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Tuesday Question - 05/25/10

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Generally, we are the "authors" of "content" around here - "here" being a blog and not a message board. Recognize, we do, that you've come here not to contribute, but to consume. Nevertheless, there is the sporadic occasion where, either for our benefit or for to exercise the thinkifiers of the masses, we ask you a question. Today's question is ...

Could our basketball team turn out to be moderately good for the 2010-2011 season?

Obviously, losing two of our three best players from this season will hurt our team. Terrico White and Murphy Holloway were two players who helped us win a good number of games during their freshman and sophomore seasons. When news came that they would both be gone, I prepared myself for a complete implosion that would see our hoops team finishing 6th in the West and winning just a few SEC games. Something in me, perhaps naivety, has begun to slightly disagree with that statement though.

First off, the SEC West is pretty awful at basketball. A horrible LSU team loses Tasmin Mitchell, the best player they've had since their Final Four run. Auburn is laughable, losing its top three scorers from an already sub-par team. Alabama says goodbye to its best player in Mikhail Torrence. The engine that got Arkansas going last year in Courtney Fortson gets going out of Fayetteville as does fourth leading scorer and solid big man Michael Washington. Even Mississippi State loses its two best players in Jarvis Varnado and Dee Bost.

I guess the point I'm making is that sure, we lost two of our best players, but other teams did too. We have some pieces that we could put together to win some basketball games. Sure, we probably won't go dancing, but we could finish decently (7-9 conference wins) in the SEC. All hope is not lost. In fact, if you take a look at our depth chart, which I've included below, it could turn out to be a pretty good year.

Depth_chart_medium 

Some quick hits on the depth chart:

  • Adding freshman point guard Dundrecous Nelson should allow the coaches to rest Warren when he's struggling defensively.
  • While he's no Terrico White, judging by what the coaches have said about Nick Williams, he can carry some of the load left by Terrico.
  • This is Zach Graham's chance to shine. He is very skilled but wasn't given as many opportunities last season as he was during the injury-plagued year that saw him thrust into a starting role and emerge as the team's best perimeter defender.
  • Terrance Henry needs to bring more games like his 20 point outing against Alabama and fewer like his two points in the loss to Dayton. Henry is an athletic defender, but his biggest asset is his shooting. If he's not scoring, he's doing a disservice to the team.
  • Reggie Buckner needs to progress offensively and cut down on the fouls. If he can do that, we could have a legit presence down low.
  • Assistant coach Michael White recently called Demarco Cox a "more athletic Dwayne Curtis-like scorer. I hope we can use that as an asset this year. We'll need it.
  • The rest of the signees appear to be plugs to fill a few holes in our team. I have heard that Steadman Short is a promising player, but it's just so difficult to speculate the speed at which junior college players will transition into legitimate college basketball.