A few weeks ago I offered a mildly hysterical perspective on Ousmane Barro's slow start to the season. That entry was prompted by a number of factors, namely: Barro's failure to start a game this season (he started 32 last year), the intimation that Oooze was foul prone, the precipitous decline in his production across the board, and the notion that the inimitable Dwight Burke emerged as the starter.
OK, so maybe I was hasty in rushing to judgment in asserting that Oooze should start and play more, and that Burke should sit and play less:
- Dwight Burke, you've surprised the heck out of everybody this year. Where the heck have you been for the past two seasons? Your marvelous development as an upperclassman has to surprise even the most optimistic Golden Eagles fan. Bravo, man. Keep it up. But again, where did this come from?
- Barro's supposed "proclivity for early foul trouble." I went to great lengths to demonstrate that last season, Barro didn't have this affliction -- in fact, he fouled about as often as Wes Matthews and less than Dan Fitzgerald. But, as one of my more sane co-conspirators pointed out, "look you simpleton, last year Barro was our only decent option at the '5'. A foul on him was a way bigger deal than a foul on one of our 600 guards." Bingo.
We started the season bringing Ousmane (Barro) off the bench for no other reason than I didn't want him in early foul trouble because last year I felt we had too many games - go back to the Wisconsin game; the whole dynamic of the game changed when we had to sit Ousmane down - and we wanted to guard against that a little bit, he said. Still get him quality minutes but let the game get going before we get him in. Well, Dwight Burke's making it tough for me to change my mind. I look at those two as being contributors.Bottom line: the rotation seems to be working.
I still can't get over the decline in Oooze's overall production this year after seeing such consistent improvement in him in each of the previous three seasons. However, the formula might just be better for the make-up of this team. After all, depth on the frontline was (is?) one of the primary weaknesses for this bunch......perhaps the two-headed monster can hold that line just enough to get this team over the top.