Not sure if this is a concern yet, but let’s kick it around anyway. USI’s men’s basketball team is losing the battle of the bench. That is, opponents are consistently outscoring the Eagles with their substitutes. USI may be 4-0. But it is 1-3 in the bench points game.
Kentucky Wesleyan outscored USI 24-15 in that category. Then Lake Erie did it 31-10. Next, King University outscored the Eagles 35-24. Only in its most recent game, against IU Southeast, did USI outscore its opponent, 14-7.
Most interesting is the breakdown of USI’s points from its subs. Against KWC, six players came off the bench, but nine of the 15 points scored came from Gavin Schumann. Against Lake Erie, four players came off the bench, but only Schumann scored, tallying all 10 points. Against King, USI employed seven subs (a couple were essentially mop-up players at the end of the game), with Manny Ogunfolu contributing 14 of the 24 points. Against IU Southeast, Ogunfolu totaled 10 of the 14 points when five players subbed into the game.
Again, I’m not sure if this really is a concern. In the way coach Rodney Watson plays the game, five to six players usually play the overwhelming majority of the minutes. That would explain why they get most of the points. That’s why getting beat on the bench points could be really deceptive. But down the road, I think, this could become a problem if any of the regulars start having trouble scoring and nobody on the bench, save a single player, can make up for those lost points. It’s just a thought. I’ll try to revisit this later and come to more of a conclusion.