It’s funny, last night I was watching the USA Mens Team take on Italy in the World League (and congrats to the USA Men for earning a spot in the finals), and was listening to Kevin Barnett talk about Head Coach Alan Knipe not having his line-up set for the Olympics. New-comer Paul Lotman is battling it out with veteran and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, Riley Salmon, on the outside. Why I find this amusing is while Kevin Barnett was disappointed the USA Mens Team roster wasn’t set and that “winning the World League was more important”, the USA Women’s Team played a “2nd string” line-up throughout half of the World Grand Prix.
You think Alan Knipe has an interesting dilemma on the Mens Team, how about Hugh McCutcheon on the Women’s Team? Megan Hodge was named World Grand Prix MVP and Best Scorer, but she probably will not start on the Olympic Team. Jordan Larson and Logan Tom will likely start ahead of her (oh yeah, and that leaper, Destinee Hooker, will play opposite). The main reason, the game comes down to serving and passing. Jordan and Logan will start over Megan because of passing. In addition, both players are smarter, more effective hitters than Megan.
But how can Hugh overlook all the points Megan scores? Compare the stats of the two Brazil matches (#2 team in the world). Megan played in the 2nd match against the Brazilians, Jordan and Logan in the first match:
|Kills||Errors||Total Attempts||Hitting %||Passing %|
Obviously, we cannot use just one match to determine a line-up. This is just a microcosm of the World Grand Prix, previous performances and practices.
I find it interesting is that Logan Tom is essentially an L2 (the #2 outside hitter on the team) and she could be the one subbed out for Megan if the team is having trouble scoring.
Congrats to the USA Women’s Team for 3-peating the World Grand Prix and a perfect record through the tournament and to Megan Hodge for her MVP accolade.
Next stop, London.