I think we're far enough removed to start taking a look at the basketball team. Where we were, where we currently stand and what we can expect. Much in the same way we looked at each position with football, we'll do the same with basketball and probably take a look at each individual player as the summer progresses.
I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again, I loved watching Zeno play basketball. I know he's prone to making mistakes and there were times that he disappeared, but just based on athleticism, I thought he was one of the more gifted players to roll through Lubbock. I think it's a little more difficult to replace Zeno's production next year because I don't think there's a player as athletically gifted as Zeno on the squad. Remember, Zeno was the team's leading rebounder and also led the team in assists. Granted Zeno never did develop a long-range jump shot, but I thought he was invaluable to this club, even though we may not have seen it. I just don't think Zeno was the kind of guy who you could put the entire team on his back. That's just not who he was.
The play of Burgess during his senior year really bothered me. He was supposed to be so much better than he was, and whether it be because of injury, or whatever, he never lived up to my expectations. You could see that he had potential, and I thought that in the summer of 2007, if he could just develop an outside shot that an opponent would honor, then he'd really make an impact. Sadly, that didn't happen. Nevertheless, Burgess filled an important role on this team as the backup guard and occasional starter as well. Not spectacular, but certainly solid.
God speed gentlemen.
If you're expecting that list of returning guards to be longer, you are incorrect. That's it. Roberson and Voskuil, which makes signing Okorie and Graham that much more important.
Roberson should start the season as this team's leader and point guard. For a true freshman, who is a bit undersized, I thought he played pretty well. Roberson did slump a bit towards the end of the year, but it's hard to fault a guy when it's his first year in conference play. Perhaps the most impressive part of his game was his outside shooting, where Roberson shot a respectable 40.0% from beyond the arc. The most frustrating part was Roberson's inability to score in the paint or driving to the bucket. I think that at some point during the year I suggested that Roberson take home during the summer every D.J. Augustin tape available and watch how he operates. That's how I'd love for Roberson to develop. Although I don't think that Roberson is the passer that Augustin is, I do think that he has quite a bit of talent.
Voskuil was for me the most improved player in the conference. I remember writing about Voskuil last summer as a guy that constantly deferred to Jackson and Zeno, and how incredibly frustrating that was. Voskuil started the year deferring to Zeno quite a bit, but at some point, RMK or PK got in Voskuil's ear and let him know that he's got to shoot the ball in order for this team to be successful. Without the improved play of Voskuil this year, I'm not so certain that this team 10 or 12 games. I'm looking forward to watching Voskuil take that next step, which includes getting off his own shot and learning to take the ball to the bucket, even if it means pulling up for a short jumper. It will be interesting to see how he develops and I'm expecting a 5 to 6 point increase from Voskuil next year.
Who Is Going To Be Here:
Counting your chickens before they hatch. Graham hasn't qualified academically, which means that we're all hoping that sometime this summer, Graham is headed to Lubbock. Without Graham, there's very little depth. In fact, it's downright scary how little depth there is at the guard position. Other than the numbers listed above, I don't know much about Graham, except that he's a combo-guard, who can play both the point and can score. It sounds like he has a little more size than Roberson, but it's probably not much.
I have high hopes for Okorie. He led his team to the NCAAJC Championship and he led his team in scoring. Again, another guy who can shoot and score and can also play a combo-guard position. He could pass as a point if needed, but is a much better scorer.
I've listed Ashford, although I think it's highly unlikely he plays for the Red Raiders this year. If nothing else, he's a guy that you can hopefully look forward to playing the year after. Ashford was only a freshman at Jacksonville College and put up some pretty impressive numbers. Ashford is exactly the type of guy who Texas Tech could really utilize, a big shooting guard with lots of athletic ability. If things go according to plan, Ashford will be on board in 2009-10 and will replace Voskuil in the lineup.
I'm still not sure what type of lineup we're going to see from PK. Part of me things that PK will go to a 3-guard lineup similar to UT's. The other part of me thinks that PK will go with a more traditional lineup with Roberson and Voskuil at the guard and Singletary at the small forward. I think the bottom line is that PK is going to put the most talent on the floor regardless of position. I'd like to see PK give equal time, if the talent is there, to Roberson, Voskuil, Okorie and Graham. Get all of these guys 20 to 25 minutes a game and I'm happy.
|2008-09||Point Guard||John Roberson, So.||Tyree Graham, Fr.|
|Shooting Guard||Alan Voskuil, Sr.||Nick Okorie, Jr.|
|2009-10||Point Guard||John Roberson, Jr.||Tyree Graham, So.|
|Shooting Guard||Nick Okorie, Sr.||Darryl Ashford, Jr.|
|2010-11||Point Guard||John Roberson, Sr.||Tyree Graham, Jr.|
|Shooting Guard||Darryl Ashford, Jr.|