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A look ahead to next season.

Discussion in 'Buckeye Basketball' started by Buckaholic, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Buckaholic

    Buckaholic Resident NUT job

    Alright guys, time to think a little about next year's team.

    I want to run down some of our strengths and weaknesses and analyze how we'll be better or worse next year in these areas.

    PERIMETER DEFENSE.

    This is obviously our biggest concern. BFC, Sullinger, and Stockman are all obviously back. Tony has been much improved defensively the last month of the season, so that indeed helps. The fact is, this facet of our team HAS to improve immensely next season. Nick Dials was our best defensive player at the time of the injury, so although he isn't real athletic, his tenacity and instincts more than make up for that. Don't think we don't miss him defensively right now.

    Ricardo Billings has done a fantastic job on defense, and is our one true defensive cog. I think the job he did chasing Bracey Wright was absolutely commendable. Once his offensive game is consistent, he will be a regular, thus helping our defense. Malik Hairston, the day he stops on our court (assuming he does) will be another bonafide defensive stop gap. Although Butler plays defense somewhat lacksidasical like many high school scorers, in AAU ball he apparently actually did very well. With these three in the backcourt next year and not having to always play the first three guys mentioned, our perimeter defense will be improved.

    SUMMATION: Much Improved.

    SHOOTING

    Next year is going to be a luxury in outside shooting. Nick Dials will be back from his wrist injury, and Stockman's hot/cold streaks will be weathered because we won't have to DEPEND on his shot. BFC, if he can even become a modest outside threat, will be icing to the cake.

    But the real nitty gritty, comes with our freshmen. Jamar Butler has limitless range from the outside, and can and will bust a three at any moment. Malik Hairston is a pure shooter who has a sweet stroke. Our team shooting percentage from outside should be markedly better next year.

    SUMMATION: Much Improved, perhaps even a strength.

    POST PRESENCE

    There's no sugar coating it, on paper, losing Velimir would be a big loss. Although he has disapeared for large portions of games, when he's on, he has dominated. I will not miss his stone hands, possibly the worst i've ever seen, but he has been far from a liability.

    Terrance Dials, well , let's just say its' somewhat scary he still has two seasons of eligibility. I feel almost bad for the rest of the league. In two years, he will have (I think) been possibly considered our best post player of modern day times. (No offense to Herb or Clark). He is such a force. If he learns to keep his engine running all game long like he did against IU, look out.

    With Jenkins and Radinovic gone, the post depth is going to be very questionable at best, but it's not without potential reward. Coming in is Matt Terwilliger, Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, possibly Luke Nevill, and Ivan Harris is back. It's possible, although highly unlikely, Matt Marinchick could be back.

    If Terwilliger steps up and contributes immediately as I personally believe he can, we will not miss Velimir dramatically. Terwilliger obviously has some nice skills, athleticism, and he knows when to pass and where to pass. The best part of his game, however, (and Velimir should take notes) is that he takes the ball to the hoop with authority. If Twig learns to do this an entire game, good night. Jackson-Wilson will have a Jason Singleton like role. Wilson apparently plays brilliant defense, can block shots, will grab every rebound in sight, and never stops hustling. Ivan Harris appears to have learned the style of play Jim O'Brien wanted out of him. He's got as much talent as anyone currently on the roster, so you throw him into the mix and suddenly things look good. *FUTURE NOTE- Could you imagine Jamelle Cornley being thrown in to this rotation in two years? Yikes*

    SUMMATION: Question mark. High risk/low depth- High Reward/Good depth

    J.J. SULLINGER/ TONY STOCKMAN

    It's obvious these two haven't panned out as expected. However, not all is totally lost-- yet. Stockman has become the team player that Jim O'Brien envisioned he could be. If Stockman doesn't regress and instead progresses in the offseason, what an absolute pleasure it will be to have him coming off the bench next season. He can be a weapon! The only thing I want to see, is less streakiness from his shooting. But if he does the rest, we won't have to be dependent on that.

    J.J. just needs a role. He's such an athlete, such high potential, I hate to see it wasted. I don't think even J.J. realizes just how good he could be. Yesterday, against Indiana, I felt he made the EXACT type of choices on the offensive end we need him to make. He wasn't passive when he drove the lane, and he didnt' finish with an off-balanced fadeaway when he did. He only drove the lane when it was cleared out, and IU was playing man. THAT is exactly what he needs to do. I'm reminded of a few minutes in the game. He was on the left wing, Dials and Rad were on opposite blocks. Stockman and BFC were at the top of the key. Indiana was playing straight man. With both posts being outside the block, the middle was wide open. J.J. had a nice cross-over dribble, beat his man to a spot, and threw up a nice short jumper. That is the type of decision we need J.J. to make. Then of course, he made that baseline jumper late in the game. Now, we just need him to work on his defensive footwork in the offseason.

