There will be some roster attrition because right now, there are at least two more commitments who have signed a letter of intent than there are available spots. Unfortunately, we just don't know who is not going to receive a scholarship. The purpose of this exercise is to give everyone who is on the roster and speculate a bit about where these players might fit.
Jordan Tolbert | 6-7/225 | Freshman
I haven't seen a second of film of Jordan Tolbert, until today.
I had no idea what to expect from Tolbert, but if he's anywhere close to being closer to 6-8 than 6-6, then I think he starts immediately at power forward to Texas Tech. I'm not sure who he reminds me of in recent memory, but I think that's a good thing in that he's a rangy, interior player who looks like he has some concept of defense. The biggest flaw that I saw was that when he rebounded the ball, he brought it close to his waist, he needs to keep that ball up. Other than that, I love his athleticism at his size and he has a decent outside shot, but I'm guessing that he's not going to use that much, if at all, his freshman year. And I go back to his ESPN profile where I think they confirm what we see in that video, which is that he's a combo-forward who is better inside than outside at this time:
Tolbert is a combination forward that plays more like a power forward. He is very athletic and active on both ends of the floor. Tolbert has a nice touch around the basket with comfortable range from 12-15 feet. He runs the floor well and can finish through contact and regularity takes on taller forwards. Tolbert constant activity allows him to be a good rebounder on both ends because he simply beats opponent to the ball and gets everything off the rim in his area.
Eventually Tolbert could develop into a full time small forward but he first must extend his shooting range and become consistent. He must also work on his ball handling in the open court and when he is making an move one on one to beat his defender off the bounce. He must also add strength in order to handle constant banging in the post and prepare to defend athletic forwards on the perimeter as well in which he is very capable.
That sounds about right. And if you want some verification, there's some video of Tolbert, after the jump.
Jordan Tolbert Basketball Highlights (via von6483)
Hershey Robinson | 6-7/200 | Freshman
I'd love to be able to surprise you with some video of Robinson, but that's not going to happen. Thus far though, the ESPN profiles seem to be pretty accurate, so we'll go with that:
Robinson is a combination forward that is a good athlete. He is very mobile and runs the floor well where he can finish. In the half court Robinson can stretch the defense with his ability to shoot the ball facing the basket in pick and pop situations or from the wing off screens or spacing on the side of dribble penetration. He is also a good area rebounder on both ends of the floor. Defensively Robinson is very capable of defending both forward positions. Robinson has good upside and his game should blossom once he gets to the college level.
Robinson needs to add strength in order to he him with the constant and consistent physical play of the power forward position especially in the low post area. He must also work on his ball handling and passing under intense ball pressure to be able to earn more playing time at the small forward position. He must also hone his back to the basket moves to take advantage of certain match ups.
Sounds a lot like Tolbert but without the strength. Maybe I'm seeing Tolbert differently, but Tolbert looks to be a bit more mature physically, while Robinson may be a better outside shooter. I still think that Gillispie's plan is to add some weight to Robinson and hope that he grows a bit to become a more traditional power forward.
Paul Cooper | 6-8/235 | Senior
It's really hard for me to get excited about the return of Cooper, and I'm speaking purely from a basketball perspective, that I just didn't see very much. That's not to say that Cooper doesn't have any skills, but he didn't earn much playing time on a team that needed post players. Cooper is fairly athletic for his size, although he didn't exhibit much, if any offensive game. Cooper was injured a good part of the year and didn't even have an opportunity to play until the season was well underway. So what did Cooper do for the year? About 10 MPG; 1.8 PPG; and 1.6 RPG. That's okay and I think he can contribute on some level for this team, but I think at this point, I'd rather invest in younger players. I know that Gillispie has usually turned around a team in a year, but I think with all of the JUCO players, Gillispie is really eying the next year to make a scene and I'd rather have this year's minutes go to the guys who are going to contribute right away.