What Will Self Do, When Getting Fouled Up Starts?

  • Playing tougher is good in concept.

    Playing with steel reinforced noses is good in concept.

    Guarding hard everywhere and exploding out of position all the time is good in concept.

    Getting up and under your assigned footer is good in concept.

    Getting up and under your assigned perimeter defensive assignment that has 4 inches and 20 pounds on you is good in concept.

    Knocking guys off their spots and off their lines is good in concept.

    But if the game is officiated at all as it was last season, especially the first half the season, then many of the players playing in the aforementioned fashions will, not surprisingly, be fouled up a the 5 minute mark of the first half.

    This will likely not adversely affect the five minute mark substitutions. They were set to come in and give the starters a blow and to bring new energy, new explosiveness.

    But what happens when the second wave of subs, regardless of their lengths, come in and play fanatically and explosively, i.e., with steel reinforced noses and lots of manning up, and become fouled up in the ensuing five minutes?

    What does Self do then?

    He would appear to have two options.

    1.) Pull the plug on the fanatic and explosive fashion play util the final five minutes of the second half.


    2.) Play a ten man rotation and tell them to keep playing fanatically and explosively till the final buzzer, i.e., attack until victorious, or let no man come back alive with less than 5 fouls.

    Option 1 lets him keep his most talented players on the floor playing at 3/4s fanaticism and explosiveness.

    Option 2 lets team defense stay stifling for 40 minutes, but risks serious adverse mismatches as the starters grow depleted from fouling out.

    Option 1 substitutes hard noses for gutty-ness of the kind showed by the 2012 Runner-Up team that played six, or seven guys, and sand bagged for long stretches of the game to throw everything into the last ten minutes. It is called shortening a game. It involves a lot of walking the ball up court, passing till near the end of the shot clock and then always trying for a high percentage close in bucket and an FTA.

    Option 2 is letting the dogs off the leash and finding a way to “getter done” no matter what kind of personnel you are left with at closing time. In Option 2, we might even occasionally see Evan Manning and Tyler Self forced into perilous duty.

    Option 1 is the traditional Self approach of bend, grind, labor, but never break.

    Option 2 (?) is what a newer, harder nosed, Marine Raider indoctrinated Bill Self might go with.

    The Marines always come in waves. They always hold a reserve just off shore. They start with a strategy of what needs taking, and a set of tactical plans for doing it. Once the combat starts, they immediately junk all the tactical plans, and improvise in the moment to optimally concentrate whatever forces might remain at whatever objectives seem most feasible in order to “getter done.”

    Marines don’t take casualties for the sake of sustaining the initial tactical operations planned.

    They take casualties to take specific real estate that seems most crucial to take in front of them at the moment to keep the operation going. There are flaws to this approach. It can lead to fantastic losses at point of attack, when a leader gets too close to the action and loses perspective, i.e. Chesty Puller on Tarawa.

    But it makes the Marines very tough to actually stop. They never stop looking for and taking losses to find a point of attack they might be able to crack open. Doing this means that though you may slaughter many of them repeatedly, if you eventually guess wrong in the chaos their attempts are creating, sooner or later they break through and destroy you, and your next line of defenses, that you did not anticipate correctly being destroyed. This takes all the advantage of defense away from you. You suddenly do not know whether your interior line of communications are reliable. You suddenly can’t decide where they will attack next. You suddenly are in world of shit battling a bunch of razor edged fanatics that generally are not instructed to take prisoners. You only know they are coming and that even if you guess right one more time about their next point of attack, they are going to take casualties until they find your next weakness. They are a demoralizing bunch to fight, when they have smart, out front generals leading them, which they often have.

    Self has been playing Eisenhower for quite a few years now. It fit because Eisenhower always had the superior force structure.

    But now Self is really just in command of a short Marine Raider outfit. A bunch of highly trained, razor edged fanatics, enough depth to come in waves and still hold some in reserve, but not overwhelming force structure for an Army style invasion and occupation.

    Self brought in the real Marines this pre season.

    I suspect he gets his situation.

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