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Discussing Lineup Options of Iowa State Basketball

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The WRNL staff gives their thoughts on the ISU basketball lineups for next year now that Emmanuel Malou won't be on the roster.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Our staff had a quick chat yesterday that was sparked by an article posted by NBC Sports. Here's the conversation in its entirety:

Ian Rewoldt: "Iowa State is going to be in the mix for an NCAA Tournament berth simply because they still have Monte Morris on the roster and the Big 12 looks like it is going to be down this season. Morris is that good and that effective at making the guys around him better. Nonetheless, losing Malou is going to hurt for a team that really does not have all that much talent beyond Morris."

Really? No talent beyond Morris? Get outta here.

ClonesJer: Who's the talent? Matty & 3sus are 3-point specialists and good, but both have had long stretches of getting in their own heads and neither is an "elite" defender. Donovan Jackson and the two transfer bigs are unknowns on the big stage.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: I'd call Matt and Naz talented. Not necessarily prototypical athletic players or anything, but definitely above-average and I'd take them over most shooting guards in college basketball.

CYHusker: Sum of the parts should be pretty good though. We didn't play like a team much last year. Needed lots of Georges and Monte hero ball. Also, Holden is a solid player, Bowie was good before shoulder surgery so that is a question mark I suppose.

ClonesJer: Burton is... I don't even know, incredible some games, nowhere to be found others. I can totally see how an outside observer would question most everyone not named Monte.

Ian Rewoldt: Burton is one of the most talented players in the Big 12 if not the country.

CYHusker: Burton needs a big summer of work, but yes, has All-Big 12 potential. Also folks, the Big 12 is rather down. If this team played in last year's conference I'd be concerned. But I think our Big 12 slate will be much more forgiving thankfully.

ClonesJer: If Burton is so talented, where was he the last half of the season?

CYHusker: He's talented, but inconsistent Jer.

ClonesJer: Seriously, the door was WIDE open for him to take Jameel's place forever. Agreed about the schedule, CYHusker.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: I've said it before... Burton doesn't play a lick of D and doesn't rebound effectively.

Ian Rewoldt: He shot 53% from the floor and 47% from three on the year... He has the James Harden disease on defense though.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: Burton absolutely has the tools to be a talented player, but I can't call him that until his all-around game gets better. At least Matt and Naz play D, even if it's not elite.

CYHusker: If Burton can become "the dude" this team could be great. Morris didn't have his best season defensively either folks. It was a whole team thing.

BJSwanny: I guess if it takes a returning All-American to be considered talented, and no one else is worthy of that, then I'd be hard pressed to find other teams that "have any talent beyond _____."

RevDizz: I mean if the line being drawn is "NBA talent" the NBC Sports article isn't necessarily wrong. Probably just a poor way to word what's likely a decent point.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: From the viewpoint of "college talent" he's absolutely wrong. That's a good point Rev.

BJSwanny: No he's not, but what other teams are returning multiple NBA talents outside of Kansas and Kentucky maybe?

RevDizz: Yeah agreed with that, Matty and Naz are talented college players. I would say Burton is a "talented" college player because he can do just about everything on the basketball court. His problem is certainly not physical tools...

CYHusker: How many players does this team really need contributions from? I see 8-10 guys who can give Prohm meaningful minutes. 11 if you count Stu, of course. His minutes may just be the most meaningful.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: I might change my views on Burton if he were moved to the 3-spot permanently. That spot fits his mold much better than playing the 4. That's not to say there has to be specific positions on the floor at all times, but when he has to guard an opposing big man, it leads to trouble.

CYHusker: Agree with your take Fitzy. He can't be counted on to rebound and box out a 4-man right now. But who else on this team can? I DOUBT both Bowie and Holden start.

RevDizz: I agree Fitzy, I don't think we'll see it exclusively this year though.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: Prohm will want to play small on offense at times and that's fine. But Burton DOES have to improve on the defensive end of the floor for that group to be truly effective. And CYHusker, that's the big question of this year's roster. Will Prohm go smaller for offense or bigger for defense and rebounding?

CYHusker: Part of me wonders if part of the conversation to get Jackson to stay is that he would either start or see a high number of minutes. Pure speculation of course.

jwillyISU: I think we run a 4-guard lineup. And honestly I don't think Nazty will ever be 100% again...

