I've updated the projected basketball roster, which you can always find here. But it's pretty interesting:
The rotation for next year will be really interesting for two reasons. First, who is going to bring the ball up the floor when Tum Tum isn't in the game? There are several options, between Eron Harris, Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes and to a lesser extent, Alvin Ellis. We know Valentine will be getting 30-35 minutes a game, but if one of the relative unknowns in the wing group can show some additional point skill, that could boost their minutes immediately.
A quick note on Eron Harris: one of the top comparisons for his final year at West Virginia is actually Bryn Forbes' last year at Cleveland State in 2013-14 (per KenPom). Now, that might not mean a whole lot given the reports that Eron has been running the point for the scout team. But his assist rates haven't been sky-high and that's concerning. Just something to watch.
The second reason why the rotation will be interesting is the fate of Deyonta Davis. Davis has flashed the ability to shoot jumpers, but historically Izzo hasn't given the green light to freshman. In that case, how much does Deyonta share the court with Matt Costello or Gavin Schilling? The tension to me seems to be between minutes for Marvin Clark and Javon Bess at the four vs. Schilling at the five. Clark and Bess could play the three as well, but those lineups would require Valentine at the two, and that seems excessively large. Possible, certainly.
Alvin Ellis has been tabbed as a potential transfer risk, but I'm not so sure. After this year, the logjam at the wing will clear considerably. I think it depends a bit on how recruiting goes.
Regardless of how the minutes end up being doled out, that's a deep, versatile team. It's got three terrific three-point shooters in Valentine, Harris and Forbes (and potentially Matt McQuaid and Clark, too). It's got wing length and defense with Ellis and Bess. It's got potentially a bit of a stretch four in Davis, with two true bigs in Costello and Schilling. And it's got heart and some other things I can't put my finger on with Tum Tum. Oh, and hopefully more Kobe SWollenman.
I like the way that team looks on paper right now. There aren't many matchups that would be problematic. And this is assuming no Caleb Swanigan, who would make this team a probable national contender right away.
This leads me nicely into recruiting. Swanigan is set to announce his decision on Saturday. Purdue believes they still are in the mix, and MSU feels like a long shot. I'm not counting on it, by any means.
Regardless, there's obvious need for a point guard and probably also a big in the 2016 class. But more generally, four open spots is kind of a lot of open spots. That class probably needs to be at least three players.
What do you all think? Excited for the future?