With much needed recent signing of 6-10, 255 Ibby Ali at back-up center to spell Daniel Gafford, would Mike Anderson’s new 8 man class mean an upgrade in overall talent over last season’s NCAA team? Can next years’ team reach similar heights or maybe surpass last season’s success?
Isiah Joe 6-2 170, Desi Sills 6-3 175, Keyshawn Embery 6-3 185, and New Mexico transfer Jalen Harris should collectively make up for the losses of Barford, Macon, and Beard as far as play-making.
Jordon Phillips 6-6 215 swingman ~~~~ appears ready-made to contribute at similar levels of Darious Hall in 1st season as a swing and at 2 guard spot
his handle, size/sturdy build, rebounding, better overall offense could be > slight upgrade over Darious Hall @ the wing position.
Mason Jones 6-5 175 3 pt shooter (catch and shoot) ~~~~~ appears equal to CJ Jones.
if he has a mid-range game/play a little defense > he should be an immediate upgrade over CJ Jones
And all of these guys can shoot the basketball, they all have collective perimeter skills that should equal what CJ Jones, Barford, Macon, and Beard brought to the table perimeter-wise.
Ethan Henderson, Reggie Chaney should be really nice upgrades at the PF position given the size we landed at back-up center Ibby Ali in addition to intangibles and effort we get from Mr Chaney replacing what D Hall brought night in and night out as a freshman.
Ibby’s size, raw athleticism and potential for now= Thompson.
With Garland another good sized downhill guard added to the fold–I think the Hogs sufficiently replaces Barford on a collective scale and this could be key to the Hogs going further into the NCAA tourney next season unless we also get some breakout seasons from several of the newcomers and returning players.
I expect greater improvements from D Gafford (in enriching his stud NBA skill-sets), Osabouhien 6-8,219 (who should be > than Thomas and Cook combined) and Adrio Bailey as returning players being good at defense, hustle, rebounding, and overall team energy.
Coach Anderson look to have very good reasons for keeping Hog success going into next season for another SEC and NCAA post season run…maybe another sight set on the Sweet 16 and beyond–even with a younger team now led by a supremely gifted player in Gafford.