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Date Posted: Sunday, February 17, 12:49:25pm
Author: Cindy Crawford
Subject: My case for Tim Spitler

NickD asked below why Tim Spitler was playing "so much" at the expense of Lampley.
I contend that first of all,he is not playing all that much,averaging eleven minutes this year as opposed to twenty five minutes last year when he started thirty games.While I am not advocating that he get more minutes,I definitely don't want to see him get fewer.
In yesterday's game for example,he was alternated with Orta on offense/defense at crunch time. Trying to protect the lead it was wise to have a defensive stopper in instead of Lampley who just might throw up a quick shot. It was also wise on Dunne's part to have Leon ,by far our best free throw shooter in,at the end to be drawing the late desperation fouls.
In limited play Tim's numbers are surprisingly good. He is second only to Sowell in rebounds per minute played,leades in steals per minute, and a better assist to turnover ratio than Jenkins,Lampley,or Orta.
His scoring average is down from last season,but that's a good thing. Recognizing that there are better scoring options,he has unselfishly limited his number of shots. So that while his eleven minutes might be split by 3 or 4 other guards,he is not really diminishing their scoring opportunities.In the Canisius game a steal by Tim at the end of the half,not only prevented a Grif scoring opportunity but resulted in a pass to Lampley which got him two free throw attempts.
His efforts against the press have been good also this season. Up at Iona,when Leon looked totally bewildered,Tim was able to break the press by using his size and strength to bull the ball vertically down court.
Then there are the intangibles,his work ethic is excellent,both diving over and across tables,and into crowds(at Marist he wiped out the TV crew)in games and his relentless efforts in practice.
I believe when that kind of effort is recognized and rewarded with playing time,it can serve as an example to others on the team to give a greater effort if they want more minutes.
The question of playing seniors is a difficult one. When is the season abandoned in favor of development? Fans are always pointing to the Ws as the most important indicator of success,but now some don't want wins,but only a look at tomorrow.A winning attitude and learning how to win must be encouraged.Isn't important for our coach to learn how to win also,using the best means he has available?
I seriously doubt Tim's eleven minutes a game is going to stifle Lampley,Jenkins,or Leon.
This is a team game,Tim is a team player.He is hard working and unselfish.He plays hard nosed defense...the numbers won't show how many points he prevents an opponent's sharpshooter from logging.No one disputes he has limited athletic talents but few get more out of what they have.
Lastly on a personal note,I can say that I am a glass is half full type. I enjoy going to the games...win and lose.It's a diversion from life's real issues. Players like Tim add greatly to that experience.

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[> Re: My case for Tim Spitler -- loyal, Sunday, February 17, 01:41:30pm [1]

I agree....Dunne has not blindly given Tim senior minutes because he's "earned them", but rather used Tim judiciously, for the benefit of the club.

Nice job yesterday on the road, albeit against one of the few Division One clubs ranked below us in the RPI index. Frosh guard performance was encouraging; Turner is no slouch. Noting Lampley has decreased his turnovers as the season moves on, which offers a ray of hope.

IF IF IF IF IF Dunne can get a banger to help inside next year (Conley? TBD?) it will make a huge difference in how next season shapes up. Without a replacement for Todd's rebounds/presence inside, it will be very hard to be competitive. If Conley is ready to step in (tall order) or we find someone in the spring who is (equally tall order), we can jump to mid-pack....maybe higher, depending on how our frosh play as sophs.

Getting a "5" or strong "4" ready to contribute AND having Bacon take a quantum leap forward next season is a long shot, but one I am rooting for.

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[> Re: My case for Tim Spitler -- jajk, Sunday, February 17, 03:17:06pm [1]

Cindy, you make a great case for Tim. I agree with virtually all of it. His efforts on the court and as a representative of SPC over his career can only be applauded. I hope that many will come out on senior day to show their appreciation for Tim as well as Todd and Raul.

