The case for PT in '19-'20

billsin01

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I'm endlessly intrigued by this season's roster and I feel like there is a not-so-crazy path to playing time for almost everyone on this roste ... and a chance that many of these guys could end up primarily on the bench for one reason or another.

For the purposes of this exercise, I'm going to work with the assumption that Brissett (if he returns), Buddy, Hughes and Marek are going to be in the rotation and getting pretty big minutes.

So what about the rest of the roster? Feel like you can make a case for most of it to get potentially meaningful minutes. Obviously it's not going to work out for everyone, but there is a path for a lot of these guys. Some easier than others.

Jalen Carey
The path to PT:
Play fast but make good decisions. Obviously everyone would like to see JC shoot the ball better and the handle could use a little improvement, but ultimately he's the one guy on this roster that has proven he's going to push the ball and the only one we have who can break an opponent down off the dribble (that includes the incoming frosh). If he makes good decisions, he is going to be out there.

How he ends up on the bench: Carey feels very 'boom or bust' to me. I think he's either all in, playing at a fast pace, beating people off the dribble, finding teammates and running the show ... or I think he's out of control, making bad decisions, showing off a loose handle, shooting poorly. If it's the latter, he won't be on the floor for long.

Bourama Sidibe
The path to PT:
Health. As excited as some people are about Edwards and/or JBA, they are true frosh big men who I think we can all agree aren't Isaiah Stewart. So Sidibe still has plenty of opportunity, IMO. The issue is health. A healthy Sidibe plays a ton and we get bits and pieces of the other two guys in November/December, IMO. But he needs to be healthy and that is the definition of a big if.

How he ends up on the bench: Health. Not sure what the odds are of ever seeing a healthy Sidibe again. Don't feel like we saw it all last season. If he's not healthy, JB will ride Dolezaj as much as he can and then sprinkle in a little Edwards if necessary (or if Edwards plays well, maybe that becomes the new platoon) or maybe he even tries to buy some stretches of a three forward lineup with some combination of the four forwards.

Howard Washington
The path to PT:
HW has the toughest path to playing time among non-freshman, IMO. But it's not insane because, like Carey, he is the only one on the roster with a specific skill -- he's a true PG. So if Carey flops (certainly a possibility) the question is then can Goodine handle big minutes at the point? This is a possibility but far from a guarantee. I like Goodine a lot but I think there is some question about how ready he is for big minutes on day 1. Not sure anyone is rooting for this scenario b/c it means Carey didn't work out and Goodine isn't ready, but it's not altogether implausible, particularly if HW displays a controlled, unselfish, compatent game as a third-year guy handling the point.

How he ends up on the bench: A bunch of scenarios but they all basically revolve around the frosh showing well and/or Carey playing well.

Robert Braswell
The path to PT:
I know some weren't impressed but I thought Braswell looked really good for a young player who hadn't really played against high level competition very much. The question for him is will Brissett be back. If Brissett is back, the path to PT is probably largely obstructed. But he should get a few minutes if Brissett is gone and if he proves to be an upgrade defensively and on the glass with his length and athleticism, he could spell Hughes for some stretches and allow JB to manage Guerrier's minutes instead of needing to ride him 40 mpg like we had to do with Brissett.

How he ends up on the bench: Brissett returns. Just don't really see a window there if Brissett is back unless there is some sort of injury or Braswell just explodes out of nowhere in the preseason somehow.

JGIII
The path to PT:
I'll keep this one short b/c we recruited him so hard even with Goodine in the fold and a bunch of solid guard prospects on campus. He's going to play. I would imagine at least in year 1 that he and buddy will play exclusively at the 2 and effectively split time there.

How he ends up on the bench: The one thing is it's going to be a pretty big adjustment from Glens Falls. How well he handles that massive step up in competition and how well he competes on the defensive end of the floor and handles the ball on the offensive end could make the difference in seeing 10 mpg against good competition and seeing 20 or 25 mpg against ACC teams.

