in Hoops

Roundtable Friday: which role player is most important?

Welcome to our Friday roundtable. Our question this week:

Who is the most important role player to OSU’s postseason success?

First up, OKC Dave…

OKC Dave

For the purposes of this question, I’ll assume that Smart, Brown, and Nash can not be considered role players. All of them use 22% or more of the team’s possessions while they are in the game.

I’ll go with Cobbins. In conference play, MC Slammer is averaging 7.6 points and 7.3 rebounds (10.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per 40 minutes). We have come to rely on his putbacks on the offensive end.

On defense, Cobbins has become better at knowing when to help and blocking/altering shots as opponents drive the lane (although he still goes for the block a little too much for my taste).

I’m as certain as Luke Schenscher is awkward that we will run in to a competent big man at some point in the postseason. We’ll need Cobbins to contribute down low to complement our excellent guard play in order to advance.


@CarsonC5

Michael Cobbins or “MC Slammer” as I’m calling him1, was the pick for most of the season. His inside presence takes OSU up a notch from a nice team, to a dangerous team. But he’s to the point we know what to expect: An upper-middle class man’s Ivan McFarlin. BoardsOnBoardsOnBoards, solid defense, and follow-slams.

For me, the biggest key is Phil Forte. Let’s just say No. 13 has not been lucky for the freshman2 He is the unknown on the roster. Can he turn it around in March? Or did he hit the proverbial Freshman Wall3?

March is all about getting hot. OSU’s 1995 Final Four team lost 9 (!) regular season games. But they got NBA-Jam-Hot in March. If Forte heats up, OSU is capable of beating anyone in the country4. If he’s shooting 1-8 from 3-point range? That puts a ton of pressure on Le’Bryan Nash & Marcus Decimus Meridius5 to score.

They need a lot of things to go right to make a deep run in The Dance: Brian Williams going full-Thabo, Nash pretending he’s posting up Twitter-Haterz, Markel slamming Desmond’s torch, et al.

But jersey No. 13’s play in March 2013 looms large.


Pistolsboy

It’s Forte. I wrote out 300 words explaining why it was Brian Williams but it’s not, it has to be Forte.

Here’s what’s crazy: OSU’s offensive efficiency and Forte’s three-point percentage have gone in opposite directions. Forte came into conference play shooting 42% and he’s now shooting 34%. OSU came into conference play ranked 67th in offensive efficiency and they now sit at 53rd.

In a lot of way they’re succeeding despiteĀ Forte, not because of him.

But really, that’s the exciting thing. With an amped up Forte bombing away in March, the ceiling gets raised significantly for this team. Remember how Ford used to just stick Keiton on the three-point line his freshman year and how much it opened things up for Eaton and James? Same thing here. Same thing with JamesOn in ’05.

The problem is that Ford has started bailing on Forte already. His playing time and Brian Williams’ are trending in the opposite direction (this is conference play).

Screen shot 2013-03-01 at 12.05.03 PM Screen shot 2013-03-01 at 12.06.52 PM

I don’t really blame Ford, I just hope Forte can gather himself for a sweet little run later on this month.

  1. That nickname never really gained traction. Neither did my Markel “The Mayor” Brown (as in, The Mayor of Lob Stilly). I thought they were pretty good!
  2. Since switching jersey numbers from 10 to 13, Forte has shot 29% from behind the arc. The switch came after just 5 Big 12 games, but blaming it on Dan Marino’s cursed number is more fun..
  3. The same thing happened to James Anderson his freshman year. Boy, did he struggle in conference play. That happens to Freshman not named “Marcus.”
  4. Unless Big 12 referees are involved and Smart gets 3 fouls in less than 3 minutes.
  5. Sorry. I couldn’t help using one more, made-up nickname.For the purposes of this question.
  • http://themonkey fred

    One might see a correlation between Brian Williams increased playing time/Forte’s decreased playing time and the fact that OSU is playing as well as they’ve played all season. Forte might get hot and take 7 shots in a game. Is that worth trading in a defensive stopper every time down the court?

  • Nate

    Any answer other than Cobbins is the wrong answer here. Not even close

    • Dylan

      This is 100% correct. In fact, I don’t even consider him a role player. BWill would be next if Cobbins is to good to fit the bill

    • KC

      If we’re ok with going out in the 2nd round the answer is Cobbins. Can’t deny his importance on this team but if we have a chance at sniffing the final 4, Forte absolutely MUST get hot in March.

      • http://www.facebook.com/freddyrains2003 Fred Rains

        Someone has to get offensove rebounds 5 out of 6 times he shoots.

        • http://www.facebook.com/freddyrains2003 Fred Rains

          *Offensive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/freddyrains2003 Fred Rains

    Forte doesn’t seem to shoot in rhythm as much now. It looks like he just tries to force one anytime he sees a half second window from 3 feet beyond NBA range. If Nash keeps driving to the basket rather than 18 foot fadeaways, Forte should start to see some open looks in the corner.

    But yes, Cobbins is the key.

  • dooley

    I feel like Markel and Marcus are our main guys. That’s pretty obvious. I think Nash is actually your most important role player. I know he’s the 3rd leading scorer, but I’d say some offensive consistency will be key as I think the most important role we will need is offensively. That is what Nash can provide. I feel Forte doesn’t have his legs under him at this point as a freshman, so other than Nash getting some efficient scoring from Bwill would be additionally great.

  • http://gravatar.com/rwhetsell62 @mfc_crff

    I’m sorry, but you NEED three of these guys to contribute. Smart and Brown are about as guaranteed as OSU has. After that, for major production, they need either Nash or Forte. If OSU gets THREE solid game contributions from any of those 4, they will be hard to beat. Hell, two solid contributions will make them a tough out. If Nash or Forte struggle, that’s where the Cobbins points can be valuable.