Although positions in the starting lineup are usually not vastly important, a decision to insert Will Sheehey into the starting lineup for Verdell Jones for this game could be crucial.
â€œIf it ainâ€™t broke, donâ€™t fix it.â€Â
That is a valid point, as the Hoosiers have gone 8-0 sticking with a consistent starting lineup.Â However, Saturday presents a situation unlike any other the Hoosiers have even come close to seeing this season.
Indiana will play the most athletic skilled team they will see the entire season.Â Yes, they will play the likes of Ohio State twice, but they are more of a team that gels right, rather than Kentucky, which is built on raw basketball talent.
Which leads me to my point; Will Sheehey should start for the Hoosiers on Saturday evening.
In this match-up against the Wildcats, the first five minutes of the game are going to be almost as important as the last five minutes of the game.
Will Sheehey provides very positive energy for the Hoosiers.Â How does he provide the energy?Â With his defense and his athleticism.Â Two vital factors for Indiana in their contest with Kentucky.
Sheehey offers a defensive and athletic aspect that Verdell Jones just cannot offer. Do not get me wrong, I think Verdell can play a vital role in the game, but I think it best suits him coming off of the bench.
The first five minutes are all going to be heavily reliant upon energy. Sheehey has the ability to turn high energy into fascinating play.
It will be very important for Indiana to try and jump on Kentucky within those first five minutes.Â If they can get the crowd into the game as early as possible, it gives the Hoosiers a sense of confidence that they can certainly play with the Wildcats, and can possibly even beat them.
What correlates with that is the fact that if Indiana can insert any glimmer of doubt into UKâ€™s head, they will then have the advantage.
The energy and athleticism Sheehey brings can help jumpstart the Hoosiers off to a fast start and keep the Wildcats on their heels.
Once the Wildcats are on their heels, Verdell Jones can be inserted into the game with the ability to play a role that better suits him.Â Verdell is not a guy that creates a lot of energy, but he has the ability to feed off of energy created by others.
Jones can come into the game with a lot of positive energy already flowing, and he can be confident without really doing anything.
Obviously there are a lot of â€œwhat-ifâ€ factors that go into this, but in my opinion it would make more sense for the Hoosiers to start Sheehey over Jones on Saturday.