For this entry I want to leave off the JRs & SRs and concentrate on our future.
Touchet Soph- Kid works hard & is a very smart player, but is not a starter. He can't hit open shots & under estimates better talent. At his size he needs to hit his shots. Once he can do that, he will get better defenders which opens up our other kids.
Venegas Soph- This kid is not talented and really doesn't have a game, but he fills the gaps well and fights for that position in the paint. I would be happy with more play time, but only 1-2min at a time. Great energy.
Thomas Soph- STUD. This kids confidence has taken over. He has picked up his defense, is getting those important rebounds, has great moves in the paint, has kept the fouls under control & can hit the 12-15ft jumper. This is the 4★ we all were waiting to see. I love the kid.
Barrett Fr- We know he is quick, can shoot, has OK defense, & is a distributor 1st and a shooter 2nd. He needs to drive to the hoop more so he not only opens up others, but it will force defenders to play back on him and he might be able to get more long shots off. He will get better.
Jones Fr- Yes he's clumsy, doesn't have a jump shot, & misses defensive assignments often, but you have to admit he is special. The kid moves VERY WELL for a big man, he is a powerful presence in the paint, & he flat out hustles. He runs the floor as good as anyone on the court. A few post moves and learning to control the fouls will drop jaws. Just keep bringing in those rebounds.
Barnes Fr- I think he doesn't play enough. CTF only puts him in when we are playing 1on1, because he doesn't do zone very well. He is a big, quick, & strong guard and throws off defender with strong post moves in the paint. He also needs to work on his jumper. I hope he stays.
Cameron Fr- The kid is going through a tough time with the loss of his father on Christmas day & it's good to see him back. This kid is a crowd favorite. He is super athletic, plays lock down 1on1 D, & probably has the best footwork in this list. This kid just lacks confidence and once he understands his ability is superior to the others on the court, he will shine. I hope he gets more playing time, because this kid is an ESPN 4★ player and can make that switch like Thomas did.
All this being said, I am very worried. I'm not worried about this year. I wrote this year off a long time ago. I am worried about some great talent leaving. I'm also know not all kids that signed the LOI will not be here. It happens every year and don't have enough schollies to support who will be here. Kids coming in are Wade, Osborne, Williams, Smith, Gilyard, & McGee. Wade & Osborne are already here taking courses and it appears they will be on the team next year. Will they be schollied players? I don't know. Also, Wade has not been on the side lines as of late. Has he been home for the holidays and waited until Monday to get here or has he made plans to attend another school? Who knows, but we must be prepared.
Williams is supposed to be an Omar Thomas/Lee Moore type of explosive offensive player. We don't have that now and I hope the kid makes it here. Gilyard seems to be the PG with that "IT" factor and seeing Youtube on this kid shows exactly that. The kid moves like Omega with better control, is a really good shooter, and commands a superior defender on him. He is probably the #1 player coming in. McGee is also supposed to be a pretty good PG, but little film is on him. So, I just don't know how good he is. The only big man coming in is Smith. The kid is big, strong, bulky, and has that "hair on his chest." From looking at the little film available, he shows that he is slow, has poor footwork, and film only shows power dunks while he is solo under the hoop. I think he is the least talented player coming in, but the Miners need a big man & if he does in does make it to campus, he will get Red Shirted for sure.
We have 10 schollied players now with Artis leaving. If I'm not mistaken, we can only have 14 schollies per year which leaves 5. 6 new players are coming in. Someone will need to either play as a walk on or we lose someone. What makes sense to me would be either Willms or Flaggert will play as a walk on and then CTF keeps them the next year like Caldwell is doing this year.
That, of course, is MY plan. History shows we lose kids. Well, we lost Adrian Moore and Terry Winn early. I hope that is it. CTF, Stull, & the media are billing next year to be a good year. Does that mean we have 20 wins, but no post season play? I sure as hell hope not.