guards?

I have been thinking about this for the last couple of games so I wanted to ask you guys about it. I know that CJ struggles on the defensive end but his shooting can really help us when we seem to go on our routine scoring droughts in games. And those 3 guys seem to be our best defenders at each of their positions so IMO it would help hide CJ’s deficiencies.

Obviously if CJ got some minutes it would take away from someone and I think it would have to be Manny’s minutes. He’s a great defender and does move the ball well on O(I think CJ does a good job of this as well) but in every game I see several occasions where we rotate the ball well to the open guy and it ends up being Manny on the perimeter.

I think it would be worth it to give CJ a shot because his potential on Offense to help us in close games is really high. It seems like in every game this year when we take one of Macon/Hannahs out is when the scoring drought kicks in.

There was a possession tonight in the second half when Anton penetrated and kicked to an open guy on the other side of the court, but it wasn’t a shooter so it didn’t amount to anything. Those are situations when it’d be nice to have a guy like C.J. out there.

This team just doesn’t have a lot of shooting. Only took 11 3s tonight. Dusty, Daryl and Anton are the only rotation guys who consistently take/make 3s, so a lot of the lineups have 3-4 non-shooters out there. That hurts spacing.

C.J. could definitely help in that regard. I’m a big proponent of getting him some time, even if it’s only a few minutes in the first half with that bench group. Those lineups have performed well with him on the floor and whether he plays in the second half/more can depend on flow. He’d get some open looks as a result of Anton breaking down the defense. Keeps him engaged and he has a skill that they need.

But it’s obvious Mike doesn’t fully trust him. I think he’ll wind up playing in a little less than half of the SEC games.

I agree with you there Mike appears to not trust him now, and for me it could be a mistake. From my perspective he got to find minutes for both Jones and Bailey…

It’s really tough to play 10-11 guys in conference play. In all the games, as you can see so far, there’s just so little room for error, each possession is critical. Both Bailey and Jones have shown good potential, but we’ve also seen weaknesses in both of them, and more importantly upperclassman ahead of them that are playing well right now. Let’s not forget both of these guys were low 3-star players most expected them to be the last guys in the rotation, especially CJ, nobody thought when we signed him he was going to play any significant minutes his first year.

Key for those guys is to stay ready and keep working hard at practice. You never know when your number will be called. Also they both need to stay patient, because they have a very bright future here. I actually think CJ will be a starter from day 1 next year. I think he starts at that 3rd guard spot beside Barford and Macon.

The bench always shrinks during conference play. I think C.J.'s minutes are going to come late in blowouts.

A lot of good thoughts in this thread. Also a few myths. It seems to me that there have been several situatons where the potential good of playing CJ overcomes the possible bad. For example, several games ago (I’ve forgotten which game it was) there was a situation where eight seconds remained on the game clock before half-time. WE had the ball, but only one of the people I consider “shooters” on the court. We threw the ball in from out of bounds, made one pass to a non-shooter who threw up a weak, unsuccessful shot. Why not flood the floor with shooters (including CJ) in such situations? It was a blown opportunity in a close game of using CJ to advantage with no possibility of bringing any possible defensive weakness into play.

In fact there have been many, many situtions where our offense was much less efficient than our defense… in other words, situations where another good offensive player on court would have been more welcome than another good defender. Hopefully we’ll be looking for those situtions in future games.

You think he’s going to knock Beard out of the starting lineup?
I just don’t see that happening.
He’s solidifying his value to this team more with each game IMO.
You may be right.

But, I would think a second group with CJ, Glasper and maybe Garland could be pretty salty (depending of course, on how they develop defensively).
There will be some nice options next year.
I still think we need to add one more small/strong forward.
Maybe Hall grows into that spot?

In a conference game, and especially in a conference ROAD game, I really hope we don’t play either CJ or Bailey. If they get minutes, it would mean we had 3-4 players in foul trouble or we were down big. Now, if we are winning by a large margin, then great, play them the last few minutes.

In a conference road game, frequently one TO or bad shot can be the difference between winning or losing the game. Also, our weakest position, and most foul prone, is the 4, so I would expect Bailey to see minutes before CJ. Our guards and SF (really a 3rd guard) are the strength of this team.

They should get some minutes in some of our conference home games that aren’t nail biters. CJ, I believe, is going to be a very good player for us. He and Adrio both have a lot of potential. Practice hard, improve their defense, and learn the system. Their time will come if they continue to improve.

