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Earning Your Minutes

As I've been reading through the report cards and recruiting information, I started thinking about next year's rotation and how it would look with Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed.  Most of us seem to be in agreement about the role both of these guys should have for the team...typical white guy roles.  They can both hit the open shot, hit the open man, or cover the open man on defense.  After Morningstar's suspension this season, he was immediately placed in the rotation and played significant minutes.  He was playing well and there wasn't much to complain about.  Then, he had the free throw incident and his shot fell apart.  Around this time, Reed's shot caught fire and he started playing a few more minutes.  No problem, I figured the white guys got about 30 minutes a game between the two of them.  Whoever was hot, got more minutes.  So, I double checked and got this.

Tyrady MorningReed getting around 50 minutes a game for the first half of Big 12 play?  Odd...

But I figured there has to be a reason, maybe Reed and Morningstar were playing so well in those games that they forced Bill Self to leave them on the court.  Another possible explanation could be that another guard or two were playing their way off the court at that time.  Though these explanations make sense to me, they tend to go against a lot of the complaints we've brought up here and read in a few other places about how stubborn Self seems to be about his playing rotations and minutes.  Trying to think of a way to see if Bill Self plays the hot hand in a particular game, I decided to look at each player's plus/minus (mine) adjusted to a per 40 minute number and compare it to their minutes in that game. 

In theory, a higher per 40 plus/minus would correlate with minutes above that player's average, right?



Looking at Sherron Collins, it's tough to see too much of a trend.  His numbers weren't great in games he played over 35 minutes but I'm going to guess those were closely contested contests and we know how Collins plays in those situations (tried to take over and took a lot of shots).  We know he didn't shoot all that well, so this makes some sense to me. 


In the three points at the bottom left of the graph, it does appear that HCBS realized Xavier didn't have it that game and cut his minutes way back.  His three highest games in minutes are all below a +10 per 40 minutes, that doesn't look good.


Again, it's tough to tell too much from this.  He's all over the place...though over 30 minutes didn't turn out well for him.


This looks a little bit more like what I was hoping to see.  As Markieff's minutes went up, his per 40 plus/minus also tended to increase.  This could be a sign that with more minutes next year, we can expect more production out of him.  It could also be a sign that he's a little streaky with some clear indicators, knowing what we'll have in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the game.




It doesn't look like this one tells us a whole lot but I think does say something about Reed's game.  Let him play between 10-20 minutes and he'll hit a few threes and grab a board or two.  Don't count on him for anything more than that and be prepared for him ending up with one three, one rebound, one assist, and one foul.

This might be my favorite graph in this post.  We were worried about HCBS's love affair with Brady but this sure doesn't support that.  When Morningstar stunk, he sat.  That's not to say he's going to be super productive the other nights, he just is what he is.