    SUMMATION: Unlike this year, next year they won't have to carry the team. As Malik and other people step up, JJ's role and Tony's role should be more clearly defined, and they will become very good players for us.



    Kyle's projected depth chart.....

    PG- Jamar Butler

    Butler probably will not start immediately, but there's little question the job is his by the 8th, 10th game if he's even half as good as we expect. He can shoot, penetrate, and most of all, he's got great court awareness. Brandon Fuss Cheatham should be his back up next year. Nick Dials may also see a little time here and there at point.

    SG- Ricardo Billings

    His defense is already the best on the team, and I believe the only problem with his offense is confidence. I think next year he's going to be a much better player. I still definitely see Brian Brown in Ricardo, and I would be surprised if he didn't end up being as good. Once his shot starts to fall, and he knows when to take initiative to score, look out.

    Tony Stockman, at times J.J. Sullinger, and Nick Dials will be the back ups. Stockman will see a majority of the time coming off the bench as a nice shooter/scorer. Sullinger's role as a 2-guard might depend on his shooting next year.

    WF- Malik Hairston

    If Malik is here, the job is his to lose period. He becomes our best player immediately. He is a great defender, great shooter, great everything.

    Matt Sylvester and J.J. Sullinger are his backups. Sylvester is a lost player until he proves otherwise. He shows these glimpses of offensive brilliance, I only hope he gets back into the player I think he can be. Sullinger is more likely to see time at wing if Sylvester doesn't do this. Sullinger plays better as a wing anyhow because of his quickness.

    PF- Ivan Harris or Matt Terwilliger or Jermyl Jackson-Wilson

    I could easily see any one of these three players starting next season. The odds-on favorite would be Ivan. He's got a nice touch, and good range on his jumper. But when he's being aggressive and getting inside like O'brien wants him to, he's very good around the basket as we saw against Iowa. Harris also does play pretty good defense and is athletic enough to guard multiple positions.

    Terwilliger and Wilson will see valuable minutes without a doubt. Wilson is the type of player that will steal more minutes than the other guys just because of some of the intangibles he brings. Potentially, this could be a strong position for the Buckeyes. It also could be a major disapointment if these guys don't pan out.

    C- Terrance Dials

    No need to go into depth about that one. Our starting lineup is going to be much stronger than this season's even without Velimir. It's just a matter of who is going to step up when Terrance is out of the game.

    Assuming Marinchick does not return, we're going to see Terwilliger or Nevill if he's here, as the backup center. I don't think Nevill is quite the project some might expect, but certainly he won't be a star right away. Terwilliger stands a much better chance of backing up Dials. He does well with his back to the basket, and has a nice pivot step to get around his man. Being 6'9, he's also no shorter than is Dials. Again, if he can contribute right away, the loss of Velimir is not nearly as bad.


    Overall, I think we've got a great looking team IF Malik Hairston is in the fold. If not, we've still got a chance to do some things, but some people are going to have to step up. I personally think we finish top 3 of the big ten with Malik. We win around 21 games or so.
     
  2. buckeyebri

    buckeyebri Embrace the Hate

    Nicely done Buckaholic. What do foresee in the intangibles arena. By that I mean heart, hustle, attitude, and a hard working team. Will they get back to the trademark of being an OB team?

    This year the team seems to be lacking in those areas most games. Other games like IU they seem to have a handle on it. They are a real enigma in that respect this year.
     
  3. LoKyBuckeye

    LoKyBuckeye I give up. This board is too hard to understand. Staff Member

    Nice write up. I'm another out of stater (if that's a word) so It's been hard to keep up with the BBall Bucks lately. Keep the info coming... it's greatly appreciated. :cheers:
     
  4. Buckaholic

    Buckaholic Resident NUT job

    Bri,

    That's really tough to say at this point. I know Malik, Matt, and Jermyl, and probably even Jamar are all guys who will hustle, and atleast a few of them are capable of being team leaders. Wilson especially, you can count on an absolutely commendable effort. As a whole, it remains to be seen what the team will be like in effort and attitude, probably until we see if someone steps up as a team leader.
     
  5. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    Was I in a cave when Hairston committed, or is he still uncommitted?
     
  6. Buckaholic

    Buckaholic Resident NUT job

    lol, he's still uncommitted Mili, i'm just taking the overly optimistic view that he will be a Buckeye next year.
     
  7. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    Holic, wasn't trying to be a smart ass. :biggrin: I just don't follow b-ball that much.
     
  8. Buckaholic

    Buckaholic Resident NUT job

    No problem, I thought it was a genuine question.

    Ohio State has a great shot at him, it will probably be another month before we know, however.
     

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