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Dennis Gates isn’t worried about shifting rotations as March draws near

Mizzou Links for Feb. 7, 2023.

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Gates comfortable with shifting lineups, needs more from Shaw

Dennis Gates’ rotations against Mississippi State drew some widespread scrutiny this past weekend. Low minutes for Isiaih Mosley and Dree Gholston? A start for Sean East? Minutes for Mabor Majak and Kaleb Brown? A DNP for Aidan Shaw? What gives, DG?

“We’re past the learning stage. We know exactly who we are and what we do,” [Gates] said. “I think from top to bottom, we’ve seen … everyone has played a significant role throughout the year. It was just a matter of putting it all on that blank canvas. Each opponent, each opportunity, each day, each week presents challenges. And those challenges, whether it’s knick-knack injuries or whatnot … that (leads to) another rotation or another philosophy on what unit is best out there. That’s what we have to always navigate as coaches. That’s ultimately what takes place during this month of February but also leading into March.”

We know that Gates trusts a healthy majority of his roster with regular minutes. Hell, DeGray and Gomillion are both regulars when they’re uninjured. The most curious decision out of all these, however, appears to be with Aidan Shaw, who has been a rotation mainstay since the beginning of the season. Ceding minutes to Mo Diarra is understandable as Mizzou looks for more size in the paint, but the presence of Majak caused some to question Gates’ thinking.

Gates did say Shaw needs to rebound more. Gates noted Shaw gets one rebound every six and a half minutes of play. That’s something Gates said was “unacceptable.”

“Aidan’s going to be a great basketball player,” Gates said. “He’s not great right now, he’s a good player. He has to be on the path of development. And on that path of development, understanding certain things.”

Sounds like the rest of the season will see more bold and unique lineup combinations. Saddle up, Tiger fans!

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