Monday, January 18, 2010

Please Don't Burn Junior's Redshirt.

First things first: hell of an effort yesterday, and an excellent job by Buzz on two fronts: (1) having the team ready to go after an eight-day layoff; and (2) the game plan on offense. We had no trouble whatsoever with Providence's press and played with tremendous composure all game long. All the three-point attempts but one (DJO's prayer at the end of the first half) came within the flow of the offense, and we made the extra pass to get the wide-open look.

Onto more important things: there was a fresh face in the lay-up line yesterday, as Junior Cadougan and his heretofore bum wheel suited up and took part in the pregame warm-ups. Buzz made more headlines in the post-game presser, when he revealed that Cadougan "could have played today" and that he might consider putting Junior in a game at some point this season.

Please, Buzz: don't. Here's my plea:

(1) The Big East regular season is not the time to work in a freshman who has no game experience. See Mbakwe, Trevor. Hell, EWill is just starting to find his sea legs, and he had the benefit of the cream puff portion of the schedule.

(2) We've got enough guards as it is, especially when Li'l Mo and David have shown that they're capable of putting up the occasional 20-point game.

(3) We have enough new faces who are still learning how to play with each other. DJO and Buycks are settling into their roles, EWill is getting a bit of run, Jimmy Legs is adapting to being Option No. 2 on offense, and David and Li'l Mo are rounding into form. Why introduce another element to the mix?

(4) I seriously wonder if Cadougan is healthy, less than six months after blowing out his Achilles tendon. I'm not a doctor, and I didn't stay at a shitty hotel last night, but doesn't that sound like a pretty quick recovery from a very serious injury?

In sum: leave 'em be, Buzz. Let's see what this crew, as currently constituted, can do and get our Junior on next year.


Deedub said...

Burn It!

Let him get his feet wet now, so he's got some experience for next year. If he's truly as good as they think. It would provide a huge boost for him to get some playing time now.

I'd rather have him get ready for next season now, rather than against scrubs at the start of next season.

Sheets' Va Jay Jay said...

Do not burn it. That would be a horrible decision. I would really start to question things if he gets to play b

Mr. Rumsfield's Brownies said...

I pretty much agree with you on this one Rubie. Hopefully Junior is smart enough to realize that if he sacrifices this year, he and Vander will own the backcourt for the next 4 years.

However, if I'm Buzz, I dress him, prepare him, and practice him like he's going to play. If one of the 4 guards gets hurt mid-game, it would be nice to have Junior available and ready to contribute (ie what happened to James last year).

Devil's Threesome said...

Don't burn it - please! Remember Mbakwe? Forget the transfer, he wasn't able to contribute when he played because he wasn't 100% and was so green. Similar situation with Jr except we are more stacked at guard. Who is he going to pull playing time from during BE play?

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

yeah I'm on the don't burn it bandwagon to. he'll get plenty of experience in practices and still be able to contribute for the next 4 years. I have a feeling he'll see the court this year but I wouldn't risk it especially with the way Cooby and Mo have held up. I agree with Rubies comments about the game yesterday. all of the 3's were in the flow of the game and that's the best time to take 3's because they are usually good looks after the extra pass. And I love how we handle the full court pressure. With 2 games against nova and now providence I can't really remember ever turning the ball over on the full court pressure which might come in handy with another game with providence and the Ville on the horizon. Cooby and Mo deserve a lot of credit (ahem Rubie) for the way they are playing the PG position for us this year.

EMoney said...

After initially seeing this possibility on the message boards last night, I was.....

1) shocked that he might actually be ready. I actually posed this question to Rosiak in last week's chat and he said that both Otule and Junior were progressing nicely and on schedule, but he thought Otule was ahead of Junior. Maybe he was throwing me off intentionally.

2) Ademantly opposed to Williams' idea of playing him yet this season.

HOWEVER, as I thought about this some more, I decided that I am actually for Junior playing this season. Here's my rationale:

1) Yes we already have a lot of guards, but by no means are we deep. If Buzz thinks that Junior can contribute, I trust him. Many of us were complaining about EWill and Mbao not playing much/if at all earlier in the season. Once we saw them play longer spurts, it was obvious why they weren't ready. So again, I'll trust Coach, our team doctors, and Junior to decide whether or not JC is ready.

2) We all have pretty much labeled this year is a rebuilding season. If that's the case, I predict next season will be even more so due to the loss of possible NBA talent Lazar, Acker and Cubillan to graduation, JMay transferring mid season, the injuries to Otule/JC, and the ineffectiveness of EWill and Mbao. Sure Jimmy will be a senior, and he is a nice player, but he is not Lazar and I don't see him ever being THE go to guy. That being said, I think it would help immensely if Junior has roughly 6-8 weeks of Big East basketball under his belt going into next season. So essentially I think that it would be a benefit to our team to have only 1 starting guard (Vander) without any experience than 2 guards.

3) I understand that we lose a year, but I have complete faith in Buzz being able to replenish our guard talent in the coming years. Recruiting guards is really our forte, so I don't thinking losing 1 year will hurt us in the end. (And in actuality, we aren't losing 1 year.....more like 2/3rds, and the last 1/3 is the most important part of the season.)

