After all the defections and transfers, we’re finally at a point where a team is starting to take shape for the 2017/2018 season. First, there were a couple of lower-level pick-ups in Michael Carter III and Nate Pryor, both guards. Then, they were able to hang onto erstwhile Romar recruit Jaylen Nowell, who is also a guard. In lieu of going after some JuCo transfers (who are notoriously difficult for the Huskies to bring in, due to our stupid high academic standards), Coach Hop has opted to poach from his old New York stomping grounds, in picking up shooting guard Nahziah Carter (who just so happens to be Jay-Z’s nephew), and 6’8 small forward Hameir Wright (who was thought to be a 2018 recruit, but is planning to reclassify to this year).
What this continues to emphasize is the Huskies’ considerable lack of big men. Dickerson is the only real true power forward on the roster, and our two centers are a couple of nobodies in Sam Timmins and Devenir Duruisseau. Which means that we’re either going to be playing A LOT of small ball, or we’re going to be giving considerable playing time to a couple of ineffective centers just to play defense and hopefully not get in anyone’s way.
Ideally, the Huskies would find a way to make quasi-small ball work, with Dickerson at center and Wright at power forward, but that’s going to hinge on those two not getting into constant foul trouble. If they can manage that, this isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Mostly because the Huskies have a lot of good height among their swingmen. Nahziah Carter is 6’5, Nowell is 6’4, Thybulle is 6’5, Green is 6’6, Carlos Johnson is 6’4, Carter III is 6’4. The only guy who really figures to get a lot of playing time who’s under 6’4 is David Crisp. As long as we defend well and give a lot of effort in the rebounding department, we shouldn’t get too killed for being undersized (except when we play the Arizonas of the world, which is what it is).
I’m keeping my expectations pretty low in his first season, understanding that these types of transitions take time to really make an impact. At this point, I’d settle for a team that’s fun to watch and maybe wins a few games it shouldn’t, but ultimately loses too many games it should, and finds itself in the N.I.T. range. With the way the NBA is turning into a long-range shooting league, you’d think that sort of strategy would be ideal for a small-ish team like the Huskies, to just spread everyone out, drive the lane, and pass the ball well. Ultimately, where size might kill us is defensively, if teams continuously decide to go after the likes of Dickerson to get him into foul trouble. Hopefully, the coaching staff is working on making up for this deficiency somehow.