Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top Departing Players: Just Missed the Top 20

With the throes of the offseason all around us, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the 20 best players that are departing from the Big Sky, either due to graduating, declaring for the draft, or transferring. First, let’s look at a few guys that just barely missed the cut.

Tremayne Johnson (Eastern Washington) – Before the season, I thought he was poised to have a breakout year, but things just didn’t work out that way under Jim Hayford. His scoring and rebounding dropped from 10.0 and 5.1 per game (respectively) in 2010-11 down to 6.4 and 3.9 per game last season. His shooting percentages plummeted as well, down to 35% for the season. He never could get consistent minutes every night with Cliff Ederaine and Laron Griffin starting (more on them later in this list), and Jordan Hickert also battling for minutes. Things just didn’t really work out in his senior year.

Abner Moreira (Idaho State) – He was in a tough spot, because he was called on to play a ton of minutes (almost 34 minutes per game) simply because the Bengals didn’t really have any other big men that were reliable. Of the guys that missed the cut, he is the one that I have the most doubts about (meaning, he could have easily made the top 20). He was a dependable rebounder and defender, averaging 7.2 boards per game. He didn’t provide a ton offensively. He had a big impact for ISU and will be missed, but I think that was partially due to his talent, and partially due to the lack of other impact frontcourt players on ISU’s roster last season.

Nate Lozeau (Portland State) – During the non-conference portion of the year, it seemed like Lozeau had the chance to be an all-conference player. He scored double digits in points in nine of the first eleven games of the year. Unfortunately, he only did that three more times the rest of the season. He was an efficient player when he was on the court, but he simply had little impact on the Vikings during the most important times of the year, which is why he was not able to make the top 20.

Matt Massey (Southern Utah) – Massey obviously wasn’t part of the Big Sky last year, but he graduated from SUU, who will be joining the Big Sky. In 27 minutes per game, he averaged 8.7 PPG and 4.0 RPG, and was a solid frontcourt rotation player. He didn't shoot a ton, but was an efficient 53% inside the arc (and 78% from the stripe) when he did. He was an average rebounder, however, with just a 13.6 DR%, not that good for a big man. He was solid for three years, and will be missed by the T-Birds.

What are your thoughts on these guys?

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