There's been a lot of talk this season about how this team is "stuffed to the rafters" with talent. First of all, that's a stupid analogy, especially when considering the relatively low ceiling of the Tad Pad. Secondly, it's a bit misleading, albeit surprisingly influential. It has caused AK's seat to warm up with questions of "how could Andy Kennedy possibly not make the NCAA tournament with a team with this much talent on it?" It has directed much of the Ole Miss Rebel basketball narrative.
But is it accurate?
Let's look at what this team has regarding talent. I'll be listing the players by position and breaking down what I perceive to be their strengths and weaknesses. I'll also be linking their Rivals recruiting profiles, not because I think that's adequate portrayal of their talent; but I do think it's at least a smidge relevant.
Strengths: Great shooter, Fast
Weaknesses: Poor defense all-around, lacks size, brings no flow to offense; Entered the season with 1.4 seasons of experience without a legitimate backup at point guard
Strengths: Can make an open shot, nearly decent at passing
Weaknesses: Broken hand, poor defense, poor offense, slow, lacks experience
Strengths: Physical freak, can take over games, adequate outside shot, better than average midrange game
Weaknesses: Disappears at times, Horribly inconsistent
Strengths: Can hit shots from long range, adequate on-ball defender, adequate ball handler
Weaknesses: VERY streaky shooter, ball hog, poor defense when opposing player does not have the ball, entered the season with one year of experience
Strengths: Shot selection, deadly three point shot, height, better than average defender
Weaknesses: Disappears at times
Strengths: Generally a good slasher, strong defender, experience
Weaknesses: Poor shot selection, bad form shooting, indecisive when driving the lane, does not protect the ball well, attitude
Strengths: Hustles on every point, fights like a crazed beast for rebounds, plays bigger than his size, draws fouls, accumulates put-back opportunities
Weaknesses: Poor free throw shooter, out of control at times
Strengths: Solid shot blocker, size
Weaknesses: Inexperience, lack of understanding offensively
Strengths: Great shooter for a big man, size, speed
Weaknesses: Too thin, inexperienced, wants to play wing even when he's in as the five
Strengths: Provides up to five fouls a game, tries hard, height
Weaknesses: Inept ball handler, poor defender, slow
What does this all mean?
So, is this team "full of talent?" I would say, no. We have, a passive physical freak, a point guard who can score but can't defend or move the offense, a 6'6" four who tries really hard, inexperience or ineptitude under the basket, and role players. Our team is more exciting than talented.
What sayest thou?