After two days of arguing the merits of starting this guy over that guy and valuing this over that, it's time to start worrying about what happens the rest of the forty minutes. Remember, we are ridiculously deep this year, so let's have a little fun today.
No Dribbling at Mackey Five:
P. J. Thompson, G
Grant Weatherford, G
Rapheal Davis, G
Basil Smotherman, F
Jacquil Taylor, F
You know how in the Fast and Furious franchises they save the Nos for just the right moment of explosion? Well, this lineup is the equivalent of that. It's a bunch of relatively small, super quick, in your face defenders that would kick Mackey into an extra gear if hit at the right moment.
If Coach Painter were ever willing to talk himself into pressing during a game before the final minutes, it'd be with a lineup like this. There's obvious limitations here, especially after all the talk about spacing and shooting we've had over the last couple days. While I fully expect Thompson, Davis, and even Smotherman to show off improved strokes this year, this lineup would score predominately off of transition baskets.
This is not a lineup that will see any play in Big Ten play, it's almost entirely not likely to see the court at all, but we've got over thirty days of lineups to talk about and this one is just too much fun to deny. The idea of Thompson harassing the point bringing up the ball before passing the ball off in a panic to a face-guarded two who has to deal with 10-steal Weatherford treating that two like a high school couple dancing at an unchaperoned prom is what we Boiler fans live off of.
Ray D becomes the calm of the storm here, with Basil and Jacquil both able to wreak havoc against slower big men, and you can practically hear the shot clock clicking down to zero already. Remember, there's five less seconds per possession this year, so in theory, defense becomes easier.
But this is absolutely a non-conference, bad team lineup that would only be used if Painter gets pissed at his team. These guys are all high-energy, mega effort guys, but this is the fun of going 13 players deep. They'll be games where Painter will just throw stuff against the wall to see what fits. Why not try a little press? Why not see if you can't force turnovers and get the crowd going early?
It'll behoove us to stretch our guys a little early. To keep some of our scorers on the bench and see if Taylor might surprise us with his energy and length, to see if Grant can get to the basket and get a couple shots, and see if Thompson can run the point without another offensive focal point around him.
You could also throw Hill in for Thompson in this lineup and add even more length in the back court, but I liked what Thompson did against Minnesota specifically in that patented one-man press.
And if you press this button at just the right time, the other team won't know what hit them.