Friend? Enemy? Frenemy? of this blog, David Brandt, did a nice job analyzing the current situation for next year's Rebel basketball team. You can check it out here:
Not that anyone cares, but I will provide a quick (and hopefully brief) assessment of how things look right now: NOT GOOD! Ha, only half-kidding. But, I think it is safe to say we can expect more of the same next season- bubble team for most of the year, only to come up short at the end and find ourselves in the NIT. Our main problem will be rebounding and post play (sound familiar?) We will actually have three solid players to rotate in and out at the two post positions in Buckner, Henry, and Cox. However, if any of those guys gets in foul trouble, things get dicey. I don't even know if Riley will be back, but he didn't do much to build up my confidence in his abilities when he did play. I know nothing about Massey (new recruit), but I don't see him being much of a factor. The guard positions will be about the same as they were this year. Warren is what he is- a shoot-first point guard who can score but leaves a lot to be desired on defense. You have to love his toughness though. Nelson I have seen play in high school, and he will be good with time and experience. He is an incredible athlete for being 5'10". I think we will see similar production from the SG position to what we saw this year. I AM NOT SAYING Nick Williams will be as good as Terrico, just saying that Terrico was inconsistent (not always totally his fault) and I think we can see similar productivity from the combination of Williams and Gaskins. Williams, if you happened to see him play while at IU, is a solid player. At the small forward, Zach Graham will finally get his chance to shine. To be honest, I never understood why we sat him in favor of EP. Eniel had his moments, but he really hurt us at times this year with his attitude and selfish play. Overall, solid starting five with good depth at the guard position. However, not much depth in the post, which will probably be our downfall again. I guess it is possible that we could find a way to sneak into the Dance, and we have seen AK do more with less talented rosters. More likely, though, we end up in the NIT again.
I think the best days for Ole Miss basketball are ahead of us (I know- our motto is always "wait til next year"). We supposedly lead for Johnny O'Bryant, a 6'11" center from Cleveland, MS. He is one of the top 10 prospects in the 2011 class in the country. He would easily be the best post player to ever walk through the hallowed (and dimly-lit) halls of Tad Smith Coliseum, and probably be our first one-and-done player. We also are in the final two for Ky Madden, another 5 star prospect who is a 6'5" point guard from Arkansas (take that John Pelphrey). On second thought, he probably wouldn't fit in. We like our point men to be under 6 feet, in the mold of Warren and Jason Harrison. You have to give AK and Torrey Ward credit, they know how to recruit. And as John Calipari has proven time and again, talent trumps all- including coaching. So fear not Rebel hoops fans (all three of you), the proverbial sun is rising on the horizon of Ole Miss basketball (just not in the 2010-2011 season).