"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, August 04, 2006

Looking Ahead: MU's Scholarship Situation

With inspiration from the bright mind of Marq2000, lets have some fun with scholarship projections for the MU program. With the talented Nick Williams now in the mix -- two years from now -- here's a quick assessment of what the team might look like in 2008-2009 when he arrives on campus:

Dominic James
Jerel McNeal
Dwight Burke
Wesley Matthews

Maurice Acker
Lazar Hayward
David Cubillan

Scott Christopherson
2007 recruit TBD
2007 recruit TBD

Nick Williams
2008 recruit TBD
2008 recruit TBD

Now, there's no way MU's roster will look like this in 2008 (but a guy can dream right?). There's already plenty of Internet buzz about Dominic James leaving MU after just one or two more seasons, and we've yet to see the best that McNeal or Matthews have to offer. Let's face it, these three guys will make a living playing the game and James, at least James, will be gone before the 2008 season rolls around.

But I digress. Tom Crean's strategy of early commitments in the backcourt is a reason for great optimism. This program is built on superior guard play, with guards who can not only score -- but can rebound and defend as well. Based on reports, Nick Williams fits that mold perfectly.

The biggest gap in the rundown above are post players. Out of the nine players listed above, only one of them (Burke) plays inside. Conventional wisdom holds that Crean will push to sign one or two post players for the 2007 freshman class. If things break MU's way with the 2007 class, these bigs will be the anchor for the program down the road. Clearly there's a huge opportunity for talented bigs at MU not only because of available playing time, but also the opportunity to play on a roster that will keep the floor spread and provide skilled post players with room to operate down low.

However, Crean has also shown a willingness to adapt - - if he does not get the post player he wants, he'll go JUCO for a serviceable big man which provides him with two advantages: 1) a big man who can likely contribute something immediately; and 2) these scholarships are only tied up for two years, rather than four -- leaving the coaching staff with greater roster flexibility to address early NBA entries or transfers.

Still, lets get some high school bigs for 2007 -- and balance things out.

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