Saturday, October 25, 2014

Men's Basketball Check-in

We are beginning to get ready for two sports season...BG has its "secret" exhibition game against UM next Saturday and then the Friday after that the first exhibition game and then the week after that the season gets going in earnest.

The program is at a transition point, obviously.  Our new coaching staff is in place and is busy coaching the guys into his style of play.  BG returned four starters from last year (plus Orr) and brought in 3 JUCO players who can play right away, so BG does have a lot of guys who are older to put into play.  Talent level remains the open question.

BG had their media day recently and it was mostly the type of thing you hear at these events...working hard, team is gelling...blah blah.

A couple of interesting nuggets.
  • We are going to play tough defense and be a tough rebounding team.
  • We are going to race the ball up floor after we are scored against.
  • Depth is important because it is creating competition at positions.
  • Coach wishes we were bigger, but figures most teams do.
One other thing that has been remarked upon in many places...BG lost none of its legacy players during the changeover.  That's impressive.  And, one of those returning players is Chauncey Orr.  Coach Jans has great things to say about Chauncey, who has made the transition with class and demonstrates a commitment to his teammates and his school.  I'm proud he is wearing our colors and going to the university I love.

A few other notes from beyond the media day.

First, if you love college basketball, the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook is for you.  Their previews are incredible and show a strong focus on being comprehensive.  Highly recommended.

A couple tidbits from there.  First, JD Tisdale has had some injury issues in the off-season.  And Coach Jans talked specifically about Garrett Mayleben as someone who has made strides--gained weight and looking to make a contribution.

That is interesting.  Mayleben was recruited by Orr and id'd as a project from the get-go.  He's 6'9" and if he can make any contribution at all it will be important.  On the inside, BG right now features Richaun Holmes and true FR. Rasheed Worrell, neither of whom is a 5.  BG added Delvin Dickerson for inside toughness, but he is only 6'5".  

There's Spencer Parker--who Jans said in Blue Ribbon is more of a 4 than a 3, which is the opposite of what I would thought based on last year.  And then Mayleben and Josh Gomez.

So, if Mayleben can contribute rotation minutes, it makes a big difference.  We shall see.  He red-shirted last year, so our coaches have time to build him up.

The guard play looks to be significantly upgrade.  BG brought two PGs in, which I believe will be a big help because it frees up Jehvon Clarke to play 2, which I think might be a more natural fit for him.  I think playing him at PG was a stretch.

Blue Ribbon picks BG last in the East and that's where everyone is going to put them and that's a rational pick, frankly.  I think BG has the potential to exceed that expectation, but a lot of things will need to come together and a lot of unknowns will have to land on the plus side.

Having said that, I'm looking forward to it.  I tend to be optimistic, but I think Coach Jans can build this program to where we want it to be, which is into the Big Dance.  It won't be easy to get there.  The MAC is much improved over the last couple years but still remains a one-bid league.  You have to have a lot of things line up right to win this conference...ask UT from last year...and there are far more cruel fates than triumphant victories.


Anonymous said...

We need outside shooting and hopefully Denny and/or the walk-on from Anthony Wayne will be able to fill this role.

Orange said...

I hope some of the new guys can shoot, too.