Struggling with who to start for my Campbell squad Topic

I've rebuilt low-major Campbell to the point where it's a fairly solid program. I'm in a situation now where I have three guys that are really good (Grotberg, Morgan, and Martz), four guys that are pretty solid (Knight, Francis, Lymon, and Padillo), and Horton and Rothman are okay off the bench. While Martz hasn't gotten on track yet in the 4 games this season, I know that he, Morgan, and Grotberg are must-starts. Morgan can start at any of the front-court positions, 1 through 3, Grotberg is good at the 1 or the 2, and Martz could conceivably play at the 2 through 5 positions. Thus far, I've started him at the 3 and the 4 slot, trying to find his comfort zone.

My question is this: what 2 of the other 4 should I be starting? So far I've went with combos of Grotberg/Morgan/Martz/Francis/Lymon and Grotberg/Knight/Morgan/Martz/Francis. I'm thinking of just using the last 6 games before conference starts to fiddle with these combos, but thought I'd throw this out there to the forum to see what you all thought. Here's a link to my roster's ratings:

7/28/2013 1:44 PM
I recommend the first combination you used, and feel like you will have a distinct advantage in REB. However, I don't know D1 at all.
7/28/2013 4:59 PM
Posted by caesari on 7/28/2013 4:59:00 PM (view original):
I recommend the first combination you used, and feel like you will have a distinct advantage in REB. However, I don't know D1 at all.
Thanks, Caesari. That was my thinking in using that combo as well. However, Francis is really weak athletically, for a PF, which concerned me, and Lymon is SUPER slow. I've been thinking about throwing a couple starts at Padillo and seeing how he does.
7/28/2013 5:10 PM
My first instinct would also be the initial combo as well.
7/28/2013 6:20 PM
Thanks Emy! So you guys don't see any value in starting Knight or Padillo instead of Francis or Lymon?
7/28/2013 8:40 PM
Just bumping this up, because I really would like some more input on this.
7/29/2013 7:44 PM
My default starting lineup would be Grotberg / Knight / Morgan / LorF or Martz / LorF or Martz

LorF stands for Lymon or Francis.  Both are better rebounders than Padillo and are at least as good defensively, while Francis is also better offensively.  I don't really see a scenario where Padillo should start.

I'd mix and match with the bigs because Martz is your best big in both offense and defense, while all three (Martz, Lymon, and Francis) are similar on the boards.  Meanwhile, of Lymon and Francis, Francis is better offensively and Lymon is better defensively.  So deciding which of the two of them starts, and where, depends on the opposing team's frontcourt.  If they have no scoring threat in the paint, match Martz up against the weaker defender and watch him go to town.  If they have only one scoring threat underneath, maybe Martz guards him; Francis starts at the other spot to provide another offensive option.  If both of the opposing bigs are meaningful threats, then start Martz and Lymon (your two best defensive bigs).  Look for whatever matchups work in your favor in a given game, decide your starting lineup accordingly.

Speaking of which, Morgan is a better backcourt defender than either Knight or Horton.  So another matchup question revolves around the opposing guards and SF.  If their SF sucks but both guards are threats, you might consider starting Morgan at SG to improve your backcourt defense, while letting Rothman start at SF.  But if the opposing SF is a legitimate threat on offense, then Morgan stays at SF, with Grotberg at PG and Knight at SG.

In case it isn't obvious, I focus a lot on matchups when making my lineup decisions.  Good luck!

7/30/2013 2:02 PM (edited)
Wow, man--that's VERY helpful! I hadn't really considered starting Rothman, but I might rethink that, given your analysis. Are there not any scenarios where you start Martz at SF? He seems to have the ratings to justify starting him anywhere from the 2 to the 5, but is really struggling to get on track this season. I'm wondering if I just need to pick a position and give him starts at ONLY that position, without slotting him as a backup option at 2 others, as I'm currently doing. He usually has minutes at the 3, 4, and 5 positions every game.
7/30/2013 2:53 PM
As I mentioned above, Martz is your best big in every facet of the game.  I'm pretty sure that I'd never play him at SF with this roster - or if there is such a scenario, it doesn't spring to mind.  With his ATH being significantly higher than his SPD, I think he is much more suited for PF or C.

If you use him at SF, then you need to get extra minutes from the Lymon/Francis/Padillo trio underneath, and none of them are in his class as a well-rounded big.

And playing him at SG, with his SPD of 47, would be downright goofy.  All IMO, of course.

And for clarity - I am not recommending Rothman as a starter except in the few games that will come along that fit the scenario I described.  Otherwise, I am recommending the default lineup I listed.