Goodine
The path to PT:
Can he handle the 1 better than Carey? It's really the only question for Goodine. I think we see him on the floor regardless and I think his game will actually translate well to more structured basketball (as opposed to wide open all-star games) but he's going to have to beat out carey.

How he ends up on the bench: Again, I think we see Goodine on the floor so it's a matter of how many minutes he gets. If Carey plays really well and Goodine struggles to adjust, he could get fourth-guard minutes, which would be pretty limited in ACC play.

Guerrier
The path to PT:
For Guerrier the question is does Brissett return and if he does, how many of Hughes' minutes does Guerrier steal. To me it's how well-rounded is his game as a frosh? Does he rebound pretty well and defend pretty well? Does his offensive game have a strong inside-outside component to it? If those two answer are yes, then he has a shot at eating heavily into Hughes' minutes, IMO.

How he ends up on the bench: He doesn't in all likelihood but I suppose if his game largely mirrors Brissett's then he'd be a bit redundant and find far fewer minutes.

Edwards
The path to PT:
I'm still off the belief that Edwards has a pretty tall mountain to scale for legit PT. JB trusts Marek and if Sidibe is healthy, I think he trusts him too. I suppose if Edwards was really solid and Sidibe isn't healthy he could push for 10 mpg against good teams. Either way, as a good as he looks athletically and in terms of offensive skill in some of those videos, he's going to have to prove he can play physically on both ends (particularly on defense) against the competition he's going to see. He has to rebound, protect the rim to at least some extent and play well in the middle of the zone.

How he ends up on the bench: Healthy Sidibe won't be unseated, IMO. So that's factor number 1. Number 2 is what is his activity level on the defensive end. Hard to imagine he'd be worse than Taurean Thompson was but we were thin and relatively desperate there. We're not really now. Excited he's a diamond in the rough, potentially, but I"m a bit skeptical on his PT for this year.

JBA
The path to PT:
I see him as more of a forward from what I"ve watched so I would think he'd have to display really good defense and rebounding potential and need Brissett to go pro to sniff the court.

How he ends up on the bench: Honestly think he still ends up, despite some positive reports, as a bit more of a project. You never know but I wouldn't be shocked to see him on the bench and then maybe getting some spot minutes in 20-21 before he really factors into the rotation. I could be way off, but I don't really see it in what I've watched.

At the end of the day I think we see four guards (Goodine/Carey/Buddy/JGIII) and three forwards (Brissett/Guerrier/Hughes) with two centers (Marek/Sidibe?). Noteworthy b/c that's 9 dudes. But I wouldn't be totally shocked, which I guess is my point, to see a kid like Edwards or HW or Braswell work their way in in a given scenario (especially if Brissett goes pro and Sidibe struggles with his knees).
 

IthacaMatt

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Nice read! Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts down.

I disagree a bit on your take on Guerrier. I think if he takes anyone's minutes, it's going to Brissett more than Hughes, because (like you said) they have very similar skill sets - and frankly Quincy may be better at doing the same thing Brissett does. Also, Hughes is our best returning 3 point shooter, and we need somebody in the frontcourt who can consistently make a 3 for our offense to function.

I also am changing my mind a bit on the center situation. Like you said, Sidibe's health is a big question mark. Even if he is "healthy" and starts, I don't see him playing big minutes. If you look at DuJuan Coleman, who had similar knee problems, he never even played 20 minutes a game for his whole career. Usually, he averaged closer to 15 minutes per game. If you compare Sidibe's first 2 years, he has only averaged 10 and 12 minutes per game.

So I think the most we can hope for from Sidibe is going to be 15 minutes (maybe 20, best case). So that means Marek is going to get some time (hopefully only 10-15 minutes at center, and 10 minutes or so at forward). That leaves about 15 minutes for the two new guys - JBA and Dutch Treat. I watched Edwards' recent practice clips, and you can see the skill that's there, but his movement is pretty mechanical. He's still learning these kinds of moves to get to the rim.