4) Bottom Line - Does Junior playing this season make us better? Buzz obviously thinks so. Our goal is to make the NCAA tournament, right? Right now, I would say that we are on the bubble. If JC can put us over the top, how can you not be all for it?

Deedub said...

E-Money is on the Money. Burn it.

The experience gained over the final 13+ games this season will pay huge dividends for next season.

Considering we won by 30 yesterday, I'm a little pissed Buzz didn't player him yesterday.

Devil's Threesome said...

Garbage time against DePaul and Rutgers won't make him a better player. I doubt he'll see the floor against Pitt, Cuse, UConn, ND and the Ville. Actually, I don't want him to see the floor against those teams. Mo & Cubes, despite their limitations, are better options.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

Deedub and $ many minutes do you think he's going to play this year? Ewill plays 5 a game or something crazy like that. If he's not 100% which I doubt he is considering he was just recently given the green light to practice 25 minutes a's he going to get any good Big East experience if he plays 10-15 minutes a game. He'll get more experience practicing with his team as much as possible and be the man come next year. don't waste a year so he can give Mo and Cooby a blow here and there. If mo and cooby weren't playing as well as they are I'd be all for it.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

Rubie-Any thoughts on Hunt's column today? I don't really have any beef with it. We are who we are.

Rubie Q said...

Didn't even read it, SBTG.

EMoney said...

STG (and others) - I don't understand how you can directly correlate the amount of playing time that one freshman gets versus another. Because EWill only gets 5 minutes doesn't mean that's all JC will get. Junior was the highest rated recruit in this class....substanially higher than JMay who was getting 10-15 mpg and played a position that our 2 best and experienced players were at. Therefore, if 100%, I could see him starting at 3-7 mpg, but moving towards 10-15 by the end of the season.

Acker and Cubillan are doing fine jobs at PG. However, neither has the size, speed, strength, or athleticism to penetrate the defense on a consistent basis. This is JC's forte and would force opposing defenses to collapse more frequently, which in turn leads to open 3 pointers....obviously our biggest asset at this point.

As I stated earlier, nobody here can say how relative to 100% Junior actually is. To me, an exploding achilles tendon sounds like a career ending injury, but I'm not a doctor. Nobody here is. Therefore I will leave it to the team doctors, Coach Williams, and Junior/Cadougan family to decide.

EMoney said...

I'd also like to add that when Evan Turner fractured his back in December, they thought he might be done for the year. Less than 6 weeks later, he's back and scores 30+ against a good Purdue team, then leads his team to victory over Bucky. Point being, you just never know how quickly someone will rehabilitate their injury.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

$-I agree that the decision is up to people a lot smarter than we are (shit now I'm sounding like Buzz) and I trust that God (there i go again) will lead Jr and the rest of his support people to make the decision that's in his best interest. but I also think that he can get just as much experience practicing with his teammates because I don't think that a less than 100% JR is better than either Mo or Coobie at this point...but then again I haven't seen JR play or practice so what the hell do I know. just seems like a waste of a year of eligibility to not be a major contributor.

EMoney said...

Can I just say that nobody was giving Mo or Coobie this much credit a few weeks ago. Of course they look great when they're knocking down 6 3's in a game. I'm curious how ya'all will feel when they're not shooting the lights out.

STG - To sort out these long explanations, can I sum up the logic for those that are against Junior playing this season? The reason that you guys don't want him playing this season is because you want him to be on the team in the '13-'14 season?

Reply: I feel that by that time our program will be immensely more stable compared to where we have been the last 2 seasons. Buzz will have a solid 5+ years at MU, and if his trend of solid to outstanding continues, will have a solid 12-15 man roster with 8-9 guys that can play major roles every night. Further, as I stated in a previous response, recruiting guards has rarely been a problem for MU so I think it will be easy to recruit another talented PG that can step in and take his place.

That being said, I think that this season and next year are the most volatile for us. Right now, we can use the depth.

Worse case scenario, JC plays garbage minutes and does little to help a team on the bubble. At the very least this would give him experience for next year's team which is going to be in even more dire need of experience than this year's team.

Best case scenario, JC is at or near 100%, steadily improves over the next 6 weeks, improves the overall complexion of a team that right now looks to be on the bubble of the NCAA, and possibly adds enough talent that we win some tough games in the Big East tourney which puts us in the NCAA for a 5th consecutive season.

Rubie Q said...

Coobie and Acker have played well recently, no doubt. But nobody is saying they're a DJ or a Diener. They're serviceable, which is about all you can ask for.

And your worst case scenario isn't the real worst case. Real worst case is either: (1) he gets hurt again; or (2) it's clear when he gets on the floor that he's not healthy and/or ready to play in the BEast yet, and his redshirt is burned without any development for next year.

EMoney said...

Regarding #1) Well then maybe we should never play him again....cuz he might get hurt.

Regarding #2)AGAIN, I would hope that Buzz and staff are CLEARLY aware of his capabilities and are ABSOLUTELY sure he is ready. If this would be the case, ie. JC plays and is not near ready, then Buzz is squarely at fault.

Remember, I based my argument on the fact that everyone agrees that JC is ready to go.