Well my thought is, Beard has been playing well enough now to be starting now, but CMA has continued to bring him off the bench. I think he likes him in the role. And looking at next year’s roster if we start Beard, Barford, and Macon, that leaves no proven ball handler coming off the bench with second unit. I don’t think Glasper, an undersized walk-on, that’s been injured all year will play significant minutes his first year (I could be wrong). I think he’s more of a guy we’ll see get minutes once all the other guards graduate. So, that leaves that 3rd guard spot. I could see Garland competing for it. But, I think Jones will get it to start off.

Sorry to jump in here Blu, but everything I’ve seen is Garland, and Hall are basically 3’s, with Garland able to handle the rock if he needs to. CJ is good offensively, but his advantage over guys this year is he’s 6’5, good length, and an above average shooter. He is weak with his ball handling and defense. Hall and Garland both are 6’5/6’6 with length, both are good shooters, and both can handle and play defense better. Not sure CMA will stick CJ out there with either of those guys here, unless he improves similar to Qualls. I know everyone thinks it’s too early to say this, but I can see CJ transferring prior to next year.

No need to apologize, feel free to jump in the discussion :slight_smile:

But, to reply back to what you were saying, IMO it would be a HUGE loss is CJ transferred. I know Jimmy has said this several times, and I agree, CJ Jones has the most pro potential on this basketball team. As far as Garland and Hall, I think they both play next year, but I would still think Jones would be ahead of them. They will have an adjustment period like all freshmen, and CJ Jones isn’t a scrub by any means, if Jones was on last year’s team he would have been solidly in the rotation, only reason he isn’t this year is because we actually have depth, experience, and talent at our guard positions. I think Jones will have a big of a jump as anyone this off-season.

Absolutely agree with both statements

I think when people worry about CJ transferring, they are referencing Nick Babb transferring or maybe even Jimmy Whitt transferring. Let’s keep in mind that Nick was very highly recruited with many similar options and an early signee and Whitt was a four star that supposedly could have gone anywhere. CJ was a late signee with Arkansas as the only Power 5 offer. That makes a difference.

I agree it’s a bit of a different situation. With Nick Babb, I think he secretly wanted to play for Iowa State (brother played for them), but they didn’t have room for him when he was coming out of high school, so his lack of PT and them having an opening was all he needed to head the way. Whitt, was more of a head scratcher he was a kid the staff had known personally and recruited for a long time. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked when rumors surfaced of him transferring. But, you never know what’s going on behind the scenes, seems like he felt a bit entitled due to his ranking and didn’t wanna compete for a starting spot against the incoming guys. Which seeing them now, I could see the concern from him.

With Jones, I’d be even more shocked if he transferred, he’s known staff a long time, think he said he’s known CMA since he was 4 and we were his only high major offer, like you mentioned. Plus, I think CJ knows he’ll be a major part of this team in the future and he looks happy, you see him on the bench always one of the main guys up and cheering, it seems like these guys have a closer bond than the guys did last year.

There’s obviously something that CJ isn’t getting or doing if he can’t break in the rotation.

My guess is it is defensively and he is not being able to grasp the concepts.

He is smooth looking and has a nice shot. That looks good, but doesn’t always translate.

I’ll have to admit I expected him to be playing more.

I’ll try and ask at Thursday’s press conference

Defense earns you minutes. That’s always been the case with Mike Anderson. I have no issue with that and figure CJ understands that, too. Toughness with the ball, limiting turnovers and playing defense will get you on the floor. He’s got a shot, but he’s got to do something other than that to get playing time. CJ will figure it out.

Is Hannahs that much better than Jones on defense?

Dudley, Clay, PJ, Blu, I am comparing him to the Babb situation. Those that watched practice was very, very high on Babb. Yet, Babb wasn’t getting a lot of playing time. Now, those that are watching CJ are saying they think he can help during our scoring droughts because he can score. CMA isn’t getting him in. CMA is seeing something the rest of us ain’t seeing and the situations look very similar to me.

Now, as for Whitt, I watched him a lot in HS and last year. I believe his issue last year was he was playing the wrong position and trying to overcompensate his 6’3 frame by leaning away from the defender. Don’t understand why those that watched him in HS didn’t notice. Yes I know he had an arch when he shot, but he actually leans away.

Not by much. Plus CJ is about 2 inches taller and more athletic so there isn’t much of a difference.

He is that much better offensively. Dusty is the best on the team at taking the ball to the rack, getting fouled and/or converting the layup. Not to mention the outside shooting.

At this point in his career CJ is strictly a spot up shooter. His time is coming, and I think we should find some minutes when we can, but it’s hard with so many options in the backcourt.