WCC Game 9: @ Gonzaga

For me it’s just about PT, I don’t really care who starts. Who finishes the game is more telling. If Bediako starts and plays 16mins while Tilly plays 20mins+ so be it.
I don’t know what’s up with Bediako, he’s clearly struggling, but there’s an argument to be made that benching him creates risk of him losing confidence and/or tanking even further, and as a senior typical starter it could create some rifts and awkward dynamics and team chemistry to replace a senior starter with a true frosh. Lots of egos and team dynamics to navigate.
As long as he’s working hard in practice and his attitude is OK it may make sense to continue to start him but plan to play him <15-18 mins unless his performance warrants more minutes.

Tilly deserves the minutes with what he’s showed of late and given his upside/potential…he’s already our most fundamentally sound and skilled offensive player in the post.
That said…I’ve mentioned this repeatedly, against the right teams and matchups I’d also like to see Braun play some 5 alongside Tongue. That combo is the most athletic pair of posts we can put on the floor, offer the best off/def transition, both have at least a little ability to hit a 3 and/or drive from the perimeter and you don’t lose anything in terms of rebounding or rim protection. The only flaw with that pair is size/girth as Braun is very thin so defending opposing 5’s in the low post can be a challenge…but that only matters if the opposing post is both skilled and and big/strong, beyond Timme, Saxen, and Traore there aren’t many WCC posts to be concerned about.


Cam shot 83.78% at the 3 in High School (he averaged 90% at the top when hit on the trail) and is TERRIFIED to take that under Sendek. He is too conservative with it - because if he does not hit it on his first attempt, he will defer to his inside game. Cam needs to understand he can keep shooting it just like Keyshawn does - because that actually IS his shot.

I told him to take it fearlessly and if it does not sink after 2 attempts, start driving in again like he did with Gonzaga.

I asked him what is happening with the team and where he is at. He said that as far as he is concerned, he is just taking each game one at a time and he is going to just have FUN with it. Before, he was playing too tight for fear of being pulled. Now he is just going to play his game and let the cards fall where they may. He mentioned that some of the internal strife they are dealing with is that some of his teammates do not respond well to adversity and they need to change how they respond to things not going their way. Right now, it has taken SCU mentally out of their game.

Let’s hope the chat with the visiting coach and some hard discussions adjust this issue moving forward the remainder of the season. Physically and talent wise, they have it. It is a mental obstacle they need to get over right now.

The WCC drives me NUTS with Timme. He forces fouls by purposefully bringing his arms up under defenders, he TRIPS into 50% of his fouls, he travels frequently, and the WCC refs allow this sloppy big man play. It literally boggles my mind. They do not call him Travel Timme for no reason. (And he is no Lebron - so not sure how this is actually helping him long term with his bball career.)


In true Izzo fashion . . … “It’s about dang time”.