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.
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!