Wednesday, June 10, 2015
How Many Do You Need To Fill A WBB Roster? -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple
Louisville WBB: Down to 11 with Deines Departure
The University of Louisville WBB roster now stands at 11 players with Megan Deines' departure to Kansas State. The transfer is probably the best thing for her, despite leaving behind the numerous friends and fans she gathered in her 3 years at Louisville...she'll be able to play right away at KSU under the graduate transfer rule and her prospects of playing time should increase with the Wildcats.
She also brings them Final Four experience and the maturity of playing for a top-five program. We wish #15 a All-Conference season.
For Jeff Walz...it is an opportunity to use a scholly or two to address particular player/position needs. If there are any. He has the bait to do some serious fishing.
The 11 that are currently slated to perform on Denny Crum Court are a pretty awesome contingent. Despite the overwhelming presence of youth on the roster (nine of the eleven listed are freshmen or sophomores) the talent level is off-the-charts.
Which leads to the question...how many players do you need to make a serious NCAA run? Let's look back at the 2008-09 trip to the championship game. Walz used a solid rotation of 7...maybe 8 players to get to St. Louis. It was McCoughtry, Bingham, Byrd and a group of 4-5 players who engineered that run. Looking at the 2012-13 team...the Schimmels, Hammond, Slaughter, Smith, Vails, Walton and Reid were the principal catalysts that made the trip to New Orleans a reality.
To parlay the old sit-com from the late 1970's...Eight is Enough.
The game is 40 minutes. You send five players out. 200 minutes to share. If you can find eight players capable of giving you 25 minutes each...the equation is complete.
Yes, there will be injuries. Wishing no ill-will on any player, mind you...but they happen. At that point, you look at the 3-5 that aren't part of the "eight" and determine who is ready to step up and assume those minutes.
It's what your early, non-conference games are for. To see who performs well in given situations. What combination and chemistry on court gives you the best chance to win. It's competition at its truest form. You want the court time? Show me why you deserve it.
Geno has done it with less. So has Muffet, Mulkey and Frese.
The variable here is the youth factor. Of the eleven expected to dress out...five are freshmen. Very talented freshmen, indeed...but you have to expect some degree of a "learning curve".
Looking at last year's stats...Louisville averaged 73.1 points per game. 36.9 of those points return in Moore, Hines-Allen, Walton, Henderson and Carter. 81.1 of those 200 minutes return also in those five.
Opportunities are available. Five freshmen and a red-shirt freshman will apply for the positions. How will Brackemyer and Walton return from their injuries? Who will assume the role of floor leader? How well will players adapt the Walz defensive schemes?
Questions? Yes, they are out there. If these 11 (or more) provide the answers...the season could be another one of those memorable years where Cardinal fans are booking trips to the Final Four.
In any event, it should be an exciting team to watch. It's way too early to project any starting lineups or first-off-the-bench scenarios that have any merit or basis. Or, more importantly, those five you want, you need on the court when there are two minutes left and the game is knotted at 72-72. When you need a rebound, that pass...
We're less than five months away from it.
Your answers from yesterday's quiz:
1) Count the point
2) Foul ball
3) Play on
Gee, we had a lot of right answers! I'm sending each and every one of you an application to become ACC referees!!