I have always been of the opinion you play guys when you think it's of value, and part of sitting a year is up to the player. If I recall corectly, AJ Burgett declined to sit a year, though my memory may be incorrect on the player.
Furthermore, we are now in a position where redshirting guys could be the exception instead of the rule. Obviously, you'd do it if there was an injury to a talented player that needs to recover, but if recruiting continues like it has, we won't need to take guys outside the top-100 and redshirt them as a strategy to stay old and experienced. I think Brey will still stay older, but we the talent we are getting in, it's going to look like the team being played are babies compared to previous teams.
The Irish were chasing a regular season championship late in the season. On the flip side in terms of standings, the double bye in the conference tournament wasn't a lock until the final game.
Most of the conference wins were close games, not decided until the final minutes. If playing guys who aren't quite ready costs points, some of those wins could easily become losses; so when you wish they got more reps during ACC play, were you willing to risk the double bye to get those reps? Were you willing to give up early on chasing a first place finish to get them those reps?
There were a couple of blowout wins - BC and Syracuse. Maybe Mooney and Burns should have played more in those games, but I'm not sure that mop-up time is particularly meaningful.
One of them starting isn't far fetched, but someone who's in line to start would have to be bumped out of the initial lineup.
I've told this story before... Whe many of us were wondering why one or both guys weren't playing, I decided to ask about it. However, I have learned that direct questions tend to get cliché answers; so I asked several indirect questions. One of those questions was, "Which one of your teammates is most likely to plant someone on the floor during practice?"
Typically five guys come out for interviews after practice, sometimes only four; so the sample size was limited. Nevertheless, it was unanimous. Burns.
Fast forward to tournament selection day. The whole team was available for interviews, so I approached Burns. "I've asked several of your teammates who is most likely to plant someone on the floor during practice..."
He didn't let me finish the question. "Gotta be me," he said.
Planting guys on the floor in practice is not a guarantee that Burns will be a quality ACC big man; but damn, that's the attitude I want to see playing next to Colson this season.
Bonzie needs some protection. He will be even better than what we've already seen if he doesn't have to carry the entire load of physical play. He will be even better than what we've already seen if someone else can guard the other teams' post players.
Geben to the bench to start the year. Seems like a very un-Brey thing to do, no? Or am I not on target here. Maybe one of them earns a spot prior to conference play?
And agreed that a quality 5 just makes Bonzi all the more deadly. I think he's got an outside shot of making 1st team AP All-America. IMO, if we end up looking pack at 2014 as "the year ND turned the corner," we may think of Bonzi as the key recruit who pushed the car around that corner.
Then again, it's not like people don't know they have to pay attention to him now. Maybe he gets more heat next year.
But that doesn't mean he will hold the spot. If one of Mooney or Burns plays better, he'll start ahead of Geben and get more playing time.
Farrell, Rex, Bonzie, Geben and I suppose Gibbs. The biggest weakness in this lineup is outside shooting where only Farrell is a threat from 3. Strong defensively, but I think either Mooney or Harvey will need to be scoring threats for us to be a top half of the ACC team. And yes, I know Bonzie, Rex and TG can shoot, but losing Ryan is a bigger loss than we realize. And of course, Vasturia and Beachem were bigger scoring threats than the guys that are replacing them.
Was unless he was very hot from behind the line, he was a near certainty to give up more points than he scored.
I believe with consistent PT that Gibbs can shoot around 40% on treys.
However, both guys were inconsistent. I should run some stats on the variances when I have time someday.
I prefer to know what I'll get from a guy game after game even if it's a few points less on average. I'll take a 14 points guy who always gets between 12 and 16 points over a 17 points guy who will score 30 one day and 8 the next.
Bonzie is probably the most consistent scorer we have had in the last three to four years followed by Grant and DJ. Beachem is the poster child for scoring 30 one game and 8 the next and Vasturia definitely had some poor shooting games as well. Lots of shots to go around though with those two gone and on the surface, our outside shooting has taken a major hit.
So unlike Mooney eligibility last season was not wasted on him.