Although it is still very early in the year and things can easily change, our team for the upcoming season is remarkably deep. Unlike last year where we had four new freshmen and a redshirt, all with minimal college level experience at most, we should be able to hit the ground running this season. Cheek, Wayns, Mouph, and Armwood all know their roles and will be absolutely critical to our success and ability to perform well in the postseason. While all eyes will be on Corey Fisher’s projected “breakout year” and NBA draft status, I will be paying close attention to both Dominic Cheek and Isaiah Armwood. Standing at 6’6 and 6’9 respectively, these two versatile forwards are unique to Jay Wright’s guard-centered system. In the past, we never really had these long, exceedingly athletic players who were capable of playing and defending several different positions, so it will be interesting to monitor how they grow into the system.
Maalik Wayns is also a likely candidate for most-improved player as evident from his flashes of potential last season. His minutes will only continue to grow with the departure of Scottie Reynolds, and look for him to take after Corey Fisher. Fisher is not nearly as athletic, nor does he have the NBA lottery potential of Wayns, but he can provide valuable lessons from his experience. As we approach the season, expect to see more individual player analyses, but for now I present you with what I believe will be the depth chart for our 2010-2011 season.
PG: Corey Fisher / Maalik Wayns
SG: Maalik Wayns / Dominic Cheek / James Bell
SF: Corey Stokes / Dominic Cheek / JayVaughn Pinkston
PF: Antonio Pena / Isaiah Armwood / JayVaughn Pinkston
C: Mouph Yarou / Maurice Sutton
I can see Jay playing two point guards as he did last year. Fisher and Wayns are very compatible with each other and should operate well on the floor at the same time. Also, the situation with our forwards might get confusing and mixed up as Jay gets a better feel for Sutton and Mouph. But for now that looks to be an accurate starting lineup, though I would not be at all surprised to see that group of four big men frequently interchanged as the season progresses.