Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan are studs, we all know this. But, our 3rd big guy on our roster is going to have to play a vital role next season. Most of us believe that when Isaac gets into foul trouble or tired we will just slide ole' Biggie Swanigan into the center spot. Not so fast my friends.
It is inevitable that Haas will get into foul trouble. His freshman season, he averaged 2.1 fouls per game, his sophomore campaign he got it down to 1.7. But, both seasons he was only playing 14 minutes per game. His minutes will obviously go up, with the loss of A.J. Hammons. We all want to now know what Haas' fouls per game would be scaled up to the 40 MPG. Scaled up, it is 5.9 fouls per game his frosh season and 4.6 his sophomore season. Ouch.
"So let's just slide Biggie over". Ha, no, we can but the man needs a breather also, he cant play all 40 minutes. We aren't built for small ball. Painter has recruited guys that can work around a post centric offense. Every once in a while, we can pull it off, but not usually. Remember when we went small in the tourney? Arkansas Little-Rock took advantage of it. Their coach literally said, that we took our biggest advantage out of the game, being a bully ball team.
Remember, we still have an often forgotten redshirt sophomore on the bench. Jacquil Taylor, was coined a hot recruit before he broke his foot in high school. Well, CMP stayed with him. Came here, was too skinny and that foot was still lingering around, took a redshirt. Now, 30 pounds heavier, near 240 pounds, he is ready to contribute.
He has to contribute.
He needs to be a rotational guy, if not we are in trouble. CMP didn't recruit the kid to ride the pine. He sounds confident, ready to contribute. If Haas is in foul trouble, put him in, hoping he can fill the rotation. No need to play it small. Sure, some situations throw a couple point guards out there, Dakota/Cline, Edwards/Basil and Biggie. But we are built to bully, not to run. In fact, we are in trouble if we have to run.
Jacquil showed his ability against Rutgers. Ya, Rutgers, but still a double-double in 14 minutes is impressive. 12 points 10 boards, 2 of 3 from deep, showing some real nice range, I came away from that game thinking man he is a ball player. Per 40 minutes, his average was 16 points and 13.3 rebounds, not too bad.
He is important, really important. We aren't a team prepared to run the floor, but we don't have much depth for our bigs behind Biggie and Haas. Taylor has to show up and as long as he is serviceable we will be okay. In my opinion, he will be more than serviceable and serve as a vital role in a season in which we have a ton of potential.
If we don't make it past the first round of the tournament this season, I will be even more angry, this team finally has some guard play and should be able to win a couple in the big dance.