JBA is also improving and working with a trainer. His recent clips (also practice clips) are looking better. I know that he had an injury, but the clips from 12-18 months ago showed a guy who seemed kind of clumsy, and even dribbled off his leg or lost the ball a couple times - in a highlights clip! I do feel a bit better about the center situation now. We have some live bodies.

Hopefully someone emerges so that our 190 pound Slovakian Superman doesn't have to defend the post against guys who out-weigh him by 50+ pounds next year.
 
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SoBristol

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Need more actual observations to support predictions.

In that recent all-star game, Girard was the MVP for the losing side; Goodine was not much of a factor. That isn’t conclusive, but it should tell us something.

The problem with Carey was turnovers, but also he was rarely finding teammates or running the show. He can score, but his assist ratio was not what you want in a distributor. He can get open for his shot, but his shooting percentage was not good. How much can he improve, how much can he change so he becomes a creative distributor?

Braswell- has the skills. Will he get stronger by November?

Edwards - The staff apparently believes he was significantly under-rated. He is as tall as Marek, but may show up 25 - 30 LBs heavier. Has skills on offense. Obviously, there is a big opportunity for Edwards.
 
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OttoinGrotto

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I think it's gonna go

G - Carey, Buddy, one of Goodine or JGIII, I suspect Goodine (bigger, probably has a little easier transition to playing our defense)
F - Hughes, Guerrier, Braswell
C - Marek, one of Edwards or Bol Ajak, I'll go Edwards

I don't think Washington plays, and I think Sidibe's knees are done. JGIII and Bol Ajak are in case of emergency break glass depth guys.

I do think practices are going to be extremely competitive.
 

Janner

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Good job putting all this together! I think its a great topic to debate during the offseason. My very short though on the PT is basically whoever can create their own shot, hopefully off the bounce, and who can beat their man off the dribble (if anyone) is going to be very tough to take off the floor. Its a skill set we haven't seen much in recent years and has been sorely lacking. It will be very interesting to see how the European circuit goes. Hopefully that give the staff a nice jumping off point to start to assess the players various strengths, weakness and potential fit in the program.
 

billsin01

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Nice read! Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts down.

I disagree a bit on your take on Guerrier. I think if he takes anyone's minutes, it's going to Brissett more than Hughes, because (like you said) they have very similar skill sets - and frankly Quincy may be better at doing the same thing Brissett does. Also, Hughes is our best returning 3 point shooter, and we need somebody in the frontcourt who can consistently make a 3 for our offense to function.

I also am changing my mind a bit on the center situation. Like you said, Sidibe's health is a big question mark. Even if he is "healthy" and starts, I don't see him playing big minutes. If you look at DuJuan Coleman, who had similar knee problems, he never even played 20 minutes a game for his whole career. Usually, he averaged closer to 15 minutes per game. If you compare Sidibe's first 2 years, he has only averaged 10 and 12 minutes per game.

So I think the most we can hope for from Sidibe is going to be 15 minutes (maybe 20, best case). So that means Marek is going to get some time (hopefully only 10-15 minutes at center, and 10 minutes or so at forward). That leaves about 15 minutes for the two new guys - JBA and Dutch Treat. I watched Edwards' recent practice clips, and you can see the skill that's there, but his movement is pretty mechanical. He's still learning these kinds of moves to get to the rim.

JBA is also improving and working with a trainer. His recent clips (also practice clips) are looking better. I know that he had an injury, but the clips from 12-18 months ago showed a guy who seemed kind of clumsy, and even dribbled off his leg or lost the ball a couple times - in a highlights clip! I do feel a bit better about the center situation now. We have some live bodies.

Hopefully someone emerges so that our 190 pound Slovakian Superman doesn't have to defend the post against guys who out-weigh him by 50+ pounds next year.
The thing with Hughes, IMO, is that we were a really good defensive team two years ago with the Dolezaj/Chukwu/Brissett trio along with a healthy Frank and Tyus up top. We were 10th in ppg (though some of that was due to our incredibly deliberate pace) and 48th in defensive rating. This past season, with really largely the same group plus Hughes and Buddy (and, admittedly, a more limited Frank), we dipped but were still pretty solid overall defensively -- 43rd in ppg and 72nd in defensive rating.

