was partly due to Keely being out and partly by choice???  Even with Keely out, if we had just competed our normal lineup (i.e. Kiana on bars and Wynter on beam), we would've scored 197.9 or 198. Of the 20 routines with no fall or break, 13 were 9.9 plus and 4 more were 9.875.  None of the routines with falls/breaks last night will be in the post-season lineup (1 at most). Hopefully Keely will be back at least on beam for SEC's and completely by Regionals. The finger health/strength is more vital on bars.

Looking to the post-season, the most important developments last night to me were the performance on vault and the return of Mack on bars. She was rusty, but she's vital on UB and will have more training time now. The vault rotation was surreal because there was no indication so far this season that we could basically nail every vault. The silver lining to what happened on bars is that Dana will finally change it. When Keely gets back she will lead off of course. Until then, I believe we will go with Guerra / Mahoney/ Mack / Jetter / Winston / Bailey. There is no doubt we can score huge on beam and floor if we deliver, so I'm encouraged and pumped heading to championship season.

Lineup Decisions

Having said all the above, I feel like venting about lineup decisions (and this is a good place to do it since very few people read this board anymore) smiley: smile
I love Aja Sims. She is one of my favorites. Watching her on beam has been a 4 year joy, and her floor routine this year is one of the most entertaining ever. She is a 4.0 student who does lots of things in the community and is a delightful young lady. This is a criticism of Dana, not Aja. I believe Dana is doing an excellent job with most aspects of being head coach, but lineup management is not one of them. I can't even think up a logical or strategic reason to have kept Aja in the bars lineup all season. 4 of the 10 times she has had a fall or major break (3 scores in the 9.1's and 9.2's and a 9.6), plus 2 in the 9.7's, and of the 4 with no major mistake, 2 were 9.80. The only 9.85 at UGA was overscored. In general, the only way it ever makes sense to include a routine with such a  high risk is if you have no other choices or if you need the very high scoring potential from that routine when it hits. But high scoring potential doesn't exist here. There are 2 possible outcomes with Aja's UB routine: an average score of 9.80 or 9.825 or so, or a disaster. There is also a risk of injury, which in fact happened in warm ups a couple weeks ago. I have been saying for weeks that the combination of Aja and Wynter in the UB lineup amounts to crazy high risk for no reason.

I highlighted Aja in the UB lineup because it is so obvious. But the issue is more pervasive. I understand the concept of resting stars, injury avoidance, and building depth and I like it. But our actual lineups seem to be hit and miss as to whether we really accomplish this.  I do know that we have other lineup decisions that just don't make sense strategically at best, and sometimes flat out deprive us of the chance to post real high scores consistently and build major confidence and momentum. Every successful coach has areas where they need to learn and get better. I hope Dana will own that this has not been a strength and proactively take steps to improve in future years. 

Last Edited By: BeamMeUpBama Mar 11 17 11:52 AM. Edited 1 time.