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PG  Kobe Webster, 6'0 Sr

SG  Teddy Allen, 6'5 Jr

SG  Dalano Banton, 6'8 So

SF  Shamiel Stevenson, 6'6 Jr

PF  Derrick Walker, 6'8 Jr

 

Charlie Easley, 6'2 So

Thorir Thorbjarnarson, 6'6 Sr

Yvan Ouedraogo, 6'4 1/2" So

Lat Mayen, 6'9 Jr

 

The above is based on some assumptions. I'm assuming, first of all, that Kobe King and Trey McGowens have to sit a year. We're apparently applying for exemptions? But until they get cleared, I'm going to assume they won't be. Which leaves us kind of short of depth at guard and will mean that Charlie Easley will have plenty of opportunity to play real minutes as the back up PG. I'm taking Shamiel and Derrick over Lat and Yvan to start because ... becaaauuse I'm just taking a wild-ass guess that Shamiel can shoot it as well as Lat but will be stronger on the boards and with the ball in his hands. And, as an added advantage, he has a year in the system. And I'm guessing Derrick is just going to be a more explosive athlete than Yvan. I'm thinking they're both somewhat raw in the skills department, so athleticism wins that battle and Yvan was maybe just a little lacking in the quicks last year and I'm hoping Derrick is better. This is just hope. I don't know that he's better, I just hope he is.

 

And I'm figuring Kevin Cross drew the short end of the stick and would be odd man out because he's small for a big and, on paper, doesn't have the shooting ability of Shamiel or Lat. If he commits to working out over the summer and retools his body, and works on his shooting, I suppose he could sneak into the rotation, but I think he has his work cut out for him.

 

Thor is like Dalano but not as long or athletic, albeit perhaps a better shooter (if he maintains the gains from last year.)  He's still going to be a valuable rotation piece but we don't have room for him and Dalano and Teddy in the starting lineup, so I just took a flyer that Teddy is the shiz and can keep his shiz together. It's hard to ignore Teddy's FT% given how bad we were from the line this last season. Kobe and Teddy would give us a backcourt that would probably average 85% from the line. Boy wouldn't that be a refreshing change of pace? Teddy strikes me as one of those guys who just knows how to get the ball to drop. And I think we need that. I am a bit more cautious in my optimism, however, since I would have expected similar from another WNCC recruit who just didn't quite pan out for us. I'm hoping for better with Teddy.

 

I'm kidding about Yvan's height up there, but I'm telling you he is nowhere near 6'9". Assuming Ohio State wouldn't list a guy as being *shorter* than he actually is, I will say I saw Yvan standing next to and guarding Kaleb Wesson, who is also listed at 6'9, and Yvan was giving up at least 2 inches in height to Wesson. So, assuming Wesson really is 6'9, I can tell you with absolute certainty Yvan is not.

 

My dark horse (which is a term that comes from horse racing and refers to a horse with long odds who finishes surprisingly well) is Lat Mayen. He's not very highly ranked in juco recruiting. Somewhere in the mid-30s or 40s last I checked. But he has an important skill set. He's one of those guys who flicks his wrist and the ball goes in. Some guys just have that touch. He's got a little of that Kevin Durant, throw-the-ball-at-the-rim-and-somehow-he-manages-to-get-it-to-drop in him. I am NOT saying he's Kevin Durant. Not even saying he's a poor man's Kevin Durant. So spare me if you're tempted to say "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE COMPARING A JUCO KID TO KEVIN FRICKIN DURANT." No, I get it. He's not KD. But ...

 

He's long and skinny and he seems to know how to shoot the ball pretty well. And for a guy that long, he has fairly decent handles. And if all of that comes together and he turns out to be pretty springy to boot, we could possibly have caught lightning in a bottle with this kid. It's a longshot. But that's why he's my dark horse.

 

I would like to have Adama Sanogo in my rotation. I'm holding out hope but it's dwindling. And I wouldn't mind having an elite sharpshooter at guard, but those players don't grow on trees, apparently. At least not trees that we've been able to harvest with much success. So, assuming what we've got is what we'll have, I've projected a rotation. And, given my history, you can pretty well count that what actually happens will look nothing at all like what I've predicted above.

 

Anyone else care to throw a projected lineup in the ring?

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Yes, they'll need to learn to play together, and it might be January before they gel, but experience for this year's club is much greater than last year's. And without Mack in Italy, the team wasn't p

I believe Thor will start.

I might be wrong and have not looked it up but I think we have lots of stars.   Banton, King, Walker, McGowens, Mayan were all 4 star type guys I think and Teddy has proven he can score at t

16 minutes ago, Handy Johnson said:

I can live with that starting 5, but based on nothing but a hunch I think King gets his waiver, & Fred seems to have a soft spot for Cross so he still might be more than just a role player (but he HAS to be more discriminate with his shots)

 

I agree King gets the waiver and Cross will be in the rotation. I don't think Cross needs to be more discriminate with his shot selection, he just needs to knock more of those open looks down. He wouldn't have been taking all those 3's if Fred hadn't given him the green light. 🙂

 

I have a hunch that Walker is going to be better than most fans are thinking. He's plenty athletic and is more skilled than Ivan.

