Friday, November 5, 2010

Go Big or Go Home?

Here I made the case that the Hoyas were a better team last year with a traditional lineup of two guards, a wing and two bigs.

Here Brian highlighted last year's minutes breakdown, at least from a defensive standpoint.

And so there's a logical progression here, now that we likely know the roster for next year. Here's Brian's chart from the above linked post, with:
  • Greg Monroe removed
  • Julian Vaughn's minutes moved to center and bumping him up tofull-time minutes
  • Benimon's, Sims', Sanford's and Hollis' temporarily minutes removed, because that's what we're going to focus on
Note that I'm not bumping up Austin's minutes. Yes, they are a little depressed because of missing games due to diabetes. But we don't really know how he's going to be affected this year; a few minutes off his pre-diagnosis average doesn't seem unreasonable.

Here's what you get:
  1. Wright [36], Clark [3], TBD [1]
  2. Clark [30], Freeman [8], TBD [2]
  3. Freeman [26], TBD [14]
  4. TBD [40]
  5. Vaughn [30], TBD [10]
Hollis got 12 minutes last year, Benimon 12, and Sanford and Sims 3 each. Instead of inserting them in, though, I'm going to bunch them, along with the freshmen, into somewhat arbitrary groups:

Guards: Sanford and Starks
Wings: Thompson and Benimon
Bigs: Sims, Lubick and Abraham

Let's take an easy early assumption to show why this team is going to play small: the guards will play the remaining minutes at the 1 and 2, the wings at the 3 and 4 (when we go small), and the bigs at the 4 & 5.

That leaves Sanford and Starks playing 3 minutes. This is less than Vee got last year -- and that's not including any time for the highly-touted Starks.

Hollis and Benimon with 14 minutes, around what Hollis and Benimon got by themselves. This seems unreasonable as well.

And it leaves 50 minutes for the bigs. Henry grabbed few minutes last year. So forty plus minutes for the freshmen or an increase in Henry's minutes isn't out of the question, but it does seem unlikely, especially given Moses' reported raw game.

If, instead we try to budget based more realistically on talent and restrict only on completely unreasonable positional assignments (e.g. Vee Sanford at PF), we get something a bit different:

Sanford/Starks: 17 minutes, all that remains at guard and SF.

Thompson/Benimon: 30 minutes, all effective at PF and around what they got together last year.

Bigs: 20 minutes at C and PF.

Leaving it to look something like this:
  1. Wright [36], Starks/Sanford [4]
  2. Clark [27] Starks/Sanford [13]
  3. Freeman [34], Clark [6]
  4. Thompson/Benimon [30], Assorted Unproven Bigs [10]
  5. Vaughn [30], Assorted Unproven Bigs [10]
You could argue about my distribution at the margins. Perhaps Starks and Sanford get 13 minutes or the bigs impress, limiting Benimon's time. It's largely irrelevant to the overall conclusions, which are:
  • The Hoyas will play 3 guard between 33-40 minutes of the game this year unless Markel Starks is simply not as ready as expected.
  • They'll have a wildly undersized PF for somewhere between half to almost all game, unless the unproven assorted bigs of Lubick, Sims & Ayegba have two breakout players.
Going big worked better for the Hoyas last year, but it was rarely executed. It seems like it is going to be more rare this year.


  1. No minutes for Aaron Bowen?

    Nice to have you guys back.

  2. I apparently hate Aaron Bowen. Actually, I like the guy and think he's a sleeper. I just completely forget.

    You'd stick him in with Hollis & Benimon, though. Bowen being good makes my conclusions even more likely.