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A Look at the First Half and Thursday Night Basketball Notes

Mark Cuban gives a little love to Knight on his blog.

The first half of this podcast from ESPN Radio is a Knight and Vitale interview.

We're heading into conference play and I thought that given the slow news week, let's look at the roster and comment on how each player has affected the team.

Rogdrick Craig, 6-6, 235, Forward, SO
Craig was put on the shelf with a heart problem before the season even started.  I was excited to what he would be able to add, being the son of former 49er running back, Roger Craig.  I'm hoping that he gets healthy and Tech gets two years of Craig.
Martin Zeno, 6-5, 208, Guard, JR
An absolute incredible player.  I love every facet of his game.  His mid-range game reminds me of Scottie Pippen because Zeno can make the elbow jumper, go to the rack, rebound with players much larger than him.  I think he's the team's MVP this year.
Benny Valentine, 5-7, 175, Guard, SO
Received minutes early in the season, but has been relegated to spot minutes recently.  He is a bowling ball of energy, but can be prone to turn the ball over or force shots when they're simply not there.
Tyler Hoffmeister, 6-6, 200, Forward, JR
Won the "Knight School" competition, a nice story, but not a contributor.
Jay Mitchell, 6-8, 235, Forward, SO
A junior college transfer who was expected to add some size and rebounding to Tech's frontline.  Received some minutes early as Tech was looking for frontcourt help, but didn't provide any relief.
Decensae White, 6-6, 200, Forward, FR
A real find.  I'm truly impressed with Decensae's game.  What he lacks in offensive game he makes up with effort, but that's not to say that he's totally incompetent on the offensive end.  He's just trying to find his game, but once he does, he's going to be a nice player for Tech.  Start paying attention to how when Decensae's in the game that he is the primary ball-handler.  I get the feeling that Knight would like a point-forward and he's working Decensae in that role.
Alan Voskuil, 6-3, 175, Guard, SO
We figured out Alan could play when he subbed in for Burgess in the Bucknell game.  Has an incredible 3-point shot and could be invaluable as the season progresses.
Jarrius Jackson, 6-2, 185, Guard, SR
Jay is a great shooter and Tech's most consistent scorer.  I think that his game is still lacking on the defensive end as he tends to lose his man occasionally, but he's made improvements from last year.  He will be the guy that Tech goes to in a close game.
Michael Prince, 6-7, 210, Forward, SO
Prince stepped up when Plefka and Dora couldn't buy a rebound.  He does all of the small things those guys didn't or don't do on the floor.  He defends his man, he's a decent rebounder (although the past two games he's been in a bit of a slump), and he's got a decent offensive game, but he looks to get others involved offensively.
Tanner Ogden, 6-7, 220, Forward, SR
Minimal minutes, but I get the feeling that most of the guys like him.
Jon Plefka, 6-8, 245, Forward, SR
Jon was given all of the opportunity to win a frontcourt position, but only has 22 rebounds in 140 minutes.  Knight really wanted Plefka to do two things:  rebound and play defense.  He couldn't do either.
LucQuente White, 6-0, 180, Guard, SR
Minimal minutes.
Esmir Rizvic, 7-0, 252, Center, JR
Such a project.  I think Knight knows that if he can get Rizvic to perform, that he'd have a really nice weapon, but he's just so far behind in the learning curve.  It would be nice if he could redshirt an entire year to learn the game, but that's not an option.  When the match-up dictates that he needs to start then Rizvic will, but he won't get many minutes.
Damir Suljagic, 6-8, 248, Forward, SO
Showed Knight a little something against UNLV.  Damir has a nice scoring touch inside and knows how to get position on his defender.  I get the feeling that Knight has also expressed to Damir that he's got to rebound if he wants to play.
Charlie Burgess, 6-1, 190, Guard, JR
A nice player for Tech.  He's taken all of the ball-handling duties away from Jackson, allowing Jackson to concentrate on scoring.  Burgess can be a better than average defender, but offensively he can be a little out of control.  Streaky as well, but when he's on, he's on.
Darryl Dora, 6-9, 245, Forward, SR
I think that Knight struggles with playing Dora more than any player on the squad.  Dora has an offensive game, but he prefers outside jumpers, he can play excellent defense, but can be a lazy defender and a horrible rebounder, and he can pass the ball but is prone horrible turnovers at horrible times.  If Tech could get consistent play from Dora, then this team would be so much better.