One of the most popular questions that fans have asked of late on Twitter and through email revolves around Jim Christian not playing big men Dennis Clifford and Idy Diallo on the court together. The duo has played together so infrequently that KenPom.com doesn’t even register it as one of the top ten most frequently used lineups over the past five games. Keep in mind too that the #9 and #10 most frequently used lineups over the past five games have been on the court only 2.9% and 2.8% of the time.
According to sources close to the staff, there has been plenty of talk in game preparation about playing the duo together and it has been experimented many times in practice. The results have not been worth experimenting much on the court.
I was told that the first issue in playing Clifford and Diallo together is that it makes the offense look bad and makes it lack any kind of flow. Considering that the Eagles already average the least points per game in the ACC and lowest offensive efficiency, I’ll take the word of the staff that the big men used together wouldn’t help things on that end of the court.
The second concern is that the coaches don’t feel that the duo makes the team much better on defense, which would obviously is needed to outweigh the offensive inefficiency. The issue revolves around which player covers the other team’s four man. Outside of North Carolina and maybe another team or two, no ACC team has that old school four man that just hangs out down low and gobbles up offensive boards like the Cookie Monster used to at BC. Most of the four men now play outside of the paint and can handle the ball. Clifford is just not quick enough to cover a player like that and Diallo, while athletic enough, still struggles to cover a four man without fouling. As an example, Diallo covered Michael Young on Saturday and picked up two quick fouls.
It is acknowledged that the duo playing together would provide better rebounding for the team, but the fact that the team probably has to play zone defense if the duo is on the court kind of offsets the whole rebounding advantage.
With all that being said there isn’t really a lineup combination that has worked efficiently on a consistent basis since conference play started so the staff still might try some more of the duo together just to see if over time they get different results.
Two Quick Updates
- Freshman guard Sammy Barnes-Thompkins has been sidelined since the Notre Dame game with a concussion that he suffered in practice. I’m told that he will be back very soon, perhaps even this week.
- Freshman John Carlos Reyes continues to be sidelined with his foot injury. I’m told it’s becoming more and more likely that he will be redshirted. The good news is that the injury is allowing Reyes to work on his upper body strength in the weight room. The center came to BC weighing in at 205 pounds and has brought his weight up to 230 pounds this week.
Eric Hoffses is a contributor for BCI. Follow him on Twitter at @EAHoffses
Eric can also be reached at EricHoffses@Gmail.com