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I had speculated previously why we have rarely been playing two bigs at the same time. Last game may have been the only time all year Ford did it. Last year we started Bell and French in just about every game regardless of match-ups with the opponents. I would figure we would do it again today. It will help free up French, so he won't have to battle and do so much of the dirty work contending with Mitchell- which in turn should help keep him out of foul trouble. Let Bell and Linnsen do a lot of that. Has is quick enough to guard just about any four in this league and can run out to the perimeter if he has to. Conversely, on the offensive end, he is able to bully his way in for easy baskets against most defenders around his size.

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1 hour ago, ACE said:

I had speculated previously why we have rarely been playing two bigs at the same time. Last game may have been the only time all year Ford did it. Last year we started Bell and French in just about every game regardless of match-ups with the opponents. I would figure we would do it again today. It will help free up French, so he won't have to battle and do so much of the dirty work contending with Mitchell- which in turn should help keep him out of foul trouble. Let Bell and Linnsen do a lot of that. Has is quick enough to guard just about any four in this league and can run out to the perimeter if he has to. Conversely, on the offensive end, he is able to bully his way in for easy baskets against most defenders around his size.

Against the right teams / matchups, I really like starting the game with 2 bigs because I think it is absolutely our best lineup defensively.  You have 2 guys protecting the rim.  Even if one guy gets pulled away covering or switching a screen, the other guys is still there to help on D & prevent easy looks at the basket on drives.

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The problem is that in the A10, traditional big men are few per team.  If a team has a starting center (Dayton, Duquesne, Bonaventure, Mason, Fordham, Rhode Island, Geedubya, La Salle) their four man is usually a spot up shooter and not one that plays well in the lane.  Other schools have centers that are really just those same fours playing outside the traditional big man defensive realm (Davidson, St. Joes, Richmond).  The only real teams int he A10 with conventional lineups allowing us to guard with two bigs are Umass and VCU.  DeGray and Mitchell for Umass and Stockard and Ward for VCU.  

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3 minutes ago, Taj79 said:

The problem is that in the A10, traditional big men are few per team.  If a team has a starting center (Dayton, Duquesne, Bonaventure, Mason, Fordham, Rhode Island, Geedubya, La Salle) their four man is usually a spot up shooter and not one that plays well in the lane.  Other schools have centers that are really just those same fours playing outside the traditional big man defensive realm (Davidson, St. Joes, Richmond).  The only real teams int he A10 with conventional lineups allowing us to guard with two bigs are Umass and VCU.  DeGray and Mitchell for Umass and Stockard and Ward for VCU.  

Well we started two bigs just about every game last year and now Ford has been back to doing it again the last two games. I'm just curious, why Ford didn't do it earlier this season, when it was pretty successful last year on a team that didn't have a 3rd quality big like we have now with Linnsen. 

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Quoting the guru three-star ---matchups.  I believe in yesterday's game, Tre Mitchell hit his lone three pointer with Jimmy Bell on him,  Jimmy hedged at the foul circle ---- as any good big man would when the opposing big is outside the arc.  However, Mitchell hit his shot.  Yes, it was his only make from distance for the night but the sequence demonstrates the issue with Jimmy and mobile big men.  I'd throw Jimmy out there to start and bump and grind with Tshimanga, Soriano, Hughes, Calixte, Marhel Miitchell, Moore, Dean and other animals of Jimmy's ilk.  But then you are faced with Hasahn chasing around others like Amzil, Weathers, Antwan Walker, and any of the guards employed by Fordham, Mason, URI and La Salle.  Do you want to do that?  

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13 minutes ago, ACE said:

Well we started two bigs just about every game last year and now Ford has been back to doing it again the last two games. I'm just curious, why Ford didn't do it earlier this season, when it was pretty successful last year on a team that didn't have a 3rd quality big like we have now with Linnsen. 

Just a guess - French was hurt to start the year and we started off so well (even better than last year) while playing with just 1 big.  Even though we started 2 bigs last year our main lineup had Bell on the bench.

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5 minutes ago, Taj79 said:

Quoting the guru three-star ---matchups.  I believe in yesterday's game, Tre Mitchell hit his lone three pointer with Jimmy Bell on him,  Jimmy hedged at the foul circle ---- as any good big man would when the opposing big is outside the arc.  However, Mitchell hit his shot.  Yes, it was his only make from distance for the night but the sequence demonstrates the issue with Jimmy and mobile big men.  I'd throw Jimmy out there to start and bump and grind with Tshimanga, Soriano, Hughes, Calixte, Marhel Miitchell, Moore, Dean and other animals of Jimmy's ilk.  But then you are faced with Hasahn chasing around others like Amzil, Weathers, Antwan Walker, and any of the guards employed by Fordham, Mason, URI and La Salle.  Do you want to do that?  

