|Player (min)||+/-||+/- per min|
|Damion James (37)||+17||+0.46|
|Avery Bradley (25)||+13||+0.52|
|Dexter Pittman (18)||+12||+0.67|
|Justin Mason (27)||+8||+0.30|
|Dogus Balbay (31)||+8||+0.26|
|J'Covan Brown (20)||+7||+0.35|
|Jai Lucas (6)||+4||+0.67|
|Gary Johnson (21)||0||0.00|
|Jordan Hamilton (10)||-4||-0.40|
|Alexis Wangmene (5)||-5||-1.00|
A few thoughts...
- +/- analysis: This is more like it. Our top three performers were James, Bradley, and Pittman, as they should be. Pittman once again doesn't play more than 20 minutes, but the team was productive when he was on the court, as his team leading +/- per min suggests. Other than Hamilton (sigh) and Wangmene, it was great to see everyone else on the green side, especially Brown and Lucas. With 16 minutes left in the game, we were down by a point. Brown was inserted into the lineup for Bradley, and the team outscored Tech by 9 points in the next eight minutes or so to break the game open - all with Brown and James on the court throughout. Then Bradley is put back in for Brown for the next 5 minutes, and we outscore Tech by 5 more points.
- Rick Barnes: You might notice this spreadsheet is a little smaller than the others, both vertically and horizontally. Barnes went with just a 10 man rotation in this game (Hill and Chapman were the odd men out). Looking at just the 2nd half, you can see that other than spare minutes handed out to Hamilton and Lucas, Barnes was essentially rolling with a 7-man rotation. I imagine many are happy to observe this. Furthermore, if you take a look at the length of each rotation, it's a lot longer than normal. Simply put, Barnes wasn't nearly as trigger-happy with his subbing as he was in our previous games. There were multiple rotations that were given 3+ minutes to generate production. I'm a fan of this. The unit gets an opportunity to develop chemistry and a rhythm. From a rotation and subbing standpoint, I can't complain at all with Rick.
Small ball: This is the type of team we can go small against and play effectively. It didn't work out initially however. We went with a rotation of Balbay, Bradley, Mason, James, and Johnson with about 7 minutes left in the 1st half. Tech goes on to outscore us by 5 during this time, gains their first lead, and holds on to it till the 2nd half. I don't think Johnson along with going small was the reason for our struggle. We simply were giving them too many open looks beyond the arc (Barnes inexplicably goes zone against a good shooting team... wha?) During this rotation, Tech hit two threes and two freethrows, while Texas got one freethrow from Bradley and a Johnson layup. The blame goes to our guards for giving them too much room, along with the decision to play zone.
In the second half, we had better results with Johnson playing center. We went back to a small lineup (this time Balbay, Brown, Mason, James, Johnson), and we outscored Tech by 6 during this span of Johnson playing C (16 minute mark to 8 minute mark, so this was a significant chunk of the 2nd half).
Guard pairs: Every guard was a positive contributor, so it's no surprise to see positive pair numbers. Pairing up Balbay and Mason with Pittman is normally frowned upon, but it was a whooping +11 in this game as the gameflow will tell you. Pairs of Balbay with Bradley or Mason gave us the best pairs. Balbay in particular was magnificent overall. Mason shocked the BON community with his offensive explosion.
Guard pair +/- Balbay, Bradley +9 Balbay, Mason +9 Bradley, Brown +8 Bradley, Mason +5 Brown, Lucas +5 Bradley, Lucas +4 Brown, Mason +3 Balbay, Brown +2 Balbay, Lucas N/A
- Next up is Baylor: The Bears are shooting 40% from beyond the arc, so it's strongly suggested we guard them tightly - NO ZONE! The key matchups obviously involve our guard defense featuring Balbay, Bradley, and Mason being able to contain Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn. Both players are shooting over 40% from three, and 80% from the free throw line, so we can't afford to foul them either. Can Dexy outwork Baylor's tremendous defensive threat inside in Ekpe Udoh? Baylor is ranked a solid 19th in Pomeroy currently, 15th in offense and 43rd on defense. This is a critical game for Baylor to lock their tournament hopes and get back into the Big 12 conference championship mix. I think this is a close game most of the way, with Texas' depth and size taking over at the end.