clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cal basketball: How will we distribute the minutes in the rotation?

New, comments

Some early thoughts.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
With Davon Dillard no longer coming and Tyson Jolly reclassifying to 2016, we have 200 minutes to split up among 8 or 9 rotation players. How will it go next year?

Let's take a look at rotations by position. You can see a huge logjam already forming by the time we get to the guards and wings.

Center: Kingsley Okoroh and/or Kameron Rooks (28-30 minutes), Ivan Rabb (10-12 minutes)

Power forward: Ivan Rabb (20 minutes), Jaylen Brown (13 minutes), Stephen Domingo (7 minutes)

Small forward: Jaylen Brown (18 minutes), Stephen Domingo (13 minutes), Jabari Bird (9 minutes)

Shooting guard: Jordan Mathews (25 minutes), Jabari Bird (15 minutes)

Point guard: Tyrone Wallace (30 minutes), Sam Singer (10 minutes)

As much as I enjoy the thought of Cal running out a small ball lineup with four wings and Rabb at center, I doubt Cuonzo will want to take his big men off the court for too long. We saw what happened when Kravish had to play extended minutes at center last year, our team imploded on both sides of the court.

The big issue will be what we do on the wing. Jaylen Brown at the four seems like an inevitability at this point unless we want to entrust more minutes to Roman Davis, and could provide the most ideal spacing with Rabb at center and three wings outside. Defensively that probably won't be so good, so we'll only see it in spots, but Cuonzo has plenty of non-conference season to tinker.

What are your early thoughts?

LeonPowe: Initial thoughts are its way too early to engage in this - and secondly, this sort of exercise willfully ignores that we'll need to play different styles for different teams. There will be nights when having a legit big is not necessary and we'll be able to run out my dream lineup (Wallace, Brown, Bird, Domingo, Mathews). There will be nights where we'll need Kingsley and Rooks and Rabb. Match-ups matter. Roster flexibility matters - and that (and not really Kravish playing center) is where it really matters. 4 out, 1 in will work against the majority of college rosters, and also, Rabb, even as a freshman, will be able to function as that one big, where Kravish was unable to.

What killed us last year was a lack of flex and a lack of depth - but look at how many multiple position guys we have on the roster this year - and how many healthy guys we have. Really different look than last year.

.@t_wa1l feeds @j.bird2013 for the slam #GoBears #TogetherWeAttack

A video posted by California Men's Basketball (@calmensbball) on

Without trying to put together a minutes breakdown like you have (I realize this exercise is intended to invoke discussion during summer) I'll just react to some stuff:

1. I don't really see Singer only playing 10 minutes a night. He's our only true point guard. As much as I love Ty, he's playing out of position as the one. He'll be a combo guard at the next level - able to swing between the 1 and 2. If he can improve his shooting, he'll really be a 2 who can play back up 1.

2. I know everyone was down on Bird last season, but he's a key player for us this year. Until I see it in games, I'm going to assume that Domingo and Brown are average shooters (no slight on them, I just have no evidence positive or negative on their shooting abilities). Bird, we already have evidence that he's an above average shooter coming off picks. I can see lots of lineups where he and Mathews are in for spacing - to create driving lanes for Wallace, space for Rabb to operate in the middle. I don't know that Mathews has that starting position if both he and Bird are healthy. Bird's injury and Mathews being guarded so tightly contributed heavily to our month in the wilderness last season.

3. Knowing nothing right now - I'd probably move everyone up one spot. Rabb at the 5, Domingo at the 4, Brown/Bird/Mathews at the 2 and Wallace at the 1. If I'm Cuonzo, I want as much talent on the floor to start the game as possible. Kingsley and Rooks are a talent downgrade to Domingo or Bird. Unless we're facing top tier 4/5 bruising talent we can easily survive against 85% of college teams like this.

4. I don't see Roman Davis seeing the court much this year.

Give us your thoughts on how Cuonzo will divvy up the minutes next season, make some projections of your own!