Offense vs. Defense: Picking the Winning Lineup

Keegan of the Lawrence Journal World makes some excellent points about starting the best "offensive" team (he says the four freshmen and Kaun) versus starting the best "defensive" team (he says the current starters):

Here's another idea: Start the four freshmen along with Sasha Kaun for Saturday's game against talented California at Kemper Arena. Thus far, Brandon Rush is the only freshman to start a game. Making such a bold move would not be without its risks, but is there a better way to boost a player's confidence than to show him you believe in him so much you're going to start him?

Self has used the same starting five every game, but still searches for the right combination to put on the floor for the end of tight games.

"The thing that can be somewhat frustrating is that our best offensive team is our worst defensive team and our best defensive team is our worst offensive team," Self said. "I know in my heart the way we are going to win games is defensively."

Not necessarily. If the talent disparity between the lineups on offense is greater than the disparity when comparing how the lineups play defense, then it's better to go with the scoring lineup over the defending lineup. It's easier to improve as a defender, through learning what's taught in practice and intensifying effort level, than it is to improve as an offensive player. Adrenaline can improve a player's defensive effort and nothing quite manufactures adrenaline like hearing your name announced as a starter.