CYHusker: See that's what I'm getting at. I think a mix of both lineups would be ideal.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: It might be a situation where it depends on the opposing team. We might be similar to KU in that we can often run with two point guards on the floor in Morris and Jackson (ala Mason and Graham).

RevDizz: Worked out okay for them.

jwillyISU: And Oklahoma.

CYHusker: Good point.

RevDizz: Slap the floor.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: It's never a bad thing to have two elite ball handlers on the floor.

CYHusker: Problem is does anyone see either Nazty or Thomas coming off the bench? Both are seniors and have earned a starting spot. That's why I see a 4-guard lineup. Burton is kind of left out, but with four guards you can pull one out whenever.

ClonesJer: There's gonna be a LOT of guards expecting minutes... Monte, Naz, Matty & Jackson all expect 30+ I'm sure... But how can that happen? And the Babb kid is supposedly good too. Plus if Burton plays the 3, that's just more minutes away from the guards.

CYHusker: I forgot about Babb. Prohm said he would have been in this year's rotation. Not that that's saying too much, but still.

RevDizz: I think they may start with four guards and Burton on the bench and bring in Burton for Naz ala the Nader substitution this year.

CYHusker: Good thinking Tom, me likie.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: I can't wait for the moment we trot out the lineup of Morris-Jackson-Naz-Thomas-Burton. Just for the lolz. It'd suck for the reasons I outlined already for rebounding and D, but be awesome otherwise.

CYHusker: Can we emulate Nova? Just get buckets and kinda try on defense? They play four guards, worked just fine.

ClonesJer: If Prohm was saying Babb would have played over Hallice and Kirkwood, then... Oh. If he means over Burton or something then that's a big deal.

RevDizz: I also think Prohm has a quicker trigger this year in getting guys in and out if he sees something he doesn't like in regards to defense and rebounding.

ClonesJer: Who needs rebounds anyway... Fred basically started the "fuck rebounds" movement and Prohm continued the acceleration. Just make all shots and rebounds aren't a big deal.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: That works on offense Jer. Not so well on defense.

ClonesJer: If we make 100% of shots, then all we need is to hold them to like 95% Fitz... Math it out.

Kevin Fitzpatrick: Have you advanced these statistics?

ClonesJer: Of course. It's sort of bullshit we only get to play with one ball... Can you imagine the #buckets we'd get with three or four balls out there?

CYHusker: What are statistics? I just wanna see us hoist like 25-30 treys a game. Also, why are they called treys?

ClonesJer: Trey is Spanish for three. Sesame Street taught me that.

CYHusker: Lol, tres?

ClonesJer: Si.

CYHusker: Gracias Jerald.

ClonesJer: It's like en fuego.

CYHusker: Or should I say, Jeraldo?

ClonesJer: Or amigo.

CYHusker: Como estas?

ClonesJer: Stolen Spanish that we alter to make it more awesome. Kinda how we make microwave burritos and call it Mexican food.

CYHusker: Well yeah, but then the "Mexican food" basically gives you Montezuma's Revenge, so let's call it even. I had a roommate in college who would buy Bomb burritos from the Welch Jiz and Jet, and then smother them in a bottle of ranch.

ClonesJer: A better question would be why an assist is called a "dime." I don't know that answer. Google it for me CYHusker

BJSwanny: Because.

CYHusker: Come on Jer, you don't know this? Does anyone? I'm like the third youngest guy here, I figured you older fellas would know. Dropping a dime came from telephones, putting in a dime allowed someone else to make a call AKA an assist? Or something like that.

ClonesJer: Yeah Google says this: In the case of the phone call, dropping a dime is helpful because it allows someone to make a call, and in the case of a basketball assist, dropping a dime is helpful because it allows a teammate to score. Seems stupid. I'm never calling them dimes again.

CYHusker: Can hot chicks still be dimes? Because that's important to me.

ClonesJer: Carom I get, dime no. You should refer to the ladies as "blocks" or "getting stuffed" CYHusker. Maybe "winning the tip."

BJSwanny: Ball control.

ClonesJer: Great handles. Or, in CYdeliner's mom's case: easy lay-in.