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Who Starts? Who Cares?

Gary Williams said after the game last night that he inserted Dave Neal and Adrian Bowie into the starting lineup because A) the two had been playing well recently, and B) he thought those additions (specifically Bowie; had Braxton Dupree not missed class on Monday, who knows whether Neal would have started or not) would provide an extra spark for a team that had come out lifeless the game before against Georgetown.

Though both players struggled early and neither put forward their best performance -- or even their typical performance based on the way they had played to that point -- Neal and Bowie did end up contributing in more subtle ways during the second half to the Terps' victory.

So what was the overall effect of the starting lineup change?

"You never know," Williams said. "I think sometimes it's more psychological than anything else."

My question for you all is how beneficial you think a starting lineup can be, psychologically or otherwise. Does it show the starters that no one should take their spot for granted? Does it show the reserves that if you work hard enough in practice and show enough improvement in games that greater opportunities will arise?

Does it actually help the team progress? Or does it hurt the team from standpoints of stability and/or consistency?

By Steve Yanda  |  December 4, 2008; 5:04 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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I could see it helping in some ways. For your reserves, it can be a reward for their hard work in practice and coming off the bench. For your starters, it could provide a good kick to the complacency. Some people need to learn that no one is irreplaceable and that those who don't contribute during a practice or at gametime will find their playing time considerably less.

Of course, you don't want to do this all the time. This will leave the team feeling either schizophrenic or fearful.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | December 4, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

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