Do we think there is a chance he could be a contributor Saturday night? It sure would be nice if Smith didn’t have to play 40 minutes. If we make it to Monday night, it would be great for him to have a little rest.

I doubt it because Oral Roberts doesn’t have a true five.

I think Smith has handled his minutes pretty good.

I’m also concerned about Smiths minutes. He does seem to be in excellent shape, but it could take its toll on him physically down the line. Not sure Vanover is solely the one to help with that. But maybe by committee Justin can get a little more rest during these next games.

We will need Smith in there whenever Obanor is on the floor.

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Henderson before Vanover in all likelihood, if we don’t just go smaller. Mobility over height in this game. If Vanover plays I doubt they have him guarding Obanor whether Smith is in the game or not.

They might just go smaller and let Williams handle Obanor for a couple of minutes. ORU’s other forwards are not big, powerful guys so Moody and Tate could switch onto some of those guys for a couple of minutes.

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I would not want to give up one single Smith minute.

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Easy to understand your viewpoint. Smith has to have exceeded even the most optimistic outlook for this season.

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CV played 9:35 against ORU the first time, scored 3 points, 3 boards, 0 blocks and had a -1 P/M. I wouldn’t expect he would get a whole lot of run Saturday either. JWill didn’t play at all the first time; Vance got 10 minutes and scored 5 points.

I would expect Arkansas to play Smith and Williams, rest one for a few minutes while keeping the other on the floor and then switch out and rejoin.

NBAish if you will

During that switch out time, I would thus expect them to play smaller - especially since ORU has no one over 6-8, although they have a few 6-8s.

I totally agree with this. I don’t suspect Connor plays another minute in this tournament. I think Muss has lost patience with Connor’s defensive liabilities, and Williams is, clearly, the man at the $5…when we play a #5. Connor needs a good offseason…and to keep on the good weight he put on last time before he got sick. (Before someone says ‘its his lateral quickness’…OF COURSE he needs more lateral quickness. But Connor can’t even hold his position in the lane. he gets pushed right out…or under the rim. he has skills if he can just maintain his position. He will never be quick.)

I DON’T think we can win 4 more games playing just 6 though. Which means, IMO, Desi needs to come on. Desi seems to be reluctant to drive the basketball. I haven’t read anywhere that he still favors that shoulder, but he must be. He used to be fearless bombing into the lane. Now he’s fear-ful.

That said, he can still play D. Make the right play. Hit an open 3. He needs to have a good stretch of minutes and get his confidence back up. We need him. If he could come on and be able to give us a really good 15 minutes that would be huge.

I suspect these 7 will see ALL the minutes moving ahead:


MAYBE Connor or Vance or Henderson if they are needed.

This is all my personal opinion. No insider knowledge whatsoever.

I don’t think I would take a bet that he will not play one more minute.

Not many, but I can’t go not one more yet.

Muss is much smarter than me.

I would like think that being at over 1,000 practices with Coach Sutton and Coach Richardson helped me learn and understand some, but I still understand today’s game is different and I am far from an expert

I think it’s probably situational whether he gets on the floor Saturday. It’s not out of the question against ORU on the defensive side if they can put someone else on Obanor.

How long he could stay out there is a function of whether he can hit a shot or two and whether ORU can make him a liability on defense.

Well…I love Connor, and hope he does play. Great kid from my home town. But he has to produce. Needs a couple of shots to fall…maybe that would get his confidence back up. As soon as his man scores in the early going, you can literally see Muss kinda lose it…

Don’t believe there’s a aggressive bone in his body at this time, needs to become hungry and physical. He can still come in and eat some minutes to give someone a rest, just about need to be playing a zone D for him due to lack of foot speed. Seems to be a great kid and hopefully becomes stronger and aggressive in off season. WPS

This is the zip when they zag moment.

Start Conner. Switch on defense so he is not out front trying to switch up on a guard. Eliminate the dribble penetration. Let him foul if that’s what happens. ANY minutes he gives keeps Smith and Williams that much fresher.

Plus, IF (big ‘if’) he were to hit a 3 in the first couple of minutes it stresses the ORU defense beyond what it is prepping for. Right now, they can lay off of Smith and Williams in the paint and try to mess up the inside passing lanes. CV makes them be honest.

All of that said, I don’t see CV getting more than 4-6 minutes, maybe starting both halves so that Williams gets to see the action before hitting the court.

I would love it if Conner could make 2 or 3 shots before the first media time out. ORU shoots too many 3’s to play zone, especially if Conner is the last line of defense. I do think that you run a risk if ORU exposes Conner and jumps out to an early lead. If we have a big lead, I could see him playing a few minutes to spell Smith or Williams. I think that it is very important to get the lead so ORU has to expend extra energy to stay close. My initial feeling is we keep the rotation down to 7-8 players. However, Muss will make those decisions and I trust his knowledge and experience.

That is quite a drop off from 20 minutes a game you had projected for Connor. BTW, I was projecting 10 minutes. He is going to end up averaging 16, so it is closer to your estimate. So, you still got me on this.

Well, he was averaging over 20 minutes per game.

And as I tried to get across then, that is what Muss thought, not me.

Figured he was a good source

Connor is our best shot blocker, gets the expected rebound and does have a 3 point reputation. I suspect Muss will let him get the opening tip when he wants the ball firest. No patience should be expected by Connor or us. He is very capable of helping more than hurting.

Wow, I don’t think I’d heard that before. Obviously Smith and Williams have exceeded the coach’s expectations.