Thank God for something to write about that isn't (a) whiny fans, (b) annoying and whiny fans or (c) the recruiting whims of a confused teenager.
Another tidbit from Tubby Smith that could actually prove crucial to the upcoming season made itself known early this week (quote courtesy of Lexington Herald-Leader).
Smith has designs on playing a "big" front, with a reportedly much-improved Jared Carter at the 5 spot and a trimmer Randolph Morris manning the power forward slot.
Morris is a power forward at the next level, he doesn't rebound terribly well but shoots extremely well from 10-15 feet, and it would be interesting to see Morris able to crash the boards after misses rather than simply attempt to block out. Foul troubles have been a big problem for Randy, and it remains to be seen if he has similar troubles guarding more mobile, active forward rather than lumbering big men.
Imagine watching Big Randy with room to move!
Smith also noted in the SEC Coaches' conference call that he expects junior Joe Crawford to start at the shooting guard spot. That is, of course, what Crawford was ostensibly recruited to play, what he played in high school (where he was among the top 10 recruits) and what he would play at the next level.
Both of these moves could reap huge rewards, though they also require consistent and improved play from the Carter-Woo tandem in the paint and effective backup play from incoming frosh Derrick Jasper and Jodie Meeks.
Tubby, for his part, thinks his new boys could be up to the task.
Meeks, should be "able to come in and contribute because of his physicality and athleticism, especially at the defensive end."
Jasper is a tall point (6'5") with good defensive instincts.
Tubby has succeeded at times in his UK coaching career tinkering with players out of position. Erik Daniels used his quickness to overcome a size disadvantage in the paint. Keith Bogans used his upper body strength to turn into a capable small forward, despite being only 6'4" (6'5" with shoes). Last year, Smith rode a pair of starting point guards in Patrick Sparks and Rajon Rondo, effectively ceding anywhere from 3-5 inches per game on defense. Bobby Perry (6'7" and sinewy) was the starting power forward most of the year. 'Nuff said about that.
It would be nice to see players able to match up with players of similar skills and sizes, and it could gasp level the playing field in a good way.