Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Projecting Starters For Big Sky Teams, Part 1

The start of the season is about a month and a half away, but it is time to speculate on what the lineups might look like for the teams in the Big Sky. I'll just take it in alphabetical order, three at a time! Would love to hear thoughts and opinions, because I am not working from any inside information, just my guesses.

It should be obvious, but I will try to get the starters right, and the first guard and first big man off the bench.

G - Justin Crogsile
G - Jeffrey Forbes
F - Collin Chiverton
F - Venky Jois
C - Martin Seiferth
FIRST GUARD - Parker Kelly
FIRST BIG - Jordan Hickert

Comments: The toughest spots to project are the 4/5 positions, because both starters and their top reserve have all graduated. Venky Jois seemed to impress on the Canada trip, so he gets the nod here. Martin Seiferth is a transfer from Oregon, and should be a good post man in the Big Sky. Danny Powell is another name to remember, because he is good enough to get minutes right away. In the backcourt, they will have a lot of options once again. I'm not sure Parker Kelly will start, but he will have the chance to be in at the end of a lot of games. Kevin Winford is a great fourth guard, and they have a couple newcomers (Daniel Hill and Ivan Dorsey) who could play as well. They will have a deep squad.

G - Melvin Morgan
G - Tomas Sanchez
F - Andre Hatchett
F - Nnamdi Ezenwa
F - Jakub Kusmieruk
FG - Sherrod Baldwin
FB - Neveij Walters

Comments: This might be the toughest lineup in the Big Sky to project, because there is so much turnover on the roster (and coaching staff). A lot of this is pure speculation. I really like Tomas Sanchez coming in the backcourt, and from what I know of him it seems like he will be a really solid player. Up front, Andre Hatchett was solid for them last year, though he was forced to play out of position as a four. Jakub Kusmieruk may start, but on the other hand he may not play more than the 11 mins per game he played last year. Ezenwa and Walters are athletic but not super big. ISU will not be a tall team this season. Bengals fans, any thoughts?

G - Will Cherry
G - Kareem Jamar
F - Spencer Coleman
F - Mathias Ward
F - Marco Kovacevic
FG - Kevin Henderson
FB - Eric Hutchison

Comments: Nothing is easier to pencil in than a Cherry/Jamar backcourt, which will be the best in the Big Sky and one of the best out west. Mathias Ward is also a shoo-in starter, and could even lead the team in scoring. The other two spots are tougher to predict. I have Spencer Coleman at the three, but he will have to fight off Kevin Henderson and Keron DeSheilds for that spot. Jordan Gregory should be in the mix for backup time at the one as well, which is suddenly an important spot after the injury to Will Cherry. I like Kovacevic to get time over Hutchison or fellow newcomer Andy Martin. However, there are some rumors around that Kovecevic may not be eligible... I am trying to see if I can find anything out on that.

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  1. As far as ISU goes, I'm guessing we might see a 3 guard type of lineup. I would definitely throw Chris Hansen in as a starter or as a first guard off the bench. I doubt Kusmierik starts, but I don't know how he's progressed over the past year either.

  2. I could see that about Hansen, if only because it seems like he may be the best shooter on the team. Definitely he seems like he will get a bunch of minutes. Kusmieruk was the toughest spot to figure out! They don't have many true big men... maybe Preh could get the nod? I'm not optimistic about Kus's chances to be a real big impact player, but his size still makes him have that potential.

  3. Re Montana starting five

    Martin is not ready. I thought he would redshirt but with Kovacevic out (at least for the first semester) they may not redshirt him. Eric Hutchison will be miles ahead of Martin on the depth chart. Don’t be surprised to see Tinkle play Coleman at the #4 spot at times like he did a few years back with 6-5 Jack McGillis and go with a single post. Coleman is a converted small forward having played a lot of time at the power forward spot in high school and earlier on at the JC level. Moving him there allows Tinkle to get his best players on the floor at the same time plus will allow Tinkle to bring a true three point threat off the bench which Cherry , Jamar, and Coleman are not. The true freshman to look out for is Jake Wiley at both forward spots. I think he is the most underrated Big Sky recruit this year and is going to be a star for the Griz down the line. Athletic, and aggressive those are the type of freshman who can sneak into a line up and grab some minutes.

    My starting lineup:

    1st game
    1.De Sheilds, 2. Jamar, 3. Coleman 4.Ward, 5. Hutchison
    1.Cherry, 2. Jamar, 3. Coleman, 4.Ward, 5. Hutchison

  4. Thanks Mslacat, always love your opinion on Montana basketball.

    I could see that for sure about Coleman/Wiley playing lots of time at the 4 spot, especially with the lack of depth up front without Kovacevic.

    What do you think of Kevin Henderson? Loved his potential in limited time last year... not the offensive player of DeSheilds but seems like has a bright future defensively.

  5. Actually three or so years from now when all is said and done I am betting Henderson will be known more for his scoring prowess and DeSheild more as a facilitator on the court. I think Henderson will be the backbone of the Griz next generation of guards once Cherry and Jamar graduate. Henderson is a scorer, but he is also a very coach-able player. I think the coaches are looking for him to fill a role similar to that Art Stewart played last year. I don't thin Henderson is quite as versatile as Stewart was but I think he is a better scorer. With Cherry and Kovacevic possibly out for the season I think this could really open a lot of opportunities for Henderson to show his stuff especially if Coleman is asked to play a role at the 4 spot.

  6. For Idaho State, I'm projecting a three-guard lineup of Sanchez, Hansen and Morgan -- they are the three best athletes and offensive talents on the team. Hatchett starts again at the 4, with Preh at center. Evans is a very-defensive minded coach who will play a lot of matchup zone and Hatchett is probably the best defensive player they have. Preh, while extremely limited offensively, is a proven shot-blocker at the back of the zone.

    Kuz, Ezenwa, Kostur and Walters give them some flexibility and depth. I've heard Baldwin is academically ineligible for the first semester. Nick Mason gets any leftover minutes at guard until Baldwin comes back. Kostur is intriguing -- he had a couple of nice games last year (12 points against Oklahoma, e.g.), and a lot of non-productive ones. But he is still just a junior and has some physical tools.

  7. Idaho State-Hansen, Preh and Kostur Will all get minutes this season.

  8. Kostur of ISU is a senior. He is listed as a junior on the ISU roster and that is an error. Perhaps more evidence of the lack of awareness of the ISU athletic department and coaching staff. At the very least a lack of attention to detail. Very disappointing for us at ISU probably why we are projected last.

  9. I do my homework unlike you (dumbass). Check these NJCAAA websites that show Kostur playing for Triton College in 2009-10 and 2010-11 as a freshman he played in 26 games and ave. 6.6 ppg. As a sophomore he played in 32 games and ave. 7.9 ppg. Are you one of the coaching staff? If not maybe you should be.