Five Things: Walsh

Chris Lauderback's picture
November 3, 2013 at 9:57p

1. I found it interesting that Scott was in the starting lineup with Craft, Smith, Ross and Amir, effectively pushing Thompson to the bench. I love having Craft and Scott out there to hawk the starting opponent's PG and SG but whether or not that lasts probably hinges on whether or not Craft can be a much better off-guard offensive player than we saw a year ago when that experiment failed pretty decisively. Against smaller teams, I love the lineup. Against bigger teams, Sam might have to see the floor more though Smith is the best guard/wing rebounder on the team.

2. I liked what I saw from Marc Loving. He's a multi-skilled player who will be a factor in coming years regardless of what happens this year. That said, I won't predict it (yet) but I could definitely see a scenario in which he becomes a reserve that comes in with a threat to shoot the three (or score in general), maybe stealing those categorized minutes from Della Valle. I know fans have a crush on ADV - I like him too - but thus far, he looks like a one-dimensional player and Loving could project to have a much higher ceiling than that. Loving needs to put on weight but he looks stronger than Della Valle was a year ago. Either way, I like that there's someone to push Della Valle for the perimeter minutes not chewed up by Craft, Scott, Smith Jr, Thompson and Ross.

3.  The Post - Amir and Trey still not only look like twins, they still play like twins. Amir has the most potential but both are clearly far more advanced defensively than offensively. Amir, for example, blocked the first shot he saw at the defensive end, then promptly airballed a 4-footer at the offensive end. I think both can be sufficient enough to anchor what will be one of the most dominant defensive backcourts in the nation but foul trouble will be a concern against the taller, more physical teams Ohio State plays, especially on the road. 

4. The new hand checking rules are going to turn more than half of college basketball games into free throw shooting contests in the last 8-ish minutes. The rule is intended to create more offense by giving players increased room to operate but from what I've seen and read, it's going to take time for players to adjust. Craft will be smart enough to adjust but it'll be a painful process for many players, coaches, refs and fans. 

5. Those shoes, tho. Brutal. 

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