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If there is a positive to losing Morris...


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it is that it could benefit the development of Clarke. He should see the floor more and in the long run, make him a better player, sooner. I'm looking forward to seeing this kid play and hope that he and Drejaj can form a nice 1-2 combo off the bench.

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ace, i was curious since you see drejaj as coming off the bench, who you see as our starters this coming season? you must be thinking izik as a wing. i am not convinced that sloan and izik will both start. not that it wont work, just concerned about izik's defense. can he guard an opposing wing? can he guard an opposing big? izik is quite the puzzle in my mind. if he can do the job defensively, but i totally am intrigued by the possibility. it sure will change the complexion of the team if izik can do the job defensively to go along with his bigtime offensive possibilities.

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I think we have to start Drejaj with Reggie being out the first few games. With reggie in the lineup, I would start

Fish

Bryant

Izik

Sloan

Frericks

However, with Bryant being out the first few games, I would throw Drejaj in and put Josh at the 2. Roy, I'm just not sure who we would start instead of Izik. I don't forsee JJ being able to start immediatly this season and regardless of Iziks defensive capabilities, from what i've seen and read, he is always a step above Varner.

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i am not adverse to izik, sloan, fericks, fisher and bryant being this billiken lineup. but i wouldnt be surprised to see fisher, bryant, and drejaj with sloan and fericks. regardless, it is nice we apparently have enough depth that we are just wondering who are starters deserve to be.

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Just curious, but how will Drejaj not be in the starting lineup? The kid plays great defense, can penetrate and dish better than anyone we currently have on the team, and can knock down the threes. To me, he is one of the top three or players on the team. Of course, only time will tell.

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My projected lineup is identical to Nashville's. I think based on comments Brad made about Sloan and IO playing together, that they would both start. Of course, Drejaj will get a lot of playing time and I can see them going with three-guards at various points depending on match-ups, but I think they will have to go bigger this year much of the time. We have to get better rebounding out of the 3 this season. With Sloan playing the 3 on defense, I'm confident that will happen. Our rebounding last season was subpar.

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if brad only starts two true guards, who would you propose sits between reggie, josh and anthony?

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I pretty much agree with Willie. There will be plenty of minutes to go around. Depending on our opponent, I think some games you'll see us go small more, other games you'll see us go bigger and the guards will get less clock.

I like Anthony's intensity coming off the bench and providing a spark. Fisher and Bryant starting. Drejaj can play sub for either of them.

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i personally agree. josh will start and so will reggie. if drejaj starts, then the question revolves around izik. sure is nice to have problems like this for a change.

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if izik sits, then we are sacraficing talent. save for reggie, izik is the most talented player on the team. i think brad learned his lesson from the minnesota game when a big team just played over the top of us. izik is one of the most difficult matchup problems in the league. brad would be doing opposing coaches a favor if he kept him on the bench. steve novak wasn't exactly mr. defense last year, but that didn't stop crean from playing him in crunch time of every big game. you play your best players. grit is nice, but superior talent wins out more often than not.

bad boyz for life

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Excellent post P-Diddy. That Minnesota game was an eye-opener. Brad even pointed to that as to why he's leaning toward having Sloan and IO play together. Skilled, agile big men can create match-up problems. A guy like Diener playing the 3 was completely useless in a game like that.

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I agree. With Reggie sitting the first 3 games Brad will be less likely to try and play 3 guards. I hope he is commited to Izk as a small forward even when he may have problems. I'm not worried about the offense as much as Izk pkaying without fouling.

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I, too, have wondered a bit who starts. Chris Sloan, Josh Fisher, Tom Frericks, and Reggie Bryant are probably locks. Then Anthony Drejaj provides fire that no one else this side of Chris Sloan gives, but Izik Ohanon could well be a 15-point per game scorer, especially since he's had the surgery to enable him to play longer segments without getting fatigued.

I guess it comes down to how good Ohanon is on defense. Those six will most likely get the most playing time. Now, here's an idea: don't be surprised, depending on the opponent, to sometimes see a unit of Drejaj, Fisher, Bryant, Sloan, and Ohanon for considerable stretches.

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i think that josh fisher has the athletic talent to explode this year production wise that we havent seen since mo jeffers senior season compared to his junior season. the question is does he have that same belief and desire.

it is a tough question that makes it all the more fun to watch play out.

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During an August 14 interview by Frank Cusumano on KFNS, Brad Soderberg said:

>>He [Izik Ohanon] had a little precedure done to help his wind. Evidently he brought with him some kind of deformity that made it difficult for him to get the air he needed, so he wasn't able last year to play in long stretches. After he had his precedure done in Oklahoma City, he came back and said, "Coach, I feel great." His body looks a lot better; I think he's more comfortable with the American game; he's ready to be more physical; and I think he's got a chance to be very, very good.

(By the way, I never heard back from anyone at KFNS whether I could or could not "publish" the recording of the broadcasted interview.)

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I agree Roy. I think I said this awhile ago, but I think if Josh wants to, he can be the man on this team. Over the past few years we have seen him have some great games, combined with he strength (the guy is jacked), speed and decent hops, I can see him having a break out year. But judging on the preliminary reports from practice, i don't have my hopes too high on "the flying fish" (i remember a commentator for ESPN2 calling him that a few years ago).

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Fisher is invaluable defensively. No question about it. I'm just not sure I see him as being capable of being "the man" offensively. His shot has always been a little erratic.

I'd love to be wrong about this and have Josh become more of an offensive force, but realistically, I'd be satisfied if he continues to play great defense, and just gets a little better with his shot.

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If Morris was as good as we thought he might be in running a team then we probably have lost something for at least the first year. I do not think the staff would have recruited him if they did not think he could play significant minutes--20-22 per game.

The real loss is in the lack of depth. If one of our guards--Drejaj, Fisher, Bryant or Clarke should come up with an injury then we would be down to 3 guards--most coaches would like to have 4 available in the event of foul trouble or fatigue.

This may also affect the entire rotation. The coach has demonstrated that he will make changes on the fly--but I would guess we may see less of the 3 guard lineup now. IMO The starters will be Bryant and Fisher--with Drejaj as the third guard in a 3 guard offense and as a key backup if we play just 2 guards.

Clarke will probably get more experience now that Morris is gone but I would guess, that unless the coach decides to play him at the 3 spot for matchup purposes, he will be the fourth guard off the bench at 6-12 minutes per game.

If we play more of a 2 guard offense then I would think that Sloan and IO will play a lot together--and against some teams we may see them as the only two "bigs" if IO continues to develop his defense. Playing IO at the 5 occasionally would create tremendous matchup problems for big somewhat slow of foot centers. After a couple of drives to the basket I would expect that the other coach would have to react and bring in a smaller, quicker player.

Also, the interior rotations will be very interesting. Is Frericks a lock at the 5 spot? Who will be the first two bigs off the bencH? JJ? Ian? Varner? The rotation will probably not often go beyond 4 guards and 4 "bigs".

Of all of the Billiken teams that I have followed over more than 30 years I think the makeup of team that will play regularly at midseason is more up in the air than I can ever remember. Fall practice and the early games will be very interesting to watch to see who comes to the forefront.

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