7/30/2013 3:02 PM
Yeah, I understood that you weren't recommending Rothman as a full-time starter. I think what I'll end up doing is just switching Martz from PF to C based on matchups. When he's at C, I'll start Francis at PF, given that Lymon's complete lack of speed makes him a liability there. When Martz is at PF, I'll start either Francis or Lymon at C, depending on matchups. My only issue now is that by making Knight a full-time starter, it makes my front-court back-court VERY thin, depth-wise. Horton is just not "ready for prime time" at this point. I had already started experimenting with the fatigue settings of my three top players (Morgan, Grotberg, and Martz) as well as using the slow tempo you mentioned. I guess I'll just have to see how it all plays out.
7/30/2013 4:16 PM (edited)
I'm assuming that you meant backcourt when you typed frontcourt?  But at any rate, Grotberg and Knight both have decent stamina, and Horton is not a total disaster, so I think that if you use target minutes instead of fatigue and stay away from uptempo, you can get by with that trio in the backcourt.

Another way to think about this: use a five-man rotation of Grotberg, Knight, Horton, Morgan, and Rothman at the 1, 2, and 3 positions.  Grotberg, Knight, and Morgan start.  Horton backs up at the guard positions, Morgan plays a few minutes at guard when someone else needs a rest, and Rothman backs up Morgan at SF.  With five players, they only have to average 24 minutes apiece in order to cover the 120 minutes for the three positions.  Grotberg and Knight could play 28 apiece at normal tempo without any trouble, while Morgan could play 23.  This leaves 41 minutes between the other two... one plays 23 and one plays 18, depending on matchups.

I think this is better than giving any minutes to Rodrigues or Lim, neither of whom strikes me as worth playing yet.  You mention Horton not being ready for prime time, but I think I'd rather have him getting minutes than either Rodrigues or Lim at this point.

To make all of this happen, you'll almost certainly have to use target minutes as opposed to fatigue.  I know most coaches prefer the fatigue method (and so do I, most of the time), but there are some situations where target minutes can be useful, and this might be one.

Also please bear in mind that everything I am saying could be wrong. 

7/30/2013 4:05 PM
Right now, I have rotations set so that (hopefully), Grotberg, Knight, and Morgan will average ~28-30 min/game (84-90 of 120 mins at the 1-3). Rothman would play about 18-20 min at SF, with Horton absorbing about 10 min/game or so at the two G positions. At the bigs, I have it set so that Martz should play around 20 of the 80 available minutes, (as well as about 5 or so at SF), with Lymon and Francis divvying up about 45-50 minutes total, and Padillo playing maybe 15. I like Padillo as an option more than Horton right now, which is why I try to get Martz a few minutes at SF, to prevent having to play Horton quite as much.
7/30/2013 4:25 PM
You run the flex, which emphasizes SP, PE and PA--Grotberg, Morgan, Knight, Lymon, Martz.   Love the flex, and tend to look more for AT, RE and DE up front, not worrying much about scoring, and try to make the other team shoot from the outside with you.  Usually play fairly fresh for the starters. 
7/30/2013 11:31 PM
Posted by tedlukacs on 7/30/2013 11:31:00 PM (view original):
You run the flex, which emphasizes SP, PE and PA--Grotberg, Morgan, Knight, Lymon, Martz.   Love the flex, and tend to look more for AT, RE and DE up front, not worrying much about scoring, and try to make the other team shoot from the outside with you.  Usually play fairly fresh for the starters. 
I've basically settled on the following starting lineup: 1=Grotberg; 2=Knight; 3=Morgan; 4=Martz; 5=Francis or Lymon, depending upon matchups. Also, I play Morgan at "Getting Tired", basically because I want him on the floor more often, and his Stamina ratings aren't where Martz's and Grotberg's are.
7/30/2013 11:46 PM
just saw your request for me to look at this wildcat. a few comments -
first off, your top players are pretty strong. i think your team should be showing a little better, honesty. i think the biggest focus on your part needs to be the extent to which you utilize your strong players. 

i havent necessarily followed the whole thread - but based on your first and last posts, some initial comments. you say you have 3 strong guys, 4 decent guys, and 2 decent subs. you include rothman as a decent sub - as a sf, hes actually pretty solid. im surprised you think so little of him. you also include francis as solid, even starting him over lymon, or at least sometimes. i always try to look beyond the mistakes into why the mistake might be made, so if im off the mark on the why, it might be a good idea to let me know. thinking francis is even remotely as good as lymon is way off. im guessing your reasoning is something about francis's lp or something. its critical to understand, in d1, big men are not very effective on offense until the are 1) beastly as hell or 2) have really solid ft shooting. this is especially true in the flex offense (but its true everywhere - its really more than per offense rocks in the flex, so relatively, bigs suck, more so than bigs sucking more in other offenses).

