Lawrence Frank has 17 players on his roster and vows to give each of them an honest shot. But to do it, he has to eliminate a handful of them from consideration for playing time in each of the Pistons’ eight preseason games.

For fans who want to see the Pistons flying up and down the court – pretty much all fans – take heart: Lawrence Frank is right there with you. Fans within earshot of the team’s bench last season could frequently hear Frank exhorting the team to “push, push, push” whenever a defensive rebound was secured and the 24-second clock began ticking down.

It might not be the approach Lawrence Frank would use were he a classroom teacher responsible for making sure every student was capable of moving on to the next grade at semester’s end. But he’s an NBA coach charged with winning games, so he teaches at a pace appropriate to achieve that end.

That means the five Pistons rookies are basically in sink-or-swim mode.

“What we’ve said is it’s going to take you extra time to figure it out,” Frank said. “You can’t retard the progress of the group because you have so many new guys.”

Late in Monday’s Pistons scrimmage to wrap up practice, Greg Monroe checked out and Austin Daye replaced him. No, Daye isn’t making the radical switch to center. Jason Maxiell slid over to guard Slava Kravtsov. That’s one way to thin out the crowd at power forward, where Daye is jostling with Maxiell, Jonas Jerebko and Charlie Villanueva.

That’s four players for two spots, all of whom have been NBA rotation regulars at some point in their careers.