I know that this year has many games left, and it's really early to engage in speculation about next year’s team. But indulge me for a minute. We are losing 4 major contributors next year in Baynes, Taylor, Caleb, and Daven. This year, I want to see us make the postseason, of some sort, and finish in the top 6 of the Pac 10. But I'm wondering about next year.
The loss of Baynes is a concern, but Casto gives us a different type of inside presence similar to Ivory Clark (starting F during our first run to the tourney) and we can move forward. There will be issues, don't get me wrong. But today's game gave me bigger concern. Who gets the ball up the court?
Guards on roster next year (avoiding recruits on purpose, if you want to talk about them then bring them up in responses): Klay, Capers, Harthun, Nik (it's how he is listed in the media guide), Lodwick, Witherall, and John Allen. Allen seems to be redshirting, so I have nothing to go on with him.
Of what I have seen, Klay has the best court sense but is a naturally slasher. He's a 2/3 that could run the point occasionally but shouldn't be relied on to start the offense, just as Kyle was for the last two years. Capers has good ball handling, but seems to get rattled by pressure. With practice, he can improve, but will need help. Lodwick is a shooter, not a ball handler. Think Applebee for the Dawgs. Not what you want with the ball in his hands, facing a trap. Witherall, with a few minutes this year, I can't really judge. Nik I don't want to mention, he's not a PG, but a slasher on his best days, and a TO waiting to happen on his worst. Harthun I also don't know well, he's rarely played and may have a PG in him but will be inexperienced.
So my question is who brings the ball up next year? We rely on Taylor now, and that makes sense. But what will next year be like, especially if facing pressure.
I see a Klay/Capers backcourt when we don't face pressure. We might start a third guard, Harthun or Lodwick or others, but as with the Kyle, Derrick, Taylor backcourt all three will handle the ball. The issue is pressure. Who will break a press, who will control tempo?
I trust Tony, and I really think he's knows what he is doing. This year he's playing the best team possible, and that means Taylor on the floor for 35-40 minutes a game. That inhibits developing the next PG. After all of that, anyone have a thought on next year's PG?