By Jeff Portnoy
With less than 4 weeks to the opening game, i spent some time Saturday watching practice. Some early observations.
First, Standhardinger was not there. Out sick. What it demonstrated is how limited the frontcourt may be. Yes, ther is Fotu, and he looked solid. But after that, not sure what would happen if either of these guys goes down with an injury and foul trouble. Yes, Rozitis is back and can give you some minutes, but franky, its a big drop off. And none of the young frontcourt guys are quite ready for Div 1 basketball. But its early.
On the other hand, the backcourt is loaded. My guess is that Shamburger and Nevels will start at the one and two, with Smith, Jawato and Valdes in the mix as subs. Shamburger and Nevels can handle the ball, have decent shot making ability, and look like they can defend in transition. But until they step out on the court against another team's starters, no one can really know how much better this backcourt will be, although it will be better than the previous three years.
Spearman will be the three. Behind him, who knows. Maybe Harper, maybe Thomas. There are lots of young backcourt guys and i expect at least one will probably red-shirt.
I will miss the intrasquad scrimmage this weekend as i will be out of town, but i will be back for the HPU exhibition. Meanwhile, Jackson will host the show the next two weeks. I know he has Coach Reggis Theus this Weds as his guest.
This team has the early makings of the type of team Gib always wanted. A team that can run and play aggressive man defense. A team that can compete in transition. And the type of team that can compete in the guard dominated Big West. I dont think there is much doubt we will have two of the best big men in the conference. Now if we can find the guys who can handle the ball, defend, and score, ( i know, everybody wants that), this team can be compeitive with the top teams in the league. Its consistentcy in the backcourt that will be the key to a successful season