I don’t know exactly how much depth helps a team. But the way things shook out on Semi-final Saturday, having something more than warm bodies on the bench can be the difference between winning and losing. Georgia Tech is headed to the final game after having survived two previous games without any production from its most productive player, BJ Elder.
Two teams that finished ahead of them in the ACC, NC State and Duke, have been eliminated after blowing large leads with their most important player(s) on the bench after picking up a fifth foul.
So now its Jackets vs. Huskies, the sequel.
A lot was made tonight about how Okafor was hurt for that game. However, he played 34 minutes, had 6 blocks and 13 boards! He had a typical Okafor game defensively, but was shut down on offense. I don’t think his back really bothered him so much as the Ramblin’ Wreck defense.
Clarence Moore got a lot of playing time for Tech in that game (30 minutes) because a) Luke Schenscher was in foul trouble and b) Paul Hewitt didn’t have much confidence in Schenscher anyway. Since then, Schenscher’s minutes have increased at the expense of Moore’s.
It’s important to Tech’s hopes that Schenscher stay on the floor against UConn Monday night. However, if he does get in foul trouble, Paul Hewitt won’t be as reluctant as Coach K to go to his bench. He’s done it once already against UConn – and with a lot of success.