Conversely, make other teams match up against us. What opponents would want any of those guys you mentioned guarding Has?

Ford is changing back to starting two bigs like he did all of last year, so clearly he's seeing the value in it.

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1 minute ago, RUBillsFan said:

Just a guess - French was hurt to start the year and we started off so well (even better than last year) while playing with just 1 big.  Even though we started 2 bigs last year our main lineup had Bell on the bench.

To clarify, I'm not advocating playing two bigs most of the game, but we had some games where it seemed like we never played two bigs. It seems we should be playing two bigs for at least some portion of every game, especially considering we now have Linnsen on the roster. I think it really frees Has up and gives him a bit of a break from having to always battle with a center who is usually bigger than him. Has is a match up nightmare for opposing 4s in this league. Anyway, looks like TF is making the adjustment and I'm good with that.

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@ACE --- I do not disagree.  Ford, like anyone anywhere, is picking his poison.  Good or bad.  I like your idea of having them match up with us but Jimmy Bell is no offensive juggernaut.  What he might give us on the defensive end is negated by the fact that he is another black hole on the offensive end.  And I so want the kid to develop a decent, reliable offensive game.  But if you put Bell out there, with Collins and (until lately) Thatch, we have quite a few holes from which to try and score from.

But I think you can do it when the situation is right.  Ford's choice.

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30 minutes ago, Taj79 said:

The problem is that in the A10, traditional big men are few per team.  If a team has a starting center (Dayton, Duquesne, Bonaventure, Mason, Fordham, Rhode Island, Geedubya, La Salle) their four man is usually a spot up shooter and not one that plays well in the lane.  Other schools have centers that are really just those same fours playing outside the traditional big man defensive realm (Davidson, St. Joes, Richmond).  The only real teams int he A10 with conventional lineups allowing us to guard with two bigs are Umass and VCU.  DeGray and Mitchell for Umass and Stockard and Ward for VCU.  

i wouldnt consider mitchell a "traditional big man".   no one is going to confuse him with Kareem or bob lanier.

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french indeed is a matchup problem for opposing power forwards.   french is athletic enough to guard everyone but typically the opposing point guard imo.   his defensive ability is pretty darn special for his size.  

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No, but he is mainly an 'in-the-lane' kind of big.  He's not a Euro-big like Brajkovec, Cody Ellis, Sam Mennenga, Grant Golden or Taylor Funk.  Guys who prefer the three as opposed to banging down low.  Mitchell will take what's given and can make it, but it's not really his bread and butter.  

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1 minute ago, ACE said:

To clarify, I'm not advocating playing two bigs most of the game, but we had some games where it seemed like we never played two bigs. It seems we should be playing two bigs for at least some portion of every game, especially considering we now have Linnsen on the roster. I think it really frees Has up and gives him a bit of a break from having to always battle with a center who is usually bigger than him. Has is a match up nightmare for opposing 4s in this league. Anyway, looks like TF is making the adjustment and I'm good with that.

Here’s my 2 cents: I’m all for playing 2 bigs for certain stretches of the game, but to do that, you have to also have the right guards in the game. I can’t remember if it was the VCU game or the Richmond game, but I remember in the 2nd half we had about a 9-point lead and we had French, Linssen, Yuri, Goodwin and Thatch on the floor. They other team went on a run because we were playing 2 bigs while we had 3 guards on the floor who present almost ZERO threat from deep. Yes, Fred has hit a few big 3’s the last few games, and I hope it continues, but with that lineup, if I’m a defense, I’m just sagging off and clogging the lane and daring the Billikens to beat me with jumpers. Playing 2 bigs can absolutely work, but only if we have the right personnel on the floor to support it.

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Absolutely French can do it.  Problem will be his penchant for cheap fouls.  Or at least t he refs insistence on calling such fouls on bully French.

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I was very vocal in my belief we would play small with Perkins and Jimerson starting this season. While my prognostication was correct, I'm willing to admit it looks like that strategy wasn't the best use of our pieces. I doubt it's a coincidence our return to form coincided with returning to the lineup that made us so formidable at the end of last season. We'll really be dangerous if we can get Jimerson into the flow of the game off the bench.

