Just for fun, Miami playing time

We don’t have any games to talk about for a few days, so I was curious what thoughts people might have about the distribution of playing time for our basketball team. Here is how the minutes were distributed vs Vermont, a close game at home vs the best team we have played at home this season, and a game which went right down to the last tenth of a second.

Hunter. 34
Ipsaro 32
Bultman 30
Maybry 22
Cooper 19
Morris 16
Dean 10

Potter 5
Elmer 5
Kotecki 2

I left a space between Dean and Potter because I think there is a difference between the top 8 and the last 3. I think those 3 freshmen are viewed as talented guys we need to develop for the future vs the top 8 being viewed as the guys who are the heart of the team right now.

Here are the questions I am considering. Who do you think should be getting more minutes and who do you think those minutes should be taken away from? And maybe why?

My answer right now is that I think Dean and Morris, should be getting more minutes,Bultman less. So maybe 8 or 10 minutes off Bultman’s total and those minutes divided between Morris and Dean. Why? I would like to see us explore the possibility of playing two bigs at same time a little more, and I think Dean has settled in and is playing better than early in the year. I would be interested in other opinions.



I yield to your experience/ expertise…but here are my two opinions responding to your question::

  1. I still would think that minutes can also depend upon who an opponent might be, i.e., matchups.
  2. Who is “hot” on a particular night…both on O and D…though D should always be fairly consistent while O can blow hot and cold.

In passing, as we would obviously both agree, injuries, even minor ones obviously will affect minutes…

Theoretically, basketball typically has less depth than football but that, too, could be debated…especially if the BB program gets to a full roster with no freshmen forced into playing ahead of schedule. BTW, Ipsaro deserves every minute he’s getting…mature and skilled beyond his years.


It’s an interesting topic because there are contrasting motives for the staff to consider right now. On the one hand, Steele has long been adamant that Year 3 (next year) is the priority, with his actions focused there. Given that, you’d probably want to play all the Freshman more to get as much experience as possible. On the other hand, everybody wants to win games, and playing all the freshman more minutes probably isn’t the best way to do that right now.

I’ve thought through the OOC schedule the substitution patterns have been a bit heavy and erratic at times. But generally I’m fine with that as Miami will not be an at-large team for any postseason and I’m sure the staff wants to give opportunities and see what they have. I expect the rotation to begin getting parred down into MAC play and the second half of the year, which we saw vs Vermont.

If we go off 200 minutes each game, here are the easiest decisions imo:

Ipsaro: 30-34 minutes per game at PG. He’s tough, physical, savvy, and man the ball looks good coming out of his hand. I hope he’s our starting PG from now until his graduation.

Hunter: 30-34 minutes per game at let’s say SF. Experienced, mature body, great catch-and-shoot guy. Easy minutes decision.

Mirambeaux: 25-28 minutes per game at C. Exceptionally gifted feet and hands. Only thing limiting his minutes is conditioning.

Morris: 12-15 minutes at C, another 10-12 minutes at PF. Let’s call it 22-27 minutes per game. I think this allows for Morris to be max effort and not be as concerned with foul trouble. He’s made some great strides since Freshman year, flashing a bit of a post-up game, building out his body, and still showing a relentless motor. I believe he can be close to a double-double guy as an upperclassman in the MAC. The only thing that’s unclear is how well the offense can function with he and Anderson playing together. I don’t know the answer to that yet.

Taking the low end of the ranges above there are about 90 additional minutes up for grabs each game. I think these minutes should be based on practice performance (which I’m not privy to), and perhaps even who looks best on a given game day. So we start to fill in the gaps, where a lot of this is by committee.

2G spot:

Cooper, in an ideal world, is giving the team 25 minutes a game, primarily opposite Ipsaro. But realistically he’s probably closer to 20. He’s not as physically mature as Ipsaro and can be exploited defensively right now. I like his demeanor, how he sees the game, and his shot.

Mabrey is giving you 10-12 minutes at 2G and another 6ish at SF. I feel like 20 minutes is probably a good cap because if his shot isn’t falling I don’t see him effecting the game much in other areas. He’s the biggest question mark for me going forward with what the staff envisions—will he be a shooting specialist most of his career, or will he develop more of an all-around game? I do not know.