 

Primary ball handlers should be Webster and Banton, so barring foul trouble (or if McGowens gets a waiver), one of these guys should be on the floor at all times. Besides that, I think King, Allen, Stevenson, Walker, Ivan, Thor, Cross and Mayen are all a part of the rotation.

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Here is my best guess.  I know Fred likes 'positionless' players, but my 2-deep (starter listed first) would be the following:

 

Point Guard:

           Dalano Banton                   6'8"

           Kobe Webster                    6'0"

 

Shooting Guard:

          Teddy Allen                         6'5"

          Kobe King                            6'4"   (I am assuming he will be eligible)

 

Small Forward:

          Shamiel Stevenson            6'6"      

          Thorin Thorbjarnarson      6'6"  

 

Power Forward:

          Derrick Walker                    6'6"

          Lat Mayen                           6'9"   (My Darkhorse pick also -- I expect him to remind me of Roby and Copeland)

 

Center:

          Adama Sonoga                 6'10"   (I am assuming -- hoping -- we get him)

          Yvan Ouedraogo               6'7"

 

I know I am putting players in only one spot and many of these players will play multiple positions.  I can hardly wait.  Go away coronavirus.

 

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13 minutes ago, hugh42 said:

 

I agree King gets the waiver and Cross will be in the rotation. I don't think Cross needs to be more discriminate with his shot selection, he just needs to knock more of those open looks down. He wouldn't have been taking all those 3's if Fred hadn't given him the green light. 🙂

 

I have a hunch that Walker is going to be better than most fans are thinking. He's plenty athletic and is more skilled than Ivan.

 

Primary ball handlers should be Webster and Banton, so barring foul trouble (or if McGowens gets a waiver), one of these guys should be on the floor at all times. Besides that, I think King, Allen, Stevenson, Walker, Ivan, Thor, Cross and Mayen are all a part of the rotation.

I hear ya with the “green light” but there’s a big difference between a green light & a chucker. Just cuz you can shoot doesn’t mean you should. Lots of exciting pieces on the roster next year, but I think it goes without saying Teddy Allen will be the MAN!

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10 minutes ago, Handy Johnson said:

I hear ya with the “green light” but there’s a big difference between a green light & a chucker. Just cuz you can shoot doesn’t mean you should. Lots of exciting pieces on the roster next year, but I think it goes without saying Teddy Allen will be the MAN!

 

Cross took some shots when he shouldn't have, but my point is Cross missed a lot of open looks that were designed for him to take. Let's hope he and the rest of his teammates shoot a higher percentage in year two. 🙂

 

I'm not so sure Allen will be the 'MAN' or anyone else on this team, but hopefully most will have the ability to step up on any given night and deliver when needed.

 

 

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Think King gets the waiver.  

 

I'd be both highly surprised and highly disappointed if Easley is in the top 9 again.  That's about the only thing I am sure of.

 

I really want to see what happens with the final roster spot and if Cross/Arop return.   Might only be one more addition and no more attrition but even those singular variables can change the lookup of the rotation quite a bit IMO.

 

 

 

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I think it's a fairly good chance Kobe King gets his waiver. Albeit, we thought the same thing about Stevenson but still. If I had to guess right now this is what I'd guess

 

Ball handler: Kobe Webster

Ball handler/wing: Delano Banton

Wing: Teddy Allen

Wing: Kobe King 

Big: Yvan 

 

Bench: 

Lat Mayen

Thor

Walker

Stevenson (6th man for Kobe Webster or Dalano)

 

Couple things to watch in my eyes. 

-big man rotation can have 3-4 guys who can play there. You can even start Mayen there and Stevenson at the 4. There's versatility across the lineup. Which Fred LOVES. I give the nod to Yvan right now cuz he has a full year of big ten under his belt and he will only get better. Walker, while he could and may be better, is a complete unknown in big ten play right now. 

-Delano would probably initiate the offense a lot and guard the opposing 4s. How he guards those 4s is going to be interesting to me. They'll use Kobe Webster in some sets as the initiator if they want to give dalano a break. Once again. Versatility. 

-the wings are all interchangeable and can play multiple positions. 

-the one area of the team that is lacking significantly is ball handlers or initiators. You have Kobe Webster and Dalano, and you could use Kobe King/Teddy Allen in a pinch but that isn't their primary roles and shouldn't be. 

-this team can be sneaky good and surprise some teams. You could honestly make an argument for about 5 different starting lineups. And we'll probably see about 3-4 different starting lineups throughout the year. OPTIONS AND VERSATILITY

Edited by thrasher31
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Banton - Webster

King - Webster

Allen - Thor 

Stevenson - Cross

Mayen - Yvan - Walker

 

^^ Edit: just saw Lat was listed at 6’9” 240 and Fred said he can play the 5.  How do you not start Mayen at the 5 next season with his athleticism, shooting ability, and willingness to rebound?  Wow. 

