Long look at the 3 current freshmen and where they go from here

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One of the big perks of the NCAA Tournament is an open locker room, which allows us to go talk to whoever. Had fun catching up with C.J., Adrio and Brachen in Greenville and wrote about what’s next for each of them as players.

Great read Jimmy. All of them have a chance next year to make an impact. I think CJ Jones probably ends up having the biggest.

And I agree with your assessment on Bailey, I know we’ve talked about him before in other threads. I think this off-season will be huge for him and he really needs to show he will be able to transition into a guy that can at least give spot minutes at the 3 spot, otherwise he may be in and out of the rotation like he was this year. He’ll be behind 2 seniors at the 4 spot, maybe he passes one of them or both, but even if he does that this year, the follow year he’s going to be competing with Reggie Perry and Ethan Henderson for minutes there as you mentioned.

As far as Hazen, it’s going to be tough to find him minutes. I actually think his best chance to get minutes would be at the 5 spot. I can’t see him bypassing Thomas, Cook, and Bailey at the 4. However, both Thompson and Gafford are known to get in foul trouble. If he puts on a little more muscle, they possible could find him a few minutes a game at the 5 spot. He’s longer than the rest of the 4s so he fits better at the 5 than them, and he possibly has the most rebounding potential among them. And he’d be a match-up nightmare there because he can stretch the floor and shoot the ball.

Wow! I am all about small-ball and thinking of ways to spread the floor and Hazen at the 5 had never occurred to me. That’s an interesting idea.

Defense would be my biggest issue. He’s never going to be a rim protector and that end of the court is probably always going to be a weakness. On one hand, you might bleed points with him out there, but if it’s only for a few minutes against a bench unit, maybe that’s not a huge deal. He’s got a nose for rebounding the ball, but really needs to keep adding strength.

He would definitely stretch the floor, but they’d only maximize him by having someone that could shoot at the 4, too. Otherwise, teams could just stick their rim protector on the other big so he can hang around the paint. That’s where Bailey and Hall become interesting.

I agree that it will be tough for him to earn minutes for the foreseeable future. Tried to convey that in the story while also acknowledging he has 2 valuable skills for a big (shooting, rebounding).

I don’t expect to see much of Hazen till his junior season. Next year will test his patience.

True. And even then, you’ve still got, Gafford, Perry, Bailey and Hall (potentially) and Henderson. It’s not completely far-fetched to think he may be behind all of them.

Brachen needs to hope Bailey and Hall develop their perimeter skills and are mainly wings at that point. I haven’t seen a ton of Henderson, but from what I have seen, he looks very long and very athletic. Will be interesting if a junior Hazen can beat out a freshman Henderson.

I will say, I think what Hazen could wind up being is much more valuable than what the 2 4s they had this year provided.

Yea, I agree with both of you hard to see him getting many minutes next year, that’s why I mentioned him at the 5 spot. We only 2 guys there and they are guys known to get in foul trouble. That’s really the only way I can see him getting on the court. The guys at the 4 spot, are all well ahead of him right now, it would take him have a crazy good off-season or some guys really underachieving for him to get meaningful minutes there.

With that said, I hope Brachen does stick around after next year he can end up being really good once he puts it together, has a really nice skill set. And he’ll have an opportunity once all these guys graduate. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was the back-up 4 behind Perry in the 18-19 season. By this time hopefully Bailey has developed enough to give us minutes at the 3 and he and Hall are our guys there. And that leaves Gafford, Perry, Henderson, and Hazen as our 4/5 guys.

LOL, read my mind, just posted that.

We will know more about Henderson next school year, when he becomes the main guy for Parkview in the front court. He sort of deferred to senior Franklin this year. But at this stage of his development, he looks like a taller Adrio Bailey.

What do you think of Franklin and how he might translate a year or 2 down the line? Had someone telling me he was their best player and as good a prospect as Gafford. Obviously the Gafford part seemed like a stretch given Daniel’s size and physical gifts.

Watched Parkview quite a bit last season. No question Franklin was their best player. Huge upside. Quick quick jumper like Derek Hood was. Just seems to know where the rebound is going. Great motor. He would be a prototype power forward at the next level in a year or two. The word around Parkview is that he wants to be a Hog. I hope it works out for him and the Hogs. The scholarship numbers in 2018 and 2019 classes could be a concern. But I don’t expect Perry to play more than one year, so he could take up Perry’s scholarship in 2019.

I would love to hear what RazorAg has to say. He has seen him a lot and has a better scouting eye.

If Hazen can shoot a high percentage from the arc, he should get some time on the wing next season with the second unit.

I see a Davor Rimac role for Hazen, definitely by his junior year, if not next season.

Depends on what you mean by wing. I think he has a ways to go before he’s able to play alongside 2 bigs and guard decent SFs. His lateral quickness isn’t great. Maybe he gets there. But they’re trying to put weight on him so he can hang inside.

If you just mean he should play on the wing on offense as a stretch big, I totally agree. He is by far the most able of their bigs to do that. He’d actually be a threat. I think he’s got the potential to be a good passer, too.

I think it was the last game at BWA, but he made a pass and my first thought was WOW. If we land Hardy (I have no clue), but a true PG, Trey, and Hazen on the court at the same time would get other teams in all kinds of foul trouble with those “extra” passes.

The one to Adrio for the dunk? That one was pretty salty. He made a few like that when we got to watch in August.

I need to start watching film on the guys they’re recruiting. Had a guy tell me Barrett is a beast. Watched a tiny bit on him.

I don’t know how good a shooter he is. If he can knock down treys in the high 30’s at 6-8 and pass well, I think you find something he can do on defense for 10 or more minutes. If not at the #4, he could play one of the top positions in that 1-2-2 zone. Syracuse, for instance, likes long wings that opposing perimeter players have to pass and shoot over.

In 2 years, he and Henderson could be an interesting combination off the bench for a bit. Him stretching the floor would really open up the lane for Henderson as a roll man, then Henderson’s athleticism and length could theoretically cover up weaknesses for Hazen (and others) on the other end of the court.

I watched a few highlights of Shakwon Barrett, he really has good court vision and really quick and nifty with his ball handling. He’s skinny but he’s 6’4 and a decent athlete you have to think if you added some weight on him and a couple years experience he could be a good player.

Hazen is perfect for us if we will play more zone. He can play the 3 on offense if he is playing with Adrio and they can both play on each side of Trey/Gafford on D.