You make valid points, mgl. Frankly, the evidence seems to point to a flaw in the so called “auto bench” rule. I know Coach B hates fouls, and I know he has rules by which he and his team operate. Will he change in his approach? Perhaps he will. He does evolve after all. Should he change? Well, I’m sensing that the consensus on here is that he should. Again, I just trust that he will do the right thing as he sees the right. Will he evolve on this? Should he evolve on this? Good questions.
Now, as for me, when I was coaching I would always sub for a player who picked up his second foul in the first half. BUT, from there circumstances would dictate whether I put him back in in that first half, and, if so, when. Also, my knowledge of the player himself would help me make those decisions. There were some players I could trust more than others to still play hard but to be smart about fouling.
In the second half, if a player picked up his third foul I would sub for him. Again, circumstances in the game would dictate, to me, when I would put that player back in. I think there is kind of an art to this, but, yes, I did want my best players in the game down the stretch of a close game. I believed it was my responsibility to “protect” them to accomplish that purpose.
That’s just me, and what I believed and did, and it was similar to what Coach B does with substitutions. So, I trust our coach to make the decisions he thinks are best for our team. No one wants to win more than Coach B. I know he comes across as this nice, gentle, kind older gentleman who happens to be a great coach, but he is also a FIERCE competitor. Whatever he’s doing, “auto bench,” nuanced “auto bench,” substitution “rules,” or whatever, I’m all in. He’s earned the right to make those decisions.
I learned last night that Michigan is tied with UNC for the most wins in the NCAA Tournament over the last six years. Whatever Coach B is doing, I think it’s working just fine. I know…but…what if? Hmmm… Interesting discussion. Valid points each way.