Wednesday, November 14, 2007

An action that may be significant

Utah State Coach Stew Morrill must be very unsatisfied with the play of his centers and power forwards thus far in the early season. Newcomer Gary Wilkinson has shown flashes of promise but Ohio State transfer Brayden Bell has yet to make any impact. So...

We have never witnessed let alone heard of this happening before: suiting up -- at halftime no less -- and playing someone who had been destined as a redshirt in the second half of a game.

According to Jay Hinton of the Deseret News: "...Utah State coach Stew Morrill used his second different starting lineup and Modou Niang, who wasn't in uniform when the game started, dressed at halftime and entered the game, burning his redshirt year to serve as evidence to that fact..."


"...Not happy with the events in the paint in the first half, Morrill added Niang, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound freshman, to the lineup mid-game and the Aggies were assessed a technical foul at the start of the second half because of it.

It was something the Aggies were willing to do, Morrill said.

"We just needed Modou. He was really not sure if he wanted to redshirt," Morrill said of his decision to add a player to the lineup mid-game for the first time in his coaching career.

"He brings some athleticism and some size to the game," Morrill added. "He is raw because he is a freshman, but he is long and he is going to change some shots. We just need him..."

Go here for the full article.

For the record, Bell played eight minutes in the Aggie opener, shooting 1-5 from the floor and grabbing five rebounds. In game two, he saw four minutes of action, shooting 1-3. The game in the article above saw Bell play three minutes, shoot 0-2 and grab two boards.

Gary Wilkinson has put up these numbers: game one - 26 minutes, 10 points, six rebounds --- game two - 31 minutes, 21 points and eight boards --- game three - 17 minutes, 12 points, three rebounds.


Patrick H said...

Unbelievable. Stew blew a gasket.

wacster said...

Obviously I wasn't there but Morrill must have blistered the paint off the lockerrom at halftime.

To insert a probable redshirt player into a game that didn't have much if any meaning appears impulsive.

I wonder if Morrill decided this on his own -- as a spur of the moment idea -- or discussed this with his assistants first and decided to proceed.

Regardless, the Aggies now have another power player in the mix for this season. It will be interesting to see if Brayden Bell picks up his production in practice and follows through in games because it seems like he was being called out. Gary Wilkinson has been a bit up-and-down but he has to be the starter in the miuddle for Utah State and will only get better.