I also agree with you about Tim's contributions this year and that his play merits at least the minutes he has gotten. Another area of agreement is our view that the glass is half full is just a more pleasant way of going through our days here. I also share your thought that while we all love the teams we root for to get as many Ws as possible,each game is an event to be enjoyed,even savored. Hell,to this day I will stop and watch kids playing three on three in a playground. I never get to as many games as you do and some of the more serious things in life you mentioned have kept me away from a few more this year. But the tv and this newfangled technology has filled in some of the gaps in seeing the Peacocks perform.

On the other hand I was wondering along with Nick about Lampley's only 15 minutes yesterday. Now this was only fro my my perspective of listening to the game and reviewing the play by play on gametracker or whatever so I would appreciate your ,or anyone else's , perspective. From my admitted limited one, it seems Darrell came into the game and was on the floor for virtually all of the 25-3 run that was one of the two keys to this much needed win. From the stats he had three three's and assisted on two other threes in this stretch.

What did he get after that,maybe two or three minutes? In that short span did he do some things so badly on the O or D ends that his play over our winning stretch was totally ignored. I know that in the second half there were points that defense was the key need and maybe at other points some size was the key,but it did seem that ,and again I'm stressing from listening it seemed like there were points when another ballhandler might have been helpful.

For those who want to say this another post by me about my 'agenda' that Lampley get more minutes to show whether he can be MAAC point guard of high caliber,given the chance, there is not much I can do about that. But I would like to get more of your or anyone else's perspective. Guess I would just finish by a comment about the (alas) heartbreaker that my RU just lost to ND. ND's point,Jackson, seems to me to be a prime example that there are all kinds of different successful points. He is not your classic point but a scoring point that will take maybe an ill-advised shot or two,turn it over maybe a time or two more than a coach would want by being too aggressive, but opens up the court and provides tremendous energy and movement for his offense. Again without criticizing any other player, I think is the opportunity that Lampley should at least have the opportunity to see if he can provide for us.

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[> [> Re: My case for Tim Spitler -- oldtimer#!, Monday, February 18, 10:54:04am [1]

Jajk, just reread your post and most of it was quite accurate. However, when you said that Darrell was one of the" two keys" to victory it again shows your bias. When our assistant coach was interviewed after the game he talked about Wesley Jenkins and our guard play, especially that of Nick Leon. Anyone who listened to those comments would have intrepreted that to mean Jenkins was key, our guards were excellent but that he singled out Leon for being the other key factor.

Now reasonable people can have different points of view. Supporting an obvious player favorite is one thing but making some of the statements you make in that support often warrents a response. Darrell played well and was a positive factor in our victory but anything beyond that is hype. LOL

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[> [> [> Re: My case for Tim Spitler -- jajk, Monday, February 18, 12:35:13pm [1]

I did not say that Darrell was one of the two keys to winning the game, just that the the 25-3 run was one of the keys,along with the finishing of the game of which Nick Leon was a big part. As to the assistant coach's comments I will differ with you to the extent that I thought he emphasized that Leon was the absolute key to the game. It was the announcer that brought up Jenkin's contribution that the coach then concurred in. So I believe absolutely that the staff,from that interview and from their relative playing time, agree with you that Leon is their guy-at least at this stage. I just get a touch concerned that a player of Darrell's talent (again IMO) and desire to excel may just think that if the staff obviously prefers another player at the slot I want to play and he is in the same year, it may as well be at least a consideration to play somewhere else. This is purely speculation on my part and I surely hope that it is not the case. It would be a shame. And I will also stress that I don't think that this is an easy spot for Dunne as he adapts to Div 1 head coaching. He has two players close in talent with strenghts and weaknesses each and both as freshman. As I have said there are a lot of different type of point guards and it appears that the staff -again at least at this stage- have a preference for Leon. It is just one fan's opinion that I think that Lampley's upside potential is significantly higher, Hey ,maybe part of it is my bias about the type of bb I enjoy watching the most.

