Just watched the Red-White game, and have some observations. And a projected line-up.
My biggest take, and shock, was listening to Muss in his press conference bemoan the fact that Lykes doesn’t know the offense well enough. You could hear the irritation in his voice. As someone that played point guard my whole life (all the way through a grad school “choir intramural team” that lost 112-36 to a team full of LSU footballers…but I had 28! ha! One of my best games ever…on the receiving end of a curb stomping…summarizes my athletic career) I was SHOCKED. You don’t know the playbook well enough? Seriously? Study up dude. I don’t care that you came from a different system. Not being GOOD at executing a Muss playbook at first is understandable. Not knowing said playbook? Nope. That is honestly shocking to me. I wasn’t surprised to hear he needs to play better D. Lykes is super talented. And will be a huge asset. But it’s clear to me that he will NOT be this teams “QB” and leader on the floor. He will be an offensive force. Probably average double figures all season. Hit some huge shots. Change games. Much like JD last year.
Devo did an admirable job at the point, and I am sure he will play some there. But the dude that, for the good of the team, needs to stay healthy, blossom, and be that point guard is KK. He is the one. I am not the only one that has said that…and I agree with all others with the same feeling. He is knocking off rust…that’s plain to see. But he’s the one for the point. Devo will thrive more readily if he’s off-ball. KK has everything you want in you PG. Just needs to get that foot 100%
Based on what I saw, my lineup would be:
PG - KK
2 - JD
I would bring in Lykes in the instant offense role JD occupied last year. Connor will also play significant minutes. Toney OR Jaxx would be my 8th off the bench. That would be my top 8 as the season starts …or 9 if Jaxx and Toney both warrant significant minutes.
I didn’t see Kamani do much. I trust he has more game than I saw. We are gonna need him or Wade to be able to play significant minutes. Jaylin and Connor can’t be our only bigs.
I know Muss likes a 7-8 man rotation. So I will be curious on who of the 11 I just mentioned don’t see significant minutes. Or…maybe Muss expands the rotation. Who is to say. I suspect Muss will boil it down to 8 or maybe 9 he trusts.
JD looks and played like a man headed for all-SEC. Same for Devo. Same for Jaylin. Those three will be the nucleus. But then there is also Umude. He was VERY impressive. Make that a nucleus of 4! Now it boils down to who is on the floor with those 4 at crunch time.
Overall, I am very happy with this roster. And I trust Muss. I can see us making a run at the SEC championship this year. And a deep run in the NCAA is a real possibility again.