A thread wishing for two bigs in at once (...occasionally)

RAMification

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Apr 19, 2009
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I liked the combination of MSS/CD on the floor together last night. I think we will see more of that this year now that Hason is ready to be a viable back-up if foul trouble emerges. I think early in the season there was too much risk until Hason's game came around. He is the only other big on the roster. He's game ready now as we have seen. Next year we will have 5 bigs, yes count them, 5 bigs if in fact we use that last scholarship on a big as predicted. I like a line-up of MSS, Corey, Vince, Curry, and of course Bones. With 5 bigs on the roster there will be little risk, in terms of fouls, of starting MSS and Corey together. If foul trouble emerges you still have 3 bigs in reserve. By starting Corey and MSS together that gives you a 5th year Senior and a 4 year starter. That kind of size and experience could really benefit next years team. When you need to go small you pull one of the bigs and substitute accordingly.
 

RamDanFan

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Jan 19, 2015
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The question is ‘Why aren’t we doing it more right now?’
The answer is they get in too much foul trouble. The only reason we were able to play 2 bigs at the same time against Richmond in the 2nd half for extended minutes is because Mooney wasn’t smart enough to make the 1st half a foul fest. Take a close look at the total fouls on MSS/Douglas in the 1st half v/s 2nd half. Rhoades ain’t stupid. He knows that both those guys are foul prone. Too frequently our 2 top bigs are in too much foil trouble to play meaningful minutes, much less meaningful minutes together.
 
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Natty

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The answer is they get in too much foul trouble. The only reason we were able to play 2 bigs at the same time against Richmond in the 2nd half for extended minutes is because Mooney wasn’t smart enough to make the 1st half a foul fest. Take a close look at the total fouls on MSS/Douglas in the 1st half v/s 2nd half. Rhoades ain’t stupid. He knows that both those guys are foul prone. Too frequently our 2 top bigs are in too much foil trouble to play meaningful minutes, much less meaningful minutes together.
Fouls called per 40 (VCU team rank)
MSS 3.9 (6th)
Corey 4.3 (7th)

Reminder that you're allowed five fouls per 40 minutes.

Corey is averaging just 13 minutes per game on the season. Sure, he had 4 fouls in 17 minutes against Richmond, but he had 5 total fouls in his 86 minutes played prior to that. So yeah, while it may feeeeeel like that duo is foul prone and that's what's keeping Corey on the bench, that's something that's not actually based in fact.
 

mrgeode

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Mar 22, 2013
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Fouls called per 40 (VCU team rank)
MSS 3.9 (6th)
Corey 4.3 (7th)

Reminder that you're allowed five fouls per 40 minutes.

Corey is averaging just 13 minutes per game on the season. Sure, he had 4 fouls in 17 minutes against Richmond, but he had 5 total fouls in his 86 minutes played prior to that. So yeah, while it may feeeeeel like that duo is foul prone and that's what's keeping Corey on the bench, that's something that's not actually based in fact.
Not playing them both is a hedge. Coaches are inherently conservative. Accepting a reduced rate of return due to separating their floor time is the cost of keeping a diverse portfolio.

I do think you'll start to see them together more situationally, like if we have a big lead or the opponent's soft/small inside. I'd be inclined to give it a shot against URI, but that game will be won or lost on our defense on their guards.

Corey's a very good defender and his offense has come on noticeably over the last several games. He could make the discussion moot by having the fur game as his new baseline. I hope so. Mike's willing to do it - Corey got the start last year several times IIRC.
 

DisplacedRam

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Not playing them both is a hedge. Coaches are inherently conservative. Accepting a reduced rate of return due to separating their floor time is the cost of keeping a diverse portfolio.

I do think you'll start to see them together more situationally, like if we have a big lead or the opponent's soft/small inside. I'd be inclined to give it a shot against URI, but that game will be won or lost on our defense on their guards.

Corey's a very good defender and his offense has come on noticeably over the last several games. He could make the discussion moot by having the fur game as his new baseline. I hope so. Mike's willing to do it - Corey got the start last year several times IIRC.
yeah Corey started 10 games last year I believe. and I was thinking about just what you mentioned there if that becomes his new baseline and we have two bigs flirting with or achieving a double double every game that would be amazing.
 
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RamDanFan

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Jan 19, 2015
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Fouls called per 40 (VCU team rank)
MSS 3.9 (6th)
Corey 4.3 (7th)

Reminder that you're allowed five fouls per 40 minutes.

Corey is averaging just 13 minutes per game on the season. Sure, he had 4 fouls in 17 minutes against Richmond, but he had 5 total fouls in his 86 minutes played prior to that. So yeah, while it may feeeeeel like that duo is foul prone and that's what's keeping Corey on the bench, that's something that's not actually based in fact.
Fact is your stats mean nothing because if they were to play 40 minutes a game their foul rate would be substantially higher than your stats due the the fatigue that comes with the increased minutes. Anyone can cherry pick a stat to make it look like it proves their point.

And it is most certainly a hedge as @mrgeode suggested. Douglas is insurance if MSS piles up a few quick 1st half fouls as he has been known to do.

None of this is to say I don’t agree with 2 bigs on the court more frequently. I do agree and I’m sure Rhoades has known this all along. But until those guys can play more within themselves for extended minutes without fouling too much and Ward continues to come along then I don’t think you are going to see a huge change all of the sudden but more of a slow steady increase as the season progresses.
 

GuardTheArc

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Dec 4, 2014
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Fouls called per 40 (VCU team rank)
MSS 3.9 (6th)
Corey 4.3 (7th)

Reminder that you're allowed five fouls per 40 minutes.

Corey is averaging just 13 minutes per game on the season. Sure, he had 4 fouls in 17 minutes against Richmond, but he had 5 total fouls in his 86 minutes played prior to that. So yeah, while it may feeeeeel like that duo is foul prone and that's what's keeping Corey on the bench, that's something that's not actually based in fact.
Natty - you’re correct; the Rams should be playing bigger (more often). The efficiencies/gains from playing four out/one in haven’t really materialized as expected this year. Simms/Vann/Crow haven’t provided the perimeter punch/efficiency/spacing to offset the sheer benefits of size (tip-ins, putbacks, follow dunks, blocked/altered shots, boards, clock resets, arc and lane protection, intimidation, etc).

Offensively, with MSS as the post-up guy, Douglas and Ward provide value as the blue collar, junkyard dog, cleanup guys. This is a key missing ingredient. Those second chances and putbacks offensively are extremely valuable/uplifting (particularly for a team that doesn't shoot well).

The foul “thing/concern” is way overblown. It can be managed/monitored.

Mike needs to embrace the analytics and really examine his rotations, minutes allocations, combinations, substitution patterns/tendencies/philosophies, etc.
 
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