Looking Forward To Next Season

And that’s the first time in awhile I can saw that for hoops. I guess I’ve always looked forward to all the seasons, but more so this year because of the good guard,play we’ve got coming back. Coach Anderson’s(and Richardsons) system thrives on good guard play, and we’ve not had this level of guard play in a long time. Macon & Barford & crew are going to be a load in their 2nd year, and I expect our roster to be better than last year.
I think we’re gonna had a really good year!

Barford, Macon and Beard is a pretty strong group to have coming back. I know Beard isn’t on their level, but he’s an experienced senior who brings shooting and playmaking to the table when he’s playing well. You’d hope he’s more consistent in year four.

I’ve made it no secret I think C.J. is going to have a breakout year. Those inside the program continue to be very high on him. Slotting him into a lineup with Jaylen and Daryl would make it hard on defenses.

Khalil looks like he’ll have a chance to be good, but I’m probably higher on Darious right now. Great length, decent ballhandling, solid passing, developing shooting and strong defense. He and Khalil together in the future could be a really good defensive lineup.

Mike pretty much played 5 guard/wing guys last year. I think that’ll be the same this season with the above 5.

Comments: I am highly optimistic about next season’s hoops as well. One such thing I’ve seen as it relates to Mike his players always improve from year to year and if they remain with him until their senior year they become really special. Hence we have six senior players 3 bigs and 3 guards coupled with two special sophomores and a outstanding freshman class to boot, good times waits ahead. Our seniors will steady the ship as the hawgs navigates through the challenging non conference schedule allowing our freshmens to grow-up just in time for the conference and post season play… WPS

It’s going to be interesting to see which direction CMA goes with that 3rd guard spot in the starting lineup to go along Macon and Barford. I could see him choosing any of these scenarios…

  1. Going with CJ Jones to help stretch defenses
  2. Going veteran route with Beard
  3. If Garland or Hall look good, go with one of them to have more experience coming off the bench, rather than having 3 freshman coming in with the second group.

And an outside 4th option of Bailey, if he shows he can play the wing spot. I also think that would be dependent on how well Cook improves. If Cook is much better and demands minutes, they’ll have to find minutes somewhere for both Bailey and Cook behind Thomas.

Thoughts about post play: do you start Thompson and bring Gafford off the bench early in the season?

I would not be surprised by that.

I think there are benefits to reversing the roles as you get deeper in the season, provided Daniel plays well enough to warrant it, but I could definitely see Mike going with the senior early on.

Agree with all that.

1 is my preferred choice, but if he can’t play defense, then Mike may not go that route. Daryl wasn’t really a good defender last year and Jaylen struggled plenty too (did get better late).

2 is interesting, but like you say in 3, I think he’d like to split up the senior guards a little more. Could always stagger rotations, but it’d be easier to just bring Anton off the bench for someone.

Bailey and Hall’s ability to play on the wing is the big wildcard. Hall is by all accounts much farther along, but it’ll be interesting to see the lineups Mike can roll out. Actually writing that (and some other stuff) over the course of the next few weeks before fall camp starts and there’s basically no time to take a breather until basketball season ends in March.

Can he be the player we saw vs Seton Hall, can he make shots?

He’s going to have to prove it over a much larger sample size, because he’s really struggled as a shooter for 3 years of playing and years of real time. Even with the SH game, he was 10-32 on jumpers.

He talked a lot about having tweaked his form during his transfer year to lessen his leg kick and fadeaway, but that crept back up in actual games.

I think he should absolutely be improved in a second year playing, third year overall with the program, but I’m skeptical he consistently plays like he did against Seton Hall.

Response: To your points, I remembered you being strong on Thomas back in the summer 2016. You often shared Thomas would be the best compliment for Kingsley in our front court, and on several occasions you were dead on spot. I use to think Thomas hands were small and hard missing that soft glove like touch. Last season he fumbled so mAny rebounds or passes out or into the hands of our opponents, later I based it all on his anxieties that became a distraction for him.

To my point and I’ve shared this before I believe the only sure thing is our coach and his staff. They don’t get much credit for this but I believe they do an excellent job coaching up their players, just take a look at and those players that graduated or playing basketball at the Pro-level. Hence I’m bullish on this senior team lead by Coach A and staff along with our returnees plus newbies

We writing Cook off?

Based on history under Coach Anderson, it will be highly surprising if contributions of Thomas and Cook don’t show noticeable improvement. The 4 could be a strength next year.

My thought also