In Part 1 yesterday, we talked about the issues with this past year's team, and looked forward to USF's first season in the American Athletic Conference.
JAMIE: Do we see any players leaving before next year?
MATT: The only one I see leaving early is Victor Rudd just because he is Rudd. I think Zach LeDay and Javontae Hawkins are here to stay, although Hawkins playing time went way down late in the year and was not real sure why.
RYAN: Would Rudd leaving be such a bad thing?
JAMIE: It would look bad since he was the leading scorer and rebounder. But numbers aren't that hard to replace, especially not 12 points and eight rebounds or whatever he had. USF could really win the expectations game if Rudd left, knowing that it isn't nearly as big a loss as people will think it is.
I don't know what happened to Hawkins, unless he was hurt or something. But it also seemed to coincide with Martino Brock figuring it out a bit. I'm interested to see what he does from here.
MATT: I'll be glad to see Rudd walk away. I personally think he is a very selfish player and not a guy going forward that will lead this team anywhere.
JAMIE: It really killed me to see Heath feel like there was no other choice but to let him start volume shooting and hope he got hot. When Bill Parcells was coaching he would talk about not "eating the cheese," meaning that players shouldn't get too carried away with their own hype and praise from the media. Well, Rudd ate an entire wheel of cheese this season. It started with all the YouTube clips from last year and then USF trying to get him on SportsCenter all the time, and just spiraled. Rudd didn't develop at all on the offensive end this year. He gambles in the open floor on defense like he's Asante Samuel, and when he doesn't get a call, he spends his time complaining instead of getting back on D.
RYAN: I can't imagine Rudd actually leaves, but I wouldn't be too upset (if at all). Could be similar to Anthony Crater leaving and the team getting a whole mindset makeover.
If you held a gun to my head, I wouldn't be surprised to see Musa Abdul-Aleem transfer out. Didn't make a dent in the rotation and lost his medical redshirt too, plus he has to fight Brock and Hawkins for minutes.
COLLIN: I will be SHOCKED if our roster and coaching staff is intact as is next year. We will for sure see some roster turnover, and not just if Rudd leaves for the league (and as a friend of mine once said about Gus Gilchrist when he considered leaving early... "if he wants to play pro ball, he better have a passport.") I'm hearing rumors about different guys, and I don't think Stan was happy with the way this season played out despite being undermanned and losing Austin at the last second. They've got six new guys coming in, and that's an opportunity to create a new culture. My guess is we'll be hearing about players transitioning soon.
Getting Shaun Noriega would be a big boost for veteran leadership and stretch-the-floor shooting, but our compliance ninjas are now out of here (Steve Horton retired, Rick Stumpf is at Delaware), so that'll most likely be a taller task than it would have been before. Really, the NCAA eligibility waiver should have been on our USF Things Bracket.
JAMIE: Damn, you're right, the compliance ninjas should have been in there, and I think they would have won a round or two.
I'm not sure Jordan Omogbehin is going to be here long term. He's huge, but he doesn't know how to play basketball and he isn't very athletic. There are even better walk-ons available than him right now and I don't know if he's worth the long-term investment to turn him into... what, a 10-minute-a-game role player, maybe?
MATT: Even in his spotty playing time, he is a liability on both ends of the court.Yeah, he is a big guy, but he can't move his feet and people can drive and get around him.On offense, forget about it, he is not a real option, no matter how tall he is. He is a fan favorite, but if he isn't doing anything aside from eating a few minutes, fouling someone, etc., he's not a factor on the team.
JAMIE: Honestly, I think Kenyatta Jones was a better basketball player than OMG.
RYAN: There are pieces there for a sizable step forward next season if everyone buys in again. Collins is Collins, Brock and LeDay were really starting to hit their stride at the end of the season, and if these big guys Heath's bringing in are really as good as advertised and Rudd kind of melts in with the team m.o. a little bit (like Gilchrist in his senior year), that could be a solid team. But I just rattled off like twelve straight "if"s. That's the problem.