so, what ill say is this. francis is really crappy IMO - heres why. his offense is effectively useless. with 99 lp that would still be the case - his ath is just too bad. now, im assuming you are shooting for the NT, for lower level d1 play you can think more like d2, but i want to encourage you to think like d1, because thats clearly where you are trying to go. truthfully borderline NT mid majors are somewhere in the middle, you care more about beating bad teams than losing to good teams by less - so just keep that in mind. but anyway, given that you are playing man defense, there are CLEARLY three cores for bigs - ath, reb, and def. roughly, nothing else matters (ok, stamina, but still). in the rare event you get an offensive big, thats different, but your goal especially playing flex is to get bigs who dont hurt you on def and for rebounding, compared to better teams, and to rely on perimeter scoring. at least for 80-90% of your bigs, if not 100%, that should be the goal. now, on that metric - francis is an OK d2 big - 57 ath, 95 reb, 62 defense. not very impressive. lymon has 71 ath, 90 reb, 82 def - dramatically better. you really need to target bigs around 70 ath 90 reb 80 def or so to be successful as a mid major. really if he is horrible at everything else, thats enough - and the guys with 50 per/bh/pass, thats nice, but you have to focus on the basics - focusing on the basics is the entire game at mid major d1 play, and low BCS play. the single biggest mistake coaches make at that level is trying to do more than the basics - you simply cant - youll never consistently get players that good. hell, even i cant pull it off, and ive tried pretty hard. i have pulled in 90 ath/reb/def bigs and guards who could play on high end BCS teams, but its not consistent, and even then, those guys were basically just rock solid where i needed them, and total **** elsewhere (which is fine). you cant always get what you want - but if you try some time,  you just might find, you get what you need! thats got to be the motto every time around.

that said, never start francis over lymon again :) padillo and francis are OK backups but still a big drop from lymon and martz. this theme will continue.

now lets look at your all-important perimeter. your main scoring is effectively limited to the following: grotberg, morgan, knight, and somewhat rothberg and martz. you try to start grotberg, morgan and knight - think about this. if your level of d1 play is all about getting just enough of the important stuff to get by... is it advantageous to play the only 3 strong guys together, and then play none of them together some times? not really. now sometimes you have to - but you really dont want to here. a couple things:

first off, the advantage of flex over motion is you can ride your stars, hard. in the effort of getting what you need and no more, you want a few really strong scorers who can handle the load, so you can focus on defense and rebounding and passing everywhere else. you probably have just about enough. are you riding them hard enough? no way. grotberg is a high BCS level scorer - 75 ath, 98 speed, 96 per, 73 bh, and b+ ft. yeah 1 lp but who cares, this is flex. in flex, that spd/per is where you make your money - and hes near perfect, with more than enough. he needs to be up around the 1 point/minute level, he should be at least at 25ppg given his 30 mpg position. upping his scoring will go a long way - cut back on, well, basically everybody else except the couple guys mentioned as good scorers. im not sure how rothman will do in the flex honestly, id give him a shot and go from there... i have been playing motion/fb lately and like him for that, but flex, i dont know. especially cut back on francis :) 

anyway, to continue building a strong perimeter, you basically need 3 guards getting most of the time at the 2 guard spots. im really not sure what you are doing, kind of a funky rotation going on it seems. but with morgan at 3, horton is your 3 guard - and hes pretty weak, very weak on defense. remember you per defense is really important because most teams you face derive their scoring from the perimeter, too. anyway, knight and morgan are so much better than horton its not even funny. meanwhile, compare morgan and rothman. not even close, right? trick question - depends on the position. as a guard, morgan romps rothman. what about as a sf? they are close on ath, morgan has a 14 more speed, a half dozen or so ath and def, but 25 less rebounding, and hes got more bh/pass. if what you want from your sf is defense and rebounding, its pretty close - and def/reb based sfs are pretty good to have. will that bh/pass and offense help there? in a vacuum, yes. but its really largely being wasted. 

i would personally move rothman to starting sf. hes good enough to keep up. not great, but morgan is subpar in that position, too. id take a stronger defender/rebounder over either of them in an instant, at that position. now as a pg or sg, morgan is pretty solid. i would play morgan as your starting sg, and let knight play backup at both guard spots. keep in mind knight is a guy made to be a backup. look at his defense - it kind of sucks. ath/spd in the high 60s, def in the low 70s. but per is 92. low ath/spd high per scorers ALWAYS do better against weaker competition, and strong defense is vital on the starting line. with a 3 man rotation, you lose a lot of the starter/backup matchups that you'd get in a standard 2 deep at every position setup. but still. knight is really no better a starting sg than rothman is a starting sf. hes a nice backup, though. also, consider what that does for your offense. with grotberg scoring more, and two of grotberg, morgan, and knight ALWAYS playing - now you are ALWAYS going to have at least 2 strong scorers on the floor, and usually, a really strong scorer and a strong one. thats way better than sometimes having all 3 and sometimes having just like 1 decent one and that it! just changing your depth chart will get grotberg more touches because hes playing with only 1 other strong guys instead of 2, so dont overdo it on the distro tweaking. with a couple other role players from an offensive standpoint on the team, you should have no problem with that setup, offensively.

as far as backup sf, i dont know, you have to play someone ****** some time. backup sf is THE ideal place to do that. so do what you will.

given those changes your team, IMO, is at least 5ppg better - which probably takes your from the PIT to the NT. pretty much makes all the difference. let me know if you have any questions.

8/7/2013 2:16 PM
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