We are getting incredibly close to football season which means that I'll be ignoring basketball for quite some time. Let's take a look at the roster situation and project forward a little bit.
We'll start with the guards and work our way to the forwards and finally centers.
The entirety of the two guards lost seems a little overwhelming, replacing 20 points a game. But isn't it about finding another option who would take the big shot? Isn't it about finding a guy who can create on his own or finding a guy who can come off a screen and hit a jumpshot with a little pressure in his face. That's what has to be replaced. It's not necessarily the 20 points, I think that there's plenty of guys who can get us a cumulative 20 points, but it's having that one guy who can create something on his own that's entirely unique and much of next year's success depends on finding that guy.
I always get the feeling that most of the guys who play for Coach Knight and Tech are pretty good guys. You almost have to be, if for no other reason that you have some humility when you play for Coach Knight. LucQuente was probably no different. I always had a little higher hopes for White and think that if Burgess had not come on board White would have been a decent back-up point guard.
Although Zeno may be considered a small forward, for all intents and purposes we'll consider him with the guards. I know that I haven't included Decensae White, but think that he's better grouped along with Roberts, Hardeman and Prince.
Burgess will be the starter at point guard, but the more he played the less I liked his game. There were moments during games when all he did was bring the ball up the floor, never contributing on the offensive end. Burgess starts, but his leash is short, there may be another player waiting to have a shot.
I get the unsettling feeling that Valentine won't be back next year. I can't substantiate that comment, it's just a feeling. We'll see.
Who starts at the shooting guard? My gut tells me that Voskuil starts, but he's got to do something during this summer. He can't rest on his laurels, he's got to show the league that he can not only hit the outside jumper, but it's his mid-range game and creating for his teammates. This can be Knight's swing position. He can choose to start Voskuil or he can start White, depending upon the opposing team's match up. Each player offers a little something different and offers Knight a little flexibility, especially from a defensive perspective.
Zeno starts at the other guard position and as you are well aware, DTN loves his game. Zeno made attempts last year to be a leader on the floor and now he's the lone captain of this ship. Much of how this next season ends will depend on his performance, his ability to be the man for the next season.
Let's go ahead and get this over with. Roberson will be an instant success. As much faith as I have in Michael Crabtree I also have in Roberson being a game changing player for the Red Raiders. Is it a bold statement? Yep, but Roberson has that type of ability. It will be interesting to see how Knight handles Roberson. As good as Burgess was last season, and he was good at times, Roberson has more talent right now. If Knight lets Roberson play I think he'll average 10 points a game, easy. Will Knight play a player who has more talent, who may be more uneven than his senior? Whatever Knight decides, this is the position that holds the most interest for me next year.
I've seen Singletary play in a few games and the thing I like most is his size. He's already got a Big 12 body. He's got a decent inside-out game, much like White last year, he can be that player who can do a little of everything for this team. I know I've projected him at the same position as Zeno, but I think he's got big-guard skills, especially since he has a better outside shot now than Zeno when he first came on board at Tech.
Ashford, I have no idea. I looked all year long and could never find any stats on the kid, no game stories, nothing. It was incredibly frustrating to go an entire year and no know one thing about a recruit. I'm hoping that Ashford is your typical athletic shooting guard. I'd love to see Tech get a kid who has ridiculous range and uncanny athletic ability. Once again, I'm hoping here.
- Charlie Burgess, Sr.
- John Roberson, Fr.
- Benny Valentine, Jr.
- John Roberson, So.
- Benny Valentine, Sr.
- Alan Voskuil, Jr.
- Darryl Ashford, Fr.
- Alan Voskuil, Sr.
- Darryl Ashford, So.
- Martin Zeno, Sr.
- Mike Singletary, Fr.
- Mike Singletary, So.