but The NBA Championship series with T.J. Parker's big brother at point guard got me thinking over the weekend about how you go about building a championship basketball team. Last year we were on our way to just being competitive with a couple of big men who could both dominate inside and shoot 3 ponters, and Pop, a shoulder injury recurs and we're back in the doldrums.-- da Coach
To his credit, Aaron Jennings tried to pick up the slack, but as every team knows, you usually can't ride just one big guy to glory.
So I've been contemplating the team that's building in Evanston, and trying to look ahead, maybe past 2003-04 to see just what the Carmody Brain Trust is trying to build for the Wildcats....
You figure that typically, Bill Carmody tries to play 8 or 9 players in his rotation. He wants his big guys to both be able to mix it up inside, but also to be able to come outside the arc and shoot 3 point jumpers, sometimes a challenge for big guys used to dropping the ball into the basket.
Now if I had to pull a starting 5 out of the air for next season right now, I'd guess: T.J. Parker and Jitim Young, Ivan Tolic, Davor Duvancic, and Vedran Vukusic, with Evan Seacat and Mohamed Hachad off the bench at Guard/Small Forward and Vince Scott coming in at Center. [really hard, eh?]
You might replace Tolic with Duvancic and replace Duvancic with Young and start Mohamed Hachad at the other guard although he has had endurance problems in December due to his observance of Ramadan. That would put that 4 guard set out there, that gave some of the big teams a lot of trouble at the end of the season last year.
I can't minimize what Davor and Vedran will mean to the team over the next two years. Vedran Vukusic will be back, healthy, we hope, and providing a power forward presence that we've missed at both ends of the floor. His 3 point shooting is a big bonus.
Davor Duvancic caught fire at the end of the season. If he continues to play the way he did in the Big 10 tournament, NU's Forward problems might actually be solved next year.
Now as the season runs along, and Scott picks up the offense, I'd expect him to play more and more minutes in the middle and then you'll see the "big man in the middle theory" start to take hold and Vince Scott could play Tim Duncan to TJ's, Parker.
But that sure is a lot to lay on an 18 year old in his Freshman year -- I sure don't want to be the guy to do that, even if I'm the first one to say it.
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