I would love to start anywhere but here, but Brandon Randolph started and then laid an egg. Meanwhile, Remy Abell and Myles Davis were each fairly acceptable and Larry Austin looked like he knew what he was doing out there. Was Randolph really at the top of the depth chart at the start of the day, and do you reconsider that after tonight's showings?
Part of me wants to say it really doesn't matter how a player performs in games like this, since the opposition is so far below midseason standards. However, when someone goes 0-8, it is almost always troubling. I know Randolph has his supporters, but he looks like he is a little short on confidence right now, and he and Xavier have to hope that he puts together a performance in one of the first few games to get him back to where he needs to be. Also, Austin's line makes for some impressive reading, but I think it is easier to lose ground than gain it in games like this.
There's no way Brandon Randolph was, or will be, ahead of Remy Abell at that off guard spot. He just doesn't do anything better that you would need there. I'm also not buying Farr starting over Reynolds as being indicative of the actual state of things unless we are just going to fire away from deep all day.
I have to agree with Brad on Randolph. There is no way that he will be played ahead of Remy Abell. I like to view preseason games as a time to try things out and I think that is why Randolph got so many chances. Also, I liked how we had five guys in double digits tonight. I think that gave us a glimpse into how this offense is going to run this year.
Bry makes a good point about being able to lose more than you gain in an exhibition. Sean O'Mara, for instance, did everything that was asked of him but probably didn't earn a starting spot. Mack said that Randolph had a good preseason and that's why he started last night, but I can't imagine he gives us more as a starter going forward than Abell and even Myles.
I keep forgetting that Farr is (a) a junior and (b) younger than Reynolds. I was surprised to see him start and not surprised to see him disappear. What are we getting from him this year? His being a consistent presence goes a long way toward sorting the depth chart.
There's just not a lot to be gleaned from games like this, which stands in stark contrast to what we want to get out of them. Randolph was awful! Austin was great! O'Mara can contribute right away! It's fun to come to those conclusions, but we were playing Northwood, so you have to qualify all of it through that lens.
I'm not sure Farr has much of a leash this year. His versatility is his asset, but we can get all of the parts of his game from other players. Coach Mack isn't going to be so desperate for shooting now (I hope) that he will have to run James out there in order to get someone who can score from deep. He's going to have to bring consistent effort on the glass and on defense to secure his spot.
He's got that in him though, right? He crushed the boards last year and had some impressive shot blocking numbers. If we have other guys on the floor who can shoot, maybe it's not so bad for him to not need to score the basketball. If he can just pound the glass, clean up in the lane, and not have to score, he might play better with that as his role.
It would be nice for him to not have to shoulder the scoring load, but the fact is that there are few returners on this team who had significant roles last year. Unless the plan is to saddle up Bluiett from day one, then the experienced players have to contribute points. If Farr can't then it is hard to see much of a leash for him early on. I would say the same for M. Davis.
If Farr is on a short leash, who are we running out there behind him? His rebounding percentages and block percentage were all better than Stainbrook's last year. I'm not delusional enough to say he'll keep that up, but if we get him hitting the glass like a maniac on both ends, playing solid ball and help defense, and not burning possessions with bad shots, I think there's big value in that. Not everyone on the floor needs to be capable of getting a bucket every time down. If Farr can be Philmore 2.0, I think we've got the talent to fill in points around him.
If Farr isn't scoring, what is he doing better than Reynolds? I know his rebounding stats from last year are good, but Reynolds took a lot of his minutes in conference play for that exact reason. I love Farr's skill set if he can stretch the floor, but if he cannot I am not sure how he holds off Jalen.
I'm not sure he's holding off Reynolds so much as he's holding off the rest of the bigs on the roster. We're probably going to need at least 20 non-starter minutes at the four and five combined most nights; if Farr can defend and clean the glass, I think he gives himself a shot at being the first guy called upon to fill that slot.
Is Brandon Randolph that bad? Is James Farr very good? Who are our starters?
We discuss what, if anything, we learned from that exhibition game.