FanPost

The Argument for Starting Sunshine

Ask any basketball coach, and he'll tell you that some players are simply better when they come off the bench. Doesn't it make sense, then, that other players are better when they start? That, in my opinion is Jake Layman.

Let's look at some numbers: In games in which Sunshine has started, he has averaged 15 ppg, hitting 6-13 from beyond the arc (46.2%), and 10 of 19 overall (52.6%). Also, he has averaged 6 rebounds per game, and .5 turnovers per game. Do I need to remind you that his 18 first-half points against Virginia Tech all but decided the game in the first 20 minutes?

Conversely, in games in which he has come off the bench, he has averaged 2.6 ppg, shooting 15 of 50 overall (30%), and 6 of 33 from beyond the arc (18.2%). He has average just 2.4 rpg, and 1.3 TOs per game.

I understand the argument that he hasn't "earned" a starting role, or that the sample size to justify starting him is too small; but after scoring 14 points in the first half against Miami, and 20 first-half points in Chapel Hill, how much of a difference would having a hot hand in the first half made in those two games?

My argument is this: IF Jake starts against BC and doesn't play well, how is that any different than our starting lineups against Miami and UNC? If he starts and DOES play well, perhaps, just perhaps, we have found a player who is capable of getting us off to a fast start in games, or at least a player capable of providing some offense. That, after all, is what has been missing of late.

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