The numbers at the bottom of this entry serve as a statistical look at a broader issue that partly entails the need for our coach staff to work to push the right buttons at the right time with the right combination of players. Unfortunately, some of you are going to think that this entry is about ‘Trevor Ferguson’. It genuinely is NOT designed to be about ‘Fergie’.
Additionally, we fully recognize that Ferguson’s minutes have been distributed very closely with minutes for Javi Gonzalez and Dennis Horner this season. But, Horner – and other players who have statistically struggled in our first two games – proved during last season that they have the ability to make significantly positive impacts in real games and not just practice. Conversely, Ferguson does not have that track record upon which to rely as he saw his playing time deteriorate to nothing last season even with the opportunity to take the reigns at point guard when Atsur was injured.
Again, the point of these numbers are not designed to call out Ferguson; the point is to use some FACTS to discuss the optimal distribution of the limited minutes that exist for this basketball team.
Therefore, it is probably time for Coach Lowe to re-assess his evolving substitution pattern. Perhaps the proportional difference between a minute of playing time in a 40 minute college game and a 48 minute NBA game is much larger than it looks on paper? BJD made an excellent point about the substitution rotation in the previous entry when he said:
The problem with Loweâ€™s rotation is that it seems like a true â€œwaveâ€ pattern. Logically, the 6th and 7th men should get more time than the other reserves, but that isnâ€™t really happening.
Some have speculated that Coach Lowe has created his current substitution pattern with Ferguson essentially ‘holding/playing’ the minutes set aside for Marques Johnson once the transfer from Tennessee becomes eligible in December. It sounds good; but, I have no idea if that is actually going to be the case.
As we wait to see the potential impact of Marques Johnson on this team, I would advocate Dennis Horner absorbing some of Ferguson’s minutes to help us achieve a little more continuity and chemistry with the rest of the guys on the court. Even though Horner seems to be struggling a little to this point of the season, he proved an ability to contribute last season. His physical stature (height and weight) along with his ability to get shots off – even creating some of his own – make him a candidate to have the opportunity to step up some.
As was stated in the previous entry – What is the point of playing 10 men if the players donâ€™t play hard enough to get tired when they are out there? Hell, you could play your 7 or 8 best players and have a much better opportunity of winning games if you arenâ€™t pressing and playing a high pressure defense.
After reading this entry, the following is a quick statistical extract through the first two games of the season.
Scoring with Trevor Ferguson playing 22 minutes:
NC State 19 (0.86 points per minute)
Opponents 36 (1.64 points per minute)
Scoring with Trevor Ferguson not playing 58 minutes:
NC State 110 (1.90 points per minute)
Opponents 76 (1.31 points per minute)
NET DIFFERENCE = 51 POINTS IN 80 MINUTES THROUGH TWO GAMES