With credit to the Barn Yard's bovine inhabitant (and Chik-fil-a) for the title, here's my overdue review of player performance in the first real game of the year.
GopherNation provided a good summary based on what he heard on the radio, so I'm not going to recap the game and instead will tell you what my lying eyes saw from the guys in person. I'll also give my guess on the minutes I think we should expect from these guys in the B1G season. As alluded to in the comments on GN's post, I don't think Tubby is going to be able to use his usual substitution patterns this year and still win conference games. (Note, these minutes probably don't add up as I haven't made any attempt to make them do so)
The Starting Six: I'm going to keep it brief when it comes to Ralph, Trevor, Austin, Rodney, Andre Hollins and Welch. These six can play, and we're pretty familiar with the foibles of four of them. I'll just say that Ralph had a nice game and his ability to knock down mid-range jumpers from just outside the foul line was absolutely key to the offense in the first half, which otherwise struggled. He punished Bucknell for packing the lane, and he's going to have to do that regularly this season. Rodney was himself, but he managed to step on the sideline before blowing past his man for what would have been his most spectacular play of the day. I was told he was a good elbow-length over the rim and had to wait to come down about before finishing, but sadly I missed it as I was too busy preparing to get mad at the ref for what I thought was going to be an incorrect travelling call. Austin does what he's supposed to do, even if he struggled to get his threes to drop in the first half, and played lock down defense on the ball. As to the two new comers, Andre had a quiet game. I don't really recall him making any particularly noteworthy plays, bad or good, on either side of the floor. He was among those who couldn't knock down the three in the first half, but so was everyone else. Welch, on the other hand, impressed me. He had two clean steals in one-on-one perimeter defense that both resulted in layups. The young man has very quick hands. He was also out there playing point at the end, which I think is telling. Andre starts, but Julian finishes. Each of these guys will play 20 minutes plus, and significantly more than that for Ralph and Trevor unless and until Mo Walker is back.
Maverick Ahanmisi: Mav was the 11th guy off the bench, as he was against Augustana, but he also got to stay on the floor as the starters rotated back in, I read that as the coaches trying to reassure him a little. He shouldn't get too comfortable. Again, he was a liability on defense, and didn't add much on offense. His day can be summed up in two plays. In the first half, he took the outlet pass and rushed ahead of his teammates, only to try to push the break into 1-on-3 defense and drawing the charge. Tubby pulled him immediately. In the second half, he's on the break again, this time 2-on-1 with Chip Armelin. Rather than give it up after the defender committed to the ball, Mav went to the rim himself and missed. These were easy decisions, or they should have been, and he got them wrong. Conference playing time should be five minutes or less.
Chip Armelin: There wasn't much new about his performance. He's aggressive with the ball and can hit a runner off the dribble. He also can't play defense. I still think his role will be limited to instant offense off the bench. Max playing time in conference games will be ten minutes, probably less in most games.
Oto Osenieks: Oto got minutes at both 3 and 4, and did admirably if not spectacularly. For a guy who is expected to be a shooter, he didn't seem particularly eager to launch threes, but that's probably a good thing for a redshirt freshman. His head is on a swivel on defense, and I like that. He also showed real hustle, diving for loose balls and running around the floor. I don't particularly like seeing him on the low block in the high/low power forward position, but without Mo, we don't have much depth in the bigs. His hustle and his defense will earn him minutes, I'd say 7-10 per game.
Joe Coleman: Coleman showed me more than I expected based on the Augustana game, but there still isn't that much to say. He's going to need hustle and defense to earn more minutes, but I think his primary role is going to be rest for the guys ahead of him at 2 and 3. I'd project him at 5 minutes a game, but maybe more if he works hard.
Eliott Eliason: It pains me to say it, as I had expectations for him this year, but Eliot was a liability in this game. He was out of position a lot, and had trouble moving his feet on both ends of the floor. He's got a lot of improving to do to get any meaningful playing time. He only had 9 minutes in this game, and I think that's significantly too much for the B1G season. I think Oto's time at 4 probably reflects Tubby's reaction to Eliot's struggles. I'd project him at five minutes or less, but the absence Mo might give him more opportunities.
Andre Ingram: He barely played (four minutes) and didn't do much notable. As I said after the Augustana game, he looks like he has a body of an athlete, but it's hard to expect that he's going to get more time in the B1G unless something drastic happens.
And now I'll head back to agonizing over whether to head to Williams Arena tonight or watch the Vikings on TV.