Monday, August 3, 2009

2010 Transfers/JUCOs -- 10 to Watch

Changing Times
The Big East (with a few institutional exceptions) has been slow to embrace transfers & JUCO players. A new coach eager to rebuild quickly or a veteran coach looking for that last piece of the puzzle (Andrew Gaze of Seton Hall/PJ Carlesimo and Walter Berry of St. John's/Louie Carnesecca come to mind). The expansion of 2006 however, may have changed everything. Cincinnati and St. John's, both recovering from disastrous coaching transitions reached early and often into the JUCO ranks to restock quickly (with different levels of success). Coaching transitions at South Florida and and Marquette have sent Stan Haith and Buzz Williams to 2 year schools all over the Great Plains and East Coast for players who will fill gaps created by transfers, graduations and decommitted High School bballers. The trend is not limited to rebuilding programs or new coaches, over the period 2008-2010, nearly 30 JUCO/transfers, at least one for every team in the conference will suit up to play. Even Connecticut's Jim Calhoun, sensing that junior Hasheem Thabeet was ready last season inked 7-1, 255 lbs Charles Okwandu from Harkum Junior College, and Georgetown's John Thompson III, attempting to staunch the outward flow of players, brought in 2 DI transfers over the course of his tenure (Patrick Ewing from Indiana & Julian Vaughn from Florida State). Okwandu will team with entering 6-8 freshman Alex Oriakhi to anchor the low post.

Ten to Watch...
Success for the ten here will, I suspect, translate into success for their new teams.

James Beatty16-3190Miami-Dade CCRutgers
Dwight Buycks26-2180Indian HillsMarquette
Jarrid Famous56-10240WestchesterSouth Florida
Ben Hansbrough26-3205Mississippi St.Notre Dame
Wesley Johnson36-7198Iowa StateSyracuse
Darius Johnson-Odom1/26-2200HutchinsonMarquette
Taylor King3/46-6230DukeVillanova
Keon Lawrence16-2175MissouriSeton Hall
Scott Martin26-8200PurdueNotre Dame
Herb Pope46-8235New Mexico StateSeton Hall

Statistics for JUCOs are very uneven; I have located baseline numbers for only Jarrid Famous (Westchester CC) and Darius Johnson-Odom (Hutchinson CC). A quick look at those numbers...

Jarrid Famous88.359.31.2566.4
Darius Johnson-Odom81.355.51.2255.0

Jarrid Famous will man the low post alongside senior Alex Sanchez, becoming the latest in a line of South Florida #5s who stretch back to the Bull's 1st season in the Big East. Gus Gilchrist will step out to face the basket as a #4, giving South Florida an inside presence as imposing as Cincinnati (or Connecticut in the 1990s). Scoring will come from rising sophomore) Dominique Jones (among others), so Famous will not have to become a "go-to guy" right away, a luxury Marquette's point guard-in-waiting, Darius Johnson-Odom, will be pressed to avoid. No doubt returning #4 Lazar Hayward and incoming JUCO Dwight Buycks, out of Indian Hills CC in Iowa, but after returning junior Jimmy Butler, the Golden Eagles will need to find both another scoring option, and a good point guard to set the table. Johnson-Odom comes in with true freshman Junior Cadougan, who (no doubt the point guard of the future) may be ready to split the duties next season. Buycks was the Warriors (Indian Hills, but maybe the same will be said for Marquette next season) high scorer in 2009, named to the to the All-Region first team. Rutgers lost the services of reliable (if unspectacular) Anthony Farmer with the close of the 2009 season. Coach Hill's 2008 experiment using (rising sophomore) Corey Chandler was not successful. In the event that (rising sophomore) Mike Coburn is not able to step up effectively, Miami-Dade CC's James Beatty, a late signee for the Scarlet Knights, should do fine. Coach Hill is not looking for a shoot-first pg, he has (rising freshman) Mike Rosario to fill it up. What he needs is an assist-oriented pg who can find an open man (or Rosario if all else fails), and Beatty should be able to do that (and take a shot once in a while himself).

