One of the main strengths of the team last season was that they had a great rotation and five or even six guys coming off of the bench to play productive minutes for this team.
So far in Big 12 play, the Red Raiders have stuck with an eight-man rotation. Guys like Brandone Francis have done well in a role off the bench but this season, there are only three guys that Coach Beard seems to trust off the bench. If he expands the rotation to adding guys like Malik Ondigo to the rotation, would that make this team better or worse?
The answer is tricky (as usual). This team runs a 4 guard - 1 big lineup on the floor the majority of the game. Tariq Owens has been very successful as the starting center, as he has averaged well over 2 blocks a game this season. The Red Raiders start two bigs but I believe that Norense Odiase being in the starting lineup is more due to his ability to lead rather than his playing ability, although I do believe that he deserves a spot in this rotation. Would bringing another big man into the rotation allow the Red Raiders to try more lineups with two big men on the floor instead of one? Yes, but I don’t think that matches up well for the Red Raiders, especially in Big 12 play.
Tariq Owens has been fantastic in anchoring a great @TexasTechMBB defense this season. Elite rim protector. Top 3 in block rate this season after finishing in the top 20 the last 2 years.— Dribble Handoff (@dribblehandoff) December 6, 2018
In a comeback win at Memphis, he blocked 7 of the 20 missed shots in the 2nd half. pic.twitter.com/dheCot55F7
I look at it this way, most teams in this day and age mainly play a 4 guard - 1 big lineup due to shooting and spacing the floor. Putting an extra big on the floor for the majority of the game would not be beneficial for the Red Raiders as they would have a disadvantage with one big having to play defense on a guard.
There are one or two solutions that I believe could help this team out. The main one being bringing along true freshman Khavon Moore, if he’s healthy. He broke his leg at the end of his senior season last year and has been rehabbing ever since. He has been practicing with the team and it might be useful for Chris Beard to use Moore as a backup PG, someone who could run the offense and guard four different position on the defensive end with his 6’7 frame. This could help take pressure off of guys like Matt Mooney who have been turnover prone to take the ball up the floor when Davide Moretti isn’t out there.
I don’t believe you bring in Kevin McCullar quite yet as he has only been with the team for about a month now. I do believe that next year he will be a huge part of the team but I believe this is a redshirt year for him.
I personally think that the eight guys in the rotation currently work great. You might play Malik Ondigo a bit if both Odiase and Owens get into big foul trouble but this current rotation has gone on to win three Big 12 games in a row and the chemistry between them appears to be better than ever. The three guys you have coming off the bench can all play at least two positions with both Brandone Francis and Deshawn Corprew playing three different ones at one point or another.
What do you all think of this rotation? Should Coach Beard expand it a bit? Tell us in the comment section below!