Smith suggests Mbakwe could start Saturday

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  • Updated: December 21, 2012 - 10:20 PM
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hobie2Dec. 22, 12 2:51 PM

Saturday is a little late for the experiment or for any plan to have Mbwake start, because it's hard to make a mistake against Lafayette and it won't be like a game against a top 20 level challenge where tight quick teamwork and a fast clock THAT YOU SET with the starters is required to win. So what will a coach learn?... It's kind of dumb to start him now, especially after the team has a long layoff, because the rest of the team can play a notch slower in order to fit him in and against a weak team they will all still look great, and a coach won't be able to light a fire in this one.. and you probably will lose a step in the team next game... And besides, you won't find out much about the other four starters response by putting in a new starter after a long layoff against a weak team... Any experiments about starting should have been three games ago - in doing them now, you risk the first three conference games or more at this stage of the season...

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hobie2Dec. 22, 12 2:58 PM

Flip side - If Eliason is the team clock, then starting Mbwake on a game like this, where it's a layoff game and and facing a weak team, might be a good move because in the next game you can start Eliason and his starting clock for that game will stay fast... Second, Smith has never been much good developing big men - he has inherited any good big men from other teams.(Remember that he is the coach who played Sampson over Iverson, soft and easy over fire, he had the two men for three years and they sure didn't lose any of the weak points of their game in that time, and he sat Iverson almost every time he scored)... Mbwake learned to play inside from Marquette and JC, not MN - and he is likely to be Smith's last decent big unless Smith changes his strategy and big man coaches. Hey, if you can't develop big men, sometimes you can't and accept it -- so you do what you have to do. Smith may go for broke and roll the dice and start him for that reason, hoping it works out for the program over the season... If Mbwake starts, whether or not it was a good decision won't really be known MN is six games into the Big 10 season - close games that are not supposed to be close means it wasn't a good idea to do it this late in preseason.

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