Stats for DI transfers is much easier to come by. And if the transfer played more than 10% of the time at his position before transferring out, Ken Pomeroy has extrapolated the raw data to develop possession-based stats for the players as well...


The players are presented in "%Poss" order, suggesting the role they assumed at their previous stop. Their %Poss should be taken with "%Min" to develop a fairly good perspective on how significantly the player functioned within the former team's framework. Notre Dame needs a 3 point shooter to step into Kyle McAlarney's shoes. Actually they need two -- no one really flled Colin Fall's shoes last season. Scott Martin and Ben Hansbrough, along with several returning Irish players, will get an opportunity to show what they can do. Of the two, Martin might be the better candidate (though his 3 point production on the 2007 Purdue team was comparable to Tory Jackson's production on the 2009 Notre Dame team. Martin's playing time (51.1% of the minutes on the Boilermaker wing), coupled with his possessions and shots suggest he can play a 2nd/3rd option on offense. Hansbrough, more efficient scorer when he played at Mississippi State than Martin was at Purdue, will have to adjust to playing a more prominant role in the offense. As a Bull Dog Hansbrough operated (and excelled) as the 4th/5th option on offense. Can he do as well if the defense knows he is likely to get the ball? The Irish fortunes may well hang on how well those two can convert their opportunities into points. The path for Seton Hall's and Syracuse's seems far more certain. Both were "significant contributors" at their last stop (New Mexico State and Iowa State repsectively) and well regarded coming out of High School. Since taking the reins in South Orange, Pirate head coach Bobby Gonzalaz has watched his undersized but quick and speedy defense-oriented teams come out of the gate strong to begin the Big East season, only to fade by late February. Pope promises both size (and an inside threat to match wing guard Jeremy Hazell) and stamina. Syracuse also lacked size at the #3. Guard/forward Paul Harris was too good to sit, but possessed a skill set completely at odds with what the Orange needed. Johnson will fit better, his skills and personality should be oil (rather than sand) in the Syracuse machine.

Herb Pope27.421.613.424.93.12.3
Wesley Johnson56.210.913.417.61.52.0
Taylor King24.
Scott Martin51.114.713.417.23.62.6
Keon Lawrence72.09.714.319.31.81.7
Ben Hansbrough73.

The path for Seton Hall's Keon Lawrence and Villanova's Taylor King is less certain, as each finds others starting ahead of them. Lawrence, the 3rd leading scorer for Missouri back in 2008, may find his time rotating on to the court when either (rising junior) point guard Eugene Harvey or (rising sophomore) Jeremy Hazell need to rest. For King, the road to the starting 5 may come as much from circumstances (he, unlike the true freshmen, has had a year of practice to learn Coach Wright's defensive system) and events (Reggie Redding...). While reknowned for his shot (see his eFG% and PPWS above), King may learn the fastest way to the staff's heart (and the court) is to learn to use his height (6-6+) and body (230 lbs) to become a rebounding demon. With an offensive rebounding rate of 7.6 and a defensive rebounding rate of 14.9, King is very close to being there. The Wildcat's will need rebounders who can hit their shots (not shooters who rebound whenever they can get around to it...).

And Then There is...
Not listed among the ten, but nevertheless worth noting include Casey Mitchell late of Chipola JC who will continue his career at West Virginia under Bob Huggins. Mitchell, a scoring machine for the Indians, was recognized as the JUCO Player of the Year in 2009, but will most likely split time on the wing with Devin Ebanks and D'Sean Butler, unless suspended guards Joe Mazzulla and Truck Bryant are not re-instated. Then Mitchell (along with the Ebanks and several "deeper rotation" players) may garner some consideration for handling the point guard duties. St. John's-bound Dwight Hardy, a 6-2, 170 lbs Indian Hills CC teammate of Dwight Buycks was the Warrior's 2nd scoring option and known for several 3 point eruptions in 2009. He may, if he can break into a Red Storm wing rotation that will include sophomore Quincy Roberts and juniors Paris Horne and DJ Kennedy, have an opportunity to do the same for the Johnnies. Hardy did a stint or two at the point for Indian Hills, so he may find some time spelling Maalik Boothe. Keno Davis took over a program dominated by graduating seniors and he led them back to the NIT in 2009. The 2010 Friars have needs to fill however, so Russ Permenter, a 6-9, 229lb #3 (out of Temple College, TX) and Kyle Wright, a 6-6 guard out of Monroe JC (by way of Stony Brook and Colorado) should get their opportunity to help Providence next season.