Edited by LK1
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1 hour ago, LK1 said:

Banton - Webster

King - Webster

Allen - Thor 

Stevenson - Cross

Mayen - Yvan - Walker

 

^^ Edit: just saw Lat was listed at 6’9” 240 and Fred said he can play the 5.  How do you not start Mayen at the 5 next season with his athleticism, shooting ability, and willingness to rebound?  Wow. 

Yeah I saw that too. And the fact he plays hard. You could very well see him playing A LOT of 5 and even start there more often than not. It'll depend how he meshes with the others in the lineup. Like I said the lineup possibilities on how they could do this are endless

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6 minutes ago, thrasher31 said:

Yeah I saw that too. And the fact he plays hard. You could very well see him playing A LOT of 5 and even start there more often than not. It'll depend how he meshes with the others in the lineup. Like I said the lineup possibilities on how they could do this are endless

 

I think your last sentence is one of the biggest reasons for optimism next year.   There was so very little we could do personnel wise this year (even before the attrition happened at the end of the year).   You could pretty realistically come up with 30 or so different lineup combinations.  And there are a lot more players who aren't penciled into one role.

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Robin Washut seems optimistic this morning on subjects like Sanogo, Cross and Arop, and transfer waivers.  His Friday morning postings, alone, are worth the cost of admission.

By the way, how might last year's record have been different, if Shamiel Stevenson had been cleared by the NCAA as expected?  Remember that dashed optimism?

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47 minutes ago, Swan88 said:

Robin Washut seems optimistic this morning on subjects like Sanogo, Cross and Arop, and transfer waivers.  His Friday morning postings, alone, are worth the cost of admission.

By the way, how might last year's record have been different, if Shamiel Stevenson had been cleared by the NCAA as expected?  Remember that dashed optimism?

I think not having Stevenson was easily a 4-5 game swing.   

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I think Thor would start over Shamiel if the seasons began today.  Thor is relatively consistent and has evolved into a pretty good shooter over his time here.  He also isn't a guy that will cause problems if he isn't getting enough shot opportunities (which is something I think is important when you're talking about the final starting spot).  Stevenson is versatile and can bring a bit of instant offense off of the bench.  Perfect 6th Man candidate, in my opinion.  

 

I really haven't seen much tape on Walker, so it's hard to make an informed decision at the five spot on the floor.  But with how much we were abused in the paint last season, I just have to assume that anyone who already played minutes in a Power 5 Conference, and then had a full season to sit out and develop, has to be good enough to start for us next year.  So I will give the nod to Walker.

 

Kobe W seems like an automatic starter based on necessity.  Teddy and Banton are too talented to sit.  So those three seem like locks to me.

 

Kobe W

Dalano

Teddy

Thor

DW

1st, 2nd, and 3rd guy off the bench: Shamiel, Yvan, Lat

 

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7 minutes ago, nustudent said:

I think not having Stevenson was easily a 4-5 game swing.   

 

Agreed.   And he's not the best player we have coming in.  Banton is.  Probably.  Allen might fight him for that.  We should be MUCH more competitive next year.  Plus it would be awful hard for the b1g to be as deep. 

 

16-17 wins and NIT as a base with the ceiling being much higher.  It all depends on how we gel.

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15 hours ago, LK1 said:

Banton - Webster

King - Webster

Allen - Thor 

Stevenson - Cross

Mayen - Yvan - Walker

 

^^ Edit: just saw Lat was listed at 6’9” 240 and Fred said he can play the 5.  How do you not start Mayen at the 5 next season with his athleticism, shooting ability, and willingness to rebound?  Wow. 

 

What if King and McGowens are eligible?

 

Ah HA! That's tougher, now, isn't it? Who, if anyone, do you drop from the above in order to add them?

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4 hours ago, Swan88 said:

Robin Washut seems optimistic this morning on subjects like Sanogo, Cross and Arop, and transfer waivers.  His Friday morning postings, alone, are worth the cost of admission.

By the way, how might last year's record have been different, if Shamiel Stevenson had been cleared by the NCAA as expected?  Remember that dashed optimism?

 

What does "optimistic" mean when it comes to Cross and Arop?

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9 minutes ago, Norm Peterson said:

 

What if King and McGowens are eligible?

 

Ah HA! That's tougher, now, isn't it? Who, if anyone, do you drop from the above in order to add them?

 

I don't think McGowens has a prayer to be eligible, but if he were, I think he'd run point and Banton would play the 4.  This would leave an absolute dog fight for the starting 5 and backup 4-5 spots.  I'm not seeing any way Allen, King, Banton, or even Stevenson are held off the court.  From there, it depends what kind of advantage.  Lots of options. You can almost look at the other team's roster and decide how to shuffle our main 4 in a way that ruins gameplans, then bring in Webster or Yvan or Lat or Cross or Thor accordingly.    

 

I would still not be at all upset with a lineup of Banton, Thor, Allen, King, and Stevenson.  I could see that being seriously fun to watch offensively and I don't think they'd give up much on the other end because of the team weight.  

Edited by LK1
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