All this football recruiting news lately got me thinking about basketball recruiting, and what our team will look like next year. It seems we'll have some tough choices to make in terms of the rotation. I've always said (and Painter has verified this in some interviews) that Painter's system works best with 2 playmakers, 2 shooters, and 1 post in the game. One of the 2 shooters should be a versatile stretch 4 who can shoot, rebound and dribble, as that's what he likes from that position (Hummel was perfect fit). But looking at our roster next year, we may be in a tough spot to play this kind of lineup. Options are below:
Go small, play a stretch 4:
PG: RJ, Bryson
SG: Kendall, Dakota
SF: RayD, 5th year transfer
PF: Vince, Basil
C (post): AJH, Simpson, Haas, Taylor
As you can see, going small and playing the stretch 4 like Painter likes will leave a log jam at the center position. I think Haas has to get regular rotation minutes, as does Simpson and AJH, so this may be tough to do. But, going small does allow for 2 play makers to play together, unlike big option below.
Go big, play traditional sized PF:
PG: RJ, Bryson, 5th year transfer
SG: Kendall, Dakota
SF: Vince, Basil, RayD
PF: Simpson, Taylor
C (post): AJH, Haas
Going big should lead to dominating the paint and rebounds, as we'd have great size at each position. But, we'd only have one ball handler on the floor at a time. Plus we'd be pretty slow in the front court (except Taylor), and probably pick up a lot of fouls against quicker teams, or get beat in transition. I really like the potential of this lineup though, as we'd really be a problem for other teams to deal with inside and in rebounding.
I think if we go big, RayD doesn't see the court. We'll always need a shooter playing, so Kendall and Dakota will get their minutes and sub for each other. And Basil is already better than Ray, and I'd expect Vince to be too. So Ray may be the odd man out in a big lineup as our 11th or 12th best player (always nice to have a 4* as your 11th guy off the bench!!). Going small would almost certainly lead to a redshirt year for Taylor, as I don't see how he gets minutes as the 4th center.
Either way, I hope we get another shooter as a 5th year transfer to round out this class. I'd prefer a PG, so we could try some lineups where we have 3 shooters and 2 posts. But I'd take a shooter at any position for that last scholarship. I will say, a starting lineup of Bryson, Kendall, Vince, Simpson, and AJH could be really scary. That lineup would have a lot of potential, maybe even final 4 potential in 2015. We'd have two skilled post players, 2 good shooters on the wing, great rebounding, and a great slasher and leader in Bryson. But foul trouble could kill that potential if we don't figure out how to guard quick teams w/o fouling...
So what do you guys think Painter will do next year? Go big or go small (or just go home!)? My prediction for 9 man rotation: RJ, Bryson, Kendall, Dakota, Basil, Vince, Simpson, AJH, Haas... RayD, Taylor and 5th year transfer won't see much PT next year IMO, but all could provide energy when we need it.