Sunday, August 30, 2009

Roster Moves -- Late 2009 Off Season

Late Summer Edition
Keeping our fingers crossed there have been no injuries reported. We are coming into that part of the preseason though, school is coming back into session, squads continue to play unsupervised pickup games. The changes are more gains than losses right now, though one or two are a little surprising.

Marquette -- I am not sure the Marquette Athletic Department ever got around to "officially" announcing that freshman forward Brett Roseboro, a 6-9 forward out of Pennsylvania, signed in the fall of 2008 and on campus for part of the summer has transferred to St. Bonaventure. Since he did not enroll in classes the transfer rules should not apply. He will be available to play in the fall 2009.

Pittsburgh -- The Panthers announced on August 10 that they had picked up Centenary point guard Chase Adams, a 5-11 rising senior as a transfer. Centenary had voted to downgrade their program to DII, opening the door for outbound transfers who could have the one year wait period waived, as Adams did. Adams, more a bridge and insurance policy, as opposed to an impact player, will help the 2010 Panthers maintain the program as the staff waits for the arrival of (Class of 2010 recruits) Isaiah Epps and Cameron Wright to reinforce the current back court contingent of Ashton Gibbs, Brad Wanamaker, Jermaine Dixon and Travon Woodall. Pitt waited until the last Friday in August to announce that forward Gilbert Brown, their 6-6 junior guard/forward would not be eligible to play in their Fall 2009 games. Brown, on academic probation for the semester, will have to get his books & grades in order before he can be re-instated to the team.

Rutgers -- About a week after returning from touring Europe with a group of "East Coast All-Stars" guard Corey Chandler was abruptly dismissed from the Scarlet Knights team for violating Athletic Department policy, according to Head Coach Fred Hill. Heralded as Coach Hill's 1st big get, the former All-State performer was suspended briefly in the fall of 2008, and ran afoul of the staff after a heated phone call made in the spring of 2009. Chandler apologized for the indiscretion and all appeared well until this latest run in. Corey will finish his career at Binghamton, according to his High School coach. Chandler's exit, coupled with guard/forward Earl Pettis' transfer last May, leaves Rutgers shallow at the #2/#3 spots.

South Florida -- Bulls Head Coach Stan Heath re-instated senior guard Mike Mercer on Friday Augusst 21. Mercer, a transfer from Georgia was dismissed in January 2009 after his second arrest since transferring to South Florida. Coach Heath noted that Mercer had completed his course of study and fulfilled his requirements for graduation. Mercer will add depth to the #2/#3 spots this season.

Villanova -- Announced that rising senior guard Reggie Redding was suspended from games for the Fall 2009 semester. Redding, arrested on July 31 for possession of marijuana, will be able to go to class and practice with the team. If all goes well he should be eligible to play after December 18. The Wildcats will not have Redding available when they play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in November.

West Virginia -- Head Coach Bob Huggins re-instated rising senior point guard Joe Mazzulla for the fall 2009. Mazzulla, red shirted last season with an arm injury, had been suspended in April when he was arrested for assault on a woman. Mazzulla had been arrested in Pittsburgh the preceding summer for assault and disorderly conduct during a Pirates baseball game. The Mountaineers' second point guard, rising sophomore Darryl Bryant, remains on suspension following his second arrest for leaving the scene of accident in June.

Assessing the Impact
Roseboro, who attracted the Golden Eagles' attention when he shot up 4-5 inches over the summer of 2008, was considered more a project than an impact player. Adams will provide depth and experience for the Panther back court. Brown's loss will hurt...Brown. He had a minimal impact on the team in the course of his first 2 seasons. Chandler's value may be the most debatable in the group. Though he was not afraid to shoot -- Chandler takes another 14% of the Scarlet Knight's 3s with him -- he was not especially accurate. Mercer, if he finally plays to his potential, would have a great positive impact on the team play. Heath tended to play him or Jones in the 4 games in which Mercer appeared last season. Playing in tandem might make a difference for the Bulls. Heath seems to be a coach who likes guards and knows how to develop them. Redding's maturity and court vision (and IQ) will be missed, especially in Puerto Rico where the 'Cats may face the most demanding portion of their OOC. Restoring both point guards would have a tremendous impact on West Virginia's prospects in 2010. Without Mazzulla and Bryant the Mountaineers would still be very good, though relatively more vulnerable in ball handling situations. With both guards back they should have the depth and experience to be considered the team to beat in the Big East next season.

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