Originally Posted by Burgz V2
Dolphin I missed the game. How'd Costello do? Valentine? Gauna? Schilling?
Those are the guys im trying to get a read of right now. Foul trouble has killed us in big games, do we really have the depth to do something special?
I didn't catch the game last night. Only online and well I wanted to go out and mingle. lol
Going by the stats it seems Harris and Payne switched places from the first game.
Overall this is where I'm at right now with MSU: Depth is a concern of mine as well. Right now we have two important pieces coming off of the bench. Trice has been on and off so far. He just doesn't have that offensive oomph off the bench you would hope for. He can make threes and handles the ball well, but when he drives I assume he's going to get blocked lol. Just not very athletic. Valentine just doesn't look like he improved very much in the off season. He puts up his 5 assist/5 rebound games, but going by the eye test, he seems to struggling a bit early on. Missing open jumpers and he isn't finishing near the basket well at times. So ya, it would be nice to have more confidence in the bench, but that's why I am right now as far as how much help the starters are gonna get.
Then you have the three bigs surrounding Payne. Costello is by far the most competent, but I thought he'd be more along at this point as well considering he looked impressive at times last season. Gauna is just a dummie right now. Schilling is too raw. They all get out muscled against strong rebounders, which is the real problem with those guys as they aren't asked to score much (although it would be nice if Costello could start doing so). So ya, when Payne is in foul trouble, the pickings are pretty slim right now.
Now that seems pretty negative, but all of this is ignoring the fact that the four real contributing starters are playing really well at times (with drop off from each in a game here and there). By the end of the year, I will still be confident in Appling/Harris/Payne/Dawson going up against Kansas' and Kentucky's top four (and yes, I put Kansas first for a reason). The depth is the issue. I see Izzo is trying to prep one more wing player for minutes throughout the season in Bailey, but he hasn't shown that he can play any sort of important minutes as of yet.
So what is the most likely to change over the course of the year?:
1. Valentine. I think he shakes off his slow start and give MSU the bench scoring it will need.
2. Costello. I think he can be a 6-8 ppg scorer by years end. He has the touch, maybe not the confidence being a first time starter yet? Him being handled on the defensive side at times may be playing a factor into how he plays on offense right now.
3. Trice. He is better and more important than Costello, but he is what he is.
4. Gauna and Schilling are nothing more than bodies right now and I don't see them trying to be more. lol
To conclude, I'm more worried about the bigs and their rebounding problems than producers off the bench because I think Valentine will do better and become more aggressive and Trice will have his 10-15 point games here and there. You can't teach toughness though.
Oh and btw, as for the VTech game, I can't believe Izzo let Harris try and shoot his way out of a slump like that...never seen that from an Izzo coached team in my life. lol