Searching for something with the starting five
The surest sign that things are not working and Skinner knows it, is how he is still tinkering with his rotation. Known for creating a starting five and sticking with, Al has juggled this line up more times than any of his previous seasons at the Heights.
Sanders and Blair are the only guys to start every game. (Rice missed the opener.) The most frequent starting five was Rice, Sanders, Blair, Spears and Roche. They started 17 games together. Yet we haven't sent out that combination since first loss to Virginia Tech Jan 26.
Since then Roche, Spears, Oates, Raji, and Paris have all started the game in some combination with Blair, Sanders and Rice.
The only guy seeing regular minutes who hasn't started a game is Southern.
Equally surprising given Skinner's history are the game-to-game changes in who gets minutes. Blair's playing time dwindles each week. Roche has started recent games yet also had a DNP. Raji also saw long minutes against VT after barely geting on the floor a few weeks ago.
The rotations may be a point of frustration, but they also provide hope. Skinner is not complacent and trying to find something that will work now and in the future. I also think he is sending a message about future playing time. With only two guys leaving for sure (Oates and Blair) and four guys coming in (one transfer and three freshmen), things will get very crowded. My guess is that you'll see a transfer or two when the season is over.
Tyrelle Blair -- 26
Rakim Sanders -- 26
Tyrese Rice -- 25
Tyler Roche -- 23
Shamari Spears -- 17
John Oates -- 9
Biko Paris -- 3
Corey Raji -- 1