I don't think that falls in Hughes' lap -- I would think Frank's absence early hurt those numbers a bit as did his uneven play (and Chukwu's) during the season as well as playing buddy who was below average even after improving during the season.

But, where we really, really struggled was on the boards. 162nd in total rebounding and 215th in defensive rebounding last season. Ouch. In 17-18 we were 20th overall in rebounding and 47th in defensive rebounding.

That could be a function of more Marek at center (Chukwu went from 27 mpg to 20), but a lot of that falls on Hughes, who put up a pretty paltry 4.3 rpg.

So if Guerrier comes in and can function defensively and add a good bit of rebounding, I really think it eats at Hughes' minutes b/c we need to at least be OK on the glass defensively (and some offensive rebounds certainly wouldn't hurt either).

I'd personally be surprised to see the Dutch Oven and JBA play 15 mpg vs. ACC competition, but it's not out of the question.
 

billsin01

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Need more actual observations to support predictions.

In that recent all-star game, Girard was the MVP for the losing side; Goodine was not much of a factor. That isn’t conclusive, but it should tell us something.

The problem with Carey was turnovers, but also he was rarely finding teammates or running the show. He can score, but his assist ratio was not what you want in a distributor. He can get open for his shot, but his shooting percentage was not good. How much can he improve, how much can he change so he becomes a creative distributor?

Braswell- has the skills. Will he get stronger by November?

Edwards - The staff apparently believes he was significantly under-rated. He is as tall as Marek, but may show up 25 - 30 LBs heavier. Has skills on offense. Obviously, there is a big opportunity for Edwards.
I think Edwards' offensive abilities are real in the sense that he's going to arrive with a lot of skill. The defense and rebounding is the question, especially as a young player.

I saw Girard and Goodine in that all-star game and I really basically like both. Girard had better numbers but also struggled a bit with some of the length and athleticism at times. He had to have at least three maybe four turnovers. Goodine was not a huge factor but, interestingly, played the point (while on the floor with Girard) and I thought he played within himself. Had a couple pretty nice looks that didn't fall but they are shots he can make. His stat line could have looked better.

As you point out, hard to really make predictions generally (and certainly based on an all-star game) but I look at the way they were recruited, how they were priorities from very early on, and I get the sense that each guy has a very solid shot at legit PT.
 

billsin01

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I think it's gonna go

G - Carey, Buddy, one of Goodine or JGIII, I suspect Goodine (bigger, probably has a little easier transition to playing our defense)
F - Hughes, Guerrier, Braswell
C - Marek, one of Edwards or Bol Ajak, I'll go Edwards

I don't think Washington plays, and I think Sidibe's knees are done. JGIII and Bol Ajak are in case of emergency break glass depth guys.

I do think practices are going to be extremely competitive.
So you think Brissett is gone? I'm just not really sure where he goes. But if he does, I agree for the most part. I think Girard plays though and while HW admittedly faces long odds, I"m not sure he's totally out. There is a chance, and hopefully it doesn't happen, but there is a chance that Carey really struggles and Goodine isn't quite ready to be that lead guard for 30+ mpg. They might need a steadying hand and I think HW at least has a chance to be that.
 

billsin01

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Good job putting all this together! I think its a great topic to debate during the offseason. My very short though on the PT is basically whoever can create their own shot, hopefully off the bounce, and who can beat their man off the dribble (if anyone) is going to be very tough to take off the floor. Its a skill set we haven't seen much in recent years and has been sorely lacking. It will be very interesting to see how the European circuit goes. Hopefully that give the staff a nice jumping off point to start to assess the players various strengths, weakness and potential fit in the program.
Agreed, which would seem to play well for Carey's skill set. The one caveat is if we actually see more player and ball movement, especially with Tyus and Frank moving on. If we truly look different on that front, and I have no idea if we will or not, then it's less of a priority to have a guy who excels beating his man off the dribble.
 

