According to this article in the Herald yesterday, Coach Skinner benched John Oates for Tyrelle Blair during the Duke game. Not sure if it's a benching going forward or just in-game. If the former, I applaud the move. I'm not an Oates basher, he certainly tries hard and he's a good soldier. But he could try a lot harder. In the last 5 ACC games, he scored only 8 points and grabbed just 10 rebounds. Total! That's pretty bad given all the minutes he gets (approx. 20 per game). Hell, if you just stand under the basket for 100 minutes, I would think that at least 10 basketballs would fall into your hands. So maybe starting Blair will put some fire under Oates feet, and he'll come off the pine with renewed vigor. With Blair starting, BC will get a few more blocks (he led the Horizon League in blocked shots as a freshman for Loyola-Chicago), a bigger body, and probably a few more boards. Blair doesn't have Oates' jumpshot, but Oates hasn't been hitting that all year. I like this move.
The Herald also published the first comments I've seen from a player (Ty Rice) about the Dope Dismissals. Check it out:
"Rice and his teammates are tired of answering questions about the loss of Williams and McLain. 'I didn’t think anyone could be so selfish,' said Rice, who hasn’t spoken to his ex-teammates since they were thrown off the team. 'I don’t want to talk to them. They let the team down. We lost two of our family and I felt like they weren’t loyal.'"
Ouch. I like it though.