Let's just get this out of the way right now: No, this is not a "Fire Coach Kent" rant.
As we all know, the men's basketball team is pretty bad. OK, terrible. However, I get the feeling many Duck fans are willing to go through a period of learning with a young group of guys in order to reap benefits later, like an Elite Eight appearance, for example. Most of us seem to be in agreement that this year is a a learning year. Fine. Great.
Ernie Kent is certainly right when he says one of the major issues with this team is the confidence level of his players. With this in mind, I couldn't help but to shake my head in amazement this morning to read several stories about how Kent was going to "dramatically shake-up the starting line-up". He plans to pull Longmire, sit Dunigan, and start other players.
While I think it's a great thing to give all the guys a shot at playing time, how is sitting guys like Longmire and Dunigan, the future of your team, going to help their confidence levels? Isn't there something to be said for consistency? And wasn't there just a great article in the Register Guard about Longmire's emerging leadership qualities? And doesn't Tajaun Porter's recent play indicate he is a little tight, possibly even worried at the prospect of being benched for extended minutes or even an entire half? He certainly doesn't look like he's having fun.
I'm no coach, I admit. But I do know how to motivate people. Giving young and potentially talented people the tools, time, and confidence they need to succeed is an integral part of mentoring. Give these guys time, Kent. Play your good players more. Help them be great. I, as a fan, have given you time.