Here is the backcourt for our Red Raiders -
Luke Adams, 5-9 170, SR
Keenan Evans, 6-3 175, FR
Toddrick Gotcher, 6-4 200, JR
Stan Mays, 6-2 185, SO
Randy Onwuasor, 6-3 190, SO
Robert Turner, 6-3 180, SR
Devaugntah Williams, 6-3 200, JR
The first thing that sticks out to me is that there are 2 non-scholarship players that might not get any real significant playing time. Luke Adams is a fan favorite, but he hasn’t broken into the lineup much since Billy G vanished. Stan Mays seemed to have a very nice shot on him, but he did not receive many playing minutes last season.
Next, we are left with 5 guards that will see lots of time on the court. The top 2 are Robert Turner and Toddrick Gotcher who are both returning as the most experienced in the backcourt of Tubby Smith’s tenure at Tech. Turner will be the starter at point guard and can play stifling defense, but needed work on his mid-range and long-range shot. He is a slashing PG that can slice through the perimeter into the lane with the ball. His inconsistency last season was a concern, but hopefully after his first full year of D-1 basketball he has figured out how to play at a high level steadily throughout the game. Gotcher was another tremendously talented defender last season, and has been a steady scorer when he gets the ball in his hand. He is not as talented of a ball handler as Turner, but can move the ball around the perimeter as needed. He should be our starter at shooting guard, and I could see him getting some time at the small forward spot when we play a three guard lineup. He has a decent shot that hopefully turned into a great downtown stroke, as my guess is he needs to be our deep threat on offense. These two guys need to set the tone and play lights out as our team leaders for us to have a good chance to win games.
Randy Onwuasor was a wild card for most of last season. He was erratic with the ball, but showed flashes of brilliance on his drives. He is crazy athletic and if he can keep control and distribute the ball then I see him getting some minutes at both the PG and SG position. He will probably be the utility guard on this team; and with some work on his game he could be a reliable backup at both spots. I believe we will see a lot of improvement from this guy in his sophomore season.
That leaves us with the new faces in the backcourt, frosh Keenan Evans and JUCO transfer Devaugntah Williams. Evans might have a struggle with the transition into college ball at first, but he has a skill set that can be polished up into playing some meaningful minutes at PG. I get the impression that Evans is a smart guy and will learn Tubby Smith’s offense quickly. He might need to work on his shot from recruiting notes I read, but I won’t know much about Evans until I see him play in some games. I think he will get most of his minutes at PG. Now on the other hand you have Williams from Missouri State-West Plains who is a combo guard and has some skills. He should be looking to backup Gotcher immediately and has a sort of higher expectation in playing time with being a JUCO transfer. I think he is a great athlete that can drive to the rim or pull up for the jump shot. He was a pretty decent downtown shooter on his Missouri State team, and that is the one thing I really hope he excels at the most on our team this season.
Bottom line is that our backcourt will have the skill set to make our team better than others think. The guards will have to play consistent and limit turnovers while creating opportunities to score. They will also have to play shutdown defense. I am very excited to see what they can do this season. Wreck ‘em Tech!