Dean is giving you 8-12 minutes backing up Ipsaro and perhaps playing a touch of 2G. He looked over-matched at times early in the season but is starting to play within himself imo. Like Mabrey, he has to find ways to impact the game beyond shooting the ball. Defensively, I think he gives good effort but he’s not very big at all. That’s the biggest reason (along with some natural athletic limitations) why I see his ceiling around 12 minutes per game.


Bultman has been a disappointment , I think, from where expectations were in the pre-season. I think the staff was hoping he’d be a borderline all-MAC player, but his offense is not going to allow that. That said, he plays hard, is capable of chipping in on the glass, moves the ball, can matchup at a few positions, and has experience. He’s the biggest swing factor between now and Year 3. I suspect the staff trusts him to know the offense and defense and be in the right places at the right times. Which goes a long way. However, he’s only here this year and the upside just isn’t there. Ideally Elmer and/or Kotecki take minutes from him, but that’s a big ask for a couple freshman as conference play awaits. So I think he has to play 25 minutes a game right now. Let’s call it 15-18 minutes at PF and another 6-8 at SF maybe.

Elmer should get 8 to 10 minutes a game at the SF or PF spot imo. There’s a ton to like in the future—he’s got a prototypical SF frame. He jumps out of the gym, he’ll get to the offensive glass, and he’s not afraid to shoot it. Now, I’m not sure Miami needs him to be shooting anything other than an uncontested corner 3 here or there, or maybe an open 15 footer, but I like guys who aren’t afraid to shoot. Ideally, he’s being told to only worry about defense and offensive rebounding this year, nothing else. I think that’s his best path to contributing right away. He could really help this roster in both respects, but again with any freshman, it’s not fair to expect too much. But that’s how I would go about it.

Kotecki I really like. Probably the guy whose stock has risen the most, just in terms of seeing potential. But asking him to guard upper class PFs for long stretches just isn’t realistic. I see him vocally leading from the bench every game, which is wonderful. I hope he understands this year is a transition, learns as much as he can, works this offseason and comes in next year expecting to take a starting spot. I think he’s capable. Bright, bright future. I can see his trajectory mirroring a Nathan Peavy. So all that said, I think he’s getting in games here or there, but not necessarily guaranteed any minutes right now.


Much like Kotecki, I really like Potter, just not necessarily this season. For being 7-foot he moves his feet well, has good hands, and a nice shot. I’d tell him to not get discouraged at all, this is a learning season. And like Kotecki, his mindset should be to enter his sophomore season and take the starting Center spot (moving Morris to PF). So I don’t see any guaranteed minutes, but can certainly be thrust into action if foul trouble or injuries occur.

Enjoyed the thought exercise @DICK. Will be interested to see how the rotations progress. I love Miami basketball—Love & Honor!


Thanks for both of your thoughts. I lean to thinking that this team has the opportunity in a down year for the MAC overall to make some noise, but we need to keep all our freshmen involved at least a little because starting next year we need big contributions from all of them. Hope some others might have something to add.

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Everything discussed seems about right. I could see Reece getting a lot more minutes as we get deeper into the season.

I would like to see Kotecki and Potter get more minutes. I think two big rotations on the floor would be advantageous, at times. And Kotecki has shown he can shoot from the outside as well as bang inside. Where do the minutes come from? Honestly, I would take them from Bultman. And also, if it comes down to keeping a transfer happy or two freshmen who can become cornerstones of our post-play for three more years if they don’t leave, I am siding with the freshman. Provided of course that the tradeoff is relatively equal.

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On average (not counting foul trouble or hot streaks) I would play

Hunter 30
Isparo 28
Morris 22
Bultman 22
Cooper 22
Mabry 18
Mirambeaux 15
Elmer 15
Potter 12
Dean 10
Kotecki 6

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Good analysis Phil and all.

I think we have a good problem in that we have 11 guys that are good enough for significant minutes. (12 for the YO-fans (trademark pending.))