The Bearcat logjam in the front court will be a bit worse next season as heralded 4/5 Ibrahima Thomas, a 6-11 sophomore out of Oklahoma State comes to the Queen City. Thomas, perhaps unnerved by Coach Travis Ford's intense approach to his players and the prospect of always playing with his back to the basket, decided to leave Cowboy country for the banks of the Ohio River. Coach Cronin will run a rotation through the 4/5 that includes Anthony McClain, Yancy Gates, Steven Toyloy and Rashad Bishop, will also have to find time for Thomas.

Possession-based stats were gleaned from Ken Pomeroy's website, an invaluable resource. Stats for Jarrid Famous and Darius Johnson-Odom are based on stats gleaned from their previous schools (Westchester CC and Hutchinson JC).


stan said...

Hello greyCat. sp on Walter Barry?--SB-- Berry, I think.

greyCat said...

You're correct Stan. Thanks for the heads-up.

stan said...

Pretty good compilation of stuff greyCat and a lot to contemplate.
Re King, I was guessing about the same amount of time in the VU line up as he had with Duke, maybe slightly more.(30% of minutes) I also don't see his % of shots at that 30% level.He'll probably be Stokes backup or on the floor with Stokes if we need more than one 3 pt. shooter. Not quite as good a 3pt shooter as Stokes(mid thirties I think to low forties for Stokes). And from what I read his challenge is going to be his defense and intensity on defense.

With all these transfers to BE teams and given the "things" going on in the VU program, even some of the supposed cakewalks we're going to have can beat us on any given night. Ugh, terrible thoughts.

Do you have a take on VU "things" you care to share?

greyCat said...

Thanks for the note Stan. When putting together the list I debated about including two of the transfers -- Keon Lawrence of Seton Hall and Taylor King of Villanova. My notion with this list was to identify 10 Big East newbies who would step into major roles for their teams (Pomeroy would classify these players somewhere on the scale between "Go-to guys" and "Major Contributor" on the high side and "Significant Contributor" on the lower side. I felt Lawrence, a high volume shooter but less efficient scorer, would play behind Harvey and Hazell, and not get the large number of opportunities to get going. In a recent interview with SNY's Adam Zagoria, SHU Coach Bobby Gonzalez indicated the Pirate's starting back court could change by the beginning of Big East play, with Lawrence getting the nod. Was that a wake up call to Eugene Harvey, or was he talking without thinking? King's shooting is comparable to Stokes (37% vs 41%), but his rebounding is a little better than Redding (who is better than Stokes) -- at less than 10 minutes per game (average) the numbers are no doubt a bit distorted, but interesting, and certainly suggest that a longer run to see what develops, might be appropriate. And RR's situation could open that door. Remember Villanova's biggest dificit to make up going into this season is mid-range shooting (Cunningham's specialty) and rebounding (Cunningham, Anderson and Clark), both areas where King might have an impact. The key is whether he used the past year productively...did he learn the Coach's defensive system and work on improving his rebounding (and defense)?

As for Redding, no news beyond the newspapers at this point. There will be gatherings tonight at Villanova, as the Athletic Department has scheduled 2 viewings (6:00pm and 7:30pm) of their retrospective of the 2009 season "Attitude of a Champion". I have no doubt there will be some buzz about Reggie's situation, and what happens next (beyond the 8/20 hearing in Newtown Square). If you get down there and hear anything, let me know.