OttoinGrotto

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So you think Brissett is gone? I'm just not really sure where he goes. But if he does, I agree for the most part. I think Girard plays though and while HW admittedly faces long odds, I"m not sure he's totally out. There is a chance, and hopefully it doesn't happen, but there is a chance that Carey really struggles and Goodine isn't quite ready to be that lead guard for 30+ mpg. They might need a steadying hand and I think HW at least has a chance to be that.
Yeah, I think he's gone.

I also think Washington is ahead of JGIII on the depth chart.
 

IthacaMatt

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The thing with Hughes, IMO, is that we were a really good defensive team two years ago with the Dolezaj/Chukwu/Brissett trio along with a healthy Frank and Tyus up top. We were 10th in ppg (though some of that was due to our incredibly deliberate pace) and 48th in defensive rating. This past season, with really largely the same group plus Hughes and Buddy (and, admittedly, a more limited Frank), we dipped but were still pretty solid overall defensively -- 43rd in ppg and 72nd in defensive rating.

I don't think that falls in Hughes' lap -- I would think Frank's absence early hurt those numbers a bit as did his uneven play (and Chukwu's) during the season as well as playing buddy who was below average even after improving during the season.

But, where we really, really struggled was on the boards. 162nd in total rebounding and 215th in defensive rebounding last season. Ouch. In 17-18 we were 20th overall in rebounding and 47th in defensive rebounding.

That could be a function of more Marek at center (Chukwu went from 27 mpg to 20), but a lot of that falls on Hughes, who put up a pretty paltry 4.3 rpg.

So if Guerrier comes in and can function defensively and add a good bit of rebounding, I really think it eats at Hughes' minutes b/c we need to at least be OK on the glass defensively (and some offensive rebounds certainly wouldn't hurt either).

I'd personally be surprised to see the Dutch Oven and JBA play 15 mpg vs. ACC competition, but it's not out of the question.

After Dutch Treat and Dutch Oven, I think Dutch Uncle has to be tried out next.
One of these will stick! LOL
 

IthacaMatt

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I think Edwards' offensive abilities are real in the sense that he's going to arrive with a lot of skill. The defense and rebounding is the question, especially as a young player.

I saw Girard and Goodine in that all-star game and I really basically like both. Girard had better numbers but also struggled a bit with some of the length and athleticism at times. He had to have at least three maybe four turnovers. Goodine was not a huge factor but, interestingly, played the point (while on the floor with Girard) and I thought he played within himself. Had a couple pretty nice looks that didn't fall but they are shots he can make. His stat line could have looked better.

As you point out, hard to really make predictions generally (and certainly based on an all-star game) but I look at the way they were recruited, how they were priorities from very early on, and I get the sense that each guy has a very solid shot at legit PT.

With respect to Edwards, others have compared him to Thompson or McCullough, but those guys looked more fluid and more "natural"/instinctive with their moves. Edwards is still new to the sport. He seems to be a pretty good athlete, so we'll see how quickly he picks up the lessons he is being taught.

I agree with what you said about Goodine at the all-star game - he seems to have some Tyler Ennis in him, in terms of your observation of "playing within himself". He's not flashy, he's not that fast, but he can get up and dunk, he seems to have a decent handle, and is trying to turn into a PG, or at least a serviceable combo guard.
 

realorange

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Very nice job, Billsin01.

Agree with almost everything you said, but I'm a little stronger on the prospects of time for both HW and Braswell.
HW has the distinct advantage of knowing the system as well or better than every guard with the possible exception of Carey. JB values smart play especially at the point.
In his limited minutes last year, Braswell seemed very confident for a freshman. Not cocky,, just comfortably sure of what he was doing. If he can show that he can come off the bench and not hurt the flow of the game and even plus to some degree, he may get more minutes than we think at this point.
 