Last year, at this point in the season, Billy Smith was averaging 30+ minutes per game, and I don’t think freshman-year Billy would get over 5 mins this year, so our talent influx is significant.

Im not sure I buy into ‘Steele is playing for year 3.’ I don’t think his actions show this at all. If we’re playing for year 3 (which, I would not) then there’s no way I’d play a 5th year guy 30+ mins per game while letting talented freshman play 5 mins or less.

Id certainly like to see more minutes for Potter, Elmer, and Kotecki. Have they looked like freshman some of the time? Absolutely. Have they showed flashes of being able to help us now? Absolutely.

I feel like some guys get a much longer leash than others. Bultman was pretty bad the first few games - we stuck with him. Elmer has 5 bad minutes, and he’s on the bench the rest of the game. I know trust is built in practice, so I’m sure the coaches are doing what they feel will best help them win.

I just think the freshman are going to need more time than a 3 minutes here and there to develop. And I think these guys can help us this year.

All 3 of these guys are long and provide potential matchup issues. As Ive stated (too) many times - I think we play too small and underplay our tall guys. All 3 of these guys allow us to play much longer lineups.

Steele said after last game that he thinks we have the potential to be really good this year. He said it twice, and he seemed genuine. My two cents and I really, really hope I’m wrong. I think if we keep playing our lineups as we have that we’ll be in the 6-8 range in the MAC and will likely have to play one of the best teams in round 1 of the tourney. Again - I very much hope I’m wrong.

A lot changes in the course of a season. One injury can change the lineup. One big outing can spark a coach’s curiosity. But I’m excited that we have a lot of options!


Is Lewis no longer with team ?

I was told by a person in the know who is close to but not a part of the program that it was basically something negative which happens in college sports. The staff recruited over the top of Louis and he went from being one of the more important players in the program last year to a much lesser role and he was just having a very hard time with that. Perhaps he can benefit from the recent court decision which allows multiple transfers without having to redshirt.

Fresno Pacific is a long shot but playing with a brother (for less than a year) might be fun.

Let’s play a game and see if folks can guess who is who. There’s not a longer leash because of 5 bad minutes. There’s a longer leash because it does more harm to throw someone out there who isn’t ready than to let them develop at their own pace.

Player 1 - Evan Ipsaro
Player 2
Player 3 - Mehki Cooper
Player 4
Player 5 - Jackson Kotecki
Player 6
Player 7

I wonder if Evan is player 3. I base my guess on 3pt % and blocked shots (or lack there of). Others are a crapshoot.

Got the class and position right! Ipsaro is player 1 and Cooper is player 3. Ipsaro might be the best performing 'Hawk right now. The team’s turnover percentage actually drops 6.5% when Ipsaro is on the court.

Cooper’s turnover percentage is holding him back.

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The numbers are still noisy at this point in the season, especially for guys who haven’t played a lot of minutes. Assuming you included Elmer, Kotecki, and Potter since they were the ones being discussed, those guys have 130, 106, and 57 minutes this season respectively.

I know they’re still raw, but I am definitely in favor of getting more minutes to Elmer, Kotecki, and Potter. I think they’ll probably grow into the college game as they get more minutes, both this season and moving forward. It’s also clear that we’re going to get killed by MAC level teams if we’re consistently giving 30 minutes per game at the 4 spot to a 6’5 guy with 36.5/28.1/62.2 shooting splits.

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Who is player #5?

It’s a pretty interesting exercise as some of the data (now that I know who it is) is very surprising.

Potter isn’t included. Pointless, imo with the amount of time he spent injured. Kotecki and Elmer have played in 23% and 28% of possible minutes, which should be enough for a trend. It’s also over 1/3 of the way through the D1 schedule (stats above only include D1 competition).

Potter will get more minutes as his back injury allows. Sounds like he hasn’t been playing at 100%. Elmer will play, but still looks lost too frequently. I think Kotecki will get time, but he has to reduce his turnovers.

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Kotecki. The turnover percentage stands out and he doesn’t bring as much to the boards as I expected (although he’s gotten better as the season’s gone).

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