Move Bouldin to the Point? Meech to the Bench?

After watching the Portland-Gonzaga game, I came to two conclusions:

1.) The Zags love to make games interesting at the end.

2.) Matt Bouldin needs the ball in his hands at all times to be successful.

Point one can't really get answered. In the game of basketball, college basketball especially, games are always going to go to the wire, I would say 75 percent of the time.

As for point two, I would say the easy move would be to move Bouldin to point guard and bring somebody like Bol Kong or Manny Arop off the bench to start at small forward.

Now, I know this suggestion will be met with controversy, so I decided to look at the pros and cons of the move.


  • For starters, the offense pretty much runs through Bouldin already. The Zags are trying to run a Don-Nelson-esque point forward system which has worked a lot in the pro game (mainly because so many point guards these days in the NBA are pretty much small shooting guards, no thanks to Allen Iverson). Bouldin is the main man in the offense, and thus, it isn't surprising why he leads the team in scoring and assists.
  • That being said, if we run a point-forward offense now, then having Meech in the starting lineup gives the Zags two point guards, thus, making one guard pretty much useless. Since that useless guard is not Bouldin, Meech is regulated to being a player who has to be a spot-up shooter to make up for the shooting absence that occurs with Bouldin runs the playmaking duties. Since Meech isn't known for shooting, he is a bit of square peg in a round hole when the Zags are trying to run a half court offense.
  • So, with Meech not much of a shooter (which is needed with Bouldin running the offense), there needs to be another guy to fill that role. A guy like Kong would satisfy that role perfectly mainly because a.) he's a better shooter than Meech. b.) he can matchup EXTREMELY well against small forwards (especially in the WCC) and c.) he can be depended on should Steven Gray go into a black hole, which he has a tendency to do from time to time (with Meech starting, if Gray goes into a black hole, the Zags are in trouble because Bouldin needs to run the offense, but unfortunately is putting into "scorer" duty, which is not his strength as a player).


  • By taking Meech out, the defense could suffer greatly. Sure, Kong will be a great defensive matchup against small forwards, but there is no way Bouldin can guard point guards, and I'm skeptical Gray could as well. The only solution to hide Bouldin's inability to guard smaller, quicker guards (seriously, it would be like Hedo Turkoglu guarding Chris Paul if Bouldin was matched up against TJ Campbell last night) would be to play strictly a 2-3 zone for 40 minutes, but that would be a terrible decision mainly because a.) the WCC is notoriously known for three-point shooting, and the 2-3 doesn't combat that well and b.) with so many matchup nightmares that the Zags present, man-to-man defense would work to the Zags' advantage (as long as they stay out of foul trouble).
  • The fast break could suffer a bit with Meech on the bench. Let's face it, nobody can push the ball on the teams as quickly Meech, and while Bouldin is an incredible passer, especially in the half court, I don't think he has the speed to do it like Meech. Granted, he's more polished than Meech (Meech can get out of control at times and jack a bad layup from time to time), but I think with Meech running the point, guys like Elias Harris are utilized more because they are so sound when the pace is sped up.

So those are the pros and cons. What should Mark Few do? I'm not totally sure. I think the prospect of Bouldin playing point, Kong starting at three, and Meech coming as a spark plug off the bench is intriguing, but with the Zags playing so well, I wouldn't want to mess up the chemistry they are building as well. Few's flip flop of the lineups last year with Gray and Micah Downs seemed to really hurt the Zags, and they seemed to never get a really consistent flow offensively all year in 2008-2009. I would hate to see thta happen again with a team so loaded with talent like this 2009-2010 team.

This post does not reflect the views of the blog authors or SB Nation.

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