Cappy3

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If Brissett returns, I don’t see much time for Braswell, which is too bad because I think he has some potential. If he goes, The I expect Guerrier to start and Braswell to be the third forward.

At guard I’m simply not sold on Girard. Guy scored a lot, but played against the lowest level of competition in NYS, and put up around 40 shots per game (in a 32 minute game) so I discount all of that. Goodine is bigger, quicker, more athletic, better defensively and has a better handle. I expect him to be the third guard, though it’s possible Hughes sees some time there to open more time for a forward. But at point, it’s gotta be Carey or Goodine imo. I just don’t think Washington is an ACC caliber player.

At center, I guess Dole will be the main guy out of necessity. I doubt Sidibe will be physically up to it, and think Edwards is a great prospect who needs experience and strength. As for Ajak, he’s a project all the way, and if Sidibe is able to go ten minutes or so, wouldn’t be surprised if Ajak red shirted, much as JB dislikes that.
 

SoBristol

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I think Edwards' offensive abilities are real in the sense that he's going to arrive with a lot of skill. The defense and rebounding is the question, especially as a young player.

I saw Girard and Goodine in that all-star game and I really basically like both. . . .

As you point out, hard to really make predictions generally (and certainly based on an all-star game) but I look at the way they were recruited, how they were priorities from very early on, and I get the sense that each guy has a very solid shot at legit PT.
Keep in mind how often posters making early guesses are wrong about incoming freshmen. Most thought Carey would push for major minutes, and Buddy would sit with the walk-ones. In prior years, most thought Lydon would never play the 5 as a frosh - yet he was the best option as that team made a run to the final four.

Yes, defense and rebounding are the question at the center position — and that is true for Marek at 182 lbs and Sidibe at 205 lbs with sore knees. Edwards does not need to be a senior Rak to compete with what we have. We won’t know until we see what he can do in the summer.
 

Fat tire 13

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Good write up.

I agree with other posters that it is very difficult to make accurate projections this early. It's all going to depend on how these guys develop and play in practice.

The key to this year is going to be team chemistry. It looks like both guard positions are up for grabs, besides Buddy getting his 15-20 minutes for shooting reasons. If the players push each other to get better, and not complain when they sit, we should have many weapons at our disposal. With many incoming freshman, you would hope they have the patience.
 

NorSyr66

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Very nice job, Billsin01.

Agree with almost everything you said, but I'm a little stronger on the prospects of time for both HW and Braswell.
HW has the distinct advantage of knowing the system as well or better than every guard with the possible exception of Carey. JB values smart play especially at the point.
In his limited minutes last year, Braswell seemed very confident for a freshman. Not cocky,, just comfortably sure of what he was doing. If he can show that he can come off the bench and not hurt the flow of the game and even plus to some degree, he may get more minutes than we think at this point.
Good post realorange. I also want to thank Billsin01 for a thought provoking post, which we all need in the off season.

I give both Washington & Braswell a bit more credit - HW's 3rd year here. He knows the system and is a decent defender. Braswell showed an aggressive playing style and ability to score in limited mop up time last year.

While many of the posts seem to focus on the offensive skills of our players, I think as always the more solid defenders have an inside track. No quicker way to get hooked in JB's playing time than blow a defensive assignment. The one other trait that will get more playing time for the incoming freshmen is the high basketball IQ that Dolezaj brings to the floor.
 

reedny

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Great thread, Bills. Here's how I sort through the potential variables this season:

PG: JC/HW, JGIII with spot minutes (first two have enough experience and ball handling to run the offense);
SG: Hughes/Buddy, Goodine or if OB is gone, Buddy/Goodine (in that event I see Hughes playing SF);
SF: OB (if back), with Guerrier backing up or (if OB's gone) Hughes/Guerrier;
PF: MD, Bras and if ready, JBA
Center: Sid, MD, Edwards (depending on readiness).
 
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