Chane is off the team. We all knew this was possible, as he could never quite stay out of trouble. He isn’t a bad kid at all. He just can’t seem to make consistent good decisions that are best not only for him, but for the team.
Here are some thoughts:
1. Front court has been struggling already. I worried all summer that the loss of Gorgui not only hurts us at center, but it affects the matchup advantages we had at other positions. We have struck out 2 times against teams with formidable talent and depth inside. That trend will get worse, we might graduate to “not formidable, but pretty good”.
2. Chane was a major producer. #2 on the TVT (per minute production) for the past 7 games. Even in a bad game by his standards versus UK – he hauled in 7 rebounds in 20 minutes. That’s excellent vs UK by the way. Man I am going to miss him so much – he was a real bull when he wanted to be.
3. 3 guard lineup? It’s possible, and could happen, but Pitino might roll with the path of least resistance – backing up Trez with Agau. That keeps everyone at their current role, no new things to learn for multiple people. If that doesn’t work – it is time to learn new roles, and that is tough mid-season. Maybe Wayne to the 2 and run a 3-guard lineup with Smith, Rozier, Jones, Blackshear in the rotation. Or just let our man Gill get playing time as well. Either is fine for me – this isn’t the Big East. We have a SEC caliber league this year, so you can afford the in season development. Something we ARE NOT USED to, but can happen this year ONLY.
4. Pitfall of 3-guard lineup. In most years I would love this solution – but in the year of ticky tack fouls, this kind of hurts. Did you see what they were letting Randle get away with? We want frontcourt guys, and good news is they are coming – next year.
4. Agau playing helps us for next year. We will be young, talented and inexperienced across the front court next year. Playing time helps that. This is a stretch – I think Agau will be better because of this, but this is nothing to get excited about. This falls into the super-optimistic category – which I AM ALWAYS IN.
5. Can we get Price and Buckles back? No? Ok, moving on. I don’t want Angel back. Good kid, but he didn’t like working hard so he would continue be miserable under Pitino. I don’t want anyone to feel miserable – not even Matt Jones.
6. Forget about rankings and seeds. Let’s let Rick figure this out. He always does. We are focused on getting better each game all the way up to the tournament. Can we make the final four for the third year in the row? It will be tough – BUT – you need to win 4 games to get there, Pitino will not be out coached, we have great talent, and the match-ups will mater more this year than last year. Yes, it can happen, just don’t count on it. Enjoy the journey.
7. Time To Rally The Fans: Let’s have fun watching this team re-invent itself without Chane. Let’s be a huge 6th man at Yum! We have some of the best guards in the country – and Trezl will dunk on everyone. Did I mention that Mathiang led all front court players in the UK game with 4 blocks? Yeah, he is getting better.
We can do this.
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