As a gesture to the outgoing seniors, let's do a b-ball roundtable, minus the Ford talk.
1) Which outgoing senior do you hate to see go?
(Ford Stuen, Codey McElroy, Jeff Newberry, Anthony Allen, Jr., Chris Olivier)
2) The team obviously had some injury issues. Realistically, where do you have this team finishing in the Big 12 (W-L), had they been healthy?
3) Which player returning next year has the most to prove and who has the biggest upside?
As always, thanks for reading and we look forward to your answers below.
1) I'll miss Olivier. He didn't get enough time.
2) This team healthy only wins two or three more games.
3) Next year Jawun has the most upside and I think Phil has a lot to prove. Can he actually be that starter OSU can rely on?
1) It would be close between Newberry and Olivier. Olivier is a good scorer but he can't play defense, and Newberry is probably the team's best player but he has been inconsistent. I'd probably give the edge to Newberry though, considering that Olivier doesn't play much sometimes.
2) They're 12-18 right now, so let's say 17-13. That math is correct, right? In the Big 12, I bet they would have finished 5-13.
3) Jawun will have the most to prove coming off of an injury. If he can improve his jump shot and limit turnovers, he can be really special. I can't think of who has the biggest upside other than Jawun. Maybe Carroll or Shine. They could become valuable sharpshooters.
1) I'll miss Newberry a little because he is a good defender, and has some talent on the offensive end. I'm not upset to see the rest of the guys go.
2) I could see them winning the four non-conference games they lost pretty easily with a healthy lineup, As for Big 12 play, I could see another couple of games won. Even with the depleted roster OSU:
Lost by 2 vs. OU
Lost by 5 @ UT
Lost by 4 vs. BU
Lost by 2 @ Tech
Lost by 5 vs. ISU
Lost by 7 @ TCU
Lost by 8 @ ISU
With the assumption that Forte, Evans, Shine, Hammonds, and Carroll were all reasonably healthy, I feel pretty confident they would have pulled out some of these games. Not to mention, they would have been more competitive in the other games on the schedule.
3) The player with the most upside is definitely Jawun Evans. We were just starting to see him really take over games before the injury. He's a potential All-American. I think Mitchell Solomon has the most to prove. It was a pretty horrid year for Mitch, and he has to improve.
1) Olivier. Wish we could have gotten more than a year out of him. I think a better coach could have developed him into a pretty decent.
2) 7th. With Forte and Evans, this team could have been a tourney bubble team.
3. Caroll and Shine will need to play big roles. Their outside shooting could be a major key next year. Solomon can't be a liability anymore. He needs to play quality minutes.
1) I'll miss Newberry the most. He's a very athletic defender and brings passion and energy to every game. I wish his senior year would have turned out a lot different, but that's just how it goes.
2) With Forte and Evans healthy, this could have been a borderline tournament team. Playing in the Big 12 would have given us enough opportunities to make the tourney. 18-13, 19-14 probably.
3) I think Jawun has the most prove. He's not going to fly under the radar next year and many people think he has lottery pick potential. I actually think Leyton Hammonds has the most upside. I think he is ready for a breakout senior year next year.
1) I'm going to vote for Jeff Newberry. The guy competes, but they all do really. He has those games when he looks All-Big 12 and he has others where he, well, doesn't. He's had to shoulder a lot this year and never hung his head. I'll always remember that about him.
2) I would think they could move up a couple spots and finish seventh. That's fair. Maybe they're a 6 or 7 win team. Being in the Big 12 probably makes them a bubble team. (See last season.)
3) Jawun has the most upside but Tavarius Shine needs to shore it up a bit. He's shown flashes but needs to be more consistent from three and he could be a big time second/third option. Solomon needs to show us that great shot we've heard about for two years.
Ending note: I would never tell anyone what to do with their own money. But if you haven't made a home game this year and have a chance, let's make it Friday night. These players have poured their hearts out for the school and the fan base. They don't make coaching decisions.
Let's support these kids in GIA for Senior Night. It won't negate your protests, I promise.