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Sunday Conversation: 12/7

Larry Austin Jr. is struggling, James Farr is not, and Jalen Reynolds might be playing his way right out of Xavier.

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Joel

So we worked WKU the way we should have, what with being better than they are. My biggest takeaway was LAJ turning the ball over three times against a defense that never forces turnovers. That wasn't heartening to me as a fan of his. Is he playing himself down the Brandon Randolph road?

Brad

He's not taking I'll-advised shots like Randolph did, but he is playing himself right out of the rotation. As much as he turns the ball over, he needs to bring something else if he wants to keep playing. He never shoots, even good shots, his assist rate isn't good, and he's not a lockdown defender. Right now, there's no reason to have him on the floor while the game remains a contest.

Bryan

I think he still has a role to play for this team and he can be a part of a successful team. He plays in a role that really never needs him to score, but his distribution has been rash the past couple of weeks. I also think he is one of our better on ball defenders and will be valuable if and when Sumner gets into foul trouble.

Joel

Speaking of position battles, at what point to you inspect the idea of starting James Farr? He has a better ORtg, better Reb% on both end, and better block% than Jalen Reynolds. Jalen does have better three-point shooting numbers on the year though, so there's that.

Bryan

I like Farr off the bench like Jalen off the bench last year. He seems to be more comfortable in that role, so I wouldn't mess with him when he is producing like he is.

Brad

They really aren't playing to disparate an amount of minutes. Farr is coming off the bench and he's getting 19.5 minutes compared to Jalen's 20.1. That's not enough of a difference to bother messing with things, I don't think.

Joel

I felt the same way about Carlos Carrasco when he went to the bullpen, but it turns out he was just good. I'm willing to concede that James may not need to start, but I'm not sure he doesn't deserve starter's minutes more than Jalen right now. There's no way Jalen stays another year, right?

Brad

I don't know. He's showed a lot this year, but he still doesn't exactly take a game over and dominate it. He doesn't show much in the way of a face up jumpshooting game either. At the same time, he's almost 23 and he's certainly shown that he has the athleticism and strength to play at the next level. I'm not worrying about that until April.