Saturday, October 31, 2009

Basketball Season already?

Today MSU took on Oklahoma City U in an exhibition game to open up the basketball which the Bullies won 82-54. MSU is entering this season as a pre-season top 20 team and I think they are better than normal BUT I am not positive they are really as good as they are being touted. Today's line-up actually showed some of the issues that State may have this year.

Starting lineup:
PG - Dee Bost
SG - Barry Stewart
SF - Ravern Johnson
PF - Kodi Augustus
C - Jarvis Varnado

This is a heck of a starting line-up, kind of thin (as in not heavy and could be pushed around) but lots of talent here. My concern is what comes off the bench. Returning is Romero Osby (who has flashes of being really good but is very sporadic) and Phil Turner who is very gutsy but plays mostly as a 6-3 postman on defense, you just don't see championship teams have that. Elgin Bailey is also a fav of mine but that nasty ankle dislocation still isn't healed up correctly and rumors are abounding that he may medical red-shirt this year. Tawney Beckham, a backup point is suposed to be out the season due to injury. I'm not sure why but Turner and Riley Benock didn't play in the exhibition game (Benock plays a bit as guard back-ups but shouldn't key to the success this year).

Others we might see play this year are Freshmen Shaun Smith and Wendell Lewis, who played today and are 6-6 and 6-8 but didn't come in like gangbusters (nor were they supposed to). Hopefully Smith will be able to be a good guard back-up this year by time SEC time roles around. The other 2 Freshmen (that are the ones everyone talks about) are Renardo Sydney and John Riek. Practice watchers say Sydney may very well be as good as people talk about BUT he isn't eligible yet (and I don't expect him to become eligible). If you want to read about Sydney I point you to Kyle Veazey stories at the Clarion-Ledger. Additionally, I'm not sold on Riek being a big contributor this year. After 2 years of trying to rehab a bad knee injury he is suposedly in terrible conditioning shape, has some difficulty with the language, and is forced to be held out for 9 games by the NCAA (but that is fine as it is before SEC time). My point is WE REALLY DON'T HAVE MUCH DEPTH, especially in the post. So we may be much like last year and live by the 3, die by the 3.

Maybe, just maybe, MSU will take advantage of some other folks being down and our level of talented starters will be enough. Is this starting 5 better than most who have ever suited up in the Maroon, yes, maybe the most talented ever. But there are holes and we will lose games we should win and we will play like an NBA team at times b/c of the pure talent.

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