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[> [> [> [> Re: My case for Tim Spitler -- oldtimer#1, Monday, February 18, 02:51:42pm [1]

Jajk, think you hit the nail on the head regarding our disagreement about Lampley. You like his type of game and I have extreme difficulty warming up to it. I also think that his "talent" has been grossly exaggerated. I will not go further because criticism focusing solely on Darrell is unfair when our entire team, including the coaching staff has had the type of season we have been having.

Quite frankly, while neither of us wants to even hint at or begin unsubstantiated rumors or guesses, I would say that if Darrell did choose to go elsewhere it would in no way reflect on the staff. Leon, atleast as of now, is the better overall player and I would go with that over whatever "potential" you see in Darrell. As I've pointed out, John Dunne has been very supportive of Darrell both on and off the court. There should be no legitimate bitch that he hasn't both stuck with Darrell nor given him plenty of opportunity. Basketball is a team game and no matter how much perceived talent a player has, it's wasted unless molded into the team. This, by the way, is where I applaud Darrell the most. There is no question that he is trying and somewhat succeeding in his attempt to become more of a point guard/team oriented player. He was not in the beginning.

My preference is to continue to see how each player develops. The problem is that I see both players as better than your average sub but not quite having current ingredients to be "the man" on a top level MAAC team. On the other hand, both are essentially freshmen and haven't played that bad as such. If I were John Dunne, I would feel quite comfortable that I had two pretty good players but that wouldn't stop me from looking, if the "right" player came along.

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[> Re: My case for Tim Spitler -- Sludge, Sunday, February 17, 03:17:32pm [1]

Cindy - Excellent analysis of Spitler's role/contribution. True knack for presenting in an objective, non-confrontational manner.

Maybe I/others can learn from you. Ooops, did that sound polarizing?

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[> [> Re: My case for Tim Spitler -- oldtimer#!, Monday, February 18, 10:34:57am [1]

Re: Jajk IMO Darrell played his best game of the season. When some posters talk of player development I would say that Darrell has come a long way this year. From a player who hoisted up too many shots, many of them ill advised to a player who, at least, for now is beginning to play within the team concept and being much more selective in his shooting. When Darrell takes time to "square up" he becomes a much better shooter. If anyone has noticed Darrell shooting percentage has been slowely creeping up from the mid-twenties to the low thirties. He is shooting and playing better.

Much of this I credit both Darrell and the staff. Anyone who has been to the games should have observed how supportive Coach Dunne has been of Darrell. Taking more of a teaching and discussion approach, I think that it is begginning to pay dividends. Darrell's playing much, much better.

However, to answer some of Jajk's observations, yes Darrell was on the floor as we had that 25-3 run but he was also on the floor when that lead dwindled. Darrell played well but let's not make it more than it is. Add to that , that we had no problem with Cansius' press, I fail to understand the implication that Darrell would have helped in that regard. By the way Nick Leon handles the ball very well. This idea that only Darrell can handle is not accurate. Darrell is the better handler of the two but the difference is not that great. Plus, as Cindy pointed out Nick is one of the top free throw shooters in the country.

So yes, let's each have an opinion. Jajk obviously likes Darrell's game and thinks that he could be a big time contributor. I think differently. I posted well over a month ago that Nick and Darrell are like #1 and #1A. The better player for me is Leon. Nick has had some wonderful games that often are overlooked. And yes he's had some poor one's also. Darrell, early on, had some very poor performances but recently his positive contributions have been growing rapidly. My only disagreement witrh Jajk is that I've seen enough of Darrell to have an opinion on his game. I see Darrell as a contributor who is capable of an outstanding performance but not at the level some are hoping for. He and Nick are a decent 1/2 punch but in terms of becoming an upper tier MAAC team, I have serious doubts. I see both as important contributors but I wouldn't be closed minded on making the #1 position at least a priority to see what's out there.

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