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11 minutes ago, Reinert310 said:

Here’s my 2 cents: I’m all for playing 2 bigs for certain stretches of the game, but to do that, you have to also have the right guards in the game. I can’t remember if it was the VCU game or the Richmond game, but I remember in the 2nd half we had about a 9-point lead and we had French, Linssen, Yuri, Goodwin and Thatch on the floor. They other team went on a run because we were playing 2 bigs while we had 3 guards on the floor who present almost ZERO threat from deep. Yes, Fred has hit a few big 3’s the last few games, and I hope it continues, but with that lineup, if I’m a defense, I’m just sagging off and clogging the lane and daring the Billikens to beat me with jumpers. Playing 2 bigs can absolutely work, but only if we have the right personnel on the floor to support it.

Totally agree, having Perkins and Jimmer on the floor at that same time with the bigs makes sense. My overall point is that we have so many potential interesting lineup combinations and playing two bigs is just one. I'm just glad it's being used a bit, after it seemed it was scrapped for much of the season.

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6 hours ago, someoneelse said:

I saw the two bigs also as a realization that GJ isn't quite getting/hitting shots right now.  

GJ hasn’t taken a shot in the last two games. You can’t play him over Hargrove if he can’t get a shot off.

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8 hours ago, kmbilliken said:

GJ hasn’t taken a shot in the last two games. You can’t play him over Hargrove if he can’t get a shot off.

Gibson needs minutes, if for no other reason than he forces the defense to guard him on the perimeter. But you’re right, TJ deserves to be playing more right now. Here’s my issue with Gibson, and I fully understand that with all the missed games, he’s essentially just now finishing his 1st full season of games, and I fully expect him to figure it all out soon, but he’s just too 1 dimensional. He’s a sniper. He can be absolutely deadly from deep, we all know that, but he stands a lot of offense. He’s improved quite a bit defensively, but on offense, he has a tendency to stand on the wing or in the corner and wait for a kick out. That makes him incredibly easy to guard. I don’t expect Jimerson to ever be a slasher or do much driving, but if that’s the case, HE’S GOT TO MOVE WITHOUT THE BALL A LOT MORE THAN HE DOES CURRENTLY. Some, perhaps a lot, of that could be due to our offensive schemes. I doubt Ford draws up many plays for Gibson when Has and Yuri and JGood and Perk are on the floor with him, but just standing out there really limits his effectiveness and limits how many open looks he’s ever going to get in a game. Like I said, I fully expect him to figure this out, but that’s what I see that’s really limiting him right now.

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1 hour ago, almaman said:

I c GJ as the most likely to transfer before next season. :(

I honestly think the opposite. I think if anybody transfers (and I hope he doesn’t either), would be Lorentsson. Gibson was a starter for most of the year. He knows there will be more shots to go around next year without JGood and Has. I don’t think playing less minutes in the last 5 games of an extremely F-ed season is going to cause him to give up on SLU. I could be wrong, I don’t see it.

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27 minutes ago, almaman said:

what's Lorentsson's beef? My fear with GJ is that he's not being used as much as he may think he should be. Can't see how that would be an issue with a freshman who knows there are a dozen studs ahead of him.

I don’t necessarily think it’s beef as much as transferring down to a “lesser” mid-major, like KC Hankton. I hope Lorentsson stays because if can shoot as advertised, we’re eventually gonna find him minutes and this year was insane and he got a very late start. With Gibson, I think he understands the situation.

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You can beat teams like Richmond and UMass with bully ball offense and physical defense. I think you need a sniper shooter to open the floor and differentiate yourself against a power conference team in the NCAA tournament. Jimerson hasn't looked good lately and others are stepping up. But I still think this team needs a fully functioning Jimerson playing 20 mins per game if we want to make a deep NCAA run. I wish he had gotten some more minutes in the 2nd half of the UMass game just to help him regain his footing. He looks like a guy with no confidence who is playing timid and/or a guy who is nursing a lower body injury. 

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10 minutes ago, slufan13 said:

You can beat teams like Richmond and UMass with bully ball offense and physical defense. I think you need a sniper shooter to open the floor and differentiate yourself against a power conference team in the NCAA tournament. Jimerson hasn't looked good lately and others are stepping up. But I still think this team needs a fully functioning Jimerson playing 20 mins per game if we want to make a deep NCAA run. I wish he had gotten some more minutes in the 2nd half of the UMass game just to help him regain his footing. He looks like a guy with no confidence who is playing timid and/or a guy who is nursing a lower body injury. 

That’s exactly what I was just thinking to myself. There may be a nagging injury that may not be serious enough for him not to dress, but is lingering enough to effect his play. But realistically, where could Gibson transfer that would put him in a better position than where he’s at right now? He started the vast majority of games for a team that is probably a top-30ish team in the country under normal circumstances, has a significant number of shots opening up next year, and has a pass-first point guard, who is 1 of the top assist men in the country and LOVES to drive and kick. I just don’t understand how transferring makes anything better for Gibson right now.

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